The Best ‘Worst’ Deli
When the American Club arrives, you can’t help but sigh. From the slices of fresh Yalaha Bakery bread to the piled-high ham and turkey, crispy bacon, lettuce and tomato, and mayo and spicy mustard spread, the sandwich is just what any true deli lover hopes for with an order. And, in a word, it’s big.
“The American Club is our top-selling sandwich. There’s no cheese on it, but if you want, of course we can add it,” owner Debbie Joyce says with a smile. “We give people good quality and quantity for the price.”
Hardly what you would expect at the World’s Worst Deli. A quick read of the menu, however, reveals that the name, borrowed from Debbie’s family’s old eatery in Delaware, is intentionally tongue-in-cheek. No, this isn’t the world’s worst deli—far from it, which makes the name all the more humorous.
Take-home boxes are in high demand at this Tavares deli, which Debbie is only too thrilled to accommodate.
“It’s the biggest testament to our success,” she says.
The Traditional Stak is made-to-order for the ultra-hungry, with a choice of ham, turkey, or roast beef; provolone, Swiss, or American cheese; and all the toppings between three slices of freshly baked bread. The Jacki Stak Griller is another delicious choice, with its hickory bacon; melted Muenster, Swiss, and gouda cheeses; and sun-dried tomato.
Aside from the generous sandwiches, soups and salads are popular choices here. Debbie makes every soup from scratch, including the best-selling Sun-Dried Tomato Basil, which is available daily.
“We’ll also have two or three other soups available, usually a chowder or a chicken-based or beef-based soup to keep it interesting,” she says.
The Tri-Salad gives diners a taste of three different salads with scoops of chicken, egg, and tuna salad over fresh garden greens. All of the deli’s vegetables come directly from local farmers markets. Nothing, Debbie notes, comes out of a can here.
Once served, patrons can dine lakeside at the umbrella-shaded picnic tables or in the dining area inside. The restaurant is conveniently open six days a week.
“Our delivery business is really starting to take off,” adds Debbie, who opened the deli last October. “And we just instituted a club card. After you spendat least $6.95 eight times, the ninth meal is free.”
Yes, even the price is right at the World’s Worst Deli.
“We want to make sure that when people leave here, they feel they’ve had great value as well as great food,” says co-owner Rodger Kooser. “Everything is outside the norm of what you might expect at a sandwich shop.”
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World’s Worst Deli
124 Joanna Avenue, Tavares