Joe’s kitchen is an American diner style restaurant in borough, very close to the station. We go there mostly for convenience, it is nearish to the house and close to the gym, and it does eggs on toast and I like to eat eggs on toast for lunch at the weekend.
The atmosphere is warm and vibrant and the menu pretty much what you would expect:eggs, burgers, pancakes, breakfasts, french toast. The coffee is good and served in decent sized cups, the decor is self consciously ‘homey’, toys, books, cans of beans, jars of sweets on shelves, that kind of thing.
And now for the quibble, and it is a quibble rather than a reason not to go, because we do still keep going: the service. It is cheerful enough and solicitous enough but erratic doesn’t come near to describing it. They take your order, the food is cooked and placed on the serving hatch (you can see through this to the kitchen) and there it sits, sometimes for what seems like 10 minutes. Waiting staff walk past it, sometimes even lean over it to talk to the kitchen staff, walk past it again, talk to other waiting staff, look at it, but only after an extraordinarily long time do they pick it up and bring it to you. This means it is often a little colder than it should be, although not quite as cold as it could be given the length of time it has been sitting there. It has now got to the point where I sit facing away from the kitchen, otherwise I become obsessed with watching the food sit on the hatch while people ignore it.
But we still keep coming back. This is because the food is actually fairly good, it is one of the few places near borough to eat (see previous posts Lunch in Borough Market 1 and 2) and because I am absurdly optimistic. The conclusiont to all this is that there is a market for good, simple lunch places in Borough and that if Joe’s Kitchen got it’s serving system sorted out it would be very good instead of ok.