Sunday, January 26, 2014

Comfort in a Plate: Joe's Inn

You will probably be able to decipher the kind of "eater" I am with my declaration that my favorite place in Richmond is Joe's Inn (The Fan). This post is specific to the Fan location and not the Bon Air location. I don't know if this is true, but I heard that they used to have the same owner but now the two establishments are owned by two different family members. The Bon Air location isn't as good (especially the cheese choices) and definitely lacks the vibe the Fan location has.

Photo from Yelp

To me there is nothing better in this city than a giant heaping pile of spaghetti. Growing up, every Sunday my father Richard would make a big spaghetti dinner. He still makes the best spaghetti I know and when he visits my friends all ask for invitations to dinner. My father takes pride in making a sauce that will stain your shirt to the point of ruin, homemade monster meatballs, and using ridiculously expensive Italian cheeses. Whenever I think of comfort, my comfort food is spaghetti. With my parents on the other side of the U.S., the next best thing to my Dad's spaghetti is Joe's Inn.

Just look at this thing of beauty: Spaghetti a la Rudd
Photo from Urbanspoon

Let's break this down: you get a ton of freakin' pasta here. They then add in spinach, mushrooms, and a massive amount of cheese including feta and then bake the damn thing. But no, it gets better. The marinara is great and the Greek meatballs are extraordinary. You have to order the meatballs separate--don't forget. I have no idea what's in the meatballs and I don't want to ask since I try not to eat veal. If someone tells me that there is veal in it, I will just have to forget that bit of information. Also, ask for at least two of the parmesan cheese shakers because they have some of the best parm in town. I don't know where they get it but I could just eat it from the jar. If there is some underground cheese black market let me know. Can you tell how much I love this dish?

The Greek salad is also one of the best in town. Two people can easily eat off the "small". Again, their choice of cheese, in this case the feta, is spot on. The only downside is they don't pit their kalamata olives so beware. Between the pasta and the salad, my husband and I are often able to both eat and have leftovers for another dinner or lunch.

Joe's Inn is always full and energetic and the beer list is fantastic. I normally go for a red wine while eating Italian, but at Joe's nothing goes better with pasta than a crisp draft beer. If you are in the mood for craft beer Joe's Inn usually has a good selection. A special treat is when the Hardywood Gingerbread Stout is available.

I assume the rest of the food is great but I can't bring myself to order anything else.

Joe's Inn on Urbanspoon

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