You Gotta Eat: Jason's Deli - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

You Gotta Eat: Jason's Deli

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EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- On the recommendation of a co-worker I visited Jason's Deli in East Peoria. It's part of a nationwide chain.

The East Peoria franchise opened in September and has already become a busy spot.

"At 11 o'clock we're getting a rush," said Nick Campbell, manager of the Jason's Deli in East Peoria. "It's lunch time here. Caterpillar gets off at 11 o'clock, all of the local businesses. It's busy right from the get go."

Founded in 1976 with a single restaurant in Beaumont, Texas, Jason's tries to give each of its 250 stores a local flavor.

"We (hire) a local photographer who comes in and takes pictures of the area just to get that feel of home and community," said Campbell.

Of course, the food is the big picture. And I do mean big. The sandwiches at Jason's Deli are huge. And there's a salad bar that will satisfy any appetite.

I had the Manager's Special. Its a half-sandwich with chips and soup. Mine was a bowl of thick, creamy pot pie soup.

My Reuben must have been three inches think. It's one of Jason's most popular sandwiches. One bite and immediately knew why. The corned beef was fresh and juicy. And the pot pie soup was a meal in itself.

I topped it off with a slice of cappuccino coffee cake.

With an iced tea, my bill was right around $15.

Jason's Deli opens every day at 10 a.m. There's also one in Bloomington on Veteran's Parkway.

I thought the food was outstanding. But if you're still not convinced there's also free ice cream.
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