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3 of the bros and a special guest went to the Deli at the Publix grocery store in Homewood to have lunch this week. The Publix Deli has plenty of sandwiches to choose from and also offers deli trays and specialty cheeses if you’re super rich. The BLC grabbed sandwichs from the deli and headed to Vulcan Park to eat them.

SPECIAL BLC GUEST BROOKE: This week I had the privilege of joining the BLC for lunch. As only the second guest ever, I felt kind of special. We grabbed lunch from the Publix Deli at noon and made our way to Vulcan Park to eat.

I didn’t even know that the Deli at Publix was a thing. I mean, I knew you could buy meats and cheeses and breads, but I didn’t know that you could get them put together in sandwich form. (Well in my case, wrap).

I’m a sucker for anything in a tortilla shell, so if I have the option to make it a wrap, I do. I chose the turkey wrap and paid the extra .49 for Boar’s Head meat and cheese. I’m not sure if the .49 was “worth it” because I didn’t have the other choice to compare it to, but it was yummy, so I’ll leave it at that. I was able to get a wheat tortilla, that was also a plus, and the swiss cheese had just the right amount of funk to it. It was “build-your-own” style, like Subway, and I like that. It
was also BIG. I paid $8.06 for my wrap, chips, and a fountain drink. I finished my wrap, but I wasn’t able to eat all of my chips that came with it.

The only thing that bugged me was waiting in line to order, waiting in line to have your sandwich made, then walking to the registers to wait in line to pay for it. I’m a pretty patient person though, and I don’t think any of the wait times were unreasonable. I would have liked more chip options too, only Baked Lays and a brand of kettle cooked chips were offered. They have an option to call or fax your order in, so if you’re in a hurry, you might want to do that. OVERALL BRO RATING3.5 out of 5 BROS

Greg: I selected the Publix deli because I like a good sandwich. We have been to a few delis on the BLC tour, and for the most part, quality of ingredients is what separates the restaurants (for me anyways). Publix uses Boars Head meat and the quality is much higher than you would find at a Subway, or even Fat Sam’s. We arrived at noon and there weren’t too many people in front of me to order. I got the whole size Ultimate Club on wheat. This sandwich features ham, turkey, and roast beef on fresh baked bread. I got some Baked Lays, Drink, and a pack or Oreo’s while still coming out under $10.  My only real complaint with Publix is them not offering a place to sit and eat. They have many offerings, from the deli to the hot foods (including fried chicken), that they should have a few tables set up inside to enjoy the food. Being on Green Springs, we had a few options to eat.  We went to Vulcan and ate over looking the city. While this was lovely, it isn’t really fair to compute that factor into the review.

The sandwich was excellent, with the perfect amount of meat and cheese. The bread was fresh as we’re the veggies. While a simple sandwich like this isn’t hard to mess up if you have the proper ingredients, I was still appreciative that it was constructed correctly. The staff at the store was very courteous. I am going to take off a whole bro due to the lack of a dining area, as that is a key component to a restaurant. Other than that, no complaints. I believe Publix makes one of (if not the best) the finest deli sandwiches in Birmingham. Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Bros

Brad:  As someone who works from home, and, who for most of his adult (*ahem*) life has lived a rather thrifty lifestyle, I have learned to live on sandwiches. I’m a big fan. I have eaten 5 sandwiches a week for the better part of a decade, (which is is part of the reason I enjoyed “Bad Santa” so much [does anyone get this reference… granny?]) so I was pumped to hit Publix Deli for this week’s BLC.

The nation’s largest restaurant chain (by number of units) is Subway. They have been on a marketing kick pushing their food as healthy and lite. And, because Olympians have been paid to say they eat it, the sheep wander in daily, mindlessly bray their order to the “sandwich artist” behind the counter, then shove it down their gullet thinking they have achieved something because they didn’t need to wipe their greasy fingers on their khakis. Friends, let me tell you that when you eat at Subway, you don’t eat fresh. You eat shit. The Publix Deli is set up the same way as Subway, but there’s a catch: Publix Deli is amazing! You don’t get three slices of meat tucked between three pounds of bread and brown lettuce. You get a legitimate, fresh baked white, wheat or multigrain roll that DOESN’T look like someone sat on it. You can pick and choose your meats and veggies all the same. The bread is delicious, you get more meat and the veggies come straight from Publix produce department. You can also get a footlong combo for $7.50. I have been a veteran of the Publix deli for many years, and I hope many more folks will realize what a terrific value it is in terms of cost and taste. There is absolutely no comparison and I would be curious if there is anyone out there who has eaten a Publix sandwich that preferred Subway.  OVERALL RATING 4.5 out of 5 BROS

Blake:  Here is an unpopular opinion: Publix Deli is overrated. Now, I’m not saying they can’t make a perfectly adequate and tasty sandwich, but it isn’t an oasis. I had the half buffalo chicken sub with pepper jack, a little horseradish and a touch of oil and vinegar. Topped it off with some sour cream and onion chips and a drink for around $8. We had nice conversation with our guest, Brooke, in the shadow of Vulcan on a hot summer day. The setting was terrific, as was the company. But bros, come on. It’s just a sandwich. If it were cheap, I’d get it. But I can get a much better sandwich at any of the following for the same price or less:

  • Firehouse Subs
  • Momma Goldberg’s (and I can get Cool Ranch nachos with jalapenos)
  • Kool Korner
  • Diplomat Deli
  • Fat Sam’s
  • Max’s Deli

And I’m not sure I’m opposed to including Gilchrist’s Soda Fountain or Jimmy John’s on the list. Heck, I’ll do you one better for shock and awe: Western Supermarket, mostly on account of hot dog bar. LOTS of places make sandwiches. If Publix is going to rightly sit on this pedestal that people place them on, they need to make equal or better quality sandwiches than everyone else for less money. You’re a supermarket, and not even an elite supermarket anymore. Value should be the priority, and it is in this review. Everyone loves the Publix Deli. I realize I am in the minority. And I have no complaints with the product alone. It’s a perfectly tasty and filling sandwich. But it’s no less expensive than anywhere else and there is no indoor seating, which is problematic for me because I hate eating outside unless conditions are perfect. Conditions were not perfect on this Alabama summer day. I would return to the Publix Deli for a sandwich if I was within one mile of a Publix and nothing around it looked good. OVERALL RATING 2.5 out of 5 BROS