Al’s Corner Restaurant doesn’t look too intriguing from the outside, but the moment you walk in, you know you have hit Roadfood paydirt.
The immaculate storefront luncheonette, open only for weekday lunch, is a treasure-trove of blue-plate Hungarian meals at blue-collar prices. Service is cafeteria style. Place your order at the counter, where it is plated and ready to carry to a table or a seat at the long U-shaped counter in the center of the room.
Lunch specials, well under $10 each, include the likes of chicken paprikash with dumplings, pierogies, cabbage and dumplings, and Al’s sausages. The sausages are made down the street at Al’s Quality Market, and they are stupendously delicious: taut, muscular and oozing savory juices. Jane, whose father was an Hungarian epicure and taught her well, declared the paprikash to be one of the best she’s ever eaten: creamy with a real paprika punch, the chicken falling-off-its-bone tender. The only problem we had was deciding which starch to eat more of: the dumplings are buttery and satisfying; the mashed potatoes are … buttery and satisfying, too! Perhaps best of all is halushka: a buttery mix of dumplings and cabbage.
Note that Al’s is open only for lunch, Monday through Friday.