Friday, August 27, 2010
Famous Uncle Al's - Granby Street, Norfolk
It was National Hot Dog week and Laine and I decided this was the perfect time to review Famous Uncle Al’s Famous Hot Dogs. Tucked in a seemingly small spot on Granby Street, Al’s does a heck of a day business. Office folk are constantly ducking in and coming out with a brown paper bag filled with a breakfast sandwich, one of the many dogs, a sandwich or fries and sometimes a few of those items all at once. I’ve seen many of that brown bag enter our office in the morning hours. Laine and I wanted the full experience so we opted for the dine-in option. I had no idea there were so many tables in the back of Al’s. You enter and immediately order and if you choose to stay, you jockey for a table or wait for a server to seat you. Ordering is easy because the menu is straight forward. I had heard the egg salad was a hit and ordered that on toasted wheat with some cheese fries and a drink. Jumbo sodas are $1.79 with all the refills your heart desires. Music to our ears.
It was pretty packed when Laine and I arrived and upon ordering, we spied an open two-top, which I pounced on it while Laine waited for our food. Our meals came out within five to seven minutes as Al’s staff kept things humming along at a slightly crazed pace. My source had not led me wrong and the egg salad on wheat was just right. Thankfully, Al’s does not make the all too frequent mistake of putting too much mayonnaise in their egg salad (hate that) and it is seasoned perfectly. The cheese fries were decent. I have complained about cheese whiz before but remember, that involved nachos. Nachos should have real cheese, end of story. I have no problem with cheese whiz, or processed cheese product as my childhood friend and I lovingly referred to it, on fries (we used to love to create our radioactive dish or Velveeta and Pace Picante Salsa to eat with our chips (her) and pretzels (me) while watching General Hospital and MTV after school - those were the days). I sampled one of Laine’s onion rings and while the flavor was pretty good, they could have been crispier - fry them babies up! For about $8, my meal was perfect for this Friday. I noticed a few things I would like to try the next visit, the grilled cheese and either Cole slaw or the sweet potato fries. Laine and I will report back, as always.
For National Hot Dog Day (7/23/2010) this Al's location ran a $1 hot dog promotion. What better day to give them a try? We arrived minutes before the noon rush and they were already hopping busy. However, we were waited on almost immediately, found an open table quickly and had our food in less than 5 minutes. I have to say the service impressed me. Everyone was very nice, very apologetic about any wait (which we didn't have), and the server checked on our table about 2-3 times. Nice!
I love the snappy dogs and today mine was as good always. The onion rings were not the best I've had here. These were a little squished up when they arrived, but they still tasted good. Alex got egg salad and cheesy fries. The egg salad looked great and she concurred. I've had theirs before and it is one of the best in town in my opinion. The cheesy fries were just okay. They could have been cooked a minute or two longer to get a tad crispier.
Overall we were pleased and would recommend this Al's location without hesitation.
Uncle Al’s is located at 155 Granby Street and is open 7am-3pm Monday through Friday. They suggest faxing or calling in larger orders, so if you are having an office breakfast or lunch (recommendation), this might be a better option. You can call in single orders as well, if you do not feel like waiting on location.