Jason’s Deli: 11th & Main

 Posted by at 10:05 pm
Jun 212007

I know I know, it’s a chain. But it’s just where I happened to eat lunch today. I’ve actually never eaten at Jason’s because I;ve never lived in a place where one existed. I think it’s a southern chain mostly, and you can see traces of this in the menu. Well, you can actually see traces of every type of cuisine on the menu. They have muffalettas, po’ boys, pasta dishes, deli classics like the reuben, and tex-mex inflected sandwiches. So i guess they cop from everybody.

When i started working downtown and expressed my dismay at the lack of quality eateries, everyone told me to go to Jason’s. So about 6 months ago i walked over there, saw what it looked like, and immediately left for some food court pizza (ick). You see, this place just reeks of carefully crafted, corporate chaos (how ’bout that alliteration) as a kind of pathetic homage to ‘real’ delis in places like NYC or wherever. You order at a long counter while people wait impatiently behind you. By the time you wait in line to pay, your food is pretty much ready at the end of the counter. Fairly efficient, but also kind of weird. There’s about 600 people who work there, running around like crazy, a bunch of jazzy signs everywhere, and a sea of boring people in the dining area.

Because it was fairly crowded I ordered the first thing that looked good: a grilled chicken salad. Sounds fine right? I should have read more carefully. This veritable gem of a salad comes with a mound of shredded yellow cheddar cheese, black olives, half-ripe cherry tomatoes, and a scoop of guacamole on top. Who comes up with this crap? Was he drunk? Now I realize I’m a bit of a snob sometimes, but this is just uncool. Seriously folks, the chicken salads are better at Subway.

Once i sat down i realized why Jason’s is so popular, apart from the relative comfort it gives to white suburbans who work in the big city: Free soft serve ice cream. I never saw so many people eating ice cream in one place. My favorite was a rather large woman wearing a totally kick ass pink seersucker suit. Pink! Hope she was careful with the ice cream.

So Jason’s is out of my system but I was not overly impressed. My irrepressible desire to avoid people puts jason’s pretty low on my list. But I’ll go back someday when I’m in a better mood and try something else, like a sandwich for chrissakes. You see I don’t always make good choices, in food or in life.

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