That's about to change in Gaithersburg as a Boston-area restaurant brings its gourmet, MTO style to the Kentlands.
With 15 locations in New England, Not Your Average Joe's (NYAJ) is set to open on Wednesday, July 4, the anniversary of the restaurant's first location opening in 1994.
The location lost power Friday after , but is still set to go, said public relations representative Fritz Schneider. The location will also hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 9, he said.
Coined as a popular, casual restaurant in the Boston area, NYAJ's Gaithersburg General Manager Erik Larson said the founder's vision is to provide a downtown dining experience in the suburbs that prides itself on being able to provide anything and everything for its customers.
"The concept is we have chefs in our restaurant. We have from-scratch food. We can make anything to order for people who come in with different allergies or anything like that. We can customize their meals to whatever they'd like," Larson said.
"Anything" could range from a customer preferring Coca-Cola to Pepsi, creating a fresh, innovative vegan dish, and, as Larson alluded, accommodating allergies for customers.
The restaurant's menu is gluten-free, but waiters, managers and chefs, including head chef Scott Martin, are trained to inquire about all allergies prior to taking orders.
Wait staff members began training on June 18 and are expected to know the ingredients for all items on the menu, Larson said.
"Allergies are a big deal for us," Martin said. "Having the ability to make anything anybody wants is a big deal for us. That’s one of the things that makes us so good as a company and so good as a restaurant.
"We get index cards written of all the allergies people have. Most of the time I’ll make them something from scratch. It’s important to us that we take care of [our] people."
In addition to an ever-changing, localized menu, NYAJ will feature 20 beers of draught and a slew of original cocktails. But don't expect a frat party at the bar, Larson said. NYAJ "wants to have a nice, classy bar where you can go in and have a couple cocktails and have a nice meal," he said.
The restaurant also features a wine list with competitive pricing, named No. 1 by Wine Metrics in the United States for a casual restaurant, Larson said.
"That’s a huge accolade for us to receive. That means we have the best wine pricing in the causual market, bar none," Larson said. "With us, a lot of our wines—particularly on our Smokin' Joe's list, which are some of the best wines in the country—are $2-$3 over what we pay for them, just so the guest can come in and have a great meal, feel comfortable that the prices aren’t wildly exaggerated, and try something new."
—With reporting from Diana Soliwon.
Located at 245 Kentlands Boulevard, Not Your Average Joe's opens to the public on Wednesday, July 4. To make a reservation, call (240) 477-1040.