715 Bald Eagle Dr, Marco
Bigger is better at Big Al’s Deli on Marco Island. Serving up regular-sized hoagies, sandwiches, wraps and salads for under $7 is what they do.
Owners Tom and Linda Hanson have ran the establishment for 10 years and they cater to locals. Before owning the joint, they operated a sports bar and restaurant in Chicago for 21 years.
“We ran it the same way. With very reasonable prices,” Linda said.
The couple enjoys catering to a local crowd where people can afford to stop for lunch any or every day of the week. “We get the same people every day. It’s like a hangout for them,” Linda said.
A favorite and affordable menu option that gives patrons a good bang for their buck is the daily lunch special. A half sandwich and a bowl of soup for $4.99.
“We like our customers. We want to be reasonable for them,” she added.
Last week one special included a half turkey sandwich with a bowl of beef barley soup.
“That’s extremely popular,” Tom said.
Each day the deli serves up chicken soup and chili, and offers a different special soup such as beef barley, split pea, vegetable beef or clam chowder.
The most popular hoagie on the menu, which costs $5.99 for a regular size, is the Italian with Boar’s Head ham, cappicola, genoa salami and provolone cheese, with a choice of toppings such as lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, sweet peppers, hot peppers, oregano, salt and pepper, blended olive oil and wine vinegar with mayonnaise mustard.
Other popular and affordable menu items include the grilled Reuben sandwich or the pastrami melt for $6.50.
Patrons looking for something lighter than hoagies will find a number of salad options for less than $7. One salad option includes a choice of three scoops of either tuna salad, chicken salad, crab salad or egg salad for $6.99, the most expensive option. Or for a little less, try the greek salad for $5.99 or the Caesar salad for $5.25.
For those on a super tight budget, enjoy any half sandwich for $3.35.
“People like to have a good lunch without spending a lot of money,” Linda said.
Often, without the extra cost of sharing a plate, couples split sandwiches, owners said.
Sides that accompany hoagies, sandwiches and wraps include items such as homemade red russet potato salad or coleslaw for $1.75.
The deli also serves breakfast sandwiches from 8 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Come season, Big Al’s will open on Saturdays again, probably in January.
Big Al’s Deli is located in the Pelican Plaza off Bald Eagle Drive on Marco Island.
IF YOU GO
Big Al’s Deli
715 Bald Eagle Drive
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays