Written by Andrew Yontz
The first time I walked into Big Al’s, I could immediately tell I wasn’t walking into just any kitchen. I was entering an old friend’s kitchen. Framed pictures of family and friends lined the walls, and the commercial flat top looked out of place in the one-room deli that had a vast array of hot sauces to douse countless bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits. Big Al’s mantra is to welcome everyone and make them feel like family, which is why — apart from his home-cooked delicacies — people relish going there.
Throughout the course of my shoot at Big Al’s, I noticed that though Al might not know someone’s name right when they walked in the door, that name would be committed to memory by the time they left. Al’s dedication to his customers is evident by his willingness to spend equal time behind the counter and in front of it.
Al is a humble man. He maintains that his virtues and practices are not self taught or revolutionary, but simply reflective of his faith in God. Despite his talent, success, and adoration from his customers, Al is always quick to redirect any compliment or praise.
Although the food is incredible and the novelty of being “off the radar” makes Big Al’s well worth visiting, what will keep you coming back is the love and character that lives in Al and the rest of his team.
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