The Untold Truth Of McAlister's Deli

Much like restaurant greats such as Applebee's, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Hooters, McAlister's Deli is a legendary eatery that made its way into the world in the 1980s. To be exact, the first location of McAlister's was opened in Oxford, Mississippi in 1989. According to the Oxford Eagle, that location has a storied past. The building was originally a gas station that was converted into a 1950s diner to film the movie Heart of Dixie, which starred Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club), Virginia Madsen (Swamp Thing), and Phoebe Cates (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) (via IMDb). 

Retired dentist Dr. Jon Newcomb secured the location, first naming the new restaurant Chequer's before settling on McAlister's to honor his wife's parents. The restaurant featured two large garage doors, a nod to its gas station beginnings. When the original location closed in January 2021 (via Twitter), a new location in Oxford was already in the works. According to McAlister's website, the chain has expanded to include over 400 locations across the United States, so they must have hit the right note with their deli-centric menu.

Deli-cious grub and popular sweet tea

McAlisters offers deli fare like soups, salads, and baked goods, but it's all about the club life here. They have five club sandwich options on their menu, along with one club wrap. The McAlister's Club has 13 soaring layers made up of smoked turkey, Black Forest ham, bacon, sharp cheddar, Swiss, spring mix, tomato, mayonnaise, and McAlister's Honey Mustard on wheat toast. The King Club has twice the ingredients as the namesake club (if you can fathom that), and the Orange Cranberry Club swaps out the honey mustard for orange cranberry sauce. Guests who really want to switch it up can opt for a club with grilled chicken or Black Angus.

The restaurant is also known for its Giant Spuds — big, juicy, baked potatoes stuffed with tasty toppings. The Spud Max is filled with ham, turkey, bacon, cheddar-jack, green onion, black olives, and sour cream — yes, please. Then, there's the tea. McAlister's Famous Tea, made with orange pekoe black tea leaves, sweetened, and poured over ice, is so popular, they offer it by the gallon. They even have a Tea Pass that enables purchasers to redeem for 30 consecutive days of tea or even a tea/lemonade combo. Now, that's a challenge we're up for!