Luckily, some things don’t change

Joe’s of Avenue U
287 Avenue U
Brooklyn, NY

718 449 9285

 I was 13 years old when I first went to Joe’s of Avenue U. Even after fifty years, Joe’s a Focacceria Palermitana has not lost its Sicilian roots. Initially Joes\’s was only open for lunch. When lunch or the mid day meal was the main meal as it was back in Sicily. Gradually even Joe’s has adapted but its menu harks back to an even ancient era. A time when tomato was unknown in Italy (pre Columbus) and fish or fish sauce was the main flavoring… You can still get Pasta cchi Sardi (pasta with sardine sauce). Please note the dialect difference between Sicilian and standard Italian.

 Slowly, very slowly times have changed even for Joe’s. It is now open for dinner, but credit cards are verboten. Joe’s still has the steam trays for take out for the harried Italian housewife. I can still remember the sharp yet loving ear slap I got for misbehaving

 I had the Tunnina all’Agro e Dulci, (sweet & sour Tuna) my favorite of decades, and it is still wonderful. It makes you wonder why anyone would put Tuna in a can. The Vrocculi ri Rapi (broccoli rabe) and the Capunata di Milinciani ( Eggplant garnish ) are in a class by itself. The food is still terrific, plentiful and inexpensive. A full dinner for two with house wine and dessert is about forty dollars.

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