I picked up Peg from her exercise appointment on North Pearl. It was almost 11:30, so I asked Peg if she wanted to got out to lunch. She said, “Sure. How about Joeseppi’s?” We were less than two hundred yards away, so I thought why not? This was just after our governor’s announcement about the Corona Virus and a ban on meetings of 250 people or more. The parking lot was empty.
I noted the announcement on the front door that the restaurant is now closed on week days from two to four. Once inside we were greeted by Joe Stortini himself. This is not unusual. Joe is always welcoming. He’s a nice guy and his restaurant has helped out with take-overs for countless fundraising events in Tacoma and Pierce County. Joe walked us to the lounge and sat us down at a cozy table just a few feet away from the gas fireplace. When we bring a gaggle of relatives and granddaughters we dine in the restaurant with two or three tables. Generally for lunch or dinner (Thursday evening is Prime Rib Night) we dine in the lounge and enjoy an excellent meal and always have left overs.
Peggy ordered the salad to accompany her sandwich. She asked for the vinaigrette dressing. It had a nice tang to it. When I ordered the salad, I usually get their “Homemade Creamy Gorgonzola” dressing with lots of Gorgonzola.
I almost always order the Sicilian Sausage Soup appetizer. It is thick with ground sausage. The soup is well flavored. With their bread sticks, the soup is almost a meal. When I have dinner, sometimes I’ll order a bowl of the soup, but for lunch a cup is enough.
My friend John and I meet for lunch once a month at Joeseppi’s. I order the Italian Roast Beef Dip on a French roll, which is what I ordered this time as well. The au jus isn’t sodium heavy, but has just enough sharpness to keep everything interesting. The roast beef was layered over an inch high. The slightly toasted French roll held up well for the dipping. I was so looking forward to the sandwich I forgot the photograph it before I bit into the one half . . . and soon it was all gone. If you are looking for great take home ingredients for sandwiches and parties, you should check out their glass case in the deli.
Peg ordered the crispy chicken sandwich. As advertised, it was crunchy. I had a bite. It was good . . . and both crispy and crunchy. The dressing wasn’t overwhelming. It was just tasty enough to add interest. Again, the French roll was perfect. Peg took half home.
Our lunch was $25 and change plus tip. Sarah was our server. She usually is. She knows my drink order, a Shirley Temple with lots of cherries . . . and refills. Dining at Joeseppi’s is always a comfortable affair. The wait staff and the cooks are always friendly. Senior pricing makes dining at Joe’s place very, very affordable. Check out their steak night and prime rib night . . . you will have a good time . . . and leftovers.
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Susanne Bacon says
Don, your review tickles my taste buds! Thank you for all your wonderful reviews – I always read them. Please, keep them coming after restaurants are reopening again. Meanwhile stay safe!
Donald Doman says
Thanks for the kind words. We’re trying something a little bit different to help the organizations that have had to cancel fundraisers as well has restaurants and theaters. https://thesubtimes.com/2020/03/17/the-best-events-in-pierce-county-that-never-happened-corona-caused-non-events/ – Reviews of events that never happened. I’m working on a review of the latest Community Health fundraiser Lunch & Laughter (the event was cancelled) and a review of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder of Tacoma Musical Playhouse. The musical was cancelled due to the number of people. I will submit that one tomorrow. I suggested this to TMP when the marketing person was so downcast and mentioned that the actors had been rehearsing for two months. They are thrilled. They didn’t tear down the set, but carefully stored it. It’s going to be a great show . . . and the comments from the actors are A1. I have a list of Uber Restaurants to share as well. I just hate to see well everything abandoned.
Thanks for caring.
Mrs. John Lathrop says
Always such a nice place to go. Friendly. Good family food. And Joe has always been so supportive of community activities. This is a business that has great food and gives back to our community,,
Don Doman says
You certainly hit the nail on the head. Joe is such a nice guy and his staff are just as nice. Let’s do what we can to help Joe, his people, us, and the entire eatery world!
Thanks for sharing.
Jaynie Jones says
We love Joe. We love Joeseppi’s, It broke our hearts when his restaurant closed in University Place. Sidebar memory: One of my cousins was visiting from eastern Washington on 9/11/2001 (yes, that very day that the Twin Towers came down) and we were beside ourselves not knowing what to do or where to go. It was also my cousin Patty’s birthday that day. We drove rather aimlessly around in shock to show her the sights around Tacoma to give her somewhat of a sightseeing tour on her first visit here. We ended up in University Place and saw that Mama Stortini’s was open. We went in. Joe was there. He greeted us like family — as he always did. That warm, loving greeting was never more welcome than on that horrific day. There were no other customers in the restaurant right at that time. It was lonely and eerily quiet, but we had a special lunch that day. And even since Joe’s restaurant transformed and transferred over across town to become Joeseppi’s, he has always greeted us warmly — not just with a handshake and a smile, but also with a hug. We love the guy! And as you said, the food and food service are consistently excellent. We couldn’t ask for more.,
Joeseppi’s received a business award from the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce several years ago just after the new Chamber president had taken the reins. He was new to the area (not from Tacoma). When he announced the restaurant’s name as the winner of the award, he pronounced it as “Joe’s Pies” Years later I still crack up when I think of that. 😉
Love, love, love Joeseppi’s! Long live Joe!!!
Don Doman says
Oh, I don’t know . . . I would visit a place called Joe’s Pies, too. Don’t ever buy his chocolate cake, however. That takes some serious eating for a group or lots of leftovers.
Thanks for speaking up for Joe. He deserves several more awards. Nice 9/11 story. I can see Joe making your group feel welcome and not alone.
I miss mamma stortinis in university place, i was one of the original 15 crew members who,opened that restaurant when I was 17 years old I was the first dishwasher and my mothet Kathleen Olson was the first server hired by now stortini and mark hulen..boy that was an amazing experience, i also,got to work for joe and mark at joeseppis as an opener as well I was the bartender…well congrats Joe and I miss everyone!
Don Doman says
Thanks for writing. Nice history.
p. s. Your mom and Rick now living up north?