We are very excited to welcome a brand new Not Your Average Joe’s location opening right in the heart of Down Town Silver Spring in renovated Elsworth Mall. This restaurant chain is not new to the area, with several locations in the DC metro. As part of the media event, we and a few other bloggers and reporters were invited for a tour and tasting. This location has been open now for a few weeks, and they are eager for people to learn about their yummy dishes. We got to try some great new dishes and updated spin on a few well-known. We’ll be upfront, in the past, this chain never really wowed us, but the dishes served during the event were so good that we are definitely a fan now. Scroll down because it’s quite a list we have for you.
Bacon Leek Flatbread (4 NOMs)
Don’t let things get flat unless you are ordering this Bacon leek Flatbread. Blue cheese is one of those cheeses that are not as liked by many because it has such a strong flavor, which is why we enjoyed this dish. It has bacon, which we all know is amazing and can make any dish so much better. This is a very light dish with a skinny crunchy crust, not too much cheese, and some veggies. Made for a great starter that left plenty of space for us to enjoy other appetizers and main course. It was good enough for us to enjoy more than one slice. After all, you never know if it’s good unless you had doubles or even triple servings.
Buffalo Caribbean Chicken Tenders (4 NOMs)
Buffalo wings are great, but the messiness of eating them is not so great. Now we can enjoy a mess-free Buffalo Caribbean Chicken Tenders. This is so much better and easier to enjoy. You can bite into them or cut them with a knife for smaller bites. So soft and so much more meat for far less work. This was a surprisingly good and interesting flavor combination with a small kick and hint of sweetness. Honestly, we didn’t expect much since Buffalo Chicken is such a standard dish that we thought just can’t be improved, but they found a way. All this goodness comes from their mango buffalo sauce and pineapple jalapeno salsa. Much lighter than what you normally expect from dishes of this type, there would be more sauce than chicken, but here it was a very light amount, so the star here was the meat. So make sure to order this appetizer next time and share it with few friends.
Super Crunch Salad (5 NOMs)
Let my veggies shine in this amazing Super Crunch Salad theme that would make any health nut happy. First, bite in, and we were just wowed away by the amazing flavors. This was one of our favorites from the night and could be one of the new favorite salads in the area. It can be hard to find a salad that tasted this good, healthy, and actually fills you up. Well, our search might be over. Eating healthy has never looked and tasted this good before. One of the main things about this dish is how little and light the orange sesame dressing was. Instead of covering up the fact, this is a salad, and the chef let all ingredients shine. It’s a very busy salad with a whole lot going on in there, like quinoa, green apples, pistachios, avocado, spinach, mint, and cilantro. I think my hands got tired typing all that! Plus, it’s served with some nice grilled chicken for that extra protein and meat-loving. Don’t be surprised if we end up ordering this a few more times.
Rosemary Skewered Scallops (4 NOMs)
It’s so beautiful that we don’t know if we should eat or admire it, like these Rosemary Skewered Scallops. Little know fact, scallops are one of our most favorite seafood dishes. So we were delighted not to be disappointed and instead very impressed with what could be our new regular starter at this place. Just fell in love with lightly seared scallops on top of the couscous. The orange chipotle glaze added an interesting hint of sweetness to the overall dish. Does couscous normally taste this good and soft? It was just pure bliss to eat this. Everything about this dish was so good that it’s hard to pinpoint the favorite part. Each ingredient compliment and elevated the rest so well. It got a bit lost in the whole dish, but there was bacon. No worries, everything else was so good that we quickly forgot it was supposed to be there. I can’t wait to have it again. Good thing we live only a few blocks away ;).
Spiced Rubbed Pork Tenderloin (4 NOMs)
You can never go wrong with a pork appetizer, especially when eating a Spiced Rubbed Pork Tenderloin. Forget your old boring pork dishes and say hello to a beautiful and elevated dish. Thick cut pieces of very soft and tender tenderloin. This is one of those dishes where you want to get all the ingredients together in a small or even big bite. The pork went great with the preserved lemon mint couscous and summer vegetable ratatouille. So happy to see a restaurant serving up different versions of couscous. It tasted different and unique even though this was our second dish of the night with some.
Mustard Crusted Chicken (3 NOMs)
Nothing is more American than chicken and mashed potatoes like in this Mustard Crusted Chicken dish. Out of all the dishes we ate this night, this was probably by on a simpler side. It was still a good dish, but we are more fans of bold flavors and unique cuisine. It would greatly appeal to those who prefer dishes that are not too out there or adventurous. They took a more fun approach by adding three mustard marinade and panko crumbs, even with a simpler dish. Tasted so much lighter and better compared to some other chicken dishes in the area. We thought the chicken was very soft for a chicken breast that went great with mashed potatoes and green beans. Even though we weren’t super wowed away, we still ate the whole servings. So that means we liked it. Not sure if this is something we’ll regularly order since there are so many other fun dishes for us to try.
Strawberry Shortcake (5 NOMs)
There is nothing short about this Strawberry Shortcake dessert. Today we have been converted into a fan because normally, we don’t really order this dessert when going out. It’s not exactly the most exciting thing and often gets overshadowed by more complex and fun dishes. It’s really all about those melted sugar-covered shortcakes biscuits. Of course, not to forget about the marinated strawberry and vanilla ice cream. Crunchy biscuit went great with soft and refreshing ice cream. Not an overly sweet dessert, but definitely sweeter than some other restaurants make. It is always good to find a dessert that can convert skeptics into a fan and make die-hard fans very happy.
Carrot Cake (4 NOMs)
Does the carrot part make this Carrot Cake healthyish? Who cares when it tastes this good. While carrot cakes are good, we rarely order them. Normally for us, this dessert usually is just a meh kind of a thing. Well, it all changed with a first bite into this beauty. We can’t stop thinking about how yummy this cake was. Very sweet and sugary this dessert had a very bold flavor. I especially enjoyed all that thick cream cheese frosting. After all, who doesn’t enjoy some frosting everywhere? Even with so much sweetness and sugary goodness, the cake did not make us feel like sugar overload or crashing after. Plus, it happened to be gluten-free, so you have a lot less post-cake guilt. It’s a bold statement, but this could be one of our favorite Carrot Cakes out there.
Peanut Butter Thing (5 NOMs)
It’s evil, I tell you, EVIL! We can’t tell if this is a cake, ice cream, or villain from the Batman movie. One thing we do know this weird-looking Peanut Butter Thing is a dessert we can’t stop eating. This is one of those moments where you are glad they do not list calory count. A giant pile of peanut butter, chocolate chunks in vanilla ice cream with Oreo cookie crumbs. Since there is not enough sugar and sweetness, they drenched the whole thing hot chocolate and caramel sauce. Are you trying to kill us? Whatever, give me more of it! It tasted so good that even strong will could not resist it. We kept saying to ourselves, just one more bite, which turned into far too many servings. Luckily we shared this dessert with a few friends because this is the only way to enjoy it. Brave souls who try to eat it all by themselves might need to be carried doubt due to a multi-year sugar coma. You really should eat more salads for a week in case you do plan on ordering it.
Updated Rating to 3 NOMs
We are sad to do this, but sadly due to our recent numbers of visits, the quality of the service and food has decreased, so we had to update the overall rating. Overall the service got a lot slower. Several times we had to wait for a very long time for food, even appetizers. We were told the wait is due to chicken on a salad, but the chicken was refrigerator cold when served. We would advise against ordering guacamole dip as you would one of the blandest dips out there during happiness. We came with kids during one of our visits and specifically asked the waiter to bring the kid’s food as soon as it was done, but they waited to bring it with the entire order. Made for some cranky little ones.