I went in to JoeDoe for a late brunch around 3 pm on Sunday (yesterday) and I am still full at this very moment.
My visit was not without some reservation: I’d read all of the outspoken chef’s rants online, from Eater to Yelp, it seemed like he might be a bonafide jerk. But they say true artists are all a little off, right? So while ChefJoeDoe didn’t cut off his own ear and send it to his prostitute lover, he is a little prideful (and rightfully so, I think, after my fabulous brunch experience) and he might just need to let someone else censor his rants before he posts them on the Internet for all to see.
But from the minute our Ryan Phillipe-lookalike waiter brought us the menu and our warm, fresh out of the oven biscuits and the honey and sea salt-infused butter, I was sold.
I had the Berkshires & Kiwis ($12): clams, John’s pork, and hock stock… I only wish there had been more stock! I would drink a jug of that stuff if someone would let me. Genius: marrying baby clams (way better than the big ones) with pan fried pork sausage and chinese broccoli in a light, clam and pork broth… In the words of Rachel Zoe, I DIE. That disappeared in a matter of minutes. Which is when I moved onto helping Sara finish her dish.
Sara had the Pork Jowl Benedict, basically JoeDoe’s version of Eggs Benedict. I know. Yawn, right? Wrong. By far my favorite version of Eggs Benedict EVER. Perfectly poached eggs doused in a creamy hollandaise sauce on very thin slices of crusty English muffin, topped with the crispiest, most flavorful piece of deep-fried pork jowl you can imagine. Think of the thickest slab of bacon you’ve ever eaten, multiply it by two, and then remove the salt (the pork jowl is uncured), and triple the crispiness. Then you have the glorious JoeDoe pork jowl. Accompanied with delicious hash browns and pickled red cabbage slaw, the plate was not only lovely to look at, but an even lovelier symphony of the taste buds: rich cream offset by vinegary slaw, runny egg yolks soaked up by crunchy muffin. As you might have guessed, I helped Sara eat her dish. A lot.
The Prepared Beers dreamt up by JoeDoe co-owner Jill are really just beer cocktails, but they are inventive, refreshing, and wonderful for summer. I went with “A Tan in Central Park” (Ommegang Witte, Rhum JM, toasted coconut, and lime) and loved the combination of the light, citrus-y wheat beer with the tang of lime, and I licked all of the toasted coconut off the rim of the glass. Sara had the “Spring Forward” (Left Hand Sawtooth Ale, DH Krahn Gin, lemon zest, and salted honey), which came with honey dripping down the side of the glass, covered in sea salt. Way better than table salt off the rim of a margarita, let me tell ya.
As we reclined in our seats and moaned about how full we were and how our dresses might burst open at any moment, we asked our waiter to see the dessert menu. Just to have a look. And then we decided to indulge in the banana bread sundae, thick slices of house-made banana bread drowned in Bananas Foster (banana slices, caramel, Myers dark rum) and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I would have liked more ice cream, seeing as how we ordered a sundae, but whatever. After all that rum, I didn’t even care.
I’m pretty sure the Bananas Foster tipped me over that food coma edge, and upon returning home, I promptly passed out until 8:30 pm and woke up dreaming of pork jowl and clam broth.
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