If you dare to brave the neighborhood in the Tenderloin where the stench of urine fills the streets for blocks, where we were approached by panhandlers and people who are chemically dependent for money and our leftovers in hand, (no less than 3x) & where you hang tightly onto your wallets and purses, then Joe's is definitely worth a visit. It's close to the Golden Gate Theater and have been there since 1936. The waiters serve you in tuxedos & reflective of the times, there are Asian waiters working along side the Croatian/Slav staff now. An eclectic mix of seniors, bachelor military vets living in local low-income housing, tourists, hipsters and families all come to dine at the counter or tables. A delicious sm. green salad for a mere $3.50 was enough to feed 2 and came with crisp greens, slivers of carrots, 2 wedges of tomato, green peas, a couple of broccoli florets and a jalapeno pepper. The guy next to me looked like he really liked his sm Caesar salad for $4.50. The bread was just ok, not crunchy or flavorful like Boudin's. We sat across the bar and you have 2 TVs in front of you and it's rather entertaining to watch the bartender at work. The veal Milanese came with a lightly breaded crumb, not greasy nor over salted for $15.95. The Original Joe's hamburger for $8.50, was a lean tasting chuck patty on a Italian-French loaf. I was so please it was not oversalted. The steak fries served with it was bland, with pieces varying from too soft to overly fried & hard. You could tell from the lack of enthusiasm that our young waiter wasn't going to make this a career job if he had a choice. Our water glasses were not kept full until the end of the meal & I had to drink someone else's cup waiting for more water. After 7pm, every table and counter space were filled. Would definitely return to try more items, but perhaps for lunch, when the neighborhood residents are asleep.
Pros: Good Joe's Original Hamburger, veal, close to theater
Cons: Scary neighborhood, parking