When my aunt and uncle visit Tacoma from Alaska, Uncle James always asks if we'll be eating at Joeseppi's. If grandkids stay overnight with us, they are always happy to visit Joeseppi's. Families and lots of good food is the hallmark of Joeseppi's Restaurant in Tacoma's West End.
Joe Stortini was a local teacher and coach for years before entering politics. His mother's Italian recipes helped fund his political campaigns and those of his friends. Eventually, he went into the restaurant business. He retains a strong connection to sports and the community.
Most people eat at Joeseppi's for dinner or one of their local charity take-overs, while Peg and I usually go there for lunch. Lunch is usually less expensive with the portions about the same size. Dinner prices are affordable, and they even have nightly specials. When it's crowded we sit in the bar, which has about a dozen tables and several TVs.
When I order the salad, Peg goes for the tortellini soup. If Peg orders a salad, I'll generally order the Sicilian Sausage Soup. We share. Both the salad and the soup come with a bread stick. The bread stick is great for dipping in the soup. I think I like the Sicilian Sausage Soup because it has a taste of the old Bimbo's sauce from days gone by. It's hearty with lots of sausage. The wait staff is always happy to deliver more wedges of lemon and containers of Parmesan cheese. The staff is very friendly. At lunch we don't usually see owner and namesake Joe Stortini, but most evenings he is there to stop by your table and welcome you . . . whether he knows you or not.
When you think of salmon, you don't normally think of an Italian restaurant, however Italy is virtually surrounded by the sea, and so fish is always on menus in Italy. The calamari is excellent at Joeseppi's and so is the salmon.
Peg ordered the salmon fillet, but was a little disappointed when it was delivered medium, which means a little over-cooked for her tastes . . . for me it meant getting a little more salmon . . . not a bad thing. Next time, she'll order medium, but more on the rare side.
This was the first time, she had a problem with their salmon. Most people would have loved it.
The salmon was served with a helping of spaghetti and meat sauce. This is more than Peg can eat. Snacks are great the next day. She forgot to ask for whole wheat noodles, which is a great feature at the restaurant.
I ordered the Salmon Picata, which I won't again. It's a matter of taste. It was beautiful with chunks of fresh tomato, salmon, and artichoke hearts . . . along with dozens of capers. I guess I was expecting a more Alfredo type sauce with the spaghetti, but it was more brothy and lemony. My bad. Don't worry, most of it disappeared. The picata had a strong acid taste, with the lemon and the capers, but was just a little too much for me. Perhaps, if I had just added more cheese!
Since we had lunch, Peg declined a glass of wine. She drank water, while I ordered my standard kiddie drink, a Shirley Temple "with lots of cherries." We also shared the raspberry cheesecake. Desserts are very reasonably priced at Joeseppi's. Sometimes it seems like they are nearly half the price of places like Anthony's or Shenanigans. Again, it's a family friendly establishment and a neighborhood attraction.
Both entering and leaving the restaurant, do yourself a favor and look at the deli counter and the blackboard of available sandwiches (hot or cold). Dine in or take-away, you might just find yourself something to snack on while watching the Seahawks, Sounders, or Mariners.