Waiting at Joe’s not only will make you want to wait in line for up to 2 hours, or more, just to experience eating the delectable crustacean known as the stone crab; it will most definitely introduce you to some of the most fascinating, loyal, and hardworking and talented people working in the restaurant/hospitality/entertainment business.
I’ve always been fascinated with Miami and South Florida in general. Growing up watching Miami Vice on the TV made me both terrified and enamored with the Magic City. It wasn’t until my college days that I got the opportunity to visit Miami for the first time. I was visiting with my future wife, who was from Miami and still had family there. This ole’ country boy was about to see firsthand if the Hollywood version of Miami was true or not. Perhaps that’s a good story for another day. Let me just say; from those days in the late 1980’s, seeing all parts of the great city from high energy nights along Biscayne Bay on a New Year’s Eve night to the low key days in the Keys on a warm tropical summer day; I fell in love with that magical place and still am to this day.
One place I didn’t visit, but is most certainly on my bucket list now; is the famous Joe’s Stone Crab. One book that will introduce you to all the fascinating folks who have made it legendary is Waiting at Joe’s, by Deeny Kaplan Lorber. You’ll meet the waiters, waitresses, hosts, cooks, busboys and everyone else who work diligently and purposefully to make sure everyone who enters the doorway of Joe’s walks away saying, “I’m definitely coming back to this place.”
The book’s introduction says it the best, “But this is not a book about waiting to be seated at a table at Joe’s Stone Crab. Those reports, I am certain, would amount to millions of individual stories that would probably merit a very big second book. My focus instead is the waiters on staff – those straight out of the pages of what waiters should be…” (Page 8 introduction)
This is a book about the lives of the people who make Joe’s run like a smooth, efficient machine, inside and outside, of the Miami Beach iconic destination. They do it day in and day out; rooted in a deep sense of loyalty and love for the owners of Joe’s. It’s the fascinating, uplifting and sometimes sad, stories and histories of the people, whose lives have been saved, changed and inspired through having worked at Joe’s. If it’s an inspirational and heart lifting read you’re looking for, go for this one.