Coming to Joe's?
So here’s how it works. You tell your friends you’re coming to Joe’s. Invariably, one of your friends then tells you that he or she “knows a guy who’ll get you in.” You then get to hear all the tips and tricks you need to know to make sure you look and act like you’ve been to Joe’s before.
The mystery and fun related to dining at Joe’s is ever evolving. So we thought it might be a good idea to put all the important information about coming to Joe’s in one place.
You shouldn’t have any reservations about coming to Joe’s. That’s why we don’t take them. Just walk right in and give your name to the Mâitre D’. Guests are seated on a first-come first-serve basis.
The wait at Joe’s bar is one of the more legendary “see-and-be-seen” events in all of South Florida. In fact, we know of at least two people who come to Joe’s regularly just for the wait. If, however, “see-and-be-seen” is not your thing, there are options that will help:
• Come early. The crowds normally don’t get too heavy till after 7:00pm.
• Fridays, Saturdays and holidays are typically much more crowded than a normal weekday crowd.
• Joe’s Take Away is bit more laid back and has bistro tables and a great wine bar.
• Order Online. Packages are shipped out overnight and there’s rarely a wait for your dining room table.
It’s Joe’s. Please choose an outfit in which we’ll both be comfortable. Casual, but neat attire. Men must have sleeves. No beach attire. No athletic wear. No cut off shorts.
We welcome children at Joe’s, however Joe’s is typically pretty crowded. Our seating captains, waiters and busboys are all moving fast in order to deliver great service and cover a lot of area. In this atmosphere, a stroller can easily lead to broken plates, spilled drinks and an embarrassed guy in a suit sprawled out on the floor. So to avoid the tripping hazard we don’t allow strollers in the dining areas and we ask that children be supervised at all time.
We know what it’s like to find parking here on South Beach. That’s why we’ve done our best to give you options.
• Valet parking is $6 at lunch. It’s $7 at dinner.
• There are also meters all the around Joe’s.
If you don’t mind parking across the street there is also FREE self-parking. There’s a limited number of spaces that are available on a first come, first serve basis but they are only available to people who dine at Joe’s. So chances are good that if you arrive early you’ll find a spot.
Remember, finding parking on South Beach can be difficult and all of our parking options are for people who are at Joe’s. Although we hate to do it, we do tow cars from our parking lot if the owner isn’t at Joe’s. Our recommendation, therefore, is that if you’re coming to South Beach for the evening, stay at Joe’s OR move your car when you leave so that there’s room for our patrons.
If you valet your car and, for some unforeseen circumstance, need to leave your car overnight, there will be a $30 charge.
APPROACHING THE Maître D’
The Maître D’ position at Joe’s is legendary. It is nearly as iconic as the stone crab, hashed browns, keylime pie and tuxedos. But while there is a ton of folklore and all kinds of “tips” about how to approach the Maître D’, the actual process is pretty simple.
When you arrive at Joe’s, head over to the Maître D’ podium. There, the Maître D’ will take your name and the number of your party. Then go grab a drink at the bar. Your name will be called when your table is ready.
TIPPING THE Maître D’
Gratuities to any of the Joe’s staff (Maître D’ included) are always appreciated but they should be a reflection of your satisfaction, as opposed to a prelude to your expectations.
While Joe’s is known for Stone Crabs, there is such variety on the menu that you simply should try some other items as well. This is world-class cuisine done in a way that is simply and uniquely Joe’s. Do yourself a favor, order the Stone Crabs, but try something else or have Stone Crabs this visit but come back soon to try another world-class dish on the menu.
So when you tell people that you’re coming to Joe’s or, better yet, taking them to Joe’s, the first thing some of them will think is, “Wow! This person must really be doing well.”
We encourage you to hide from your friends the fact that our fried chicken, among other dishes at Joe’s, goes for $6.95 (Feel free to also omit the fact that U.S. presidents have ordered and enjoyed our fried chicken).
