706 S. Fifth, Champaign
Wait. Joe’s serves food? They have great burgers that are half price on Tuesdays? Well I’ll be damned. See you at lunch! (Get it?)
Without revealing just how old I am, I’ve been to Joe’s exactly once. Many moons ago, they had open mic comedy night. A few friends and I went to see a guy we worked with and he bombed horribly. I was scarred enough by that hugely awkward, uncomfortable situation that I stayed away.
But hey! Half price burgers, right?
Our son and his girlfriend were with us today, so we sat at a four-top to the right side of the bar/entrance, rather than sitting in the solarium thing with long tables. (I think I even said, “Let’s go sit in the cave!”). It contributed to the dive bar experience, which was cool. What wasn’t cool was the sticky menus. Seriously. I get that it’s a campus bar, but when you have a one-page front and back menu, WIPE THEM OFF. Ask Firehaus if you have questions.
We all ordered burgers, with mozz sticks as an appetizer. The sticks were brought promptly and were fine, but the sauce tasted like the stuff you get with TGI Friday’s frozen ones in the grocery aisle. But OK, not that big of a deal.
Three of the four burgers came shortly after. We don’t stand on ceremony, particularly with burgers at a bar, so everyone started to eat, assuming mine would come soon. It didn’t…for a while…to the point that Mike got up and asked a random food runner/manager/bouncer what happened to the 4th burger. He said he’d “find it” (where could it have gone?) and it was brought shortly after by a dude who half-assed apologized as he dropped it on the table. Um, OK. Thanks?
I ordered the California. Had the burger lived up to the hype, I would have forgiven whatever happened. But it wasn’t good. Granted, it was cold, but I’ve had better burgers at chains (Meatheads, anyone?) and other places on campus (Firehaus! Take a lesson, kids.). I’d like to think that it was an off day, since students are gone, and maybe they’re readjusting things. But if their big draw is Tuesday lunch, they’re doing it poorly.
No need to ever try that again.