It was a Tuesday at lunchtime when my colleague Tumelo and I decided to pay Joe’s Butchery in Alexandra township a visit. While I planned the photos I was going to take, Tumelo arranged the interview. We needn’t have worried about a thing – the staff turned out to be warm, welcoming and really helpful.
Joe’s Butchery is a legendary shisa nyama and family business that has been in existence for more than 20 years. We were warmly received, with the co-owner, who prefers to be referred to simply as “Magogo”, giving me endless hugs while I interviewed her. No wonder the place has so much va-va-voom and is always packed to capacity.
Joe’s Butchery has the capacity to cater for 300 diners, which makes it an ideal venue for a Sunday chill-out, or for corporate team building, a baby or bridal shower, or even a year-end company function. On Sundays, there is always a DJ playing relaxing, retro-style R&B music, while during the week other chilled tunes can be enjoyed.
Magogo explained that Joe’s Butchery also caters for visitors from as far away as Tanzania and Namibia. During our visit, we bumped into two acquaintances who work in Sandton. They try to visit as often as possible for the good vibe and a shared love of good meat.
Joe’s offers a varied menu that can be adapted to suit each customer’s preference. On a regular day, you order pap and salad or chakalaka (spicy vegetable relish), and choose your meat from the butchery selection – the boerewors (spiced sausage) is to die for and the steak is tender – after which friendly waiters will braai (barbecue) the meat for you over an open flame. To wash down your meal, alcoholic and soft drinks are for sale at the counter.
Magogo also encouraged us to sample the food she prepares for special visitors. I loved the variety of salads on the menu and the different kinds of marinated, braaied meat – my favourite was the steak.
We also dipped into the salads, which included traditional potato salad with mayonnaise and green peas with a dash of sweet corn, cabbage and sauce.
The spot, located on the corner of 11th Avenue and Alfred Nzo Street, Alexandra, is open from Monday to Saturday from 8am until 8pm and on Sunday from 8am to 9pm. To book, contact Magogo on +27 (0)72 017 3352.