Friday, March 16, 2007

Lake Mary

On 5/21/07, the location of a Deli and Ale house is opening inside my "The Crossings" cooperative development in Lake Mary. It is the only restaurant located in my community association, and across the street from my private residential owners community of Hidden Village. I did not write the following review. Many of the reviews are similar, as you can see by clicking on the hyperlinks, including the title line.

The full name of Jax is actually "Jax Fifth Avenue Deli and Ale House". The reason I mention this is because that description is exactly what it is. It functions perfectly as both a deli and an ale house. The food at Jax is incredible. They offer a huge selection ranging from sandwiches to wraps to pizzas. The sandwiches and wraps are a good size, always fresh, and in many cases have an extra touch of something different that you won't find anywhere else. The pizzas are also freshly made, and are just the right size for one person. And of course, everything on the menu can be changed according to your taste.

The only problem with the food that I noticed is the fact that all sandwiches and wraps come with chips, and there really isn't anything available to replace them with, such as french fries. This is hardly a major problem though, as it is somewhat expected in a deli. Not to mention the fact that you'll probably be too full after eating the sandwich to touch the chips anyway.

The "Ale House" part of the name is also well-deserved. With 250+ refrigerated beers from all over the world available, you have plenty of options. In fact, the beer selection puts any other "ale house" that I have seen to shame. And if the one you choose is available but hasn't been refrigerated yet, they will be happy to chill it for you.

Which brings me to the service. The staff always works well together. They are fast, I've never seen them get an order wrong, and they really make you feel at home. If you don't know what beer to get, tell the bartender what you like and they'll put something in front of you that you have never seen before, and will likely beat the pants off of what used to be your favorite beer. The price is right, too -- menu items all range from $5 - $7, with beers costing as much (and sometimes less) than the 6 choices you get at most places.

The music that plays through the overhead speakers is loud enough to hear, but quiet enough to allow you to hear the person across the table, without them raising their voices. There is plenty of seating, both at tables and at the bar. There is also outdoor seating, if it's a nice night or if you're a smoker (there is no smoking inside now, since the indoor smoking law took effect). Every time I have been to Jax, it has been immaculate. The bathrooms are always clean.

One last thing that definitely deserves mention: the Around the World Beer Club. If you are interested in trying new things, this is a great way to experience all sorts of different types of beer. You can grab a beer list from the bar and start checking off beers as you drink them. After you have tried 100 different beers, you get a mug with anything you want engraved on it. They hang it over the bar, and it's your own personal mug from that day forward. Sure, it's nothing incredible -- but it's the journey, not the destination, right? Plus you get a discount on all beers in the future. I'll offer one final proof of the excellence of Jax: I was the 140Th person to get my mug, and there are hundreds of unfinished beer lists on file. That's a lot of repeat customers. 407-999-8934

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