Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Not Your Average Restaurant

There are some restaurant chains, like Legal Sea Foods, that "get" the gluten-free diet. I have no hesitation adding Not Your Average Joe's to that list.

The casual, New England-centric Joe's opened two Philadelphia-area outposts within the last year: the first in Glen Mills, and more recently in Ardmore. We had an opportunity to visit the Glen Mills location recently after our younger son finished a weekend baseball tournament nearby.

Joe's from-scratch gluten-free menu is a strong one from top to bottom, from mozzarella bruschetta to beer (in this case, Dogfish Head's Tweason'ale). Upon alerting our server that I was ordering from the gluten-free menu, a runner followed shortly with a basket of hot, fluffy bread and an accompanying olive oil-and-cheese dip. I opted for a well-done Backyard Burger served on a caramelized onion roll, though there were other tempting options like herb-crusted haddock and chicken piccata over penne. (All of the gluten-free orders are prepared in a separate area of the kitchen.)

I passed on dessert, but only because I had exceed my daily carb intake. Next time - and I will be back - I'm saving room for a slice of carrot cake.

Joe's service for gluten-free guests is seamless and confident - a welcome respite from those frequently awkward conversations with servers, managers and chefs. I hope that the chain plans to expand in the region so that more diners can enjoy dining at this exceptional restaurant.
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