Big Als is incredible, been going there for the last 4 or 5 years...being a transplant from philly and going back all the time, this place is legit...ive been all around florida and always eat steaks...especially around this area, nobody does sliced ribeye, liscios bread (which is what everybody but jims uses) and makes a steak that isn't prechewed for you while they cook it. Thanks Big Al's for giving me a sandwich with meat so good i can chew it!!! There is a reason you win all these awards!!!!
Best Cheese Steak - 2011
Big Al's Steaks
"Whiz?" the cashier asks, and it's a test to see if you've ever had a real Philly cheese steak, the kind from South Street, where the grease and exhaust fumes are plentiful and no one raises an eyebrow at cheese that comes in a can.
If you can't stomach the Cheez Whiz, it's fine; they have American and provolone. They also have doughy, soft, and slightly greasy rolls to cradle the fresh rib-eye steak, plus perfectly salted fries to satisfy your drunken cravings after the bars close. Top your steak with peppers and onions, and grab a table on the sidewalk. Inhaling this snack takes less than five minutes, long enough to remember that living in Florida isn't bad — so long as it occasionally tastes like Philly.
BIG AL'S is a far cry from a good Philly Cheesesteak. Having spent my entire life eating Cheesesteaks from South Philly as well as the surrounding area, I can say that Big Al's is not comparable to any style of cheesesteak from the north. The steak is flavorless and scant. The roll is claimed to be delivered from Philly each week but I find that very hard to believe. The rolls in Philly (Amoroso as well as others) have a unique taste and texture due to the water quality and Big Al's rolls do not reflect that. While Big Al's does offer cheese sauce, the knockoff cheesesteak resulting from Big Al's recreation is nonetheless lackluster in comparison to the shops in Philly such as Pat's, Geno's, Jim's, or Tony Luke's. I also highly doubt that Joey Vento of Geno's would ever divulge his recipe to anyone let alone someone who would try to parlay the concept into a franchise. All in all, Big Al's is a poor excuse for a Philly Cheesesteak. New Times, if you want something to have a comparison too, I will gladly bring you an authentic Cheesesteak from any or all of the Philly shops on my next 2 hour flight down. It may be cold by the time it gets here but it would still taste better then Big Al's.