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Al the Wop's

Old-school sign, old-school charm!


Al the Wop's
13943 Main Street
Locke, CA
Al's Place - Al the Wop's on Urbanspoon

Sometimes, I can’t believe what unfolds in front of my very eyes when I’m dining in a restaurant.

On the way back from the Isleton Crawdad Festival, my buddy and I stopped in Locke for a bite to eat.  Al the Wop’s had been on my list for a while for two reasons: providing an abbreviated menu of specialty steaks, burgers and pasta dishes that are raved about, as well as a questionable name I’m not sure should offend people.

One thing this restaurant is not is pretentious.  What you see is what you get.  What you see as you walk in is a typical locals’ bar with friendly bartenders who greet you as you walk in the door as they attend to boisterous bikers, locals and tourists.  What you get is a room toward the back where you can enjoy a nice little meal at an affordable price.


I guess I got the bonus plan on this particular visit.  In the middle of my juicy Al’s Burgers, grilled to perfection and piled high with tomato, lettuce and red onion, a couple walked in…and that’s when the show began.

They ordered salads and voiced their dissatisfaction with the types of dressing that were available.  They ordered pasta dishes, then complained yet again when those arrived.  They ordered an entire bottle of wine, then sent it back after two sips.  The manager was gracious enough to offer another bottle of their liking, and they balked after a few sips of the wine that they had picked out.

All the while, their server and her manager attempted to meet their every demand – with smiles on their faces.  No arguments, no eye-rolling.  The same server also made sure everything was going smoothly at our table, and I nodded happily as I shoved ketchup-laden French fries into my face.

Like I said, what you see is what you get.  A Michelin-rated restaurant this is not; but that’s fine.  Perfectly fine, in fact.  We left more than satisfied after wolfing down burgers, pasta and beer and tipped our server a little extra for her graciousness and to make up for the wine snobs who more than likely snubbed her.

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