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Review: Al's Cookout

Hearty portions are finger-lickin' good and will fill you to the brim at Al's Cookout.

For a little over a year, Al's Cookout has been serving up down home barbeque in a friendly atmosphere.

My father was visiting from Massachusetts to see his three grandchildren (and his #1 daughter) and likes to eat in Brookfield because he knows how to get to the Exit 7 commuter parking lot.  (We come from a family of directionally challenged folks and have come to terms with it.)

Heading up Candlewood Lake Road, we chose Al's Cookout for the location and because we heard it had good barbeque. 

We weren't sure what to expect upon entering and there were only a few cars in the parking lot on a Wednesday afternoon.  This location had been home to many failed restaurants in the past such as Vesuvio's, The Regatta and the Blue Herron. 

Outside there is a new patio area with tables and umbrellas that looked inviting, but it was too hot and humid to sit outside.  The air conditioned dining room was a much-needed environment on a hot sticky day.  The seating inside is very comfortable with cushioned leather benches and a huge flat screen TV for sports.

Our waitress came over right away to get our drink order and was very friendly.  Things were "so far so good."  We started off with some appetizers.  Anyone who has read my food reviews knows by now that my daughter is obsessed with Mozzarella Sticks ($6.99), so of course that is what she ordered to start, along with some Cheesy Fries ($4.99). 

My oldest son ordered Honey Barbeque Chicken Wings ($8.50) after having a hard time deciding between the other 20-30 different wing choices. They were meaty and delicious.  Some other wing choices included Lime Tequila Wings, Teriyaki and Hot Wings. For three adults and two children three appetizers were more than enough and all were very tasty.

For lunch my middle son was excited that they had Sliders with Fries ($9.25 plus $2 extra for bacon).  The mini burgers came four to a plate and the cook made his special with bacon and cheddar cheese.  He said he shouldn't have ordered it well done because they were overcooked.

Can you guess what my daughter ordered?  What most 10-year-olds would order: Chicken Fingers with Fries ($5.75). She said they were good but of course couldn't finish them after all those Mozzarella Sticks and Cheesy Fries.

My father, oldest son and I all had to go with Al's Almost Famous Pulled Pork Sandwich ($9.99 each).  These sandwiches were HUGE! All came with a pickle and fries.  I went with the Sweet Potato Fries which complimented the fiery hot sandwiches nicely.  The sweetness helped cool down the kickin' heat from the pork. 

We were not expecting how extremely spicy the sandwiches were. But it wasn't a barbeque spice flavor, it was more of a cumin, chili pepper spiciness which, when you're not expecting it, can be quite a shock. We all agreed they were good, but a little too hot.

Make sure to have plenty of napkins nearby when you attempt to chow down on this sandwich, it was one of the messiest I've ever tried.  We went through an entire roll of paper towels (which, luckily, they have on the tables) between the three of us.

I would recommend splitting the pulled pork sandwich between two people as the grinder size roll with the fries is more than enough.  We all wrapped up half of our meals for dinner that night.

Generally we would not have ordered all those appetizers for lunch but my father was visiting he always encourages us to "live it up."  And that we did!  Lunch for five with three appetizers, entrees and a $27 bar tab came to $117 with a 20 percent tip for exceptional service. But a family of four could easily get lunch for around $40 to $45.

Sandwiches such as a French Dip, Philly Cheese Steak and a Turkey Club range from $8 to $10 each.  Kid's meals are about $4 to $6. They also have a half rack of ribs for $15 or a full rack for $21.

The atmosphere at Al's is comfortable and casual.  The service is excellent.  They seem to have a lively bar scene and various specials take place throughout the week. Monday is "Wing Night," Tuesday is "Cheap Drink Night," Wednesday is "Karaoke Night," and Thursday is "Girl Drink Night."  Check their website for details and more about "Game Day" and Happy Hour drink specials.

Al's currently delivers to Brookfield Bay and Echo Bay Marina.

If flavor is what you're craving Al's has plenty to keep your taste buds satisfied. 

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