Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Not Your Average Joe's Makes a Good First Impression

My parents and little sister came down to help me move last weekend, and, after a day of cleaning and moving boxes, we needed a good meal - and some stiff drinks. Z joined us for dinner, and we all walked over to Not Your Average Joe's.

I had never dined at this local chain before, and was excited to finally check it out. The decor alone was funky and modern, and the atmosphere was definitely family-friendly.

Shortly after being seated, we ordered a round of drinks. I went for the Flowertini ($7.99), made with St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Absolut Vodka, and house-made lemonade.

While we sipped our drinks and looked over our menus, our waitress brought over the complimentary bread and oil - which I am still salivating over as I type this. The bread itself was incredibly moist and spongy, while the dipping oil was chocked full of Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper. It was insanely addicting - I could have easily eaten the bread and oil as a meal.

Upon realizing I should nix the bread as a meal and at least try an entree, I decided to order the Baja Burger ($10.99), made with ground Angus sirloin, guacamole, pepper jack cheese, pickled red onions, lettuce and crispy, blue tortilla chip strips on a seeded brioche roll. My side choices were French fries or mixed greens, so I went for the greens (I promise there's a burger under there somewhere).

This was also no ordinary burger - the subtle, unique touches added to it made it extra special, and extra delicious. Pickling the onions and adding crispy tortilla chips added textures and flavors that were unexpected, yet warmly welcomed.

I was stuffed to no end by this point, but Z asked if I'd be willing to split some dessert with him - and I eventually obliged. We ordered the Hot Apple Cinnamon Sticks ($6.50), which are made with spiced apples in a fried pastry shell, dipped in cinnamon and sugar, and served with vanilla ice cream and hot caramel sauce. 

These were tasty, but nothing special - although my full stomach might have had something to do with my opinion of them. 

Our party included a very picky eater (my little sister), a vegetarian (Z), and many who expect good food and great service when we go out to eat. At Not Your Average Joe's, everybody left pleased - and full. As a bonus, the prices were really reasonable, too. 

Side note: Since I left you all without a Best Deal this week, check out the weekly happy hour deals at Not Your Average Joe's here.

What's your favorite local chain restaurant and why?

Not Your Average Joe's on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm a big fan of Paparazzi's as a local chain. I think they have great Italian food at solid prices. Glad you had such a great time at Not Your Average Joe's!

  2. I went to college on the North shore, and NYAJ's was the old stand-by for drinks and dinner for years. I usually have really horrible luck with chain restaurants but had totally forgotten this place existed, I'll have to revisit it!