Tuesday, January 22, 2013

JoJo's Diner

I knew it would take a few days to make this post so I put a teaser post a few days ago. But now here's the full report.Last week Birmingham had a minor snowfall on Thursday. The TV weather men kept down playing it but hedged their bets by saying it was really hard to predict. When it came it was one of those soon forgotten events for most people.

Robert and I along with a friend, Fred, risked our lives in the "blizzard" to venture to a new place in Homewood. Susie had passed on a coupon for hot dogs at JoJo's Diner in Homewood. That was all it took to raise my interest. Then we chose snow day for our visit. I must admit that we really enjoyed being out in the snowfall. It was pretty and invigorating.

We made our way to 903 Broadway looking for JoJo's. JoJo's is located in one of the small comercial buildings toward the southern end of Broadway in Homewood. For many years there was a little sandwich place called "Lag's Eatery" located either in this spot or nearby. I never tried their offerings before they retired and closed. Nevertheless, we now have JoJo's Diner.

I have said before that I tend to enjoy "the unexpected" on our hot dog excursions; and that's just what we found at JoJo's. This is a tiny little place with just a hand full of tables; but the taste is BIG. It didn't take long to encounter Joe (Jo Jo) Resha and his sister Zelda. Zelda waited on us and told about their unique dogs. The menu offered two basic dogs: a "Broadway Dog" and a "Slaw Dog". The Broadway dog is listed as an all beef dog with mustard, red onion, fresh Kraut, and downtown sauce, all for $1.99. The slaw dog is listed as an all beef dog with mustard, red onion, Lebanese slaw, and downtown sauce for $2.49.

We were trying to decide just what to order when Zelda informed us that our options were limited. That day there was no Lebanese slaw; so the slaw dog wasn't an option. So, Robert and I opted to have two Broadway Dogs and split a JoJo Burger and some fries between us. It was a good choice! Both items were outstanding.

The Broadway dog with the "downtown sauce" was familiar yet unique. The sauce starts with what I call "Birmingham hot dog sauce" that has been modified to make it thicker and spicier. It is different enough for me to consider it a unique hot  dog. For those who havent kept up, "Birmingham sauce" is the hot dog sauce that seems to be served at all of the Birmingham hot dog stands. Every vendor has a similar yet slightly different recipe. JoJo's also has their own unique recipe. It is thicker than most and has a nice spicy flavor. It is worth a special trip to sample.

JoJo and Zelda

We talked with Zelda about the Lebanese slaw. It is a sour vinegary slaw that sounds good. Any regular reader will know that I am not a fan of slaw dogs, but this one actually sounds pretty good to me. I must return and try it. Maybe I'll finally find a slaw dog that I like. Regardless, even if I don't care for the slaw dog, as long as I have a Broadway dog I'll be very happy.

I must mention the hamburger. It was also very good and also worth a trip. The fries also are different. It's subtle, but the spices added to the fries give them a special flavor. Zelda told us how JoJo makes his own corned beef which is the basis of a couple of their deli sandwiches. There's no grocery store  or factory made corned beef at JoJo's. It's all made right there. It makes me think of one of my favorite TV shows, Diners, Drive Inns and Dives (AKA: Triple D). They are also trying to develop a "Reuben Dog" made from a dog topped with the ingredients of a Reuben. It's not ready yet; but I look forward to trying one once JoJo thinks he has it right.

What can I say except; you need to try this place, even if it's not snowing.


1 comment:

  1. Awesome Initiative Joe! Keep it up bro! - Farr