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Joe’s Diner

Posted by NOK 15 Mar 2010 12 Comments

The inspiring backstory of Joe’s Diner has been well-covered in multiple local news outlets, including our own Bull City Rising and the N&O.  Never having ventured to the intersection of Angier and Driver before visiting Joe’s Diner, I saw what all the fuss was about.  This mini town center is a microcosm of both hardship and hope, a burned out drug store across from an ambitious attempt at revitalizing local business.   This has also been well-covered on Endangered Durham, where the comments are frequently as enlightening as Gary’s original research.

But enough about that, how are the dogs?  If you’re expecting a picture of the already legendary 1lb hot dog, keep moving, or check out Girls with Guts.  I can’t imagine a circumstance under which I might order the 1lb dog, but, if Joe’s up for a gimmicky eating contest, he ought to think about seeing how many people can put a couple of these things away.

There are nearly a dozen specialty dogs, with all toppings/combos also available a la carte, including the intriguing “if you want it and we have it condiment”.  There are a couple of menu pictures at the bottom of the post, but if anyone has a real link, feel free to post it in the comments.

My companion opted for the Animal, a footlong served on a standard roll with *grilled* sauerkraut and mustard.  I chose the Clyde, a 1/4 lb dog with chili, mustard, and slaw.  On the side we had an order of fries and rings.  Both dogs were very good – the menu advertises Pearl Brand All Beef dogs.  The foot-long overshot the bun considerably on either side, but was well-grilled with a good amount of char.  The 1/4 lb dog was buried in good meaty chili and a creamy slaw.  My only complaint about the 1/4 lb dog is that it can’t really be picked up – the toppings render the bun useless.  My favorite slaw dogs (e.g. the late Don’s on Chapel Hill) are portable and balanced.  But, a complaint about too much chili isn’t really a complaint at all.  Just grab a fork and knife.

Fries were standard crinkle cut, but good.  The rings were also solid, if slightly well-done.  Portions of both were generous.

Overall, I look forward to returning to try breakfast, among many other things. Based on our experience, Joe’s is already drawing a good crowd of people, ranging from those grabbing a quick bite in the middle of a weekday, to leisurely diners enjoying the laid back vibe and friendly service. It sounds like Joe also has big plans for the rest of the property, and frequent visits may also provide an enlightening look at an exciting urban renewal project.

Joe’s Diner
2100 Angier Ave. (at Driver St.)
Durham
919-381-5110

12 Comments »

  • RPP said:

    Also see the previous comments about Joe’s on the Restaurant Openings Report: http://carpedurham.com/2009/12/30/restaurant-openings-report-11/

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  • enw said:

    Those looking for a low-fat meal should stay clear, but if you’re looking for every imaginable hot dog combo (with the dogs, as noted, running up to 1lb), this is the place to go. I had a pastrami dog with fries–most yummy. I found the parking behind back a bit confusing, but there was plenty of street parking down both Driver and Angier.

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    D replies on March 16th, 2010 at 12:38 am:

    I was very happy when Joe’s opened because I work in the area and there almost no place to eat in East Durham. Although this is the second good hot dog place on Angier Avenue , the first being L&D Grocery & Grill, at 2620 Angier Avenue. My two favorite dogs:the pinapple dog which is a pork dog with pineapple built in and the Pierre Dog which is wrapped in pastrami, Sauerkraut,and mustard.

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  • Girls with Guts said:

    Thanks for the mention! Don’t shy away from the one-pounder…we were two of four people who tackled it successfully, although some faster than others. It would be cool if they had a Wall of Fame.

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  • Ms.Dee said:

    HELLO TO ONE AND ALL. I AM PLEASED TO SAY I AND MY FAMILY ENJOYED OUR VISIST. WE ARE FROM DETROIT AND WE MISS OUR CONEY ISLAND STYLE RESTURANTS. SO WHEN WE STOPPED IN ONE AFTERNOON FOR BRUNCH (DIDNT HAVE BREAKFAST AND NOT QUITE LUNCH) THE FOOD FELT LIKE I COOKED IT AT HOME THATS A GOOD THING. THE SERVICE WAS SUPER. THE ATMOSPHERE WAS LOFTY, RACHEL RAYISH, INFORMATIVE, THE HISTORY WAS INTERSTING,OOOOOOOO THE BATHROOM WAS SOOOOOOOO PRETTY IT WAAAAAAAS VERY CLEAN SMELLED DEVINE AND JUST SO DARN CUTE. ALL IN ALL THE WE LOOK FOWARD TO OUR NEXT VISIT. AND WE ARE ROOTING FOR U ELAINE
    THE ROSE FAMILY

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  • Maria said:

    Just a note – since this review Joe’s has switched to hand cut, hand battered onion rings. They are super thin and crunchy and all tangled up and delicious.

    Also, Their sandwiches are solid and generous.

    Yay Joe’s!

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  • Ashley Brendon said:

    I was very happy when Joe’s opened because I work in the area and there almost no place to eat in East Durham.I look forward to returning to try breakfast, among many other things. Thanks

    http://www.socialskateboarding.com/brand/santa-cruz-skateboards

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    Kid Stardust replies on March 3rd, 2012 at 11:41 am:

    Joe’s was locked up tight during the lunch hour when I drove by there Friday, so skate on by…

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    Kid Stardust replies on March 10th, 2012 at 10:30 pm:

    …but I got a flyer from Joe’s on my windshield while I was parked in east Durham today, so I guess they’re still at it? Nice to know they’re still there when I want them, but sorry Joe, my cardiologist says I can’t be a regular at your place…

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  • @eric_bowen said:

    I’m wondering, for the record, if this place has any vegetarian options.
    -Eric (RethinkAg)

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  • Richie said:

    Had breakfast and lunch at Joe’s a few months ago when Don Cheadle stopped by to get out the vote. Food was great and service was stellar. As a vegetarian, I had a handful of options.

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  • Rob said:

    Reminds me of a place in Mattapan, Ma, called Simko’s. Same great pearls brand hot dogs and the new england style roll.

    [Reply]

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