Hungry for a taste of New York-style deli food courtesy of a towering Reuben sandwich filled with classic ingredients inside a dark rye bun? Maybe a bowl of gourmet mac and cheese loaded with brisket or “sweet and sassy” sliders so delicious you can’t eat just two are to your liking. Unbelievably, a restaurant with the word “deli” at the end of its name can adequately quell all three sets of cravings.
With locations in Flowood and Madison, Schlotzsky’s Deli is not your average, run-of-the-mill deli offering boring sandwiches and ho-hum salads. When the first Jackson-area location opened in Flowood years ago, I was a frequent customer, and while I loved everything on the menu, always gravitated to my favorite, the classic French dip.
However, it had fallen off my food radar until recently when a friend from out-of-state mentioned she and her husband's special trip to Schlotzsky’s in Flowood enroute to the airport. Now residents of Florida, there’s not a Scholtzky’s near their home, so they stop and get their Scholtzky’s fix whenever they’re in Mississippi. After hearing their story, I decided it was time to pay a return visit to the restaurant with the eclectic menu.
At Schlotzsky’s, you can choose from among 24 – yes, 24 –different sandwiches, including the aforementioned Reuben. The sandwich is piled high with either pastrami or corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing, served on New York-style rye bread. Other sandwiches are categorized as either a specialty, signature, or classic, but trust me, you’ll love them all.
In the specialty category, there’s my favorite: the French dip ($7.99) – a massive arrangement of roast beef with provolone and Swiss cheeses and caramelized onions served on a soft pretzel roll with au jus sauce for dipping.
Others in the $7.99 range include bacon-grilled cheese, Sicilian, Tuscan, Caprese, chicken or beef bacon smoke cheesy, and The Rancher. It’s composed of hickory-smoked brisket with mozzarella, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, roasted red peppers, pickled jalapeño, lettuce, salsa verde, and chipotle mayonnaise. Served on a toasted house-made jalapeño cheese bun, it’s a sandwich worth trying.
Signature sandwiches include the deluxe or turkey original style, turkey bacon club, fiesta chicken, turkey and guacamole, roast beef and cheese, Albuquerque turkey, pastrami and Swiss, chipotle chicken, and, as mentioned, Reuben with either pastrami or corned beef.
And finally, classic sandwiches that have withstood the test of time include The Original, filled with lean smoked ham with a variety of salamis, cheeses, and sliced vegetables on a toasted sourdough bun. Other classics are ham and cheese, smoked turkey breast, fresh veggie, and the cheese original. Most of the sandwiches are in the $5 to $6 for a small; $6 to $7 for a medium, and $8 to $12 for a large.
In the mood for something a little different? Try an order of sliders ($4 to $6 range for 2 or 4). Made with hickory-smoked brisket or roast beef topped with cheeses and vegetables, each selection is worth a try. There’s the “sweet and sassy,” made with brisket, provolone cheese, jalapeno, apricot jam, and apricot cream cheese on Hawaiian sweet bread, it’s a little bite of heaven on plate. Other varieties include the aloha brisket, chipotle Angus, and mix ‘n match combo.
If you’re a mac and cheese lover, you’ve come to the right place. However, don’t expect the made-from-the-box version. The brisketeer, smoky brisketeer, shrimply the best, and poultry in motion varieties ($7.99) are self-explanatory in that the featured ingredients are baked into savory mac and cheese for a delightful take on the old-school favorite.
Other menu delights are 10-inch gourmet pizzas ($6.99), served up with pepperoni and double cheese, grilled chicken and pesto, double cheese, barbecue chicken and jalapeno, combination, and fresh veggies.
Or, try artisan flatbreads ($6.49 to $7.99) in varieties like California chicken and avocado, Margherita, chipotle shrimp, Italian shrimp, and brisket and spicy brisket.
Lighter items include salads ($8 range) of fresh kale and grilled chicken, cranberry, apple pecan and chicken, Southwestern chicken, and a variety of meat-filled Caesar and Cobb versions, as well as soups ($4.49) like loaded baked potato and chicken tortilla.
No visit to Schlotzsky’s is complete without a side of the restaurant’s famous potato chips. In flavors like cracked black pepper, jalapeño, and barbecue, they’re the perfect accompaniment to any meal.
Running a close second in popularity to the chips are Cinnabon cinnamon rolls and a variety of sweet treats made from the delectable rolls. You can also select one – or more – from a list of gourmet cookies.
In addition to in-store dining and takeout food, Schlotzsky’s offers a catering menu that includes large meat and sandwich trays, desserts and side dishes. The restaurant can also supply boxed lunches.
Schlotzsky’s in Flowood is located at 2451 Lakeland Drive. The Madison location is located at 205 Colony Way. Open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.