Al’s Corner Restaurant
Review by: Michael Stern
Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
What to Eat in Barberton, Ohio
Food-focused travelers know the city of Barberton for its unique fried chicken dinners, first served at Belgrade Gardens. Those dinners belong on the must-eat list of anyone looking to savor unique regional specialties. But there’s something else in this Akron suburb: Al’s Corner Restaurant. It’s a Hungarian best in Barberton Ohio.
It’s neat as a Pin
Al’s doesn’t look all that intriguing from the outside. But the moment you walk in and look around, you know you have found a unique luncheonette. Chairs at the U-shaped counter in the center of the dining room and bench seats in booths along the wall reveal a reassuring sense of order. We’re not neat-freaks, but the precision and cleanliness on display makes us very happy.
Blue Plate Meals, Blue Collar Prices
The food makes us even happier. Al’s customers come to enjoy blue plate Hungarian meals at blue-collar prices. Service is cafeteria style. Place your order at a short counter up front. The servers gather what you want and present it. Carry the meal to a place of your choosing.
Lunch specials cost under $10. Choose from such entrees as stuffed cabbage, pierogies, and Al’s sausages. Down the street, Al’s Quality Market makes these sausages. They are stupendously delicious. Here at the restaurant they saute the taut, muscular, juice-oozing lengths of well-seasoned pork and accompany them with sauerkraut and sauteed green peppers. Add dumplings, mashed potatoes, or a couple of pierogi and you have created an exemplary Old World meal.
Jane, whose father was an Hungarian epicure and taught her well, declared Al’s chicken paprikash to be one of the best she’s ever eaten. Fall-off-the-bone tender, the chicken lolls in creamy sauce and delivers energetic paprika zest. The only problem we had eating the paprikash was deciding which starch to eat more of alongside it. The buttery dumplings deliver deep satisfaction. We cannot resist mashed potatoes this homey. Most wonderful of all is halushka: a buttery mix of dumplings and cabbage. This truly is a Hungarian best in Barberton Ohio.
Note that Al’s opens only for lunch, Monday through Friday.
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|