Joe’s Knows Italian

Many a Shelby County, Alabama resident will tell you about the culinary landmark known as Joe’s Italian. Built on the foundation of love, quality ingredients and fresh, delicious food, the “baby” of Papa Joe and Mama Elvira has been serving up the best in Italian cuisine for years. Sadly, in 2013 Papa Joe, who was a staple on a stool in the front of the restaurant passed away. However, his legacy of amazing food lives on.

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On my most recent trip, rushing to try to dine in less than 45 minutes before Wednesday night service at Church of the Highlands I branched out on a limb and sampled the pizza my dinner companion ordered. It was a CHICKEN ALFREDO PIZZA made with Cream sauce, roasted garlic, red onion, chicken, fresh tomato & basil. Gaze up there at it again. Go ahead. I know you want to. The pizza was as good as it was pretty! Ample cheese was not overshadowed by fresh herbs, seasoned chicken, the savory cream sauce and a sweetness to the crust which was the perfect combination to balance out the red onions and tomatoes. The pizza was perfect, in my opinion. It really was. I felt the need to hop on a gondola and speak the little Italian I learned from two years of classes in college.

I ordered my usual children’s portion of Spaghetti and Meatballs covered with fresh parmesan cheese. You can’t really see it from my picture, but there’s enough on this “small plate” for two meals. Trust me. I ate my leftovers for lunch. This was especially easy to do when paired with their fresh bread and herb, olive oil which comes as freely as the oil flows.

 

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To top it off, being so big it toppled over, is their famous Strawberry Cake. I was too full to eat dessert before church, but boy-oh-boy, the four forkfuls I ate around 9pm hit the spot and didn’t even keep me up all night.

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Joe’s Italian is located at:

21 Weatherly Club Drive​, Alabaster, Alabama 35007 (205) 663-4111

Opening Hours:

MONDAY – SUNDAY
​​10:30am – 9:00pm

The food at Joe’s Italian is delicious. That’s the only word I can use to describe it. The staff is friendly, especially our server Felicia who clarified her name by saying, “as in Bye Felicia”, and the environment is perfect for a hot date, a birthday party, a quick meal before church or a family feast just because you’re in the mood for Italian. And while Papa Joe no longer greets his guests at the door when they arrive, his presence is surely felt throughout the restaurant.

@AngelaMMoore316

California Love

Today’s #bloglikecrazy post is supposed to feature a “hole in the wall favorite”. Leave it to me to schedule my own blogging schedule during a time recently where I’ve not been eating out as much and was scrambling to remember the last time I’d been somewhere remotely like a hole in the wall. Well, leave it to me also to be a picture taker of all things tasty and run across two shots from a neighborhood gem in Alabaster, that might not be a hole in the wall in the sense of what some might think, but is certainly a little place packing a lot of good food and in a great, authentic atmosphere.

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I’ll admit, I’ve passed this place for years without thought of going in. An impromptu trip to a parade, growling bellies and in need of a quick school night meal landed us at this restaurant. Upon entry, what first struck me was is the feel of family. There was something so inviting as we swung open the door and it just wasn’t the waft of the food which hit us at the same time. It felt good to be there. The next thing I noticed as my sister and I clearly didn’t understand the difference in the two menu offerings of Authentic Mexican or Tex-Mex or Los Angeles style (I can’t remember. It was all tasty to me) was the patience of the staff as we sorted through the menu with intervals of “Oohhhhhh, girl that sounds good” or “You get this. I’ll get that”, or my favorite phrase of the night, “You know y’alls prices are cheap, right?” Anywho, we decided. I chose tacos. She chose an authentic LA burrito.

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The presentations were simple. The complexity of the flavors, abundance of portion and freshness were anything but. Los Angeles Burrito in Alabaster, just off of Kent Dairy Road is a trip to the other side (of the country) without leaving the 35007 or 35114. I’ve never been to California or Mexico, but I feel like my taste buds have.

And if things couldn’t get any better, they have all kinds of combo specials. They have flavored, ethnic beverages and they also serve breakfast. #Yum

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@AngelaMMoore316