Don't judge Las Vegas' Chicago Joe's by its cover

May 14, 2013 3:00 AM

This week the wife and I went old school as we headed downtown to Chicago Joe’s. Now don’t judge a book by its cover because when you pull up and see this little brick house located at 820 S. 4th Street you are going to wonder where I sent you.

Trust me, I got that look from my wife when we pulled up, but when it comes to food she knows to trust me and you should, too. Chicago Joe’s is just a small house that was turned into a restaurant.

When you enter, it’s like walking into my mom’s old house, and being small the air was filled with great Italian smells coming from the kitchen. Yeah, I knew I was going to enjoy myself here.

As we sat down and ordered drinks there was music playing. How can you ever go wrong with Louis Prima music in an Italian restaurant? If you don’t know who Louis is you’re way younger than me so Google it on your iPhone. This was going to be an old school night and that is the way I like it.

As I looked at the appetizer menu I saw they had stuffed artichokes but it had (seasonal) behind it on the menu. When the waiter came back and I asked if it was artichoke season, I was happy with his answer.

Talk about bringing back memories; every Easter my family would make stuffed artichokes. It was an all day event and we enjoyed them for the entire weekend. My artichoke was perfect and made me feel like I was back in Pittsburgh having dinner with my family.

They had a special appetizer on the menu that night and had it not been so long since I had a good homemade stuffed artichoke I would have ordered it.

The special was scallops broiled in a lemon garlic sauce with Italian breadcrumbs sprinkled on top. They looked and smelled delicious and will be on my list next time if it’s the chef’s special again.

Next we ordered our salads. I ordered mine with their homemade creamy garlic dressing, which I highly recommend. For dinner, Lori ordered the Lasagna and enjoyed it very much. I snuck a sample and was in complete agreement.

I went with the Chicken Marsala, which was very tasty as their sauce was quite flavorful. I had a side order of pasta with meat sauce. It is always an absolute must for me to taste the sauce of every Italian restaurant I visit. I was quite pleased with their meat sauce.

Chicago Joe’s is a great spot for lunch if you are in the downtown area for business with clients. They offer daily dinner specials if you dine before 6:30, where they have several complete meals for $12.95. The price gives you bread, salad and an entrée, and is one of the best deals in town for good authentic Italian food.

Like I said in the beginning, don’t judge a book by its cover. This little house on 4th Street is a hidden gem for great Italian food. Check it out next time you’re downtown. I give Chicago Joe’s 3.50 Forks.

Marco D’Angelo is the senior handicapper at Pregame.com. He co-hosts FIRST PREVIEW every Thursday at 10 a.m. on ESPN 1100 AM/98.9 FM. Follow him on twitter: @MarcoInVegas. Contact him at [email protected].

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