JoAnn's Chili Bordello

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madamejoanne
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/06/29 22:28:55 (permalink)
Of the two stores we had here, I performed at the Manhattan Beach store on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the other five days of the week I performed at the San Pedro store which was in Ports O' Call Village, right on the Ocean. Tips at the Manhattan Beach store were not much to speak about (Tourists and Business people are really stingy when it comes to tips) but in San Pedro, THE major Port for Los Angeles, there were two shuttle boats that brought Seamen from their ships to Ports O' Call Village, and let them off right at JoAnn's. It was perfect because the Merchant Seamen could park their gear at JoAnn's, make their telephone calls home, get drunk, eat, etc., and depending upon the time they had for Shore Leave, they could have a ball at JoAnn's and still catch their shuttle boats on time to get back to their ships. And believe me, Merchant Seamen on Shore Leave can't wait to spend their money! I've never been tipped so well in my life! Talk about "spending money like a Sailor!" Ha, ha, ha, LOL!

The Merchant Seamen also added a lot to the entertainment at JoAnn's. They really were perfect gentlemen, we almost never had any problems because they were so happy to be there. At the end of the each evening, when all the families with children had left, the Merchant Seamen would join in and dance Jigs, sing Sea Chantys, and it always ended with everybody joining in and reciting Limmericks. We really had a BALL!

I autographed so many Menus that JoAnn's actually ran out of them the first month I was performing there. Also, there was one of those photo studios where you can dress up in period costumes and they would take your photo and it came out looking like an old time sepia print. The American Portrait Studio it was called. It was just across the courtyard from JoAnn's, and I was always being asked to pose with the Merchant Seamen so they could take the photo back onboard their ships and hang them up in their cabins. They always gave me a copy, and I look at those photos now and wonder where all those handsome young men are today. At that time the Alaska Pipeline was still being laid, and a lot of the Merchant Seamen who frequented JoAnn's were off of The Philadelphia Sun. They were going back and forth working on the Pipeline. Madame Joanne
#31
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/06/29 22:33:03 (permalink)
Zheesh.
#32
madamejoanne
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/06/29 22:59:19 (permalink)
More on the Chili itself next time. Everybody have a great evening. Madame Joanne
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essemjay58
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/06/29 23:22:48 (permalink)
Great story madamejoanne! I loved reading that stuff, and glad you have fond memories.
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madamejoanne
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/06/30 15:54:17 (permalink)
Okay, now I'm going to talk about the food which was served at JoAnn's Chili Bordello:
The "17 varieties of Chili served in an atmosphere of sin" were each different, and were given different girl's names. My favorite was No. 17, "Red Hot Mama!" My mouth waters just thinking about it! Yum, yum! There was Chili for those who wanted Mild Chili, Southwest Chili, East Coast Chili, just about everything. The recipes were always guarded, so I can't help you much there.
At the beginning all the food was served on Paper Plates, with Paper Napkins, and Plastic Utensils. The Chili was served in a scooped out Cantelope half, and the Cantelope was served in a plastic dessert bowl. Corn Bread with Butter was what rounded out the Chili dishes, but customers could also choose Italian Rolls, Dinner Rolls, etc. I thought this was a brilliant way to economize, and it was really bizarre to come into this absolutely elegant New Orleans style Parlor, with it's red Flocked Wallpaper, Red Velvet Tufted Sofa, real Antique Furniture, White Lace with Red Velvet Curtains, Crystal Chandaliers, Live Entertainment (The Madame), Singing "Girls" (Waitresses), gorgeous white statuary of naked women, only to be served your food on Paper Plates with a Cantelope Rind as a Chili Bowl!
However, the owners decided to provide real period looking China and real Utensils after a few months, to play up the "elegance." We served several other things on the Menu, several Sandwiches with enticing names, and a Chef's Salad (my favorite - yummy!) and regular Dinner Salad, Steak Dinners with Baked Potatoes, etc., and even a House Hamburger.
Desserts consisted of "Chocolate Better Than Sex Cake," which was shaped after the female torso wearing a Boustier. It was basically Chocolate Cake with a Raspberry Cream Filling and Double Chocolate Frosting, very rich. There is much more to tell, but I'm keeping the real secrets for when I open my own Chili Restaurant which I intend to call simply, "Madame Joanne!"
#35
PapaJoe8
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/06/30 16:41:51 (permalink)
Madam, I wish I would have had the pleasure of eating there, and seeing you in action! And, welcome to Roadfood! The chili section can sometimes go dead during the summer. Hey, it never gets too hot for me to eat chili. :~)
Joe
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madamejoanne
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/06/30 16:55:33 (permalink)
Thank you, kind Sir, for the warm (gee, is it "hot" in here?) welcome! Chili is a great all American dish which I never get tired of, any time of the year. I would have enjoyed having you (oops, just can't help the one-liners) eat at JoAnn's also. It's still a personal dream of mine to start my own "Chili Bordello." I certainly learned a lot just working at JoAnn's. I have spoken with the real JoAnn twice since the stores closed here in Southern California in the hope of purchasing a Franchise from her. She was very charming and sweet, and I wish I could have traveled to Florida to see her original store and compare it to the two I worked at. Unfortunately, JoAnn said she would absolutely never sell a Franchise to anybody in Southern California ever again! Seems she had gotten the wrong end of the Chili Spoon from the owners of these two stores. They told her it was a complete flop, when I and multitudes of others can attest that it was anything but a flop! How sad! But that was 14 years ago that I talked with her, and I guess she has since folded her whole chain. At least I got to thank her and praise her for a wonderful concept in Chili Restaurant history. Madame Joanne
#37
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/06/30 19:19:47 (permalink)
So I guess your chili put the Sin in Sincinatti?
#38
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/01 11:14:30 (permalink)
I hope you have all 17 of the recipes Madam. I would love to here a brief description of each chili. There is an old thread here about fantasy chili parlors. You might get a kik outa that? Have a few days to kill... the whole chili section here is real good I think.

