Nestled in the trending area of Uptown Phoenix, Joe’s Midnight Run is a welcomed addition to the block. From the outside JMR seems like it would be a hipster joint with “Joe’s” brightly lit in cursive marquee lettering. Upon walking up and into the restaurant that thought quickly ends. Joe’s stands alone.

 

Beats I Like

Layout: Although packed as most opening nights, I didn’t feel crammed, my crew can roll into the +5 range for RSVP. Seating was limited, but the bar was easily accessible and we quickly found a spot waiting outside that didn’t hover over already seated patrons. 
Staff: To my delight the young host was not at all flustered by the overwhelming amount of people. Instead, he handled the crowd like a champ. Remembering who was who, all the while assisting in clean-up, he coordinating like a pro. As a frequent opening night guest its refreshing to have a chill, calm vibe when entering a busy space.
Bartenders/Drinks: This is a huge one. We waited an hour for a table even though we had a reservation. I let this slide for a few reasons which I won’t get into. Naturally my ladies, Erin and Kathleen, head to the bar for a drink. Erin and I love a unique craft cocktail while Kathleen enjoys a wine and beer adventure. Now… some people may say they had to wait a bit for a drink. As a guru of ordering drinks we did not. Made with a smile, our craft cocktails were delightful. Kathleen was pleasantly surprised in the bartender’s choice of a red. Kudos to the manager who hired that bartender. She made our drinks quickly, efficiently and more than earned her spot behind the bar.

 

Wait Staff: Our waiter was busy and still had a spot on service. He clearly explained the menu, provided his input when asked and took our friendly banter with grin. Although a non meat eater himself, he did choose the burger over steak based on feedback of other customers. What a guy.

 

Shining Stars

Roasted Vegetables: Vegetables done right. There was variety, char, but not too much and plenty of flavor. We decided that the roasted red pepper sauce/puree needed to be served with everything on the menu. It could take any dish from blah to bam! Order this and your meal will for sure have a highlight.

Peruvian Sunrise: This was my drink. It was delicious. It will sneak up on you so be wary of how much goodness has been sipped. Refreshing, light and yum were all words I used to describe the drink. AND it comes in a wine glass that is full to the brim so an immediate feeling of happiness washes over you.

Watermelon Beer: The name skips me, but Kathleen was pleased. She loves fruit inspired beers, but not things that are too sweet. This one was “crisp” and had the watermelon essence she was looking for. Solid craft beer from a local Phoenix Brewery which Kathleen now wants to visit.

Theme: OK. All three of us love a good theme. This restaurant embraces the 80’s and 90’s and shows serious love to Biggie Smalls and TLC. It’s an interesting combination that totally works. We had so much fun coming up with lyrics that could be incorporated into the menu. Example: Passenger side roasted veggies. Tu Pac Pork Chop. Don’t Go Chasin’ Cornish Game Hen. They really write themselves.

Could be Better

Pork Chop: Our least favorite thing on the menu. Thick chops are hard to get right. Looked great, but the meat flavor was dull and the chutney was a bit bland. It’s just hard to cook a chop that is cooked through, moist and not rubbery. A tad too chewy, it wasn’t worth the effort and calories, when there were so many other things on the table we liked.

 


Overall

I am totally going back. Whomever is in charge really is pulling it together. I hope they last and live up to their potential. Great location, nice variety and a lot of dining boxes are checked. Joe’s Midnight Run is a good stop.

 

Joe’s Midnight Run

6101 North 7th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85014
(480) 459-4467