Monday, August 19, 2013

Episode XVIII: Jason's Deli (ATL)

Tamales or a Reuben? My tamales were hot out of the microwave and I was heading back to my desk, when my co-workers asked me to come along to Jason’s. I knew they had a Reuben and it was Monday… What is more depressing than having lunch at your desk, alone, on a Monday? So the tamales went back in the office fridge and I was off to Jason’s with the crew.

Reuben THE Great
“1/2 pound of hot corned beef or pastrami, Swiss, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, grilled on rye.”

This thing looks like your grandfather’s Reuben.


Appearance – (4.3/5.0)
Chips in the middle, that’s new. I like the ends of the sandwich facing out like that. You can tell the selling point in the description is that there is so much meat. You might as well show it off. Look at the subtle layer of color that the Russian dressing gives on the underside of the top bread. It looks like they coordinated that with the color of the toothpick. There is no way that toothpick penetrates the entire sandwich. If it had at least been functional I would have looked the other way, but the damn toothpicks strike again.




Quality Of Ingredients – (4.1/5.0)
This is tough because the corned beef was excellent, [Here are some of the words MS Word suggested I could use instead of Excellent: Outstanding, Brilliant, Exceptional, First-Rate, Poor (Antonym)] but the sauerkraut was not. First the beef. It was very tender and there was plenty of it. It was seasoned right and just tasted like good corned beef. I wanted to go back in the kitchen and take some with me to make corned beef hash with eggs for breakfast the next morning. The sauerkraut had a nice texture, very light and fluffy, but it was too…sour. This is the main reason people tell me they would not order a Reuben, the sauerkraut. Sauerkraut does not have to be that strong to taste good. Unfortunately, there was lots of it.


Price – (3.9/5.0)
This was $6.89 for the “lighter portion”. I would say it was an ok value. You figure the corned beef had to be the most expensive thing on the plate and they piled that on, but the potato chips, which are the cheapest, they kind of skimped on.


Je Ne Sais Quoi – (3.7/5.0)
The outward facing presentation carries over into this category but the potato chips really took the wind out of my sails. It seems like they put so much time and effort into the sandwich, the least they could do is not make the side look depressing. The chips are a filler and look lost on the plate.


Taste – (8.1/10.0)
The whole was less than the parts for this Reuben. There is more to a Reuben than just the corned beef. Maybe they thought that if they piled it up real high then the other stuff would not matter. This is not the case. Some bites were all corned beef. Despite the bright layer of visible Russian dressing, you could not taste it. Same thing with the Swiss. I had to take apart the Reuben to make sure there was cheese in there. Once I found the Swiss, it did taste good. I am trying to remember anything about the rye and nothing comes to mind. Some folks have asked me if I take notes when I go. I don’t. It looks like maybe I should.



Overall – (24.1/30.0)
This was your grandfather’s Reuben. When you hear old folks talk about Reubens, this is what they have in mind. It is a heaping pile of warm corned beef and enough sauerkraut to match it. I have been critical of some places for not respecting the Reuben enough. I think Jason’s might respect it too much. It is ok to throw a bit more cheese on there, or perhaps find a way to get more dressing in there too. You can have fun with it. Would I order it again? Probably not. This is not to say it was bad, but there are just so many other good looking things at this place. The opportunity cost would be too high to order this Reuben again, however I stand by my decision to save the tamales for another day.

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