If you’re hoping for checkered tablecloths, this won’t cut it. Nor will you find chianti bottles with candles stuck inside. Nope, this is street food, Dago Joe’s style. Grab it and go. Back to the office, your car, or a picnic on Cadillac Square. But don’t mistake this for fast food. It’s not an Italian version of Taco Bell. Dago Joe’s is the real deal—the home cooking with fresh ingredients sort of food you’d expect from a nice restaurant.
I stopped at Dago Joe’s Food Truck a couple times last week. Once to see if it was any good. Next time around, because it was so good. Food trucks are causing a stir around here. While other big cities have had them for years, Detroit has recently been endowed with its first couple, starting with El Guapo, which can be found at Monroe and Randolph, the Wayne State campus, and Eastern Market.
A few weeks ago, Dago Joe’s arrived on the scene at Cadillac Square and Bates. Owned and operated by Joe Sciamanna, the unmistakable lime green and purple trailer churns out meatball sandwiches, pasta and salads to an ever growing crowd. I think I counted five guys in the somewhat crowded trailer, all pitching in to get orders taken and dished out as fast as possible to hungry lunch-time customers.
Love at first bite.
When in New Jersey, one of the first items I grab is a meatball sub. I saw meatball sandwich on the menu at Dago Joe’s, so this choice seemed like a no brainer. Dago Joe’s starts off with a fresh ciabatta roll, then adds four large homemade meatballs, provolone, and “lush sauce” which is a wonderfully bold marinara with a touch of heat. The sandwich, while a bit messy, was to die for. Great flavors and textures. The meatballs are as good as any in New Jersey
—and I’ve had quite a few. If you like your sauce a bit hotter, try the “Racy Olive Sauce”, a spicy bold low fat tomato sauce with kalamata and manzanilla olives.
On my next visit I grabbed the ravioli with meatballs. A half dozen or so tender raviolis stuffed with spinach and cheese, smothered in Lush sauce. Meatballs on the side and I was full until dinner. The raviolis were perfectly cooked, not mushy or watery. The filling was flavorful and melded nicely with the sauce. On a sunny 75-ish degree March day, we sat on a curb in Cadillac Square and watched some guys play bocce ball as we ate. Lunchtime in the D doesn’t get any better than this.
Dago Joe’s also serves up gnocci and spaghetti. Salads show up on the menu occasionally. There’s usually combo specials that net you a bag of chips and soda. I’ll be back.
*Photos were borrowed from the Dago Joe’s website. Taken outside, in carryout containers, my pics don’t do the food justice.
Have you been to Dago Joe’s? Leave a comment below.
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