The first time I walked into Big Al's, I was convinced that I walked into a kitchen: more specifically an old friend's Kitchen. I ate some of the best breakfast food I had ever had, and it was served to me by some of the kindest people I had ever met. I now know that this is the mantra of Big Al's: to welcome everyone and make them feel like family.
Throughout the course of my shoot at Big Al's, I noticed if Al and his team didn't know the name of someone before they walked in, they had committed the name to memory by the time they left. Al's dedication to his customers is evident by his willingness to spend equal time behind the counter preparing the food, and in front of it -delivering it to his customers and talking with them.
Maybe most striking is the fact that Al doesn't claim these virtues and practices as self taught or revolutionary, but simply explains that all of these practices are reflections of his faith in God. Despite his talent, success, and adoration from his customers, Al is always quick to redirect any compliment or praise to his faith and relationship with God. He summed up his secret to loving his customers so well at the end of his interview by remarking "it's not me, it's God!"
Although the food is incredible and the novelty of it being "off the radar" makes Big Al's well worth visiting, what will keep you coming back is the love and character that lives in Big Al's through Al and the rest of his team.