McAlister’s Deli 
For want of a shishkebab, 52L found themselves at a well-meaning Panera Lite.
We wouldn’t say we’re running out of places to eat, but here in Week 39, the pickings are getting slim. There are many, many good restaurants in the West End, but our rules and our food preferences can make picking a new place a challenge. Luckily, Adam used our favorite food site to find a new place, right in our back yard. We only live 2.4 miles apart, how did this Pita Palace go unnoticed between both of our houses?
Ah, now we get it.
Already committed to this area of town, we grabbed the nearest likely place for a quick lunch, McAlister’s Deli. I had never been in the place, which recently emerged from its “Shutdown Blockbusters Location” cocoon. Adam was familar with this one, and also with the franchise, his sister-in-law having worked at a defunct location.
To be perfectly honest, McAlister’s doesn’t play to our needs. Practicing low-carb, a place known for its sandwiches isn’t going to speak to us. How can we give it a fair shake? As you enter, you are struck with a strong sense of “Panera with a green color scheme“. But Panera has many low-carb options, including excellent salads. We both ordered a grilled chicken salad and hoped for the best. The results were a letdown, however. It’s easy to make a forgettable salad and these were two of them. They looked and tasted like salad bar salads, assembled by someone with little enthusaism or imagination (guilty as charged). Lettuce, carrot strips, tomatoes, and microwaved chicken with “grill marks”.
Given our eating peculiarities, we’re unlikely to ever go back to McAlister’s, but here’s why you should try it. First, It’s a sandwich place. Don’t be an Ethan/Adam, try a sandwich. And the place was agressively staffed with friendly & cheerful employees. When we arrived we might have been the 3rd and 4th patrons and there were a dozen employees behind the counter. By the time of our departuture, the restaurant was full and the cheerful staff was working hard to keep people happy. Top marks for that.
Lunch topics: 4HB, Debt Ceiling, Daily Show, Weight and Inches Tracking, Mac Gaming, Blizzard, tabletop gaming