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My dad called this Midnights and it was what he made for dinner if he was forced to cook for us. No mushrooms but I would so add them!
Midnights, what a perfect name! Every non-cook needs a trusty recipe in their pocket. This one must have worked quite well for your dad, thanks for sharing, Verla.
As a child I also lived in San Francisco in the Marina and Joe’s Special was a regular dish in our household. I really don’t remember my mother putting in mushrooms, only know I loved it. Loved reading the reviews of others that lived there, brought back so many wonderful memories. I am 74 years old and now live in Lincoln; still miss the old days and all the wonderful food we grew up around……North Beach restaurants were the best! No bakeries or delicatessen can compare to the places we took for granted.
What wonderful memories, Sharlene, thank you for sharing!
Great recipe and I like it even better with crumbled tofu replacing ground beef.
This is our second time making this dish. Love! A new staple in our household with ingredients that we often have on hand. Instead of mixing Tabasco in the eggs we serve it with Sriracha at the table. Yum!
We saved the leftovers to try as frittata filling and as stuffing for baked shiseido peppers. Haven’t tried that yet.
I haven’t made this in years. Forgot all about it. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll have to make it now!
My husband loved it.
I use breakfast sausage and parmesan cheese in Morrell mushrooms are a good addition too.
Been making this for years since I lived in the Bay Area and ate at Original Joe’s. However, try it with Mild Italian sausage instead of beef and some frozen creamed spinach. Yum!
Delicious! And Easy. And just downright gooooood! Thank you for reminding me of an old favorite.
I like this OK but there is just something missing…..Im thinking Feta instead of Parmasean and top with lemon juice for a more Greek version…?
Hi, Donna! I think feta would be a great addition! Good idea. Enjoy!
I was born in SF and my mom often made Joe’s Special just like this when I was a kid. The only difference was that she used added oregano but omitted the Worcestershire. I still make it pretty much the same as she did, but often add cheese; parmasan, mozz, or cheddar, all work well. As a good California boy I fully agree that sourdough is the proper accompaniment. Alternatively, you can sub chili powder for the spices, put it all on a tortilla, and add some salsa for an excellent taco.
This simple dish and the comments have brought back a lifetime of fun memories.
Initially thought I’d written your response myself — am also an SF native and my (Greek) mom would add oregano, too. Not sure about the Worcestershire. I remember her adding a grind of nutmeg. Sometimes she used ground lamb. Always used frozen spinach, a fresh chopped onion, garlic powder, and sometimes fresh or canned shrooms or olives. She might have added cheese, I wasn’t paying close attention since boys weren’t supposed to cook, anyway (Ha!). Joe’s Special was sort of her “cop-out meal” — like making scrambled eggs and pancakes for dinner, which was awesome for us kids. We’d have Joe’s Special at least once a month. My father would also make it, but he’d add a cup of Vodka or cheap Gallo Burgundy or something and f-ck it up.
A few decades ago, tried to make it for my partner without knowing the recipe, let alone how to cook. It was just…meh. No internets back then. Stoveside cordless phone-long distance calls to my mother, who was retired, nearly deaf, and now far away, became like scenes from Woody Allen movies.
Meanwhile, the partner, a carnivorous Chicano, had me heat up some soft flour tortillas on the stove flame, load them up with this stuff, drizzle on hot sauce, and roll em up. Not bad. It salvaged many subsequent attempts, and became our Grexican Gyro-ritos. I had Sourdough at every meal. He had tortillas. But that’s not why we split.
Fast forward to tonight’s nostalgic craving. I came upon this recipe and directions. Voila! It’s my Mom’s perfect Joe’s Special! Perfect for a rainy night. I used a giant bag of fresh, organic spinach, cage-free eggs, grass-fed beef, locally-sourced Cowgirl Creamery cheese, yada yada yada. Delicious.
Who knew that a certain dish or meal could evoke a lifetime of recollections?
Thank you, Coco, for re-creating this Bay Area original, and to CS for his (making an assumption here) comments.
Very good change of pace for breakfast with rye toast. I cut the recipe down for one or two and follow the recipe as written.
Best recipe I’ve found so far for Joe’s Special.
I’ve been making Joe’s Special for over 40 years! I always top it with Parmesan.
I think at the time, Original Joe’s was in North Beach; Marin Joe’s was in San Rafael.
Big hit in my house! I didn’t expect it to be a favorite but it really ended up being great. So simple too, may make this again.
In the early 60’s the California Beef Council put out a similar version called Joe’s Special using frozen spinach and canned or fresh mushrooms. I still have my recipe card that was distributed at the county fair by the Sonoma County Cow Bells.
A delicious classic from Original Joes. Shredded parmesan on top is super yummy.
I ate it at Original Joes in San Rafael. The Mayor at the time was Joe Alioto and I shook his hand. That’s how long ago it was. Can’t tell you who originated this recipe but.just adding my two cents.
I meant the Mayor of San Francisco was Joe Alioto.