Delis usually conjure the scene of a large, pot-bellied, mustachioed man, clad in a white apron, handing sliced meats and cheeses over a counter that runs the length of the business.
However, today these sorts of delis seem to exclusively occupy Kroger, Publix and the like. Otherwise, delis have become more or less synonymous with sandwich shops like Chappy’s, McAlister’s and Auburn’s most famous — Momma Goldberg’s.
J.O.E.S. Deli and Grill sits on the corner of North Dean Road and East Glenn Avenue. It is the newest addition to the area’s roster of delicatessens.
Opened last fall by brothers Mike and Tom, J.O.E.S. continues the family history of delis. Even the restaurant’s name serves as a familial tribute honoring both the brothers’ father while also being an acronym for the brothers’ children.
Once inside, a massive chalkboard with the entire menu written on it greets you. Large, rustic, wooden booths line the wall contrasting the sleek, contemporary chairs covered in a bright orange that fills the rest of the restaurant.
It was one of these brothers who took my order after walking me through the menu and answering my questions with a certain enthusiasm in his voice. He didn’t have a mustache or a white apron, but it was a welcoming gesture for my first time.
J.O.E.S.’ main offerings are sandwiches, which lie divided into two categories on the menu — deli style and grilled. Deli sandwiches include staples such as the muffuletta, cordon bleu,
The California Dream consists of turkey breast, swiss, avocado, lettuce,
The Ba Ba Beefy is chocked with corned beef, roast beef, pastrami, swiss and mustard.
The Cowboy Burger adds red onion, barbecue
The Babe combines marinated pork roast, grilled peppers, onions, provolone, lettuce,
Ignoring the function of the sandwich, J.O.E.S.’ offers something greater than Auburn’s chain delis. Here, the sandwiches have a life to them, making sandwiches from Chappy’s or McAllister’s seem sterile.
Kettle chips and a pickle are served with each sandwich. If you decide to “upgrade” your side, you can choose pasta salad, tortellini salad, potato salad or fresh fruit.
Beyond sandwiches, J.O.E.S. offers soups,
Painted onto the far wall is a sort of history of J.O.E.S beginning with the brothers working in their parents’ deli.
After mentioning Mike’s and Tom’s children, it ends with a wish that your visit “fills your belly, lightens your heart and puts a smile on your face.”
Overall, I give this deli a four out of five.