On the northern periphery of Edgewater Drive sits a College Park stalwart serving up unaffected, no-nonsense fare, though Jax 5th Avenue Deli & Ale House forgoes the grease for filling multilayer sandwiches. And after that big honkin' jar of gourmet pickles is plonked down on your table, how can you not sink your teeth into one of the 20-plus sandwiches available? The 5th Avenue ($7.95) is a vertically imposing, quintuple-deckered assemblage of rye, pumpernickel and whole wheat breads stacked with ham, turkey, roast beef and bacon.
The joint is decidedly more downtown than it is uptown, and though they do take pride in their sandwich-making abilities, Jax is more College Park's watering hole of choice than it is a traditional deli.
Most patrons make a beeline for the bar, where a voluminous selection of more than 200 ales, porters, lagers and stouts (36 of them on tap) flow freely. From local brews (good old Orange Blossom Pilsner) to Trinidadian stouts and Belgian fruit beers, this place packs enough suds to saturate the most serious sot. Guzzle 100 of these worldly beers and you're officially in the Mugger's Club, an elite society whose members receive a personalized mug and enjoy 25 cents off any beer for life.
Conversational barflies yak it up during happy hour between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. (another HH goes from 11 p.m.-2 a.m.), after which the jukebox jacks the decibel level up a few notches. Suburbanites, take note: A larger, snazzier Jax has opened in Lake Mary at 951 Greenwood Blvd.
(Jax 5th Avenue Deli & Ale House, 3400 Edgewater Drive, 407-999-8934)[email protected]