HIDDEN GEM: Al’s Pizzeria is a perfect place to try authentic Italian meals located in North Riverside. Switch up your everyday choice of pizza and you won’t go back. (Elle Kowalski)
HIDDEN GEM: Al’s Pizzeria is a perfect place to try authentic Italian meals located in North Riverside. Switch up your everyday choice of pizza and you won’t go back.

Elle Kowalski

Always Choose Al’s

May 17, 2021

Al’s Restaurant and Pizzeria is the perfect place for a small taste of Italy, as the menu includes flavorful, traditional Italian meals and mouth-watering thin-crust pizza for their specialty. If anyone’s craving a quick authentic bite to eat, I recommend supporting small businesses and giving Al’s a go.

Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the dining aspect was not as successful as the food cooking in the kitchen. Sadly, Al’s was forced to shut down one of their two locations, which just happened to be the one with an indoor dining facility. 

However, it’s easy to tell that Al’s is making the best out of their situation by doing what they can to keep what they have afloat during these times. Online ordering, carry-out options and delivery services are easily accessible through their website. When calling to place an order, there was someone on the line taking care of customers after one ring.

After I placed a big order that consisted of many different things from all over the menu, they told me that my food would be ready in only about 40 minutes. After picking it up, I was inside the restaurant for less than 5 minutes before walking out the door with my hands full. 

Al’s has always tried to quickly satisfy their customers prior to the pandemic. The average wait time in the pizzeria was just under 10 minutes for a carry-out order and an even shorter time when calling ahead.

However, this could be the reason why Al’s has fallen short of perfection. Although the short wait time is appreciated, working too fast will typically result in errors like my family and I experienced. Missing chili flakes and parmesan cheese packets is not the end of the world but is frustrating since they could have avoided it completely by taking an extra minute to make sure that everything was in the bag.

The thin-crust pizza is a specialty for a reason: after going for a basic medium 14-inch cheese pizza, I was surprised by the miraculous flavor for such a simple item. It was definitely a great introduction for the rest of my meal even without the parmesan.

The next item devoured was the Thursday night special, and for only $12.99, it came with two large meatball subs and a side of fries. Not only was the food amazing, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was able to feed a hungry family of six for a reasonably low price. 

For dessert, I was more than ready to try the traditional cannoli. However, after my pleasing experience so far, I was slightly disappointed to see something much smaller than expected at first glance.

But that doesn’t take away from the palatable flavor as everything had been. Al’s Restaurant & Pizzeria Is a staple for those looking for an authentic Italian meal; I would recommend it to anyone looking to support small businesses while also being able to enjoy your food for a reasonable price. Despite a few bumps in the road, their food is delectable and deserves a recommendation to anyone willing to try.

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