Editor's note: This is a weekly Pantagraph series featuring local restaurants and bars. Know someone we should talk to? Email email@example.com.
NORMAL — Jason's Deli at 321 S. Veterans Parkway is this week's pick for restaurant of the week.
Jason's Deli is a privately owned company started by Joe Tortorice in 1976 in Beaumont, Texas. The Normal location opened in 2014 and there are more than 254 stores across the country.
"I think people enjoy the hospitality and the environment," said managing partner Wesley Donovan. "Our foundation was built on servant leadership. It is the principles that we improve the lives of others through nourishment of the body, mind, heart and spirit."
The rueben and the club royal sandwiches are the deli's most popular items. They also offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options as well as potatoes, pasta, salads, soups and other sandwiches.
Donovan thinks that the salad bar and their large portions set them apart from other local restaurants.
"A self-serve buffet is hard to find after the pandemic," Donovan said. "We have taken proper precautions to provide a self-service salad bar that offers a huge variety of ingredients. We serve the highest quality ingredients in your foods that don't offer any MSG, artificial coloring and no trans fats."
All of the vegetables and recipes in the store are hand cut each morning by employees. Meats and cheeses are sliced each morning. They make about 12-13 recipes every day, including some made by the founder and his family.
"We create a family culture within our staff that is hard to find in the industry these days," Donovan said. "With everyone being short-handed we understand that there is still a need to provide food to the community and through struggles we won't let hospitality take a seat."
"My favorite part is interacting with the community," Donovan said. "Being a managing partner allows me to really connect with the community through partnerships and advertising. We love connecting with our customers and will often find us out at a table talking with them about their day."
Jason's Deli is open 10 am.-10 p.m. Monday through Sunday and offers dine-in, drive-thru, pickup and no-contact delivery service options.
Contact Olivia Jacobs at (309)-820-3352. Follow on Twitter: olivia___Jacobs.
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