Food Porn: Uncle Joe’s Diner

  • Restaurant Type: Diner
  • Cuisine: American
  • Price Range: Under $10 for most menu items

When you walk into Uncle Joe’s Diner, you will instantly get an idea of what sort of meal you’re going to have.  With walls painted with colors like pink and aqua, neon signs and a glass case of spinning desserts, everything about this place says “50′s style diner”.  Their menu pretty much follows the diner formula; burgers, lots of breakfast options (served all day), pies and milkshakes, all for affordable prices.  For our group of 5, the bill for everyone plus drinks and tip was just under 60 bucks.

I don’t really have much experience with Uncle Joe’s, in fact I’ve only eaten there once and that was over 10 years ago.  But my Dad was in town and requested we have dinner there.  On top of that I know my future in-laws love to take a ride on their bikes there in the summer and stop by for a meal.  I was curious to see what all the fuss was about, here’s how it went.

Even though they have an impressive menu of Omelets, Egg Specials, Toasts, Waffles and Breakfast Sandwiches/Wraps we decided to just stick to the lunch/dinner menu.  I normally love a diner burger.  Something about a really flat/large burger on a toasted bun really hits a warm spot in my heart (or stomach).  Maybe it’s fond memories of being a kid and eating at Tully’s (now Union Family Restaurant) after going to church, but I just love greasy burgers that are served on top of wax paper in a plastic basket.  I was impressed with the size of Uncle’s Joe’s burger, it was very big (width, not thick) and topped with several strips of bacon, some BBQ sauce (I would have preferred more) and cheese.  I ordered the burger to be cooked medium and it came back pretty close to well done, unfortunately.

We did visit on a Friday and it just so happened that Alli was in the mood for a Fish Fry.  She ordered their Beer Battered Fish Fry ($9, pictured above) and was served a fairly large piece of fish.  The “ice cream scoop” of macaroni salad, coleslaw and potato was a little off putting and the fish itself was pretty mediocre.  Alli ate about a third before giving up.  While it wasn’t the worst fish fry shes ever had, it was not something she would recommend to anyone else.  The fried battered covering the outside lacked in crunch and flavor and the actual fish (Haddock) was a bit slimy.  I know, I know, there are so many amazing places around the city to get a great Lent fish fry, don’t worry, we’ll be getting to those soon!

For their seafood options, the sides actually are different depending on the day of the week.  Fridays and Saturdays you get Coleslaw/Fries/Macaroni Salad/Potato Salad but when you order Sunday through Thursday their seafood entrees come with Soup or Salad, Choice of Veggie, Choice of Potato/Rice.  For both the Fish Fry and my Burger we had a side of fresh cut fries. They weren’t Five Guys quality but still a nice crunchy, thick diner-style french fry.

Do I now understand why various members of my family love this place? Not really. The food was OK and everyone seemed genuinely satisfied with their meals, but I wasn’t wowed by anything.  As I mentioned before, the interior reminded me of every other diner I’ve eaten at.  That’s not necessarily a horrible thing to say about Uncle Joe’s, this diner might be an easy and affordable place to take your less adventurous family members (possibly grandparents) to eat.  I’d like to go back and try out their breakfast menu (Pecan Waffles, Banana Cakes) before I write off going back there to eat again.  It might be also worth noting that the service was incredibly fast.  That said, without anything really unique and special, there’s no reason (yet) to drive down to Uncle Joe’s Diner instead of just walking to the closest diner around the corner from your house.

Uncle Joe's Diner on Urbanspoon

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