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Joe's Place in Louisa, reviewed

 The large steak and cheese at Joe's Place exceeds all size (and taste) expectations.
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 2/7/2013



It's one of those local places I've been driving past for eight years. I've gotten recommendations about its good, inexpensive eats from locals, so I finally pulled over and dropped in. It won't be the last time I eat there.

Joe's Pizza and Subs in Louisa--or Joe's Place--is now on my list of good restaurants.

Joe's is one of several eateries in the area owned by members of the same family. One brother owns The Mineral Restaurant and another owns Brother's Pizza in Fredericksburg.

Joe's is a stand-alone, hut-shaped restaurant with a large sign resembling a pizza peel and a retro look that makes it easy to spot from the road. There are a number of tables for two on Joe's porch, and the inside has five tables for four.

A reader who recommended Joe's gravitates to the $3 tuna sandwich--a price that's hard to beat, even compared to homemade.

I expected to see subs and pizza on the menu, but was surprised at the variety of entrees. Although the primary fare consists of Italian dishes, there are other, unexpected options like liver and onions and seafood.

My Dining Partner and I stopped by for lunch and decided to split a sausage roll ($2.50). Our concern that this appetizer might not be large enough to share soon disappeared.

The piece of sweet Italian sausage was almost a foot long and was cooked with fresh green peppers and onions in a wrap of delicious homemade pizza crust. It was served with a small cup of marinara sauce that we drizzled inside the wrap. It was a dish that would make a perfect, satisfying lunch.

Our helpful server, Peggy, told us that the steak-and-cheese subs were very popular, so MDP ordered the large steak-and-cheese special ($6.20) served with green peppers, mushrooms and onions. What arrived was far more than "large." Perhaps the menu should be edited to read "huge." The meat was tender with a light blanket of cheese and the roll was excellent.

I ordered an eggplant Parmesan sub--"small"--for $4.25. It was plenty big for "small," and chock-full of eggplant. The crusty roll was incredible--soft and fresh. I also ordered a side salad ($1.99), which included crisp pieces of iceberg lettuce, tomato wedges, cucumber slices and onions.

Because Joe's specializes in both pizza and subs, we decided to try a small (12-inch) tomato and cheese pizza ($4.99). We added banana peppers, onions and sausage at $1 for each topping. We were pleased with the thin, homemade crust and fresh sauce.

We could see why Joe's, thanks to price and quality, has earned the loyalty of locals.

Linda Salisbury is the author of the Bailey Fish books, an award-winning adventure series for kids.

What: Joe's Place Address: 402 E. Main St., Louisa, across from True Value Hardware Phone: 540/967-9200 Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day Prices:

Appetizers: $2.50-$3.95

Salads: $1.99-$3.99

Sandwiches: $3-$6.20

Pizza: $4.99-$13

Dinners: $5.50-$7.75

Desserts: $2 (two kinds of pie: chocolate or lemon)

Beer: $2

The Scoop: Small, family-owned, friendly place. Some outdoor seating. Some vegetarian items on the menu. Payment: Cash or checks.