Joe's Bar and Dining Hall is a dude food haven with American style diner food using Victorian produce at a cool junction in St Kilda. A huge revamp, the masterstroke of owner Rob Gringlas, has seen a change from the previous Greasy Joe's - to "drop the grease" and "get on the gourmet". Joe's has a talented chef Katrina who wows with killer sauces and dude food winners such as Southern fried chicken, awesome sliders, kick butt burgers and sublime ribs.
I (and my family) were part of a media event at Joe's on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The crowds were out and about in St Kilda and there was a festive tone in the precinct. Joe's is a great place to drop by for a major meal - or drinks and a bite with friends. And we discovered it is family friendly with our kids loving the sliders and ribs in particular.
We began at Joe's sampling some of the starters including the Beer battered onion rings and some sensational bourbon and maple syrup flavoured nuts. Yeah baby! Followed by the Southern fried chicken which was flavoursome and juicy and came with several types of sauces.
Joe's has a retro cool fit out and a great ambience with plenty of space, a large central bar with modern panelling, chunky timber tables including a large communal table, chic artwork around a beach theme, cool lamps and leather around the walls, and large windows with natural light flooding in. The ambience continues at the outdoor tables overlooking eclectic St Kilda.
Joe's serves up some excellent sliders including the Berkshire pork shoulder with Joe's killer bbq sauce and apple puree. Sublime.
Check out this piece of slider action...
We appreciated the little touches like the Australian native flowers on the table at Joe's...
Joe's also serves up some sensational cocktails, such as The Prairie Cup with bourbon, creme de peche, apple juice, lemon juice and mint.
Joe's also delivers on the Popcorn prawn sliders, one of my favourites, with thousand island dressing.
Check out our table at Joe's, conviviality central...
My favourite slider at Joe's is this Braised Wagyu brisket slider with beetroot jam. Great combo of the rich wagyu with the jam.
Another great Joe's cocktail jug is the Rum-Bucky-Done-Gone with gold rum, creme de cassis, Angostura Bitters, pineapple juice, lime juice, and ginger beer.
After all this we sampled Joe's killer ribs - the six hour slow cooked pork rib with Joe's bbq sauce and slaw. These are so melt in your mouth kick butt delicious ribs and contender for best in Melbourne. As Katrina the chef said "We are proud of our ribs."
Another main sampled at Joe's is the Octopus ceviche salad, which I found refreshing with thin slices of perfectly cooked octopus.
Joe's also has a reputation for its burgers so despite the extraordinary amount of food consumed I took on one of their trademark burgers. The two most popular burgers are the Joe's Classic and the Habenero. I elected to go for the Habenero as a kind of exotic option.
Joe's Habenero burger kicks butt with 100% grass fed patty (sublime), crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato, sliced red onion, pickles, double cheese (important and melted wonderfully all over the patty), and mustard aoli. What I loved was the 3 sauces involved in this burger - the habenero, the tomato chutney and the aoli - all home made. The combination is excellent and this is one sexy burger. I also loved the bun from Dairy Bell Bakery - not a straight brioche but soft and some sweetness.
The hand cut crispy chips were also a highlight, a great accompaniment with the burger.
Joe's also serves up some great American style desserts including the Oreo and chocolate cheesecake, apple fritters and the Peanut butter cups.
Joe's is described by Katrina the chef as "food for everybody". This approacheable feel good cuisine was embraced and loved by my whole family. Service was excellent and engaging. We also enjoyed the live entertainment on a Sunday afternoon. Joe's is highly recommended for its superb cuisine as well as its ambience.