Alans Avenue Deli wants to help you warm up.
After I hung up the phone, I began my mission to bring home the remedy. I saw a menu outside a shop and flipping through, my eyes stopped on homemade soups. With only a sign on the door, Alans Avenue Deli’s gourmet delicatessen could have been missed.
It looked dark from the outside, but inside was a warm friendly face. I asked the man behind the counter the soups for the day. Lacking the typical chicken-noodle, Alans Avenue Deli surprised me with beef barley or tomato. Tempted by the sound of both, I opted for a container of each. A large was definitely a large and came complete with saltines to sprinkle on top, at only $3.75 each. What a steal to cure this cold.
Driving home with the goods sealed tight in the brown bag next to me, the smell of tomato haunted me for a half hour. I arrived at my grandmother’s, who happily thanked me, lacking a cold induced kiss, but gave a congested “thank you.” Before I could take off my other boot, she had a bowl and spoon and was ready to serve. After a long drive home, Alans Avenue Deli soup was still warm. Trying much more than just a taste of both, we agreed on the beef barley, but knew the tomato would be perfect for my brother.
I explained my travels to bring her this soup and the small deli that produced the abundance of flavor. Inside, it seemed old-fashioned, signs of current menu items hung on the walls, a small section to eat, a deli counter displaying meats and cold salads, but standing there, further scanning the menu, it became cozy and comforting to know a place like this was in business. Alans Avenue Deli had the appeal; if the décor seemed a bit out-dated, they must be doing something right behind that counter.
Upon paying for my soups I looked over my shoulder to find a sign that read “PB&J and Bacon.” Apparently it sells and is a hit for those fond of bacon. As a peanut butter and jelly sandwich connoisseur this was a first for me, but I think I’ll wait to try that one.
Besides some of those new ones, the menu is complete with oldies but goodies, with an “egg-citing breakfast” of sandwiches, platters or fluffy omelets, their special French toast, salad platters, heroes, clubs and sandwiches named after famous avenues of Montclair.
Different from the average deli, one area of the menu stands out: Alan’s Famous Sloppy Joes. At $7.95 each, there’s the Just Your Average Joe, Smokin’ Joe Frazier and the Joe Pece, just to name a few. Served on three slices of marble rye with freshly sliced meats, cheese, house made dressing and slaw, definitely an Alan’s favorite.
For a complete menu and daily specials, you can visit their website, alansavenue.com. Ala’s Avenue Deli is located at 405 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair. They can be reached at by phone at 973-744-4545.