Speaking of chili history... sounds like JoAnn's should have a page or two in that book.
Joe

Oh; cute NYNM. Only you could come up w/ that!
#39
madamejoanne
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/01 23:45:01 (permalink)
Well, I'm sure that JoAnn's did probably put the "Sin" in every City where one of their stores was! Ha, ha, ha, LOL! It was just a happy (and sometimes not) coincidence that the real JoAnn and myself (Joanne) have esentially the same first name. Customers just "assumed" that I was the real JoAnn, but her photo wearing a sripped Boustier was on the cover of the Menu. She looked very impressive and very sexy, with a bottle of Jack Daniels prominently displayed on the table in front of her. When people asked me if I was the owner, I always told them "no, I'm just the Madame!" Sometimes things would get a little too "hot," like when an irate Husband of one of the Girls (Waitresses) came in to the Manhattan Beach store and started yelling at me because his Wife had been fired! "Whoa! Not me, no, go talk to one of the Managers, not me!" If I do open my own Chili Restaurant I will NEVER let anyone know that I am the owner.
Sorry, don't have the actual recipies for all of the 17 Chili dishes. That was always carefully guarded. At the San Pedro store the Dressing Room was upstairs and I had to walk through the Kitchen to get to it. The Cooks were always stirring about six huge pots of Beans, and many more pots of Sauces. I know that No. 1 on the Menu was very mild, and that another was Vegetarian, and that the flavors varied in intensity up to No. 17, "Red Hot Mama," my personal favorite. Perhaps when the time comes to open my own Chili Restaurant I should sponsor a Chili Cookoff for my own personal Menu of Chili dishes.
#40
NYNM
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/02 01:21:14 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by PapaJoe8

I hope you have all 17 of the recipes Madam. I would love to here a brief description of each chili. There is an old thread here about fantasy chili parlors. You might get a kik outa that? Have a few days to kill... the whole chili section here is real good I think.

