Because service and food quality can vary among chain restaurants this review is specific to:
1801 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville TN 37916
Phone: (865) 633-8001
Fax: (865) 633-8101
McAlister’s Deli on Cumberland Ave. is a favorite among the college students at the University of Tennessee. Recently, my daughter and I met there for lunch. The deli is similar to Panera Bread or Schlotzsky’s. They offer free WI-FI, drink refills as a casual, relaxed atmosphere.
The worst thing about McAlister’s Deli on Cumberland Ave. is the parking. There is metered street parking to the side of the restaurant. Otherwise, good luck. The restaurant is definitely geared to people who are on foot.
Once you get into McAlister’s Deli you are greeted by friendly staff behind a counter. The drink specialty here is iced tea. I always get it. The blend is always good and has been bitter. They also serve Coca Cola products and bottled water.
The menu is varied at McAlister’s Deli. On this day I got what they call a Cafe Menu. You get to choose to selections from a choice of a half-sandwich, soup or salad. I got the ham on rye with provolone cheese. My daughter got the Taco Salad. It comes with chili, cheddar, tomatoes, sour cream, jalapeño peppers and black olives. This is on a bed of lettuce over tortilla chips and comes with salsa. A little mint comes with every plate.
At McAlister’s Deli other choices include Spuds (giant baked potatoes), other sandwiches, soups and salads. A full menu is available for download as a .pdf here:
After paying you are given your drinks and a number. The server will bring the food out to you. They will also get tea and drink refills for you. If you don’t want to wait for them to come around to your table they will be glad to help you at the counter.
McAlister’s Deli costs about the same as Panera Bread. For the two of us to eat was just under $20.00. It’s a little pricey for what you get. Pluses are the refills on drinks, table service and free WI-FI.
The food quality is normally very good. Today, was not an acception. The lettuce was crisp. Hot food was served hot and cold food was at least cool. The WI-FI is free and stable. Many students are on laptops and the area is convenient.
My sandwich was very good. The soup was excellent. My daughter cheerfully reported that her salad was great. It might have been. She ate almost half of it. That’s got to be a record for college age girls.
The lobby of McAlister’s Deli on Cumberland Ave. sparkles. It is clean. The kitchen area must come close to the lobby. Their last health department score was an 84. The inspection date was December 18, 2008. The health department says that anything below 70 is considered unsanitary.
My daughter and I were pleased with our visit to McAlister’s on Cumberland Ave. No doubt, we’ll be back.