The Original Lots of Lox delicatessen recently marked 35 years as one of the most popular dining spots in South Miami-Dade County. Over the last five years, owner-brothers Nick and Steve Poulos and their cousin, Jimmy Poulos, have made improvements to the restaurant that include subtle dining room renovations, better food and an all-new dinner menu.
“One of the biggest compliments we get is when customers ask, ‘Where is your deli in New York City,’” Nick Poulos says. “I tell them, ‘We’re the sixth borough of New York, born right down here in Miami.’”
The dining room, with many signed photographs, sports posters and panoramic skyline shots, is immaculately maintained. “We’re all neat freaks here, so we’ve taken cleanliness to the next level – or two,” Poulos says.
When the Poulos family took over the restaurant’s operation, the first thing they did was restore food quality, which had diminished over the years. They also incorporated many family recipes to the menu, with great customer approval.
“There are different grades of food, and if you want to save money you can drop down a few levels, but customers know the difference,” Poulos says. “It’s a labor of love for us and our cooks, and we don’t cut corners with our ingredients.”
The Original Lots of Lox boasts a menu large and varying enough to suit any taste for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Almost everything is homemade, including the off-thebone roasted turkey, matzoh balls, tuna salads, coleslaw, potato salad, assorted cream cheeses, corned beef and meatloaf.
Their daily menu is supplemented by daily in-house specials listed on the wall.
Take-out orders are easily accommodated and catering is available for just about any occasion, including parties, business functions and even the Jewish high holidays. Poulos says that Lots of Lox strives to be the first place that comes to mind when his neighbors think about where to dine.
“We have had families come in with a candelabras and have their Passover dinner here,” says Poulos. “It’s so heartwarming; we love to have families join us for all of the holidays, from Thanksgiving to Yom Kippur.”
The Pouloses are very active in the community and often donate restaurant gift cards for auctions and benefits. They have a reputation for supporting those in need and participating fundraising efforts for local schools, shelters, temples and animal rights groups.
“It’s an important part of being a member of the community,” Poulos says.
Much of the restaurant’s success can be attributed to the loyalty of the staff.
Employees Tony Gay, Anthony Griffith, Ruben Inigo and Angel Salazar have all been with the deli for more than 10 years, while Kenny Cabrera, Orly Cooley, Jerry Francois and Charlene Rosa have worked there for more than 20 years. Manager Laurie King started working at the deli as a waitress right after she finished high school 27 years ago.
“In essence, their loyalty and unparalleled attitude speaks volumes for us,” Poulos says. “We’re like the Cheers of delis, where everyone knows your name, and you may walk in as a customer, but hopefully you will leave as a friend.”
The Original Lots of Lox is located at 14995 S. Dixie Hwy. and is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on weekends until 4 p.m. For more information, go to www.originallotsoflox.com or call 305-252-2010.