Speaking of chili history... sounds like JoAnn's should have a page or two in that book.
Joe

Oh; cute NYNM. Only you could come up w/ that!


Hey Joe we're talkin HOT chili here. no??
(Tho you know I prefer chile. Not the country...)


Ain't it fun,folks, to have this chili tete a tete (or whatever a whatever) here with La Madame??
#41
madamejoanne
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/02 01:55:20 (permalink)
Why, thank you all so very kindly! If we all ever meet you may kiss my hand just like all the celebrities I met at JoAnn's were in the custom of doing. Nick Nolte, Chad Evert, Prince Michael of Kent, and many, many more! Burt Reynolds enjoyed my performance one afternoon so much that he told his Buddy who was with him to go on, that he wanted more of that delicious Chili! He ordered No. 17, "Red Hot Mama" to go, but Burt spent my entire midday three hour break sitting at the Piano with me. I had to teach him duets because his hand kept creeping around my waist! Ha, ha, ha, LOL! We had a lot of laughs as we played duets together, a truly unforgetable magical experience. When his Buddy returned, both Burt and his Buddy bowed and kissed my hand as they said goodbye! I thought I was going to faint! They thought the Chili was great, too! Repeat business was unbelieveable!Madame Joanne
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PapaJoe8
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/02 09:03:52 (permalink)
Madam, real neat story about Burt!

I knew that if you had the recipes, they would be secret. I was just hoping for a brief description. Like, what is "southwest chili". Did it have some green chile flavor?

In that "fantasy" thread I mentioned, everyone had their ideas about what kind of chili to serve, and how. There were lots of good ideas.

There is a building in my neighborhood that would make a good chili place. Taco Mayo was there but moved up by Wall Mart.

Hotter the better NYNM! Although I have taken to using only jalapenos for the heat, no red pepper. I just love that jalapeno flavor!
Joe
#43
leethebard
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/02 09:09:37 (permalink)
This is one fascinating thread...I'd love to hear more stories of Chili...and stuff!
#44
madamejoanne
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/02 18:26:50 (permalink)
Well, PapaJoe8, the range of Chilis was very diversified. I tried them all at one time or another. Some were very bland(not my cup of Chili) and there were six in that category:

l. California, Vegetarian (just Beans, Avocado, Cheddar Cheese, Red and Green Chilis, Cream Cheese and Green Onions);
2. California, Beans and Beef, Avocado, Cheddar Cheese, Red and Green Chilis, Cream Cheese and Green Onions;
3. East Coast, Beans, and Green and Red Chilis;
4. East Coast, Beans, Steak, Pork, Green and Red Chilis, Cheddar Cheese;
5. East Coast, Beans, Steak, Pork, Green and Red Chilis, Onions, Cheddar Cheese; and
6. East Coast, Beans, Steak, Pork, Chicken, Green and Red Chilis, Onions, and Cheddar Cheese.

In the medium range there was:
7. Southwestern (Mexican) Beans, Corn, Bell Peppers, and Green and Red Chilis;
8. Southwestern (Mexican) Beans, Beef, Corn, Bell Peppers, and Green and Red Chilis;
9. Southwestern (Mexican) Beans, Beef, Pork (Bacon), Corn, Bell Peppers, and Green and Red Chilis;
10. Southwestern (Mexican) Beans, Beef, Pork (Bacon), Corn, Bell Peppers, and Green and Red Chilis, Cheddar Cheese;
11. Southwestern (Texas) Beans, Barbeque Beef, Bell Peppers, Green and Red Chilis, Green Onions, Cheddar Cheese;
12. Southwestern (Texas) no Beans, Barbeque Beef, Bell Peppers, Green and Red Chilis, Green Onions, Cheddar Cheese;
13. Southwestern (Texas) Beans, Barbeque Beef, Barbeque Pork, Bell Peppers, Green and Red Chilis, Green Onions, Cheddar Cheese;
14. Southwestern (Texas) Beans, Barbeque Beef, Barbeque Pork, Barbeque Chicken, Bell Peppers, Green and Red Chilis, Green Onions, Cheddar Cheese;

