Saturday, March 28, 2009

Joe's Garage

366 Brunswick Street Fitzroy

After attempting to cut the budget this week (going with a Global Financial Crisis theme) and feast on $5 pizza at Bimbo Deluxe, the spotters found themselves in a spot of bother when Bimbo's had no seating spots to be found. After realising that Brunswick St is not particular famous for pizza (compared with its near neighbour Lygon St), our intrepid bunch were faced with limited options. In the end we trekked south (approx 20 metres) and settled on Joe's Garage. Joe's is designed as a kind of 50's American diner, with its neon sign and 50's-inspired 3D (?) artwork on the walls. Amongst the burgers the menu also manages a pizza list of 13 and a selection of pasta & risotto dishes. It does feel like Joe's has a slight identity crisis - perhaps in an attempt to appeal to the group 'birthday dinner' clientele - trying to cover all bases (pizza, pasta, burgers, dhal, saganaki...) and with their focus leaning more towards quantity than quality.

pizzas sampled:

1. Margherita: tomato, bocconcini & basil

2. Veg out:roast vegetables, cheese, pesto & fetta

3. Pump the jam: tomato, cheese, roasted pumpkin, semi dried tomato, marinated artichoke, fetta & hommous

the verdict:

base 6
not bad - not too thick and well cooked. We debated amongst ourselves whether the bases were bought in or made on site. Should have asked!

topping 6.5

satisfactory but not exciting. MJoe's menu is downloadable from their tired-looking website, which lends us to believe it probably hasn't changed in quite some time. We question the addition of hommous
on pizza. Also, it would help if the menu gave more information than just 'cheese'.

ambience/service 6.5

Bright & noisy but the place was less than half full. Football on the tv in the corner may or may not be your thing. If you are after an authentic italian experience, Joe's is not your place. Service was friendly.

wine list 6
While Joe's has a large u-shaped bar taking up the middle of the restaurant, beer & spirits seem more of a priority than wine. The house red was uninspiring.

price: 6.5 $
prices range from $13.90-$15.90 for approx 10 inch pizzas

Satisfactory. We wouldn't seek out Joe's for the ambience or the pizza experience, but the pizza was better than expected and the prices were reasonable.

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