Takeout Find: Toojay's Gourmet Deli, Jupiter

Address: 4050 U.S. Highway 1 (Bluffs Shopping Plaza)

Phone/web: 561-627-5555; toojays.com

Also at: Throughout Florida. Visit Web site for a location near you.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Type of food: Delicatessen

Dining facilities: The line forms to the left of a long deli/bakery counter leading to the open dining room where there is full service. The take-out counter and dining room are busiest at weekend breakfast and weekday lunch/early dinner times.

Service: Lines are not uncommon, but they generally move quickly because counter people are efficient, friendly and accommodating. At my request, they double-wrap a soup container for a long trip home.

Delivery: For catering orders only.

TooJay's pretty much covers the state, but we like this one near the beach for its laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff. For takeout, it's ideal. You get the same food in the same quantity — if not more — as you do when eating in.

Knowing the size of the sandwiches, we count on that to serve three people.

A half-pound cole slaw ($1.50) and a quart chicken noodle soup ($6.95) rounds out our meals.

A tuna salad on whole-wheat bread ($7.75) is big enough for two. The tuna salad is nicely seasoned albacore with just enough mayo to bind. The bread is freshly baked at the chains own bakery. It makes all the difference. A sour pickle and small container of slaw is included.

We also order a half-pound of their dill chicken salad ($4.95) that is almost too much for one. If you don't like dill, there's a Dijon version with a slight tang (same price).

The cole slaw is crisp and not too sweet — one of our favorite versions around town.

The ultimate comfort food, though, is the chicken noodle soup. It is hot from the kettle with soft wide noodles, carrots, celery and parsley. I add black pepper, but that's all. A slice of bread or crackers is a nice addition.

We couldn't get away without a few mini black-and-whites ($3.50 a half pound), rich vanilla cake-like cookies with chocolate and vanilla icing. They are in containers of four and eight because you can't eat just one.

TooJay's menu is filled with salads, soups, deli platters and entrees as well as "killer" desserts.

Tip: For prime-time takeout, call ahead to order and it will be ready for pick-up. You'll avoid the line and having to take a number.

— Jan Norris

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