Big Al's Diner
 Cleveland, Ohio        Date of Visit  03/28/15          No Known Website

Saw Big Alís on TV years ago. We were going to the West Side Market to satisfy some hankerinsí (jerky, steak, strawberries, etc.) and decided to try their lauded hash. Big Alís is tiny and crowded with tables and booths. It is worn and torn and I love the place. Once again the little and long standing neighborhood joint contains the strangest amalgamation of people who are all happy and getting along. Maybe we should turn the floor of congress into a dinerÖmaybe theyíd get along and get something done.



Small And Packed With Locals...Nice Sign

The service is haphazardly efficient and somewhat mechanical in tableside manner. After getting some coffee and a hot chocolate Steph had her mind set on something savory, chipped beef (not sure where that came from) but found it was no longer on the menu. She ordered the chocolate chip pancakes, which I found to be a great standard griddle cake with nice texture and deep bittersweet chocolate spots, but I donít think she ever got over the disappointment of shifting to sweet. Her disappointment seemed assuaged a bit by the sticks of home fries and the crispy brown splendid that resulted on the side, which had hit the griddle. I donít know if they will do them extra crispy but even more brown would be a game changer.

I ordered the corned beef hash with rye toast and over easy eggs. Itís good. But not great. The corned beef is lightly cured and I always prefer a darker duskier pickle. The green peppers were a nice touch in with the beef and potatoes, the toast was fine and the eggs surrendered their rich yolks to tie everything together. Super solid but not extravagant.

They Know How Steph Likes Her Hot Chocolate

Well Made Pancakes Couldn't Make Up For The Switch To Sweet

The Crispy Bits Are AWESOME

The Vaunted Hash

Hash Is Good But Ain't Going To Be The Best I Ever Ate

Yolk And Spicy Pepper Do Help

Looking at our plates and those on the tables around us, I can guarantee you, you will not leave hungry. I watched one table get their orders and put over half of them in to go boxes before even taking a bite. They really stack it up and on. Perfectly classic diner fare in a really unique and special environment created by a whole community gathering for a meal in the same room. Itís a good thing we donít live close enough to be regulars, although I bet we could talk them into hooking Steph up with some chipped beef if that odd yearning ever appeared again.




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