The philosophy at Joe’s, for the past 100-plus years, is that everyone should be able to afford a meal at Joe’s.
But if you’re coming for Stone Crabs, be prepared. Stone Crabs are seasonal, they are rare, and market prices are negotiated at the docks with the fisherman based on availability. This means that the price is always “market price.” We set the price based on what the fishermen charge us. Like any other commodity, when Stone Crabs are plentiful, the price goes down, but when the fishermen aren’t catching them, the price goes up.
The Florida Stone Crab is a delicacy known around the world. Its sweet taste and perfect texture, however, means its popularity has spawned a number of impersonators, including Pacific Rock Crab, Baja Stone Crab, Red Rock Crab and Japanese Crab (to name a few).
Because these non-Florida Stone Crabs don’t have the benefit of the warm tropical waters of the Keys and Gulf, they are stringier in texture and much gamier in taste. That’s why at Joe’s Stone Crab we only serve the real thing.
Florida Stone Crabs are found along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts but are commercially harvested almost entirely in Florida. In the wild, adult Stone Crabs are easily recognized by their oval body and two large claws.
The adult body of the Stone Crab is dark brownish red, more or less mottled and spotted with dusky gray. An interesting feature about the Stone Crab is the mark on the inside of the large claw that resembles a thumb print.
Stone Crabs inhabit bays and estuaries where they hide under rocks and shell fragments. When fully grown they move into shoals just below the low tide mark and dig oblique burrows 12 to 20 inches deep.
Florida's regulatory agencies consider three species of crab to be true Stone Crabs: Menippe mercenaria, Menippe adina, and the interbreeding hybrid of the two species.
Stone Crabs differ from blue crabs in that only the oversized claws are harvested. This highly nutritious meat is considered a delicacy and, at Joe’s, is usually boiled and served chilled in the shell with mustard sauce. The meat resembles lobster in appearance and flavor.
Florida law forbids the landing of whole Stone Crabs. Fishermen are allowed to take claws at least 2 3/4 inches long and are required to return Stone Crabs safely to the water. The Stone Crab can regenerate its claws three to four times, making it a renewable resource and a favorite among conservationists.
Stone Crab season opens October 15 each year and runs through May 15. The majority of Florida Stone Crab claws are commercially harvested off the southern tip of Florida’s peninsula, from the Florida Panhandle to Key West.
The sweet-tasting meat of Florida Stone Crab claws is delicious unseasoned, with melted butter or Joe’s famous mustard sauce. The best way to crack the shell is to use a mallet or a hammer. Remove all of the cracked shell pieces, leaving the meat attached to the moveable pincer. Don’t forget there is plenty of delicious meat in the knuckles.
The meat can also be picked from the claws and used as an ingredient in other recipes. Approximately 2.5 pounds of cooked Stone Crab claws yield 1 pound of meat.
On a typical day, the Stone Crab vessel can burn up to 300 gallons of diesel fuel. Since they are considered day boats, they do not troll or stay out for days on end. A good stone crabber will own approximately 5000 traps (costing more than $40 each). On a good day each trap will yield one pound of crab claws per trap and pull up to 800 traps.
Stone Crabs must be cooked the day they are caught.
Joe’s wholesale division is the single largest purchaser of Stone Crabs in the state of Florida and the stone crabbers Joe’s hires are considered part of the Joe’s family.
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES JOE’S STONE CRABS?
Joe’s never buys or serves underweight Stone Crab claws (a.k.a “floaters”). Our special cooking and preparation techniques ensure the highest quality and utmost consistency from beginning of season to end.
STONE CRAB ATTRIBUTES: Firm texture, sweet meat. Low fat. Extra lean.
NUTRITION Nutritional values for approximately 4 ounces (114 grams) of raw, edible portions.
Calories From Fat 0
Total Fat 0 g Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 45 mg Sodium 300 mg
Total Carbohydrates 0 g
Protein 15 g