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Oct 20, 2009 05:52 AM

Max's Delicatessen revisited -- Birmingham

Had the pleasure of re-visiting Max's Delicatessen in the Colonnade Shops in Birmingham last night. I found the experience met or surpassed our first time there.

We were a group of 7, 3 kids and 4 adults.

To start, we selected homemade cheese blintzes, chopped chicken liver, and two soups, beef and barley and a combo soup of matzoh ball and chicken noodle. They were short on blintzes so the owner gave us some potato knishes in addition. We also ordered a sampler platter of meats that included corned beef, turkey, and kosher salami.

Everything was outstanding, except it was reported that the combo soup was lacking salt.

The chicken liver was so divine, even my 10-year old (a Chowhound in training) eagerly ate much of it. The knishes were bland until dressed with the gravy that accompanied them. This transformed them from something "bleh" to something "wow!"

The meats were as expected, with the standout again being the turkey. The owner explained to me that he uses free-range turkey with no preservatives to prepare Max's turkey. Whatever he does, the result is outstanding. I would never think that at a Jewish-style deli, the show-stopper would be roasted turkey, but that is the case here.

Cheese blintzes got good reviews but I don't really care for them, so I didn't partake.

I should mention the pickles that are placed on the table... really garlicky pickled green tomatoes, a nice dill pickle, but the standout if the "new pickle," one of my favorites, and I am unaware of anyplace else to get them in Alabama.

Service was good considering they were totally full at about 7:30 on Sunday night. It's nice that the owner is present and active in running the service.

Atmosphere is pretty non-existent. This ain't fine dining... it's a deli!

All in all, Max's is great for what it is... a no-frills deli serving very high quality deli food with an owner who is on premises and cares about his product.

I think my wife said it best after we left... her comment was "Why don't we eat there more often?" I think that in the future, we will.

Max's Delicatessen
3431 Colonnade Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35243

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  1. glad to hear the report- hope to get by Max's soon!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: hlsess

      My husband and I tried out Max's Deli last night. Oh boy, it was a delight!

      The chicken stock used in the Matzo ball soup was full bodied and absolutely devine. It reminded me of the slow simmered chicken soup base my grandmother used to make for her soups.

      The Ruben sandwich was on grilled rye bread. The ratio of meat to sauerkraut to dressing was such to let the meat be the star of the sandwich. The corned beef was shaved thin and a good inch or more thick on the sandwich.

      If someone could fall in love with a sandwich,, yeah, it was that good.

      We tried the knish as well. My husband loves anything with mashed potatoes, and this ranked high with him. The roast beef gravy served on the side with the knish is the same they use on their roast beef dinner plates. Thick and rich with savory bits of roast beef debris througout the gravy, it tasted slow cooked and made with lots of TLC.

      Our server was bright, cheerful, and very helpful with information regarding the menu items, and explaining how the items were cooked. Her recommendation of the knish was spot on.

      Wish we'd made the trip over to Max's sooner! The Colonnade is a mile from where we live, and only now, as we prepare to move do we go to Max's. I think it'll be worth the drive to visit Max's once we're relocated in Alabaster.

    2. I eat here very regularly, as it is very close to my office. I have tried MANY of the menu items and have never been disappointed. The hot dogs are stellar, the burgers simply amazing. My usual is the reuben, and Max's has the perfect ratio of meat to kraut and dressing.

      Steve Dubrinsky is the owner, and is an all-around standout; he never hesitates to check on every table, and is very social with his customers (add Max's Delicatessen on FB to see what I am talking about).

      I might have to eat Max's tomorrow!

      Max's Delicatessen
      3431 Colonnade Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35243

      1. Love the liver, pastrami and tomato sandwich. And I think it's the only place in town where you can actually get a Chicago-style hot dog with the hot peppers and tomatoes and everything. It is a good thing this is not closer to our house because we would eat it way too much!