Last week, Mal, Quinn, and I enjoyed a wonderful family happy hour at Not Your Average Joe’s in Norwell. (FYI: A brand new location is opening in Westwood any day now!) This particular location is our local Not Your Average Joe’s, and we’ve dined there a number of times in the past, so we were especially excited to be invited for an evening out. But, of course, with a toddler, it ended up being more of an early bird dinner, but, hey, that’s what works for us nowadays and we kind of dig it. The timing works well with Quinn’s bedtime and he’s usually pretty interested in food then, which, obviously, makes the experience that much more enjoyable for all of us. A toddler who doesn’t want to sit still while dining out is definitely a challenge. And, ooh, we’ve been there before. Dinner out turns into take-out real quick! Thankfully, our little guy was really into the famous Not Your Average Joe’s focaccia bread and dipping sauce (<– recipe).
He ate two BIG pieces! Mal and I were quite impressed.
Our dinner started with a round of drinks. Mal went with a beer, I ordered wine, and Quinn had milk. Toddler cheers = the best!
After that, we got down to business with the menu. The “Seasonal Selections” change every 3 months, so many of the dishes were inspired by what is fresh, local, and seasonal.
As an appetizer, our server recommended the Ahi Tuna Wontons, a personal favorite, so we took him up on his suggestion.
The Ahi tuna was sesame-crusted and served with pickled ginger and wasabi aioli. We had the choice of it being served on crispy wontons or chilled cucumbers, so we opted for both.
Both options were really tasty, but I especially loved the cucumber version. It was so light and refreshing, and the crisp cucumber complimented the tuna so well.
While enjoying our appetizer, Quinn lost interest in eating. We offered him various parts of the dish to try, but they were all a no-go. Playing with his milk was a lot more fun. But, he ended up drinking almost the entire thing, so that was a win! (We ordered him the Mac & Cheese from the kid’s menu, but he didn’t want any of it. Mal actually ended up eating the leftovers for dinner last night and said it was really tasty!)
I came prepared with a bag full of toys, so after he lost interest in his milk, I gave him one thing to play with at a time. This bought us some time to enjoy our entrees!
Mal ordered the Anything but Average Meatloaf, which was mozzarella-stuffed meatloaf with sautéed veggies, mashed potatoes, and BBQ gravy. Doesn’t that sound incredible? Mal thought so and lovvveeed it!
I ordered the Rosemary Skewered Scallops, but opted for spaghetti squash instead of Isreali couscous. Our server said the kitchen could customize just about any menu item to meet dietary restrictions or taste preferences and suggested the spaghetti squash. I love spaghetti squash, so I was immediately on board. And, boy, was it a delicious decision. The combination of flavors and textures was excellent. Mmm! I would definitely order this dish again!
We thought about ordering dessert (the Mexican Hot Fudge Pudding Cake caught our eye), but Quinn was getting antsy and we were pretty stuffed, so we passed. Next time for sure!
A huge THANK YOU to Not Your Average Joe’s for hosting us! We had a wonderful time!!
Question of the Day
Parents: What are your go-to strategies for entertaining a toddler while dining out?
Ours: Dining out when the little guy is hungry/interested in food + bringing a bunch of toys (current favorites: Squigz, Mega Bloks, crayons, alligator chew toy) and books (current favorites: Red Truck and Bird Alphabet Book).