There are times in a writer, blogger or just a plain foodies life when you encounter an establishment or restaurant where the service is poor and the food is just disappointing. Happily, this is NOT one of them! I say happily because that is what me, my wife and daughter felt after tasting the exquisite food served by Grumpy Joe, which is by the way a new restaurant in Baguio City.
How We Came To Know The Place
It all started when i told my wife that we should try eating out at least once a month but instead of the usual dining places we should try something new, she took that as a signal to start an internet search, a quick Google search and voila she found the Grumpy Joe Facebook page. For several days she’s been telling me about how scrumptious-looking their food are on Facebook (the power of photography and social media, I thought but I soon was going to be proved wrong).
The Visit At Grumpy Joe
Today we had to do several errands as a family and we totally forgot to eat lunch and we only had a light breakfast in the morning. So after our final stop at the PhilHealth Office (which by the way will be moving office to Leonardwood Road soon) we decided to take lunch-dinner at Grumpy Joe. A quick taxi ride brought us to the junction of General Luna and Leonard Wood Road from what we initially know the restaurant is located near Yamashita Ramen House, so after disembarking from the taxi we walked a few meters and found a sign that says Grumpy Joe with a tiny arrow pointing to the stairs beside it.
The Grumpy Joe Restaurant
The Place is cozy (code for limited space), although i counted several chairs, my wife and daughter got the table with sofa chairs which is by the way the sought after spots in the restaurant, they also have tables with wooden chairs at the aisle, but I suggest that you stay at the sofa chairs, as you not only feel comfortable but also could get a glimpse of what is outside the restaurant.
The Food At Grumpy Joe
After sitting down the waitress gladly gave us the menu and I was impressed with how nice the menu was made, it is not your regular run-off-the-mill printed laminated menu, you can really see that a lot of thought and effort was put into the making of the menu. A quick glance of their menu will give you a fair idea on what Grumpy Joe is, basically they serve Italian-American Dishes the kind you eat when you are really hungry, in this case we were starving.
What We Ordered
Since this is the first time that we visited this restaurant we asked the waitress (whom i think is also part owner, just a guess) on what are the dishes that we should try, although if you closely look at the menu the must-try’s are marked, she gladly gave her recommendations and these were the following, the 5-cheese pizza, the spicy seafood pesto. So we ordered those and then some. Since the restaurant’s name is Grumpy Joe, I thought they must have a sloppy joe, lo and behold! they do serve sloppy joes so I immediately ordered one not minding the recommendation to try the Grumpy Joe burger. The strawberry and cream frappe, the java chip with espresso shot and Passion Fruit Ice tea were our chosen drinks. For our daughter’s sweet tooth we ordered the blueberry cheesecake.
What Made Us Un-Grumpy At Grumpy Joe
The following are what made us happy about Grumpy Joe:
1. Extra Serving of Blueberry – we were so happy when the blueberry cheesecake arrived, not only was it beautifully presented on a plate but they also added an extra serving of blueberries on a tiny plate. I have tried blueberry cheesecake and the taste is most of the time the same but this is my first time to see that a restaurant to give extra serving of what is really sought after in a cheesecake and it is not the cheese but the toppings.
2. Ball Mason Mugs – I call it “garapon” mug, I don’t know what’s in these mugs but it makes me feel a lot more refreshed when I drink from this kind of mug. Cool concept and the drinks contained are equally cool and refreshing.
3. Tiered Spicy Seafood Pesto – as suggested we tried the spicy seafood pesto, at first bite we immediately tasted the pasta’s creaminess and the flavorful pesto. However, what made eating this dish a lot more exciting is that as you go deeper into the bowl the pasta becomes spicier, kinda sneaky but it works!
4. The Way A Sloppy Joe Should Be – We have tried several versions of sloppy joes sadly however it’s just a burger smothered with spaghetti meat sauce, but the Grumpy Joe version is 100x better and comparable to what an actual sloppy joe is, because the sloppy part is made not with meat sauce but with Texas chili, the kind made with meat, beans, tomato sauce and spices, smothering the burger patty with onions and sandwiching it in between halves of sesame buns makes it all perfect, a perfect comfort food that is.
5. Creamy 5-cheese pizza – the pizza was served on a wooden block, im not sure how this would enhance flavor but it actually made the presentation a lot better. I thought the burnt cheese on top would destroy the taste but surprisingly it works! You can choose between thin or thick crust pizza, we chose the thick crust (we were really hungry).
Point For Improvement
If there is one thing that needs to be improved at Grumpy Joe that is the fact that i really believe that they should hire additional staff. Grumpy Joe just opened last February and already they are getting a lot of diners and food service quality might be sacrificed if they do not keep up with the influx of clients and I believe that with the kind of exquisite food that they are serving I wouldn’t be surprised if one day they would get a surge of diners.
A wise man once told me when I told him about the plans of a friend to open up a restaurant and his plans to integrate modern technology in the restaurant: “Is the food delicious?”. Eating at Grumpy Joe made me remember that conversation and that question and he was right, when you put up a restaurant the first thing you have to ask yourself is if the food that you are going to serve is good. Grumpy Joe doesn’t have the best location in the city in fact foot traffic is not common in this area, neither do they have the fanciest menu nor ambiance but at 4pm they are already full and if you visit their Facebook page you will see that they are usually full even on weekdays. I know of a restaurant located at the heart of the central business district which is equally small in space but it has the best location with the amount of foot traffic it gets but sadly it is not getting much diners, what does that tell you? If Grumpy Joe remain true and consistent or maybe improve more on how they prepare, cook and serve their dishes then it is definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with. So if you happen to be in Baguio City and asked yourself where to eat in Baguio? Grumpy Joe should definitely be in your list otherwise you will go home grumpy knowing you missed out on trying out a great dish.
Grumpy Joe Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grumpy-Joe/592977007460400
Address: Leonardwood Road, Baguio City
Map To Grumpy Joe
Mobile Number: 0915 912 0202
Grumpy Joe Baguio Menu
Photos were taken using a Galaxy Note 3