Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Joe's Inn - Fan

Joe's Inn - Fan, 205 N. Shields Avenue, Richmond

Andrea: Michele and I brunched a deux this week since Karisa was gallivanting in California and Marin was under the weather. We had originally settled on Sidewalk Cafe but it was packed and LOUD so we strolled through the Fan on this beautiful Sunday afternoon to Joe's Inn. It looks like a lot of other Fan bars/restaurant - prominent bar, cozy booths, some stained glass, and a chalkboard with the beer and wine offerings listed (quite an extensive list, I might add!). The decor and vibe is unassuming, neighborhoody, and the overall experience was a very enjoyable one. Instead of waiting a few minutes for a booth, we decided to just sit at the corner of the bar. It gave us a prime view to people watch (always fun) and we got some fresh air from the door opening and closing. Prior to this visit, I hadn't been to Joe's before but had heard great things about the dinner menu and the portion size. Although the breakfast side of the brunch offerings were somewhat limited to the standard egg-y things, pancakes, and french toast, there were plenty of lunch options to pick from. I had two eggs with bacon, hash browns (more like big potato chunks - well seasoned with some sauteed onions), and a biscuit (great flavor), all for less than $5! The prices were definitely refreshing, compared with some of the other establishments we've reviewed recently. The drinks were also less than $3, although not terribly large. My eggs weren't prepared over medium as I requested (definitely got over easy) but the runny yolk went really well with the biscuit, so I didn't complain too much. Definitely want to try this place for dinner. The menu items items were simple; good place to take a non-adventurous eater because you're likely going to get a large-portioned, well-made version of whatever is ordered.

Michele: As Andrea has described, Joe's Inn was kind of a game time decision this week. I think everyone in the Fan/Museum District was out brunching because even Joe's was busy. Andrea and I snagged two spots at the end of the bar to avoid waiting for a table. The breakfast menu is pretty much different combinations of eggs and breakfast meats with some pancakes and French toast thrown in there every now and then. They also have a create-your-own omelette option. I ordered coffee, Bloody Mary, and water to start out with. The Bloody Mary was pretty good for $2.75. I liked the coarse pepper in there. If I was in more of a drinking mood I would have ordered a second. For my meal I ordered the Most Requested Omelette, which consists of feta, tomatoes, and spinach with home fries and a biscuit. I was especially hungry this week, so I ordered an additional side of grits. The omelette was wonderful. The egg was very thin, almost like a tortilla, so all I could really taste was the feta and veggies inside. The home fries were very tasty, seasoned well and fried up with onions. The biscuit was very nice as well. It tasted homemade to me and was not crumbly or greasy. The grits were ok, plain and probably quick-cook.

Overall, I was very impressed with the food at Joe's Inn. The decor was kind of interesting. I liked all the old photos hanging up on the wall, and I'm kind of curious who the people in the photos are. The people watching this week was excellent, and we had an excellent vantage point at the end of the bar. I would definitely consider coming back to Joe's Inn again when I'm in the mood for a standard eggs 'n sausage kind of breakfast and don't feel like cooking. 

Rating: 4
Food - Good. We both really enjoyed our meals. The food is simple but prepared well. Nothing fancy or unexpected, but the value for the money was great!
Service - Good. Our waitress was attentive and checked on us a few times. Friendly.
Atmosphere - Fair. Fan restaurants aren't generally well known for their decor but the noise level was moderate given that the place was packed and I liked the chalkboard with alcoholic beverages listed.
Coffee - Good. Karisa probably would have said that it was Fair, but it suited us just fine this week. Didn't seem like it was a special roast from a local beanery or anything, but it was a standard cup o'joe (get it? That's a joke because it's Joe's Inn!)
Mimosa - Good. Nothing super fancy or special.
Bloody Mary - Good. I liked the coarse pepper. Kind of small, but it's hard to complain about $2.75.

Joe's Inn on Urbanspoon

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