Nothing is better than a hot, buttered stack of pancakes — or waffles ... or French toast — all smothered in syrup and powdered sugar. Maybe even a little scrambled eggs, bacon and grits on the side. That sounds like a perfect meal to me. But I guess you could say I am a huge breakfast fan.
Since coming to Tech, I’ve found that Blacksburg is somewhat lacking in the breakfast department. Aside from Gillie’s, there aren’t many places I think to go for breakfast.
Recently, however, I heard about Joe’s Diner on Main Street and decided to give it a try. I was pretty shocked to discover that it’s on the same strip as Moe’s and the Campus Emporium—an area that I have walked past probably a hundred times.
Walking into Joe’s, I was pleasantly surprised by it’s authentic diner feel. With its traditional diner counter and red leather bar stools, I couldn’t help wondering why I’d never been here before. My friend and I opted for a booth and continued to take in the surroundings.
Joe’s is decorated with old black and white photos of Tech from the time when our school was only known as VPI — a nice touch whcih adds to the nostalgic feeling diners customarily have.
It was late-morning on a weekday, so Joe’s was pretty empty other than a couple tables of regulars. Service was speedy and attentive. Our drinks were refilled before we even decided what we wanted to eat. I found exactly what I came for in the “Joe’s Platter” option — French toast, grits and bacon.
The French toast was smaller than usual, but delicious and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The bacon was cooked to crispy perfection and the grits were the just the right portion size. It was a good amount of food, leaving me satisfied, but not overly stuffed.
Breakfast isn’t all that Joe’s has to offer. The menu also has burgers, sandwiches and wraps — pretty much all the usual diner food. In addition, it also has a late-night option, perfect for those who want some pancakes or a grilled cheese at 2 a.m.
“Late-night is a lot more college students that are just leaving the bars. They’re quite rowdy and ready for some breakfast food," said Kristin Spangler, who has been working at Joe’s for six years. "During the day, we get a lot more locals who tend to stay away from the late-night crowds."
According to Spangler, Joe’s is a very popular spot during those post-midnight hours.
“There’s a line out the door mostly around 2 a.m.,” Spangler said, “Because when they come, they all come at once.”