Food is money!.
For a pair of cities with not a lot of great breakfast places, Al's is a sure thing.
Whatever you order, french toast, omeletes, hasbrowns.....you can't lose.
great food, service, and prices.
A truly unique little place. The staff was all extremely friendly and actually sincere about it. The food was delicious. I had the Eggs Jose (a heap of hashbrowns, poached eggs, chedder cheese,and salsa) and the blueberry pancakes. Everything was great...
The previous two reviewers mentioned the staff was mean. I did not experience this whatsoever. Maybe the staff has changed, or maybe I just followed the rules (check to see if it's ok to sit before you do, don't use your cellphone in the restaurant). Either way, great place...
Too big for their britches....
I actually created an account on citysearch just to write this... I've been going to Al's regularly since my days as an undergrad at the U of M. I'm 30 now. In the last 12 years I've come to know the difference between typical Al's 'service' and 'meanness.' The service used to be endearing, almost as worth the visit as the food. But it's gotten worse and when we went there recently, it crossed the line. My wife (who is 6 months pregnant) and I went in there for breakfast for a special occasion. We did the standard wait-in-line-for-10+ minutes thing and then went to sit down when it was our turn. Mind you, I know the protocol. The rude man behind the corner- who I've encountered before and always seems mad at the world- yelled at my wife and I not once, but TWICE, for trying to sit down before he said it was okay to do so. Note: there was nobody in front of us and where we ended up sitting is exactly where we attempted to sit in the first place. And it wasn't like he cleaned up the spot before we sat there. He just apparently really wanted the power to tell us when we can and cannot sit. Did I mention my wife was visibly pregnant? It ruined the experience completely. She, not the Al's usual that I fancy myself to be, leaned over during the meal and said "they're kind of mean here." And suddenly I couldn't defend it any more. She was right. I don't plan to go back. The service has gotten sloppy and downright mean and the food can no longer compensate for it. They've ruined what used to be a wonderful thing.
I gave Al's a '2' only because the food there really is phenomenol. I would highly recommend the blackberry pancakes if you're forced to go. I'll miss them.
I would recommend that next time you're looking for a great breakfast place, go to either French Meadow or the Zumbro cafe instead.
Good food, long wait, lousy service. Our friends invited us to Al's Breakfast because of the great reviews. None of us had ever been there before - and we won't be back. The wait was terrible and our party of four was separated - leaving me standing in line. Since I was on call for work, I got a phone call (on vibrate) - another taboo in this place. I was first singled out, then ridiculed behind my back - and when my wife explained the situation she was told "I don't care." The guy told our friends that "I didn't like being told what to do." The second phone call (again, on vibrate) resulted in the guy behind the counter cranking up the music really loud - disrupting the 15 other people there. I was being more than polite, listening and mumbling a few words quietly so I wouldn't disturb anyone. They apparently take cash/check only and don't have a bathroom. The food was great, however - so the place gets a "1" from us...barely. So, Mr. Grouch - tell Doug (part-owner) about your need for customer service training.
Best ever!. It's not often when you find a place that serves awesome food and the atmosphere matches it perfectly. Food is always better when cooked with soul, and you can't get much better than Al's. Portions are hearty but prices are as cheap as it gets. The whole staff was unbelievably friendly and entertaining, I can't wait to go back!
This pint-sized restaurant, the smallest in the Cities, is an offbeat institution for innovative breakfasts..
Wedged between two Dinkytown storefronts, you'll find this slim shoebox of a place, with 14 counter stools and haphazard decor akin to a teenager's bedroom. Lifelong regulars snuggle in with ravenous University of Minnesota coeds. The cook at the grill in front of you provides the entertainment. The hearty Leonard scrambled egg dish has plenty of tomatoes and sausage resting on top. For a new experience, there are waffles with strips of bacon strewn inside.
YOU MUST GO!. I have loved Al's since my very first time. While in college, I was there at least once a week and got to know a lot of the staff. The atmosphere is always great, especially when Doug is cooking. Jim is great too, but Doug juggles dinosaurs and eggs. The pancakes are unbelievable, a stack of Wally Blues really gets me going. Don't be afraid if the line is out the door, as long as you are inside that door by 1pm, you will get breakfast. You may have to wait, but that's how it goes and is a right of passage.
Fun, quirky, hole-in-the wall with FANTASTIC food!. I waited a VERY hungry 60 minutes in line with my finance to get into Al's last Sunday. I read the reviews here and I wanted to check it out. It was worth every minute! The there is only one side of counter seating that faces the grill. (14 people). The staff is friendly but they love to kid around with customers that allow them too. The place is super tiny. Those waiting stand directly behind those dining (not for those that are clausterfobic) but the food makes all of this worthwile. My hashbrows and pancakes were fantastic. The pancakes melted in my mouth! I can't wait to go back up to MN to go back to Al's!
Al's Breakfast. After a morning of watching pick-up hockey, at the Mariucci arena, which was rented out.....off to Al's we went. My first time in there, and I can say with all honesty, that I will be back. The food was well worth the crowded wait, and the people the run the joint, are top notch.
Oooooh... fun!. If you like your eggs with sass, you can't go wrong with Al's. It gets a bit busy at times, but stop by and pull up a chair if you haven't. Al's is not just a breakfast joint (though they do close after breakfast), but an experience. The help can lighten your crappiest moods, and if not, the coffee and omlettes will.
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