I have to thank Urbanspoon for this one. We were headed to the Lake Norman, North Carolina area to spend the night with friends before continuing on to St. Augustine for a New Year’s vacation. I checked the Urbanspoon app on my iPhone for Mooresville and Joel’s was the top rated restaurant. The phone makes it very easy to obtain directions from my current location so we had no trouble finding it, just a few minutes off Interstate 77.
Previously, we have enjoyed several delicious meals at nearby Thai Lanna but I was up for exploring this evening. There are a lot of eateries off the exits in the vacinity. We have also frequented Monterrey Mexican Restaurant on previous trips – a favorite for my kids. I could eat Asian food practically every day so when Joel’s popped up on my screen, I needn’t look any further. My mind was made up.
According to their menu, Joel was born and raised in the Lake Norman area. The restaurant has been locally owned and operated since 2001.
The parking lot was pretty full (a good sign) but we were able to snag a table for two without waiting more than a couple minutes. To say Joel’s has an extensive menu is an understatement. So many different dishes, appetizers and sushi rolls are available, we had to choose a few items.
Beer price is a hot button issue with Ron. I can’t tell you the number of times he has divided the price of a keg into 12, 16 or 22-ounce portions to compare to the price a restaurant is charging him for a Bud Light draft. It’s a waste of time to talk to him about overhead, convenience, and such. He won’t listen to reason. Tonight, it was late (around 9 pm), I was starving, already tired of riding in the car, and I didn’t want to deal with his irrational whining. Thank goodness Joel didn’t try to price-gouge Ron. (Yes, he’s also tried to compare outrageous beer prices with price-gouging. Don’t you want to eat out with him sometime?) Our beers were cold, refreshing and only $2.25.
We would be sharing the Zeffy roll – a sushi roll comprised of tuna with hot chili oil and sesame oil, topped with tempura fried tilapia and crab roe, drizzled with spicy sauce. This is a large roll. For $9.95, it was well worth it. The Zeffy has to be the most delicious thing I have ever ordered from a sushi menu. All the flavors worked well together, there were different textures and it had a good amount of heat. I really loved it. This meal was getting off to a fantastic start!
It was one of those dishes where I involuntarily made all kinds of pleasurable eating noises: you know, “ummmm….”, “oooohhhhh….”, etc. We planned to split the Zeffy, but I guess Ron got full and quit on his half. None of that was going to waste on my watch. After I finished my entree, I went back to the roll to polish it off with another couple “Yummmmmmms”.
For my entree, I chose the Bengal Spicy Chicken Curry – noted on the menu as a best seller – for only &7.95. The curry was served in a dish with plenty of creamy sauce. I received a generous portion of tender chicken breast chunks and large pieces of onion and bell pepper cooked perfectly to retain crispness. Rice was served alongside pressed into a cute sphere shape.
Again, my food was delicious, generous and a great value. I am a vegetable lover, so the only improvement I might offer would be some additional veggies or even more variety of veggies, but there was so much chicken, I could barely eat it all. And by this time, Ron is probably wishing I would shut up with the moaning.
The service at Joel’s was casual but prompt. The atmosphere was suitable for a date, a group of friends or a family. Even with two beers each our total tab came in under $40.
Joel’s Asian Grill is worth planning your drive down I-77 so that you approach Mooresville near meal time. I can’t wait to go back again. I have been thinking about that Zeffy roll ever since! FOUR FORKS.Joel’s Asian Grill and Sushi 110A Marketplace Avenue Mooresville, NC 28117 704-660-1617