Not just another delicatessen, The Original Lots of Lox in Palmetto Bay blends influences from around to the world to serve up some of the best deli fare in town.
Fresh bagels with glistening lox, golden fluffy knishes, and made-to-order sandwiches piled high with juicy meats are served alongside crispy pickles bursting with briny flavor. Unexpected items like glorious, creamy grits fit for a Southern farm table, fresh Greek salads, hearty gyros, and juicy burgers also adorn the menu.
“We are blessed with great chefs,” said Nick Poulos, who owns the restaurant along with brother Steve Poulos and cousin Jimmy Poulos. “Everything we have is cooked on the premises. Therefore, there are no preservatives.”
“We roast our own turkey off the breast; we make our own matzo balls for the matzo ball soup; all of our soups are homemade from scratch, and our tuna, bar none, is the best in the city,” Nick Poulos added.
The Greek owners took over the eatery more than nine years ago, immediately elevating the quality of ingredients, cleanliness, and customer service by drawing on influences from what they call “the old country,” as well as generations of family thriving in the restaurant business.
“We are using nothing but the best. Right down to the creams and the butters, it’s all about ingredients and quality,” Poulos said.
“We have a mom and pop from New York that actually make our bagels fresh baked every day.”
The succulent brisket is roasted daily and served with fresh vegetables and heaping piles of potatoes that are peeled, boiled and mashed (in house) to buttery home-style perfection.
Those who can make it beyond the hearty portions with room for something sweet, can try decadent homemade desserts like the creamy New York Cheesecake, Three Layer Carrot Cake, Key Lime Pie, or Triple Chocolate Cake.
Steve Poulos’ wife, Dorane, is said to make “the world’s best banana cream pie and coconut cream pie.”
The Pouloses further attribute their success to treating each guest and employee as a part of the family, citing many members of staff who have worked there for decades.
Managers Laurie King and Ruben Inigo, along with executive chefs Jerry Francois and Kenny Cabrera, have been part of The Original Lots of Lox family for more than 25 years.
“I love everyone here. They make me feel like it’s a family, not just another place to work,” said Risa Levenson, who welcomes guests at the front counter with a warm smile and friendly greeting.
The entire staff goes out of its way to cater to customers’ needs, making sure wait times are short, remembering guests by name, serving individualized food items, and even accommodating families for special events. The deli hosts Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Jewish holiday events, including traditional Passover Seders, in the main dining area.
“All the customers know each other. They always come back even after they move away,” said Tonya Gay whose daughter worked at the restaurant for several years during her own nearly 20-year tenure.
Take-out orders and catering are available to serve parties, business functions, special events and Jewish holidays.
“We want people to feel like this is their home away from home, and keep coming back to us,” Poulos said.
The Original Lots of Lox is located at 14995 S. Dixie Hwy. and is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.originallotsoflox.com or call 305-252-2010.