Usually when I go out for a sandwich or salad, it's because I want something better than I can make at home.
At Joe D's on Ingleside, the food is good, but it's nothing special.
The restaurant, which is open during lunch hours, offers the usual lunch fare: soups, sandwiches, salads and wraps. It also has chili, hot dogs and baked potatoes on the menu. Sides include potato salad, pasta salad, cole slaw, cottage cheese, chips and some others.
My first meal at Joe D's was the semi club (a club sandwich with one meat, as opposed to the super club with two meats) and pasta salad on the side.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Like other delis, the food is made in front of you, so you have the option of choosing your own bread, meat, cheese and condiments.
My sandwich seemed a little light on the meat and cheese, with only one or two thin slices of meat and one slice of cheese put in between three slices of wheat bread. But after adding lettuce, tomato and some spicy mustard, it ultimately filled out the sandwich.
The pasta salad was OK, but it was a little bland for my tastes.
The whole meal, including tax, was $6.96.
A quick word to those, like me, who only carry credit cards: Joe D's is cash or check only, so come prepared. Unfortunately, I wasn't, but the woman at the register was very understanding and pointed me toward the direction of an ATM.
On my next trip, I came with my checkbook and my sister to help me sample more of the menu.
She was excited about ordering the daily special, which was what is usually her favorite sandwich - chicken salad on a croissant - but she said it disappointed her because it didn't have anything special in it like pecans, grapes or apples.
This time I went a different route and ordered the cold plate, which I'm told is a rare find nowadays. The salad came with lettuce, tomato, cheese, pickle, peach half (canned), deviled egg, with a choice of tuna or chicken salad, and a choice of cole slaw, cottage cheese, pasta or potato salad.
I chose the chicken salad and potato salad for my cold plate, and found the potato salad to be the best side I'd tried. The potatoes were mashed and seemed to be mixed with mayonnaise and mustard and some other flavors. It was my favorite part of my meal.
Despite my feelings about the food, Joe D's is obviously a very popular lunch spot.
Both my trips were around 1 p.m., and it was a bustling place. The clientele was a mixture of business people and families and friends out for lunch. The atmosphere was fun and friendly.
Tables, which were topped with salt, pepper and a bottle of Tabasco, remained almost full. At times the line to order was 10 people deep, but not because the service was slow.
About half of the customers got their meals to go. A take-out menu advises that if customers call ahead, their order will be ready when they arrive.
An asset to Joe D's is its prices. My sister and I ate for $10.86 after tax, which can't be done at most restaurants that aren't fast food.
An ultimate cheap meal would be a chicken salad or tuna salad sandwich for $2.25 and chips for $1.
The slogan of Joe D's is "where gourmet is everyday." Although the food is good, I would not go as far as to say it is gourmet. As my sister noted, it's more "everyday."
Joe D's on Ingleside
2329 Ingleside Ave.
Phone: (478) 745-4118
Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 3 p.m.
Payment: Cash, check
Price: $2.25 to $5.90
Children's menu: No
Vegetarian selections: Yes
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Noise level: Moderate
Smoking policy: No
Latest health code rating: 100