While out to dinner with a bunch of foodie friends, the conversation, not surprisingly, turned to favorite restaurants. When someone threw out Not Your Favorite Joe’s, I gasped. How could he name a chain restaurant with the multitude of family and owner-run restaurants in the area?
“Not Your Favorite Joe’s is different. Trust me,” he insisted.
So I did, and we went to the only one in the area, located on Fall River Ave. in Seekonk, across from Sam’s Club and on the opposite corner from TGI Fridays. The manager greeted and seated us, asking if it was our first time and then explaining some of their reasons for not being average.
Food is cooked to order. Substitutions are graciously honored. They are part of a growing trend of “allergy-friendly” restaurants. Their menu is constantly changing. Need anything? Just ask.
A waitperson came to the table with the most delicious, warm bread, enhanced by freshly prepared at the table oil with garlic and cheese. We easily could have made a meal out of it, but were warned to pace ourselves for what was to come.
Joyce ordered a crab cake BLT, a huge crab cake filled with crab, served on a toasted roll with country bacon, lettuce, tomato, arugula and Tabasco aioli and, except for the standard french fry side, the most out-of-the-ordinary selections, including butternut squash couscous, sautéed green beans, grilled asparagus, jasmine rice pilaf and – her choice – cheesy polenta. She reluctantly gave me some of her large portion, thinking I didn’t like polenta. It was out of this world and my choice when we return. And we will return.
I ordered the most delicious, spicy Smokehouse Jambalaya I have ever tasted…and that includes in New Orleans. Andouille sausage, tasso ham, spicy linguica, shredded chicken, shrimp, veggies and rice were all simmered in a Cajun-spiced tomato broth. The luncheon portion ($12.99) was huge, and I took half of it home for the next day. Dinner portion is $16.99 and would feed an army.
Did I mention they made all their sauces, salad dressings and soups in house?
I took home a menu and checked dozens of reasons to return, including items listed under Joe’s Creations and Joe’s Favorites that are unique to the restaurant. The Rosemary skewered scallops is the most expensive dinner item at $19.99, followed by the Farmhouse Sirloin at $18.99 and the Vietnamese salmon at $17.99. Most of the other dinners offer lower lunch prices, including “Anything But Average Meatloaf” at $11.99. It is stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese plus roasted corn, carrot and green bean confetti and served with mashed potatoes and gravy.
Joe’s also serves a variety of stone-hearth pizzas ranging from $8.50 to $11.99 and a chance to create your own from over 24 items. Soups, burgers, wraps and creative salads (How about Ahi tuna and almond crusted goat cheese?) round out an eclectic menu more creative than what you will find in many upscale restaurants.
They have a full bar and do family-style catering. Tell them you are a first-time customer and they’ll give you a discount. They’ll also give you discounts for your second and third times. Go online at www.nyaj.come and make reservations, or call them at (508) 343-5637.