Not Your Average Joe’s: Not the Finest Moment



The globally inspired, casual dine-in restaurant, Not Your Average Joe’s, has almost every type of dish you could possibly imagine. Starting off with the first dish to hit the table, the bread happens to be an outstanding starter. A fluffy focaccia topped with slivers of caramelized onion, it is paired with a handmade combination of oil, parmesan cheese, and crushed red pepper — the perfect start to any meal.


While the food at Not Your Average Joe’s is “average”, the atmosphere is what makes this restaurant truly special. A large movie screen, which spreads across two floors of the restaurant, adds a much more unique feel to the open space, similar to an old theater. The balcony on the second floor of the restaurant is also a nice spot to sit and eat (if it’s not too cold), with a scenic view of all of Suburban Square below! This restaurant has taken on the role of one of the only sit-down restaurants in the area for quite some time, but now with the addition of our personal favorite restaurant, Dan Dan, the competition has seriously heightened. However, Not Your Average Joe’s still remains a pleasant, casual sit-down option for all. That is, most of the time. We actually recently had a below-average moment at Not Your Average Joe’s.


It was a sunny afternoon in autumn when we sat down to lunch at Not Your Average Joe’s. The atmosphere in the restaurant was pleasant, and we were seated quickly. We were both excited to get out of the house and eat inside a restaurant for the first time in a while. We enjoyed the bread starter mentioned above and found our entrees delicious. It was a nice break from our usual grab-and-go meals at Shake Shack or Cava. But at the end of this wonderful outing, disaster struck.


Both of us food editors are high schoolers, meaning, like most minors, we only had cash on us. However, neither of us had small bills. So when it came time to give a tip to our waiter, we asked for change. The waitress hesitated and then replied that she had no change. We looked at each other, unsure what exactly we were to do. Neither of us had an option of payment besides large bills and neither option before us was reasonable. We had to tip our waiter, but we also were not about to give a twenty dollar tip. We stared at each other for a long amount of time. The awkwardness was palpable, the confusion apparent. Finally, the waitress broke the tense silence.


“I’ll go see if anyone else has change.”


We watched her go and then looked back at each other. How could a restaurant, or a business of any sort, not have change? We were both confused, and frankly neither of us had enjoyed the awkward moment with the waitress, who returned only minutes later with the needed change.


Moving on to some recommendations… When looking at the menu, the different cuisines become very apparent. In terms of variety, Not Your Average Joe’s has it all. Italian, American, Mediterranean, and more are all available within their sizable menu. A few favorite menu-options include the penne alla vodka and the ahi tuna wontons, which are creative and tasty. We also recommend the chicken piccata, which is creamy and delicious, with just enough tangy lemon.


In conclusion, Not Your Average Joe’s might actually be, well… average. Delicious food and a fun atmosphere were balanced by a decidedly negative experience, though it does bring up an important point and lesson. When you next enjoy a sit down meal at Not Your Average Joe’s, enjoy your food and make sure to have some small bills! We’ll see you for Restaurants of Suburban Square: Part 7 and 8!