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Not Quite Joe’s Special

I’ve been just a tad homesick this week.  Getting married far from home.  Watching the Giants.  Seeing all of those fabulous views of San Francisco…  Seeing our old season ticket seats at AT&T (nee PacBell) Park.  Missing mom and pop…  It’s been pretty much a whirlwind of emotions…

So, of course, I think of food.  It”s what I do.

One of the things that has kept coming forward is “Joe’s Special” – a scramble of ground beef, spinach, mushrooms, and eggs.  Tradition has it that the Joe’s Special was created at “New Joe’s”  on Broadway in San Francisco back in the 1920’s.  New Joe’s was the precursor to “Original Joe’s” on Taylor.  Folklore has it that a customer ordered a spinach omelet very late on night. The customer asked the chef if he had anything else available to cook. The chef replied he had some hamburger left. The customer asked him to throw some of the hamburger into his omelet. The dish became so popular that they eventually put it on the menu.

Why I’ve been thinking of this, I don’t quite know.  It’s not something my mother used to make.  It was on the menu of at least three restaurants I worked in in my youth, but it’s not something I would immediately associate if someone said “quick, name a San Francisco food.”

So…  I decided to do what I normally do when irrational thought enters the brain…  Run with it!

Except I really wasn’t in the mood for a scramble.

So I took the same basic ingredients and just put them together a bit differently.  I fried up the mushrooms with a bit of garlic and added the spinach.  Toasted 2 slices of bread.  Grilled 2 burgers outside and fried 2 eggs, inside.

The result was a layered dish of toast, spinach and mushrooms, and a burger patty topped with a fried egg.

What a treat.  Charred burger with egg yolk dripping into it.  And spinach and crunchy toast…

Can we say outrageously good, boys and girls?!?

It did everything it was supposed to do – and more.

And one more win and the Giants go to the World Series.

Life is good.

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  • avatar image
    October 22, 2010

    Well, I added this to my cookbook, and since it is "Not Quite Joe's Special", I named it "Tim's Special". Then I can play with it and use a pork chop instead of the hamburger patty, and I can put a slice of cheese on top...

  • avatar image
    why do peoplechange names whenborn,married,orfb?
    October 23, 2010

    okay, this creative treat cannot be gotten anywhere in a standard restaurant because there is no way they will grill on the bbq the meat ( which makesthe taste so good) and do the rest. Again, no matter what they do, they will never connect with the customer who has no inkling of the roots, the depth, the fun and fascination of having come along for a marriage ride ( without having to pay for the gas etc)....another thanks...love this cooking blog.

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