Born out of the fork and knife shortage of the 18th century, sandwiches provided a handy, no-utensils-needed food option as well as a great place for families to hide their secret stashes of forks and knives from marauding lunchers. Prepare kin for history's cyclical cycles with today's Groupon: for $4, you get $10 worth of sandwiches, soups, sweets, and more at Max's Delicatessen, a family-focused feastery in Cahaba Heights on Colonnade Parkway.
Max's menu piles high classic provisions such as hot pastrami ($8.99), smoked turkey breast ($8.99), and tuna salad with lettuce ($7.99), as well as creative 'wiches such as Steve's Vegi sandwich, which layers muenster, pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, onion, and Russian dressing in between slices of toasty bread ($7.99). All sandwiches are served on homemade rye bread and come with a pickle and your choice of coleslaw, fruit salad, or potato salad. Max's also dishes up a full list of fancy burgers ($6.99–$11.99), hot dogs ($6.29–$9.99), and other traditional Jewish noshes such as latkes with homemade applesauce and sour cream ($8.99), strawberry-sauce-drizzled cheese blintzes ($8.99), and potato knish with brown gravy ($5.49).
Although Max's colossal handcrafted sandwiches seduce closed-face connoisseurs, comfort-craving patrons and people with timid teeth can seek refuge in homemade soups, light salads, and delicate sweets. Wrap your salad fork around a plate of black-raspberry walnut chicken salad: fresh greens loaded with goodies such as grilled chicken, tomato, cucumber, chopped walnuts, blue cheese, bacon, and raspberry vinaigrette ($9.99). Or help your spoon work off some calories by having it fetch you some matzo balls from a tabletop pool of savory soup ($4.99 cup, $6.29 bowl). For dessert, indulge in a succulent slice of Max's homemade coffee cake or cherub-chorus-inducing plain or strawberry cheesecake (both $3.99).
Readers of Birmingham magazine just voted Max's "Best Deli" in this year's annual Best of Birmingham feature. Max's also snags a three-star review from the Birmingham News and gets marks for authenticity from the Bob Carlton blog on AL.com. Eight Yelpers give it an average of 3.5 stars, and 88% of Urbanspooners recommend it.
- This sense of community adds another dimension of enjoyment. You ought to try Max's. Be sure to get a knish and a cheesecake. – Tom Gaskin, Birmingham News
- Max's voluminous menu includes everything from latkes to kugels to chopped liver to matzo ball soup to corned beef, pastrami and salami sandwiches. – Bob Carlton, AL.com
- I had the classic Reuben sandwich and it was everything I remember from the Jewish deli's [sic] that I visited in New York! The quality of all the ingredients was top notch and the amount of corned beef that they stack up is well worth the price tag! – JC, Urbanspoon