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Family, Fine Dining on a Budget: Featuring Not Your Average Joe's and Salvatore's

By Kristen Bosse

Lets face it, finding quality dinner and drinks in the city and its surrounding towns for under thirty dollars can be a bit of a struggle these days. Sure you can walk into the North End and have some of the finest wine and the tastiest dishes, but you'll be charged an arm and a leg before you exit. Luckily there are a few restaurants in the Greater Boston area that have found a way to charge lower prices, while still offering food with fresh, quality ingredients. Not Your Averages Joe's and Salvatore's are two restaurants in Medford bringing delicious food and drinks to their customers, with affordable prices and unbeatable customer service.

Not Your Average Joe's

Since it first opened its doors in 1994, Not Your Average Joe's has been turning out reasonably priced, delicious food for residents in the Boston suburbs. Steve Silverstein, Founder of the restaurant chain, wanted to "create a unique neighborhood place, where people know your name, where the food and prices are great, where you feel special without dressing up". With over 15 locations surrounding Boston, I would say Steve did a great job at creating that neighborhood place he was aiming for.

Being that it is a neighborhood place, the menu itself has to cater to the tastes of the community. The Chef in Medford does this by creating classic dishes, as well as dishes for those want to branch out with some bold, unique flavors. Some examples of this is their classic grilled steak tips, or their Harvest pork tenderloin with maple Brussels sprouts and chipotle mashed sweet potatoes. Their use of fresh ingredients and bold seasoning is what allows them to craft affordable dishes that are never lacking in flavor.

So what exactly do the locals love about this place? Apart from the overall glowing reputation this restaurant has in the Boston area, we decided to take to Yelp! to find the most recent review for this particular location.

"Many chains feature foods that taste oddly exactly the same in every location no matter what, and usually not without a tinge of manufactured. My taste buds got no notice of prepackaged boring not-quite-there food. Again, not so artisanal/farm to table, where the seasonings take a back seat to the fresh quality of the ingredients, but also not overly salty, nothing overdone or underdone, and some flavor, too. Hooray!"

Looks like NYAJ is known for bulldozing the idea that all chain restaurants serve bland, pre-packaged dishes to their customers. With dishes like "Nacho Average Nachos" with chipotle braised chicken and avocado corn salsa, or their tempura fried tuna sushi roll with Harissa aioli, there is always something flavorful and made from scratch to satisfy your appetite. Don't take our word for it. Go try it!

Salvatore's Restaurant

If you are in search of high-quality Italian food without travelling all the way to the North End, Salvatore's really is your best bet. With 5 locations around the city, this chain restaurant has grown to become Greater Boston's favorite neighborhood, family Italian restaurant. Not only that, but the Chef and Owner together have made sure that their prices stay low, giving them another leg up on Boston's Little Italy locations. Diners can come enjoy an authentic, affordable Italian meal in a homey, warm environment.

Salvatore's restaurant was actually created by Sal Lupoli, known for the famous Sal's Pizza Empire. However, unlike his well-known pizza shops, the Salvatore's chain has a warm ambience reminiscent of the Lupoli family's Italian roots. Peter Ackman, Vice President of Salvatore's restaurants was kind enough to share the Lupoli philosophy with us.

"Sal believes that when you come dine with us, you become part of our family. Our commitment to each of our family members and making every experience memorable is our sole desire."

Salvatore's quality standards combined with unbeatable value is what makes their restaurants some of the most popular Italian spots in the city. The Chef has created an amazing menu full of dishes such as Butternut Squash Ravioli, Veal Marsala, and even Pappardelle Abruzzese with pancetta, cherry tomatoes, and freshly grated parmesan cheese- all under twenty dollars! Sharing a meal with your family at Salvatore's is sure to be a great experience that is more than just the cuisine.

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Kristen has written impressive content including press releases and feature stories...

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