Where to eat in Laguna: Joe's

Monday, December 15, 2014

The entrance

With more than 10,000 students studying in UPLB, there have been numerous establisments catering to the different tastes of students in the campus. Joe's in UPLB is one of those seemingly upscale establishments offering Italian fare that are not slightly budget-friendly.

This restaurant is located just in front of the Los Baños National High School and is housed inside the first floor of a three-storey house. To let you know that you've come to the right place, Joe's is spelled out in gold lettering on the top of the door.

Various wine bottles adorned the shelves

Once inside, you can't stop getting that homey feel with the various souvenirs from other countries displayed on the wall and the counter. Italian products were turned into framed posters and wine bottles were on the shelves, giving the place an authentic Italian feel. 

Pasta advertisement turned as a framed decoration near the stairs.
I have read and heard about Joe's in UPLB but only had the chance to eat there during one Saturday with my special someone. My goal was to impress him by taking him to an upscale place in the province and my mission was a success once he took a bite of his creamy linguine. It was heaven!

Panorama of the restaurant. Click to enlarge.

When we went there, we ordered a Rigatoni al Telefono (tomato sauce) and Cheesy Bacon Linguine.

Rigatoni al Telefono is basically composed of my favorite ingredients: tomato, mozzarella, white cheese, and basil. With the cheese mixed in, the sourness of the tomato is subdued. The serving of mozzarella is generous and you can stretch the cheese from the pasta by some couple of inches. The pasta is cooked al dente. When I emptied the pasta, there were still some of the sauce remaining so we ordered additional french bread to wipe it all off. Tip: Order two garlic breads as one order is... just one bread.

Rigatoni al Telefono, P190
On the other side of the table is the Cheesy Bacon Linguine, which is truly cheesy, creamy, and most importantly, has generous serving of sauce, making it perfect for an additional order of garlic bread. This was so good that I ordered it on my second visit at Joe's.

Cheesy Bacon Linguine, P180
On a separate visit, we tried the seafood in tomato sauce. It should be composed of squid, shrimp, and tuna with white wine. The only thing missing is the tuna, but we did not complain. The dish was slightly spicy but a bit sour for the crushed tomato. The sauce was plenty as when you finish the pasta, you can still see a lot of the sauce on the plate.

Sicilian Seafood Misto, P220
Sorry to throw off the sequence but here's another winner dish. This was an appetizer, Pesto Crostini, which are slices of bruschetta spread with basil and sun dried tomato pesto, each topped with cheese and an olive. There's a bonus salad on the center with vinaigrette dressing. Only two of us devoured this in a matter of minutes, which showed that this was a clear winner.

Pesto Crostini, P200

If you decide to visit Joe's anytime, it is only closed on Sundays, which is a norm in UPLB, as Sundays are time off for most establishments in the area. Here's the menu of Joe's. Enlarge to see the text.

Address: 10018 Pearl st., Umalis ubd. Brgy. Batong Malake, Los Baños 4030 Laguna
Phone: +63 49 501 1217
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/hB3I8
Store hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JOEatLB

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