Had the pleasure of re-visiting Max's Delicatessen in the Colonnade Shops in Birmingham last night. I found the experience met or surpassed our first time there.
We were a group of 7, 3 kids and 4 adults.
To start, we selected homemade cheese blintzes, chopped chicken liver, and two soups, beef and barley and a combo soup of matzoh ball and chicken noodle. They were short on blintzes so the owner gave us some potato knishes in addition. We also ordered a sampler platter of meats that included corned beef, turkey, and kosher salami.
Everything was outstanding, except it was reported that the combo soup was lacking salt.
The chicken liver was so divine, even my 10-year old (a Chowhound in training) eagerly ate much of it. The knishes were bland until dressed with the gravy that accompanied them. This transformed them from something "bleh" to something "wow!"
The meats were as expected, with the standout again being the turkey. The owner explained to me that he uses free-range turkey with no preservatives to prepare Max's turkey. Whatever he does, the result is outstanding. I would never think that at a Jewish-style deli, the show-stopper would be roasted turkey, but that is the case here.
Cheese blintzes got good reviews but I don't really care for them, so I didn't partake.
I should mention the pickles that are placed on the table... really garlicky pickled green tomatoes, a nice dill pickle, but the standout if the "new pickle," one of my favorites, and I am unaware of anyplace else to get them in Alabama.
Service was good considering they were totally full at about 7:30 on Sunday night. It's nice that the owner is present and active in running the service.
Atmosphere is pretty non-existent. This ain't fine dining... it's a deli!
All in all, Max's is great for what it is... a no-frills deli serving very high quality deli food with an owner who is on premises and cares about his product.
I think my wife said it best after we left... her comment was "Why don't we eat there more often?" I think that in the future, we will.
3431 Colonnade Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35243