And the hottest Chilis were:
15. Southwestern (Texas) No Beans, Barbeque Beef, Barbeque Pork, Barbeque Chicken, Bell Peppers, Green and Red Chilis, Green Onions, Cheddar Cheese, and Jalapeno Chilis;
16. Southwestern (Texas) Beans, Barbeque Beef, Barbeque Pork, Barbeque Chicken, Bell Peppers, Green and Red Chilis, Green Onions, Cheddar Cheese, and Jalapeno Chilis; and
17. Southwestern (Texas) Beans, Barbeque Beef, Barbeque Pork, Barbeque Chicken, Bell Peppers, Green and Red Chilis, Green Onions, Cheddar Cheese, Jalapeno Chilis, topped with Sour Cream and Chives.

At least that's what I can remember at this stage. My copy of the original Menu is in storage. When I can finally retrieve my belonging and look at the actual Menu I will be able to edit this list. Bon Appetite!

Madame Joanne
#45
madamejoanne
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/02 18:31:34 (permalink)
Hey, Leethebard: I'm delighted that you are enjoying this Chili Forum. I'm having a blast also, it's wonderful to find people who are still as excitied about JoAnn's as I am! It was such a unique and magical place, and I have spent all these years trying to find backing to start up my own. Ha, ha, ha, the problem in California with those who can afford to back such an enterprise is that the very rich aren't looking for a long term investment, just for something that they can invest in for a short time and then walk away from for the tax breaks! Sigh! All I need are investors who really want to go the long haul and aren't afraid of making more money than they have! Madame Joanne
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PapaJoe8
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/03 09:28:04 (permalink)
Madam, thanks so much for going to the trouble to do that list! And, what a unique list it is. It will take me awhile to digest it! :~)
Joe
#47
madamejoanne
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/04 04:54:47 (permalink)
Hey, PapaJoe8, do you still have those photos you posted at the beginning of this Forum from JoAnn's Chili Bordello? The links you previously posted have expired.
Was very deeply saddened to discover at OrlandoSentinel.com, dated June 18, 2008, that the original JoAnn has passed away just this past June 15, 2008! She was 79. Her Obituary mentions that she and her husband opened JoAnn's Chili Bordello in l983. Her real name was Jerline D. "Jerry" Berry. I was really shocked. No wonder I have been thinking about JoAnn's so much lately. When I have gathered my thoughts I must go back to the Guestbook and pay my respects. Just thought you might want to know.Madame Joanne
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PapaJoe8
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/08 08:30:07 (permalink)
Madem, that was Bergermeister who posted those links. Sorry they stoped working. Someone here might know why?
Joe
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madamejoanne
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/09 05:57:09 (permalink)
I did find those links on another Forum, Animal House, but they didn't work there either. There was only one additional link that worked, it was a black and white photo of one of the "Girls" (Waitresses) working. I copied it for future reference. So, Bergermeister, are you out there? Got any links to photographs that still work?
Thought it was so sad that when I went to Jerry's aka JoAnn's Guestbook that there were only two tributes to her. Quickly added my own, and then another from a friend of mine who used to frequent JoAnn's back in l983 in San Pedro, California. Looks like that tribute website to JoAnn's I've been planning is actually coming into fruition, but I need as much input, comments, memories, and photos as I can find to make it happen. All contributions are welcome.
During my searches I discovered that there was another Chili Joint that opened for a short time in Jacksonville, Florida, which served 50 kinds of Chili, and all of the "Girls" wore the same types of Corsets as at JoAnn's Chili Bordello, but they were all over age 50! That must have been very interesting! This short lived Chili Joint was called Joanne's Chili Bordello! How funny! Madame Joanne
#50
Chesapeakebishop
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/15 23:03:17 (permalink)
I remember the Columbus franchise very well because my friend George Roberts, a former Citizen-Journal business editor, and I had the PR contract for its grand opening. The franchisee was Grace Chen, a highly successful owner of Chinese restaurants. We staggered the event over three evenings because we knew the response would be wildly successful. To the governor, the justices, all the legislators, lobbyists, CEOs and professionals, we sent wedding-sized invitations of raised ink on card stock, with a tongue-in-cheek, pompous text. "Madame Grace Chen Modestly Invites You and the Woman of Your Choosing to the Grand Opening ..... formal attire, please." The promised mementos were garter belts for the ladies, the attached button reading, "I met my man at JoAnn's." Usually successful in our work, even George and I were stunned at the quality of the crowd. The guv did not personally attend, sending his press rep. But the whole rank and file were right behind Verne Rife, a grand guy of blessed memory, House Speaker and, as one member of the entire loyal opposition said to a reporter, "We're here to keep an eye on the Speaker." After those grand opening nights, George and I enjoyed free chili at JoAnn's at any hour we pleased. The down side was that costume approval gave me astigmatism, and as a result I am forced to wear trifocals to this day. And, yes, as all the rest have said, the chili was awesome.
#51
madamejoanne
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2008/07/16 06:07:33 (permalink)
Well, Chesapeakebishop, that grand opening in Columbus sounds very grand indeed! I love the invitations and mementos ideas. Every little gimmick counts! We had a bench outside the San Pedro store with an ingraved inscription, "Our girls are worth waiting for!" We also had pens and bumper stickers which read, "I got off at JoAnn's Chili Bordello!" Lots of fun! I have so many ideas for my own Chili Restaurant that I find myself day dreaming about it a lot! Coming up with new and even tastier Chili dishes all the time! Got any photos of that grand opening? I'd love to see them! Madame Joanne
#52
NYNM
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2009/01/08 21:38:50 (permalink)
 Whatever happened to MadameJoanne? RU Out There??
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PapaJoe8
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2009/01/08 22:18:00 (permalink)
NYNM, I hope she is! Could we email her I wonder?

