The first time I dined at Grumpy Joe, it was a newly opened, hole-in-the-wall place with a respectable ten-or-so tables. That was about eight years ago. Grumpy Joe as we know it today has grown remarkably, now with two large branches plus a third in La Union.
Amid many changes (Their original branch along Leonard Wood has since shut down) the vibe hasn’t changed. Grumpy Joe still offers hefty servings of pasta, pizza, and other Italian comfort food. We made a couple attempts to dine at their Gibraltar Road branch but were almost always met with limited parking and long lines. Can’t complain! Everybody, including us, wanted in on the experience. So it was a pleasant surprise when we finally snagged a table for an early lunch.
For starters, we ordered onion rings. My frequent complaint with onion rings is that there’s so much batter and so little onion. I’m happy to report that this was not the case at Grumpy Joe. Their onion rings have a nice thin, crispy coating – great for an appetizer or just to snack on.
Their lasagna (a must try!) is deceptively filling. It doesn’t look like a big serving, but once you start digging in, it’s heavy on the stomach. It’s loaded with cheese and beef. We came hungry and ordered two pastas, but if we had to pick and choose, this would probably be “the one”.
That’s not to say that we didn’t love the other one, though! Their spicy seafood pesto is also a must try. That’s by our preference, and “officially” – clock the little cowboy hat symbol on the menu. The seafood pesto is indeed spicy, but also had a nice creamy quality, and some protein in the form of mussels, squid, and shrimp.
Grumpy Joe is all about pizza, so if that’s what you’re craving, you’re spoiled for choice. We got the Grumpy Joe pizza, which is just overflowing with toppings. There’s ham, ground beef, bacon, bell pepper, onion, and pineapple bits, all held together with cheese on top of a generous serving of tomato sauce.
Head over to Grumpy Joe for the full experience! It’s a good idea to go a while before the lunch/dinner rush, because the line gets long, especially on the weekends.
Grumpy Joe is located at 229 Upper Session Road (formerly Mario’s) and 15 Gibraltar Road in Baguio, and along MacArthur Highway in La Union. For the full menu and more updates, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.