Sunday, May 8, 2011
260 West Main Street
Update 7/12: Sax Deli has moved down the street to the City Square shopping center on West Main Street. They tell us they have much more room now, which they have needed for some time.
Restaurant simplicity: attention to every ingredient and attention to every customer. If you stay focused it’s a pretty good business model and one that seems to be working for Sax Deli in Hendersonville. It’s in a location that is easy to overlook. The mini strip mall is tucked away, just off of Main Street, and has hosted a revolving door of eateries. Make a point of finding it- Sax Deli knows how to do sandwiches.
The house made corned beef is super-tender and pairs well with the house made Russian dressing for the Sax Reuben. Provence marble-rye bread, Swiss cheese and quality sauerkraut are all pressed just right into an excellent sandwich. The hot brown Panini is more sandwich than the traditional Kentucky creation. It works, thanks to crunchy bacon, a light parmesan cheese spread and smoked turkey. The wheat berry bread is also well pressed for a warm consistency. The Sax Burger is a thick 1/3 pound patty on a brioche-style bun. It’s a simple, juicy backyard burger in the finest tradition.
Sides get attention at Sax as well. The baked beans are exceptional and full of complex spice and what seems to be brown sugar. The French onion soup is so loaded with bread and cheese that it is almost hard to call a soup, and yet it has a deep, rich flavor, quite frankly surprising for a deli. The rough-cut thin and crispy French fries come in a paper bag and are a highlight of any visit. Even Cole slaw is a bit different than what you might expect: light and with a subtle tang.
Veggie Eater: Given the fact that the menu has really only one veggie sandwich item, aptly named the Veggie Sandwich, I opted for this. It is chock full of lettuce, cukes, avocado, tomatoes, onions, and provolone. The hearty wheatberry bread is then smeared lightly with a chipotle spread. Pair this with the hand cut fries and you have a fabulous, simple lunch. I’m pretty sure if you wanted to alter an existing meat sub on the menu to make it a veggie version that they would be happy to accommodate. A few more veggie menu items or a make your own option would make this more veggie friendly.
Meat Eater: Service is welcoming, attentive and fast. The little place has only six tables and take-out is a big part of the business. Still, it’s kind of fun eating with a bustling lunch service going on all around you. Okay, now for my only complaint: Sax Deli has perhaps one of the worst restaurant websites I have ever witnessed. Please do not visit the website before you visit the restaurant- the pictures of the food are some generic pictures an amateur web designer found online. It does not do the business justice in the least. Take the trip to Hendersonville and get a sandwich. The rest will speak for itself.
We paid $16 with tax on a lunch visit for two. I paid $10 on one solo lunch and $7 on another solo visit.