For some reason I have had this recurring dream about having a bowl of "Green Chile Chili" at JoAnn's... served by Madame Joanne. :~)
Joe
#54
NYNM
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2009/01/09 01:22:24 (permalink)
 That's hot!
(haha)
#55
madamejoanne
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2009/01/09 18:17:15 (permalink)
Madame Joanne is in!  Don't worry Gents, I'm worth waiting for!  Giggle!  I've been very busy fluffing my feathers of late.  It's sweet of you'll to miss me!  I see the website has been gussied up a bit.  Very nice!    Madame Joanne

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PapaJoe8
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2009/01/10 14:34:20 (permalink)
Good to see you Madame!

Now if only we could come up w/ some recipes from the Bordello.
Joe
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PapaJoe8
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RE: JoAnn's Chili Bordello 2009/01/11 18:48:53 (permalink)
I agree Nocarolina, some 5 way on down... and Some Shanghai Jimmy's chili rice. Just make it kinda kid frindly till 8 pm. and it would work!
Joe
#58
cynic
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Re:JoAnn's Chili Bordello-Oh JoAnn how I miss thee 2009/04/01 22:51:35 (permalink)

One of my all time favorites for lunch when I lived in JAX. Worked Downtown and dropped over to the store at the Beach/Atlantic split to have a bowl of chili a cold beer and oggle the ladies. some of the Chili was mediocre, other was  very good. Made Hooters look like a kids show, the ladies at JoAnn's were great. Darn I miss it..
#59
PapaJoe8
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Re:JoAnn's Chili Bordello-Oh JoAnn how I miss thee 2009/04/02 13:36:03 (permalink)
Cynic, welcome to Roadfood! And... neat to hear from someone else who has actually been to JoAnn's.
Joe
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