Dining: Another Reston Go-To Place

Restaurant Review: Not Your Average Joe’s.

Gathering at a very popular eatery in Reston guarantees great eats, great drinks, and a chattering social time. That describes an experience at Not Your Average Joe’s. Unclear who Joe may be, but for sure, kitchen creations are above average. Indeed, NYAJ seems to now be a Reston go-to place, especially at lunch. And dinner! Hint: make reservations.

What to expect? To start, attentive service with a staff member handing over a basket of hot bread slices with a ramekin of chopped garlic and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper bathed in olive oil. And drinks, of course, from ice water to whatever your choice for the meal.

Then spend time browsing through your menu of choice: dinner, happy hour, lunch, gluten-free, party, and Sunday brunch. And for lunch, wow, the choices are so extensive that picking the final two or three — or four — makes one head towards calorie heaven.

Starters run the gamut from ahi tuna wontons and buffalo Caribbean chicken tenders to delicious New England-style crab cakes (enough really for an entrée) and a forno-baked chicken quesadilla.

But if you are with a table of hungry friends, do consider the nachos composed of corn tortillas, chipotle-braised chicken and melted Pepper Jack cheese. Cumin sour cream heightens the Latino essence of this appetizer. Besides an appetizer, what about a bowl or cup of New England clam chowder? Delish!

Faced with multiple entrée choices from beef, pork, pasta, chicken, and veggie main dishes, even the pickiest eater will be stumped. And that does not include the big salad entrées, burgers, sandwiches, and eight specialty pizzas — or you can create your own pizza, selecting from among such toppings as Italian sausage, bacon, roasted chicken, red onions, roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella, and many other options. What kind of pizza could you create with at least 10 of these toppings?

If you are looking to keep calories under control — sort of, especially if you have eaten your way through a basket of two of hot bread — consider a big salad, topped with your choice of grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon. A real pleaser is the Cobb salad, loaded with crumbled blue cheese, a hard-boiled egg, country bacon, and avocado, topped with your choice of one of nine dressings.

Looking for a heartier entrée? The shrimp tacos or the Sweet Blue burger makes a pleasing choice. Going even bigger includes one of the meat-based entrées or simply grilled meats with your choice of sides that include French fries and chipotle sweet potato mash.

Even the menu warns not to skip dessert, and those are words of good advice. The sticky toffee cake and their Peanut Butter Thing (whatever that is) may appeal, but do include an order of the Key Lime pie—an awesome rendition of this classic American fave.

Again: a note of advice: reservations, reservations, reservations. NYAJ gets mighty crowded….

Not Your Average Joe’s, 1845 Fountain Dr., Reston, 571-234-8200. Hours: Sun..-Wed., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m..

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