That’s an egg on top of that pizza.

Every Friday through the end of 2018, the Rant will feature a dish that stands out among Lee County’s restaurant scene. We’ll usually focus on lunch, but there aren’t any rules – we just want to let you know (if you don’t already) about the many dining options we have that are owned and operated by people right here in Lee County. Local Joe’s Tap & Grill isn’t open for lunch, but their pizzas are too good and too unique to ignore. 

Local Joe’s has been a downtown Sanford institution for more than 20 years now, serving up cold drinks and hot bar food like wings, nachos, burgers, and more. But the addition of a line of pizzas in recent years brought the menu into new territory. The pizzas are somewhere in between the realm of a personal pie and “enough to feed two,” so you may even want to order a couple of them and sample the variety of flavors. Again, Joe’s isn’t open for lunch (although they have been in the past, and one can hope they may again in the future), so consider this installment “the Rant for Dinner.”

THE DISH: Our favorite is “the Salty Egg” ($10.50) – sort of unconventional for an American pizza, but delicious nevertheless. It’s got prosciutto ham, loads of garlic flavor and creamy mozzarella pesto marinara sauce, all topped with an egg cooked to your liking (we got it over medium, so the yolk runs into all the other components when sliced. Mmmmm, yolk). If you’re not adventurous enough to try an egg on your pizza, the Rio Rancho ($9) is perfect for a little safer of a palette, with bacon, more than one type of cheese, and a ranch dressing drizzle. Other pizzas range in price from $7 (cheese) to $10.50 (the Sonoma, which includes grilled chicken and artichoke hearts), so there’s truly something for everyone. Assuming everyone likes pizza. And who doesn’t like pizza?

WHAT ELSE TO TRY: As we mentioned before, Joe’s has been known over the years for their wings ($9.99 for a pound with your choice of sauces, we recommend the hot or the teriyaki) and their burgers (they range in price but $8.99 will get you the “Backyard,” “Au Jus” or “Any Way But Free” burgers (the last of which you can add items like a fried egg for additional cost). There’s a great selection of appetizers too, including loaded fries ($5.95), potato skins ($6.75), beer battered mushrooms ($7.99), and more. It’s a menu that makes it tough to go wrong.

Local Joe’s is located at 135 S. Steele St. in downtown Sanford and can be reached at (919) 708-5957. They’re open from 5 to 10 p.m. (or later, depending) Monday through Saturday. Visit their Facebook page and give ’em a like.

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