Friday 26 September 2008

Oy Vey! Too Jay's Forgettable Toilets Don't Say Much About Deli Culture

TooJay's Original Gourmet Deli
Colonial MarketPlaza
2400 East Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL USA

Where is it?

This eatery is designed like a flat rectangle. It's narrow and long and thin. So from the front entrance, head left, towards the hostess stand (you'll pass a long deli counter in the process), turn right after the hostess stand and head into a hallway along the back wall (only about 15 feet because of the place's narrow design). The toilets are there, in that hallway.

What's it like?

This Florida-based deli chain aims to impart the look, feel and taste of the classic New York City deli to transplants in the Sunshine State. For the most part, it succeeds.

Service is friendly and fast. Prices affordable. And sandwiches are stuffed thick with various meats, like its Reuben or pastrami on rye. Salads are fresh. Breakfasts are filling and well-prepared. Deserts are delicious. And you can get Dr. Browns! If only the place served kosher meats like the places up north, though....

The dining room isn't anything flashy -- and in a way looks like a hotel lobby (what with the tacky green carpeting and bland wood-panel walls) that just happens to have various deli-based memorabilia hanging around. Tables are classic generic faux wood cafe tables, as well as some booths. It's a large dining room that also feels small, creating a somewhat noisy environment, which I guess is exactly what you want from a deli-based experience. (Though compared with Florida's other deli stalwarts, I have to say the dining room here lacks a bit of panache, like what you'd see in the homey grunginess of Flakowitz Bagel Inn in Boca Raton or the stylish branded sheen of Roasters 'n' Toasters in North Miami Beach.)

The bathrooms are pretty Teutonic and straight forward -- more in common with what I found at the Aloma Cinema Grill in Winter Park than at, say, Flakowitz Bagel Inn or Roasters 'n' Toasters. Painted white concrete on the walls, black linoleum on the floor, concrete walls with beige trim dividing the walls and urinal chambers.

The vanity at the front of the bathroom has two sinks, a black granite counter top, some nice matted metal faucets and a stretch mirror. Again, pretty blah, even though I liked the look of the faucets.

Smell-wise, this was pretty non-existent. It wasn't too dirty of a place either, except that the vanity had a good amount of spilled water on it and the handicap toilet (there are two stalls here) had an overstuffed garbage can and some of the paper towels from it had slipped out onto the floor.

Marks out of 10:

6. Not bad, but very bland.

Comments to the Management:

Flakowitz Bagel Inn has grungy charm and Roasters 'n' Toasters has style. Don't you think you could do something to jazz it up in here? Even some wall hangings would help!

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