Fresh is indeed the theme of NYAJ's Executive Chef Jeff Tenner's seasonal menu for summer. With that season well underway, I gravitated mostly toward the limited-time summer menu items. I'd recommend you do the same, as we'll have all winter to sample the Anything But Average Meatloaf and grilled New York Strip.
|Samuel Adams Summer Ale|
(there was more in the glass,
and a foam head when it
arrived at the table)
dipping sauce for
Everyone gets a basket of NYAJ's signature focaccia bread, with their famous dipping sauce that includes romano and parmesan cheeses, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, and the olive oil that is added when the sauce is prepared tableside by your server. In other words, it isn't just a jarred sauce or something made early in the day. I am in the great minority of 2015-era diners in that I personally prefer softer breads, but the flavor of this is was great and likely will be one of the best you've had if you like a chewier, crustier bread.
|Tomato Basil soup|
|Green Machine Chicken Cavatappi|
|Garlic Mashed Potatoes|
Not knowing how large the pasta portion would be, I got a side of garlic mashed potatoes. They're homestyle, with slivers of red potato skin, and have plenty of garlic flavor.
On to dessert! Alas, they ran out of their legendary Peanut Butter Thing. Disappointing, but I will be back to try it out. I also hear that their Carrot Cake is a must-try. Ditto.
|Molten Chocolate Cake|
|The sizable scoop of|
vanilla ice cream is
on a mound of
kind of like crumbled
Overall, the food was outstanding and is not overly expensive. The beer list is above average for Montgomery County, despite the challenges of the county's liquor regime. Service was great given that training was underway for servers last night. When one set of dishes fresh from the dishwasher had (clean) water on them, a server swooped in with another set before the hostess could finish apologizing. The only suggestion I have - other than hoping they will have more supply of ingredients for the Peanut Butter Thing when Opening Day comes around Monday - is to avoid the booths in the bar area if you're not above-average in height. Ask for a table that has either the high stools or a regular chair. I'm hardly a dwarf in height, but my feet could barely reach the floor from the booth banquette.
Great food and service, FREE parking, and enough variety on the menu to please traditionalists as well as foodies, are a few reasons to try Not Your Average Joe's when it opens Monday at Georgetown Square shopping center. For those coming from points further than Bethesda, there is easy access from the Beltway at the Old Georgetown Road exit, or from I-270.