Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Not Your Average Joe's
We were recently invited to Not Your Average Joe's recently along with other food writers and select patrons to preview their new seasonal menu. It seems like we've been getting lots of invites like this lately and we'd not been to Joe's in quite a while so we decided to check it out.
We began with a sample of Apothic White wine, a brand that is currently very popular. We also tried their new red wine and liked both. Although Joe's is a chain they do make all of their food from scratch using local, seasonal sources whenever possible.
We started with Poached Pear and Blue Cheese Flatbread, a great combination. Red wine poached pears, great hill blue cheese, candied pecans and craisins. Pear and blue cheese has long been a favorite and this was quite good. Next up was Short Rib Pretzel Bites: red wine braised short ribs over pretzel bread with spicy mustard and crispy onion strings. Again, very nice. We were already wondering why we don't eat here more often.
We also tried entrees of Smokehouse Jambalaya (andouille sausage, tasso ham, mello's spicy linguica, shredded chicken, shrimp, veggies and rice simmered in a cajun-spiced tomato broth) and Vietnamese Salmon (Salmon with a curry spice rub, rice oodles with sugar snap peas, fresh herbs and chopped peanuts in a lime-infused chili broth). Both are gluten-free and both well worth trying.
There was also a Farmer's Market Chicken Carbonara (grilled chicken breast with fettucine tossed in a light white wine cream sauce with country bacon, grilled fresh corn, grape tomatoes, asparagus and grilled red onion). We liked how this had the full flavor of carbonara with a lighter touch. We then sampled the Meat Lover's Pizza (mello's spicy linguica, zoe's cured salami, Italian sausage, tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella). I was anxious to try their pizza, doubting that their flatbread could stand up to the best of them but I was proven wrong. It was very good. Our side salad was another version of the poached pear and blue cheese ingredients and, again, quite good.
Overall, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food at this spot that seems to sit just under the culinary radar. One of our table companions mentioned that he and his wife dine there regularly, often two to three times per week. Another friend mentioned that Joe's is their standard Friday night dinner out. If loyalty is the indication of consistent quality then Not Your Average Joe's is definitely not average and doing something right.
Not Your Average Joe's
Medford, MA 02155