If you spend time on Facebook like me, and live on the Island, chances are you have either heard of or have seen To Go With Joe. To Go With Joe are food review videos about local (mostly) restaurants.
Joe is Joe Farina, and he is hysterical. He chooses a restaurant, sometimes just because and sometimes because it has been recommended, orders his food to go, and the adventure begins.
Once he gets in his car with his latest meal, the camera comes on and catches the experience. Joe shares his true feelings about what he is eating. How it tastes, how it looks, you feel like you’re right there.
Whether it’s the Scottish Bakehouse, The Food Truck, or Cumberland Farms, he is going to tell you like it is. And it is funny, the whole experience. It doesn’t matter if the food is good or bad.
Joe is a funny guy and can deliver humor. It’s a dry sense of humor, but people like it and can relate. He is somewhat vain, after all he is quite handsome, yet somewhat insecure, even a bit shy in some ways. Having gone to school for acting, he knows himself pretty well, likes what he likes, and that’s why his “To Go With Joe” is so successful. He has that “it” factor.
Joe started out doing these one to two minute food reviews just because, on a whim. One day he was eating a slice of pizza in his car he grabbed to go. It was so bad, and he asked himself, why he was there again, with the same crappy pizza. Being by himself, he decided to share with an audience. Using his phone, he made his first food review, and it was really well received.
His delivery and humor resinated with not only Islanders, but beyond our shores. He did his first couple on his own, editing them, and gaining followers and popularity all the while. Even though he has a background in acting, he wants to be a producer. That’s where his passion lies (I think the camera does suit him).
Then he realized they could be even better. He got his friend Lucas Pisano to co-produce them. Lucas has a different style, a little more hipster, a little cooler. Together, they create a humorous, real assessment of food served on the Island. Joe isn’t paid, though business owners do try to “bribe” him when they recognize him. He has become something of an Island celebrity, and people wait for the next review.
“To Go With Joe” is entertaining and it’s fun to have a look into what others think about the food we are served. We all have thoughts that we’d love to share, and Joe gets to. I have to admit, sometimes the food on the Island is not that great. Everybody has a bad day, a sandwich that is not its best, but hopefully, it’s not on the day that Joe comes in. Joe will let you know, and his 10,000 + fans too.
Of course I was intrigued by Joe and his process. So, I asked to meet with him to learn more, and we decided to do a review together. We chose Not Your Sugar Mamas Organic Cafe, located in the Tisbury Market Place.
I was a little nervous. Not Your Sugar Mamas offers a healthy alternative to processed chocolate with its superfood chocolates, truffles, coffee and now lunch and dinner options. The food style might not be for everyone, but I love their healthy treats. Having significantly reduced my sugar intake, NYSM is a real treat for me. However, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go for Joe.
We met at Not Your Sugar Mamas, immediately chatting it up, and worked on what to order. He wanted a nice assortment, focusing on treats and coffee (lunch, etc for another day).
He got the Latte, which had cashew milk, dates and espresso. I got the Dandelion Latte, dandy blend (chicory coffee, dandelions), cashew milk and dates.
Then it was on to chocolate. We both got the “Be Ballsy” Energy balls and the salted caramel chocolates. He also got the Coconut Crunch Bar and “Kit Kat.” Since I was there, I had to also get a bag of their chocolate chip cookies (some of my favorite).
After our intense selection process, we ventured into his car. Which by the way, was hysterical to be hanging out in a car with a man for an hour in front of the building my husband works in. A lot of people took a second glance at the two of us eating and laughing. I can only imagine what people were thinking.
Anyway, in Joe’s car, he set up the camera, and we hoped to make foodie cinema magic. I’m kidding. We just wanted to make a fun, yet informative review on chocolate from Not Your Sugar Mamas.
Joe and Lucas edit the videos, so we took a couple takes of things. I wish we could make a blooper roll because the amount of off camera fun we had was ridiculous.
We started with our coffee drinks. Joe liked his, his first time having cashew milk and dates. I appreciated his open mindedness, and was glad to see he liked it. I too enjoyed my Dandelion Latte, my first time having dandelions, and I would have them again. Off to a good start.
We then went on to the “Be Ballsy” energy balls. These were definitely interesting, really chewy, with a different texture, and fun to try with a stranger. They provided a little humor too. You’ll have to watch the video to get the full understanding. Joe’s take, as always, was hilarious.
Next came the salted caramel chocolates, and these were delicious. These were so good, satisfying one’s craving for something sweet. I would eat these daily. The healthy, good ingredients made this guilt free treat feel a little bad because it’s darn good. We both agreed that these were an amazing.
We also tried the Coconut Crunch bar and cookies. I prefer the Lavender Sea Salt and Salted Caramel bars. I would like to have had more coconut in the bar we tried. We had to do the NYSM chocolate chip cookies too, which I could eat every day!
Made with nutrient dense ingredients like antioxidant rich raw cacao, coconut oil, natural coconut palm sugar, gluten free oats, and a touch Himalayan Sea Salt, they’re so yummy! I wish I could make these everyday!
To add to the review, Joe compared a good ole fashioned Hershey’s chocolate bar to Not Your Sugar Mamas chocolate. Perhaps he’ll get a sponsorship from Hersey, but Joe was more impressed with the chocolates than he thought he would be. Though it’s different from commercial processed sugar, not so sweet, it is good stuff.
However one thing he did learn was to ask about what to order. If you want something sweet, you would want to order one thing, but if you wanted something filling and energizing, you might want something else. All in all, we gave NYSM’s an A! A great review!
The whole process was super fun and entertaining, though I was a little nervous. I like being one’s sidekick, and enjoyed it. Being a part of the process and seeing the end product, I can tell you that Joe and Lucas put a lot of effort into these videos that people love. Hopefully you enjoy this one, click here to watch it
The goal with To Go With Joe? It would be Joe and Lucas’ dream to have it picked up and turned into a TV show with them producing it. However, I bet Joe would have to stay on camera, because his humor and ability to relate. A little side note, the Travel Channel has asked for an audition tape from Joe. How did they find him? His instagram account.
Once again, a little Vineyard magic. Here is Joe and a friend with a dream of producing a show, and the possibility is there.
Until then, we get to enjoy To Go With Joe every month. Can’t wait to see what he does next.
Author’s Note: When Joe is not working or making people laugh with To Go With Joe, he’s working with Vineyard youth. He helps coach the high school baseball team.
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