Last week we had our first dining out experience for this blog! We decided to go to Joey B’s in South County, because we live fairly close and we were in the mood for something Italian but nothing too fancy. Joey B’s in Concord Plaza is one of three Joey B’s locations in St. Louis, which are all members of the Gianino family of restaurants.
The first aspect of a restaurant someone notices is probably the atmosphere, especially if you don’t get to get seated immediately. While waiting for an open seat we got to look around the room and take it all in. Overall we liked the decor, the light fixtures were pretty cool although some of the ceiling decorations looked a bit strange. More importantly the place didn’t look cluttered, but rather tasteful and clean.They had a photo up of the Rat Pack standing around a pool table, which I just loved .If you like to be around people, this is your type of place. Around dinner time this place gets absolutely packed, so don’t be surprised if you have to wait 10-20 minutes. Overall the atmosphere scored a 4 out of 5 for us.
Our server did a really good job considering how busy it was, our drinks never got empty and she was always accessible. We did have to wait a bit longer for our appetizer than we would have liked, especially given that it was a fairly simple dish to make. Another drawback was the fan that was pointing directly at our table, which made it a bit chilly. If you’re like Kristen and get cold easily, this is a bit of a problem. Given these couple of miscues we give their service a 3.5 out of 5, although it should be kept in mind that the server wasn’t at fault for this.
If we had to choose a bright spot at this place it would definitely be the food. Kristen had the firecracker chicken sandwich and I had the shrimp diablo. The firecracker was basically a chicken sandwich with a sauce that was mostly BBQ flavored with a bit of spice added to it served with a side. The chicken was cooked perfectly, which is great because overcooked and rubbery chicken is always disappointing. Overall the sandwich was great, a bit messy but well worth it. The fries however weren’t all that special, and if you have any leftover we wouldn’t recommend taking them home.
The shrimp diablo was also pretty good, but it wasn’t without its drawbacks. The amount of jumbo shrimp was generous, and they were quite flavorful. The angel hair pasta was cooked perfectly, and there was also plenty of it on the plate. My only issue with this dish is that for having diablo in the name it really isn’t too spicy. If you’re going for a spicy meal my advice would be to go with something else.
For our appetizer we chose to go with a spinach artichoke dip, one of our favorites. Although it was no doubt delicious, the main flavor in the dip was not spinach or artichoke but rather cheese. Gooey delicious cheese. Again not necessarily a bad thing but if you want spinach and artichoke don’t get your hopes up.Taking all of this into account, we give it the food a 4 out of 5.
Overall the prices were pretty reasonable. There is a wide range of prices, but nothing that exceeds $26 for a steak. When you consider the portions you get, it’s really a good value for the money. The appetizer was the only thing we felt was overpriced, especially since the dish doesn’t seem to be too expensive to make. Overall our bill was about $35 for an appetizer and two main courses, all of which was very filling. All in all we give the pricing a 4.5 out of 5, making it a great value for your money.
Overall:So let’s tally the scores; a 4 for atmosphere, 3.5 for service, 4 for food and 4.5 for price for a total of 16. Divide that by the number of the categories for an overall average of 4 out of 5. Certainly a good score and we’d definitely recommend this place for someone looking for good tasting food at a good value.
notes:I went back the next day with some friends to put their best burger award from STL Magazine to the test and I gotta say I disagree, although they certainly weren’t bad.