Screw the clever, witty intro. Let’s cut to the chase.
This is Joe’s.
If you happen to live in Green Bay, well, you better get your brisket to Joe’s.
I spotted it one day out the corner of my eye. A little wooden gem hidden along highway 32. It’s barely noticeable. The best places usually are. With the name tucked carefully in my memory, I made sure to research as soon as I returned to my dorm.
Apparently Joe’s is pretty popular…a favorite among Lambeau tailgaters. With two rickety picnic tables and about 15ft of standing space, it is small. Surely not small on flavor….or the smell. Oh, the smell. Open the door and you’ll instantly be transported to another place. Texas perhaps?
The menu is written daily on a white board. There are ribs, briskets, pulled pork, borracho beans, cornbread, sweet potato pie, and more classics. How could I choose? A short, portly old man tripped, literally tripped, in the door. A huge smile spreads across his face when he notices us four, young girls standing there. “Oh you’re in for a treat,” he promised. I took the opportunity of asking which is his favorite pick? “Oh…..oh it’s all good….but I think you’d do good to order the brisket,” he replied with a wink.
May I just take the moment to say that I love cute old men.
Cass got the crux of it. After asking what we were all studying, he looks at Cass and smiles, “So if I fall over right now, I know who will save me. Maybe I’ll even treat the nurse to lunch (wink!).” I could barely muffle my laughter. The old man stumbled out of the restaurant with a rack of ribs, sandwich, and sides. Remember this fact.
Man was I thrown for a loop. That darned wink! The brisket must be good…it must….but I had planned on pulled pork. Sticking to my guns, I got what I came for, supplemented with creamy, picnic style potato salad and Texas’ own Big Red soda.
Holy halibut! This pulled pork was good. The picture makes it look sloppy, but let’s be real folks, this is bbq. It’s sloppy by nature, and all the better because of it! Creamy coleslaw, sharp pickle slices, smoky bbq sauce, and moist pork mesh together into something beautiful. Forget white table cloth, high-end, presumptuous restaurants….I’m perfectly content with the red and white checkered cloth, wooden walls, and corny country atmosphere of Joe’s. If the food is good…and it is…then everything is alright in the world.
Big Red soda. A gloriously sweet mix of carbonated water, artificial flavoring, and most importantly, Red dye 40. Strangely, I liked it. Even more strangely, it complemented the bbq like none other. Something about that sticky sweetness mixed with the smokiness of the sandwich. I don’t know, it works.
However, my tongue was fire truck red for a good two hours after eating. Good thing that wore off before my afternoon speech. Ehhhh, if not, I totally would have rocked that.
So the moral of this story? Go to Joe’s. Ooooohhh, wait!!! I almost forgot about the old man. Remember how much food he bought? We totally thought he was picking it up to bring home to his family. To share. Definitely not to eat alone. But as we were pulling out, Carly remarked rather nonchalantly, “Oh look, that old guy is eating in his car.” What!? That’s a lot of food.
Guess it really is THAT good.