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“Looks Fun - but it is not” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Big Al's Restaurant and Grill

Big Al's Restaurant and Grill
Ranked #5 of 35 Restaurants in Manteo
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Dining on a budget, Large groups, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: The past is back! Big Al's Soda Fountain & Grill serves up authentic American fare in a retro 50's fun dining atmosphere. Restaurant features soda fountain counter, juke box, dance floor, game room/arcade, one of the largest Coca-Cola memorabilia collections in the country, fresh never-frozen USDA certified Prime Angus burgers, home made desserts, 50's inspired gift-shop and blue-plate specials. New owners have recently updated the restaurant from top to bottom with a focus on a quality dining experience with all the good flavors of the era.
Greensboro, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
157 reviews
113 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Looks Fun - but it is not”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2013

We went to Big Al's the day of the marathon to get a bite to eat afterwards. The place looks great, and at first glance at the menu, looked enticing.

When we arrived, I was told it would be a five minute wait. We waited for 30 minutes. There were many tables open - this place was not busy - it was understaffed.

When we were seated, our waitress came over to get drink orders - and we ordered drinks and an appetizer.

Our appetizer was cheese fries, that were $6.99 for a small order. Although they were hot, they were nothing special and the portion was extremely small.

the menu had brunch items (it was a Sunday) and everything had swap prices. For example, the burgers came with fries, but if you wanted to substitute sweet potato fries you needed to pay an additional 1.50 to get them - even though both fries by themselves were the same price on the menu. I understand upcharging on things like onion rings (that are normally more expensive) but this went for ANY item that was the same price.

Also - if you wanted maple syrup on your pancakes, it was an additional 99 cents.

The prices were a high for this type of place - and nickle and diming me for what is customary, is very irritating.

We decided to skip the rest of the meal, and just cash out with the appetizer and drinks. We could not get our waitress to get our ticket. I followed her to the refill station, she ignored me, even as I was being polite, I tried to catch her before she went into the kitchen, and she would not respond. So we had to go to the front and ask for the ticket.

This was such a disappointment because it is practically in the heat of the marathon - and had a welcome sign for marathoners on their outdoor sign - so they knew it was happening.

The town of Manteo is nice, the marathon was great, and the people are awesome - we will just find a different place to eat next time.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Lori W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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485 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    212
    126
    79
    42
    26
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Clarksburg, West Virginia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
“Best Coconut Cream Pie!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2013

Seriously the best coconut cream pie that I have ever had! The desserts are even made fresh daily. We had lunch there, and the entrees left a little to be desired, but it was classic greasy food. The entrees were also a little pricey for food that we could get from a fast food joint. Overall, entrees okay, but desserts were amazing.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Heart_In_OBX143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
93 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Skip”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2013 via mobile

Would not recommend. Despite being half empty, we were told it would be a ten minute wait. Service was very rushed. Two orders were minority screwed up. Expensive for what you get...

Helpful?
Thank ilovereb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utah
Level Contributor
115 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Cheesy...and not in the good 'dairy' kind of way.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2013

Nothing exciting here, move along. The food is the kind of bland average fare you can get at any forgettable restaurant just struggling to get by. Nothing particularly fresh or tasty, mostly just frozen or pre-bought items compiled on a plate for the enjoyment of people who want the expected and expect very little.

From the reviews here it is obvious that there are more people who enjoy this type of thing than I would have thought, so I guess that's the reason this place is still around, because I would place a large bet the locals aren't giving it too much business.

The decor is cringe-worthy to say the least. Sort of like a bad movie set created by someone who thinks they know what a 60s diner was like.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Master_Tennison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delaware, Ohio
Level Contributor
75 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Grease and Poor Service”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2013

Went in to an empty restaurant that had plenty of wait staff standing around. We ordered our drinks of 3 waters and 1 iced tea. 10 minutes later, still nothing. And, since the menu was mostly greasy food, we decided it was a good sign to leave.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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