Chowdown report on Joey & Eddie's (North Beach), SF
I decided to hold a chowdown here and 5 people came. It's always fun to eat with the hounds.
First tried to make reservations on Opentable, but originally the group was 8 and when it's that big you can't on Opentable. I had to call them. Then for a large group they want your credit card number. Really don't like that.
This is across from the Washington Square Park in North Beach. It's a good 20 min walk from Embarcadero Bart Station.
The menus they have is on the walls like Buca di Beppo. Portions are sized family style.
FRE warm bread w/ a side dish of soft butter, red peppers, olive oil. Very nice. We got an additional loaf later that we didn't finish.
Pork braciole, pork ribs, meatballs & sausage in tomato gravy $27-it's a huge plate of food that's kinda messy looking w/ meats everywhere. I thought the pork braciole was fatty, pork ribs not sure I got a taste since it was like 3 ribs & tough to cut. Meatballs were nice & tender, sausage was fine.
baked clams oreganata $14-they were the tiniest clams ever. Didn't have any taste to them. It was 10 total so we all got 2 tiny pieces. - Skip.
garlic bread $6-small portions here. Maybe 6 tiny slices of garlic bread. Nicely toasted, though not enough garlic for the garlic lovers in the bunch. Skip it.
escarole w/ garlic $8-Leafy green veggies. Nice, still not enough garlic taste for me.
Linguine w/ shrimp in white sauce $19-boring sauce. I don't think it had enough taste. Shrimps were tasty, but not enough of them. Ended up with tons of pasta though.
Ricotta cheesecake $12-just 1 big slice that we all got a small taste of. Just ok, too heavy tasting for us. Nothing like what you can find at Modern Pastry in Boston, MA. Skip it.
Separate bathrooms in the back. There's a nice bar area & and piano that I've read they do live jazz..don't know when.
Just ok, probably won't go back.
They charged us 3 orders of spaghetti (plain noodles) which was crazy priced at $18-feed 5 w/ leftover noodles
We got a bottle of wine for $55
Our subtotal w/ 7 items & bottle of wine $184 + $15.66 tax = $199.66 Before tip split by 5.
Other hounds what do you think? Pics will be later.
Fri-Sat 5:30-12 midnight
i almost wanna say I agreed with all the comment above especially the underspiced red sauce and have nothing to add. hOw come no one mention the Chicken Parmesan we had? it was tender and the cheese certainly added some flavor to the dish.
The white sauce for the shirmp linguine was flat out disappointing. I found the plain spaghetti taste better. The meatball was good. The ribs was not quite what I expected. I thought it would be very tender as the waiter emphasized slow cook so many times. Anyhow, before the dinner, I thought I would be back for the saturday special, osso buco. With the bland sauce and not so slow cook meat, it is crossed off from my list.
for the entire meal, the warm bread was my favorite. probably because i was too hungry. :P
This isn't really shocking to me. Joseph Manzare hasn't put together a restaurant that is worthy of its hype or note since the early days of the Globe. He continues to spread himself thin with weak efforts at Zuppa, Tres Agaves, Pescheria (closed) and now Joey & Eddies. It's like an ongoing case of Chef A-D-D.
the baked clams are tasty but small. not at all like dom's on arthur avenue to which they compare themselves. but worth a shot, nonetheless. the meatballs are pretty good.
i wanted to like this place but it needs a bit of work. service is friendly and wine list decent (some gems at loss-leader prices). food prices are very fair. still, i'm not sure the east-coast, red-sauce concept can cover the rent at washington square.
i urge folk to give it a shot. your wallet won't take a big hit. i'm interested in more opinions.
minute would be cockle size. they were small. dom's baked clams, on the other hand are good-sized. that's the disconnect i was referring to. if you compare yourself to dom's, you better be as good as dom's. i like dom's a lot. joey and eddie's needs to work the details or the market will say, "fuggetaboutit."
small aside: pulling into dom's around 4 p.m. is the perfect time to order four dozen or so baked clams. a mighty-fine way to end the work day. then head to a yankee game.
It was fun to meet other Chowhounds in North Beach...definitely a fun, foot oriented part of town...Joey & Eddie's has a beautiful location overlooking the greenery of the park....the staff was very welcoming and Tony (not Italian!) our server was enthusiastic...unfortunately the promised Southern-Italian-American red sauces were not up to expectations...they were underspiced and quite drab...as a matter of fact EVERYTHING was underspiced including the garlic bread the escarole and the pasta and shrimp! I didn't want death by garlic ala "The Stinkin' Rose", but a heavier hand with spicing was needed...this tasted like a regular "Northern-Italian -American" restaurant in San Fran. attempting to do a Red Sauce. Nothing special...FINALLY I had great hope for the "Italian Cheesecake" (ricotta cheese) but it was overly dense, pastily coating the tongue, and the 'crust' was undistinguished and 'wet' (my favorite crust for this kind of cheesecake is crushed Amaretti). The food here was definitely not 'bad' but not as advertised..
The company was convivial and a lot of fun, and I hope to share more meals with them in the near future!