Tasty Joe’s resembles a slightly toned-down Pei Wei, with the menu-board on the wall leading to a cashier, an open kitchen, and an informal, ‘pan-asian’ style. The restaurant is fairly clean, and seemed remarkably not crowded for a lunch party.
Since the seating is self-service, it was immediate, but a few tables had plates from prior visitors.
Tasty Joe’s offerings fall into a few major categories– rice and noodle bowls, and standard entrees. Both categories are generally “a type of sauce and vegetables, with your selection of meat.” While it represents an excellent way to diversify the selection, it avoids having many special choices– where the sauce only goes well with one meat.
We started with two types of appetizers: crab-puffs and pot-stickers. The pot-stickers were the crispy, fried sort, and the filling was solid and pork-based. The crab puffs had slightly more cream cheese than some, and were mostly notable for their ornate shape and well-balanced cooking– crisp without tasting too overcooked.
For an entree, I chose the Cantonese Sweet and Sour Chicken. It was without surprises in the best possible way– simple competence and being exactly what was expected– a reasonably solid red sauce, with crisp chicken bites, red and green peppers, and loads of pineapple. If anything was a bit disappointing, it was the extremely finely cut chicken, which seemed perhaps light compared to many places which offer you basically a bag of chicken nuggets and a jar of sauce.
Since we seat ourselves and get our own drinks, the service aspect is minimal. They merely bring out our finished meal. It can be forgiven that the waitress needed to be told which person got which entree. I was impressed with how many of us were served in a group, given we had a party of about 10, ordering many different items.
Tasty Joe’s delivers a fairly competent experience across the board. It’s classy enough to not be embarrassed to bring friends to, the food is fresh, and it’s reasonably priced.