We were recently invited to lunch at The American Joint because our website’s name makes us sound way more legitimate than we really are, which we would soon find out was something we had in common with the restaurant. Unfortunately, none of us actually went through the press release because reading is very much a white man’s game. From its name, “The American Joint” we assumed that it would serve up the best ribs we’d ever had and burgers so delicious they’d almost compensate for our unusual career choices bringing shame on our families. But as always, we were very much mistaken.
We were dismayed to discover that the American Joint isn’t just vegetarian, it’s not just Jain either, but also Vegan; an illustrious community whose signature dish is warm water. Fearing an ambush, we prepared for a tactical withdrawal only to be intercepted by a waiter who asked us if we were ready to place our order. When we asked him what was good, he said “everything is good”, then we asked what they’re known for, he said “everything we’re known for”, finally we asked him the specials, and he said “everything is special”. Rather than brutally assault the man, we decided to place our order and get it over with.
In Queso Emergency
We ordered the ‘In Queso Emergency’ because it was literally the first thing on the menu. It was made up of what the menu said were ‘signature house made corn tortilla chips’ and a little pan with what tasted like they put a block of Amul cheese in the microwave. The menu explicitly stated that the cheese dip had freshly diced tomato and chilli, but as you can probably tell from the picture, we couldn’t find any. As far as we could tell we’d just been served melted Amul and very average, bland nachos. As meanly as we’ve described this, it was actually our favourite item of the menu by virtue of the melted cheese.
The Yumosas were three (most probably) frozen samosas, with three totally different fillings. One of them was filled with ‘paneer n’ chillies’, the other with pizza sauce(what?) and the third with good old-fashioned aloo. They were presented to us in a giant tray, and while they weren’t bad by American Joint standards, they were definitely below average as samosas.
San Francisco Garlic Fries
After being subject to a series of disgusting items, we thought to ourselves, “let’s just call for a plate of garlic fries, there’s no way they can get that wrong.” Again, we were terribly mistaken. The fries weren’t just laced with a murderous amount of raw garlic, they were soggy, flaccid, and tasteless. We can say with absolutely certainty that they were homemade; but less like a cake baked by grandma and more like a pipe bomb.
Green Chilli, Watermelon, Coconut Fizz
The Green Chilli, Watermelon, Coconut Fizz was the only drink we had that wasn’t totally awful. It was watermelon juice, with actual chillies this time. It was a surprisingly refreshing break for everything else on the menu; a brief moment of purgatory in an otherwise unholy setting. We would definitely recommend it.
Our two-year streak of never sending back something we’ve ordered simply because we’re nice people ended that fateful day. Even a child can make a Mojito, much less a Virgin Mojito, don’t tell me we’re the first people to have trained our nephews. How experienced cooks can ruin what’s basically just nimbu paani and mint is completely beyond us. As expected, the American Joint served us something unfit for consumption, a stale, artificial, sickeningly sweet mixture of God only knows what.
Desperate to give the American Joint a chance to redeem itself and queasy from the Virgin Mojito, we decided to ask for a cold coffee, the simplest and most of approachable of all the coffees. When you think of the worst cold coffee you’ve ever had in your life, it was either too sweet, or not sweet enough, or maybe it was lukewarm and you found a dead fly in it. The American Joint threw us a complete curveball by substituting the milk in their cold coffee entirely with what tasted like fake, powdered whipped cream. What we got was a tall glass of thick, tasteless sludge that tasted faintly of coffee and definitely didn’t contain ice cream, because it wasn’t even cold.
The Decree: Writing a strong review about the American Joint makes us feel terrible, not as much as eating there did, but still. We still don’t know or understand why they made any of the choices they did, from the name of the restaurant right down to including Chilli Cheese Toast on their menu. People who say that good and bad are highly subjective terms clearly haven’t ever eaten at the American Joint. Also, they’re opening a new branch in Thane; whether you go there or not is entirely your business.