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Al's Corner Restaurant

545 West Tuscarawas Ave., Barberton, OH - (330) 475-7978
Posted By Raelene Charles on 4/2/2011 1:48:00 PM
We drove from Central Indiana to visit a friend in Barberton AND to visit Al's. Our Barberton friend had never eaten at Al's (believe it or not) and tried to steer us to one of the locally famous "Barberton Chicken" restaurants. But as I was on a mission for Hungarian food, I insisted on Al's and am I ever happy I did!

The sampler platters are HUGE and the paprikas and dumplings are as rich and wonderful as my Hungarian grandma's. This is most excellent comfort food. My husband, with a New Mexican cuisine background, enjoyed the sausages and the cabbage and dumplings. Everything was wonderfully good and we will drive several hundred miles to enjoy this place again. We may never get around to that Barberton Chicken!

While dining at the retro-cool counter, another customer came in and ordered a side of real mashed potatoes with the red paprikas sauce. What a brilliant idea! I immediately craved a taste but the sampler platter in front of me was too large to even contemplate it.

So we will be back to Al's, and the next time I will bring some containers to carry away the leftovers: my only criticism is the leaky, flimsy go-boxes that leaked the aromatic sauce all over the back seat and deprived us of the "seconds" we were saving for supper at the motel. And we *really* wanted it, after smelling the sauce all day!

If you are a Hungarian food fan (or even if you are not) I can also heartily recommend Tulipan Bakery in Wooster for fabulous Euro-style pastries. They have several mouth-watering traditional Hungarian cookies and pastries I haven't had since Mom quit baking. They also offer slices of kolatch, a nut or poppy seed-filled, not-sweet-but-rich Hungarian pastry roll. Another great destination eatery.

We also sampled Amish food on this trip but the Hungarian food was the highlight. We are crazy about the Amish Door's pepperoni bread and will certainly return to fill the freezer again! And I won't forget the containers for my Al's leftovers.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Chicken Paprikash
Dumplings
Sampler Plate
Sausages
Rate this place
Paprikash is a brilliant balancing act of spice and cream cosseting painfully tender hunks of chicken.
"Paprikash is a brilliant balancing act of spice and cream cosseting painfully tender hunks of chicken."
Michael Stern





Here's Al's sampler plate, going clockwise from 9 o'clock:  stuffed cabbage roll, dumplings and cabbage(barely visible), sausage and sauerkraut, pierogie sauteed in butter and onions. In the center is chicken paprikash.
"Here's Al's sampler plate, going clockwise from 9 o'clock: stuffed cabbage roll, dumplings and cabbage(barely visible), sausage and sauerkraut, pierogie sauteed in butter and onions. In the center is chicken paprikash."
Michael Stern


On the left, mashed potatoes; on the right, halushka: carboheaven.
"On the left, mashed potatoes; on the right, halushka: carboheaven."
Michael Stern


Here are some of the different spice mixes that butcher Denny Gray uses to make sausages at Al's butcher shop.
"Here are some of the different spice mixes that butcher Denny Gray uses to make sausages at Al's butcher shop."
Michael Stern


Dumplings are a side dish that automatically come with chicken paprikash, but if you order anything else, do yourself a favor and accompany it with these buttery beauties, here mixed with bits of cabbage.
"Dumplings are a side dish that automatically come with chicken paprikash, but if you order anything else, do yourself a favor and accompany it with these buttery beauties, here mixed with bits of cabbage."
Michael Stern


I was fortunate enough to snag the first piece of cherry strudel after it came out of the oven.
"I was fortunate enough to snag the first piece of cherry strudel after it came out of the oven."
Cliff Strutz


The ham and corn chowder is wonderfully creamy.
"The ham and corn chowder is wonderfully creamy."
Cliff Strutz


We were first in line when Al's doors opened at 11am, walking in to see this clean and well-ordered dining room. While not neat-freaks, we swooned at just how tidy everything was.
"We were first in line when Al's doors opened at 11am, walking in to see this clean and well-ordered dining room. While not neat-freaks, we swooned at just how tidy everything was. "
Michael Stern


For a first time visitor to Al's, the sampler plate is the way to go.  But with food this good, it is impossible to make a bad choice.  (Click on the photo to read the menu.)
"For a first time visitor to Al's, the sampler plate is the way to go. But with food this good, it is impossible to make a bad choice. (Click on the photo to read the menu.)"
Cliff Strutz


At the corner of Fourth and Tuscarawas in downtown Barberton, Ohio: a beacon of fine Hungarian plate lunch.
"At the corner of Fourth and Tuscarawas in downtown Barberton, Ohio: a beacon of fine Hungarian plate lunch."
Michael Stern


A half block away from the lunch room is Al's butcher shop, where the restaurant's sausages are made, and where the shelves hold a full repertoire of smoky links, netted cottage hams, stingers (extremely spicy snack sticks), twice-smoked bacon frosted with garlic and paprika, and head cheese.
"A half block away from the lunch room is Al's butcher shop, where the restaurant's sausages are made, and where the shelves hold a full repertoire of smoky links, netted cottage hams, stingers (extremely spicy snack sticks), twice-smoked bacon frosted with garlic and paprika, and head cheese."
Michael Stern



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