Jason's Deli Oak Brook, Illinois

Have you heard of Jason's Deli?  Surprisingly enough, it is the fastest growing chain restaurant in America.    They just opened one near our house on York Street in Oak Brook.  Funny location for now - being too far away from the Oak Brook Mall traffic - but it is 300 yards away from the under-construction Elmhurst Hospital.  I'm guessing that they're betting on hospital traffic plus whatever business lunches are taking place in the area.

We went to the Oak Brook location last week.  We'd previously lunched at their Oak Lawn restaurant.
The place is kind of like Panera without the focus on the bread and baked goods.  I took the photo above at the Oak Brook location. The menu is loaded with choices and it is somewhat intimidating.  The downside of these two factors colliding is that you order at a cash register.  That means that a line (if you go during one of the peak times - lunch or dinner) starts to back up.  I felt the pressure to step up, order and get out of the way.  But...with such an expansive menu plus the option of going with a salad bar (did I tell you that they have a salad bar!), it felt awkward.  I felt rushed the first time we went.

When we went back, I downloaded the menu (yes...the menu isn't available on their site in any other version but .pdf - which is a shame) and knew ahead of time what I was ordering.  This is the ONLY way to go at this place.  Do your homework.  Know what you are ordering before you walk in the door - it will make your dining experience all that much better.

Each time I had a sandwich and wasn't that impressed with either one.  Sure...there's plenty of meats on them, but they're just average as far as sandwiches go.  I'll have to dig back into the menu before (if?!?!) we go next time to find a better fit for me personally.  Both times we've gone, someone in our party has purchased the Salad Bar - which for sandwich buyers is a key asset.  On the bar, there's unlimited supplies of very giardiniera, pepperoncinis, and pickles.  Tasty.


  1. I too drove out of my way to go to Jason's in Oakbrook. I won't be back. All I wanted was a great corned beef sandwich. I knew I was in trouble when I saw them take a shrink wrapped chunk of sliced something and tossed it into the microwave.
    I was supposed to bring a pound of Pastrami for my daughter, but that too was frozen. To me they are a sandwich shop, not a deli. I do not think there is a slicing machine on premis.
    On the upside, they do have free serve yourself soft serve ice cream cones. Even free, it's not worth going out of my way.

  2. Actually they slice all meats and cheeses daily. As well as prep all produce and make LOTS of recipes every morning. Sure microwaves are used, but that's only to get your fat a$$ a rueben in 3-6 minutes. This chain is high quality and is worth "doing your homework" to know the menu. I do business with them across the country, and they'll bend over backwards to make you happy. It seems the decor has changed from the classic Jason's look, but they're NOTHING like panera!!

  3. @anonymous - Thanks for the comment! The decor was pretty bad at the two we went to. I'll go back, it will have to be with someone who hasn't been before. Otherwise, we'll choose another place.

  4. The place is a good place overall.


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