Monday, November 30, 2015

Not Your Average Joe's | Waltham

Not Your Average Joe's is a popular local chain which recently opened its 24th location in Waltham. Last week they had a group of us in for dinner and I was thoroughly impressed! Buzzing with a convivial energy; the modern-industrial and open concept space from the swanky bar made of fossilized oyster shells, to the expansive dining room appointed with chic aqua booths, to the open kitchen firing out first rate dishes, NYAJ's Waltham was a scene I was happy to be a part of. Their patio firepits were a blaze, even though the chilly weather kept patrons indoors. 

After a spirited tour of the new restaurant - including the kitchen and walk in fridge, Joe's famous Foccacia bread kicked off the meal alongside well made and affordable cocktails. I enjoyed a gently stirred Bourbon Smash ($10) with Elijah Craig small batch Kentucky bourbon, agave nectar, muddled lemon and mint. Next, A Cranberry Daiquiri ($9) in an elegant coupe glass hits the spot. Served up with Privateer Silver rum, cranberry simple syrup and fresh squeezed lime, it was tart and refreshing, not to mention a strikingly gorgeous red color.
Joe's specializes in creative, casual American cuisine and all the dishes are made from scratch. We shared a number of their popular appetizers beginning with the Deviled Eggs ($7) which were zesty and crunchy, thanks to the addition of sriracha, togarashi spice and a topping of crushed Cape Cod potato chips. The addictive Buffalo Carribean Chicken Tenders ($10) are hand breaded and tossed in a sweet and spicy mango-buffalo-bbq sauce. Finally, Mango Shrimp Rolls ($9) are light, crisp and flavorful with sweet-chili poached shrimp, mango, cucumber, mint, cilantro and rice noodles, complimented by a tangy peanut dipping sauce.
The Butternut Squash Flatbread ($10) is worthy as a starter or main course with shaved brussels sprouts, carmelized onions, smoked mozzarella, a balsamic reduction and an inventive sage-pecan pesto. Grilled chicken is tossed with quinoa, green apples, pistachios, avocado, spinach, mint, cilantro and and orange-sesame dressing in the appropriatly named Super Crunch Salad ($15). It was legitimately the crispest, most delicious salad ever, even as next day leftovers. 

The dishes above represent about half of what was served to us this evening. (I actually ended up taking home three meals worth of leftovers.) One of my favorites that made an excellent lunch, but didn't make it into a photo was the spice rubbed and grilled Vietnamese Salmon ($19.50) served over wide rice noodles in a chili-lime broth with crisp snap peas and crushed peanuts. The Mustard Crusted Chicken ($15) is marinated in a three mustard sauce, coated in panko and pan seared, served with a lemon aioli, green beans and garlic mashed potatoes. Scallop lovers will rejoice over the all natural, pan seared Rosemary Skewered Scallops ($25) from New Bedford. They come served over an Israeli couscous, grilled corn, bacon and tomato succotash with an orange chipoltle glaze.

For dessert we were served a warm Goji Berry Apple Crisp ($7.50) with cinnamon spiced apples, ginger and a brown sugar oat crust, a Carrot Cake ($7.50) dripping in luscious cream cheese frosting and caramel sauce, and Joe's claim to fame the Peanut Butter Thing ($8). Unfortunately for the rest of the dessert menu, they pale in comparison to the latter, a peanut butter-chocolate chunk loaded vanilla ice cream cake meets oreo cookie crumb crust topped with fresh whipped cream and drizzled with warm caramel and chocolate sauces. This might have been my favorite part of the meal. It's that good!

It is always exciting to see a passionate, local brand continue to evolve and expand. NYAJ's newest location will appeal to loyal patrons and newcomers alike. I am already looking forward to a return trip.

Not Your Average Joe's
56 Market Place Drive
Waltham, MA 02451

*this meal was complimentary, all opinions are my own* 


  1. I've never had a bad meal at Not Your Average Joes, and their complimentary bread and oil/cheese is always divine!

  2. Umm, yum! Your writeups are always so detailed and well-written! We have a NYAJ near us (and probably you) in Watertown Square but have yet to get there. My sister and I used to frequent the one in Medford a lot- I always like the meals there!

  3. This was such a fun night! Loved reading your thoughts on our feast.

  4. The deviled eggs remind me how good yours are!

  5. I like it when people come together and share opinions.
    Great blog, keep it up!