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‘Watts for Dinner’ the Takeout Edition: Forget Arby’s, Big Al’s has the meats!

Will Watts
Correspondent

One of the first signs of a civilized society is a proper deli. Oh, the cities I’ve been in without this basic human need. Fortunately, on Marco Island, we have one of the best in Big Al’s. Fresh soups, huge sandwiches and wraps and friendly, smiling faces.

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For this visit, I ordered the large turkey breast hoagie ($9.50). First and foremost, the bread is always fresh and amazing. Made with Boar’s Head freshly-cut meats (my favorite deli cuts), this sandwich is a monster. For my toppings and dressings, I picked mayo, mustard, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickle. All fresh and delicious. This is one of my favorite sandwiches anywhere.

I also sampled the buffalo chicken wrap ($6.75). The buffalo-infused meat comes customed-made from Boar’s Head. I added lettuce, tomato and feta cheese. The seasoned meat adds a subtle kick to the wrap. I highly recommend it.

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My dining companion ordered the large chicken salad hoagie ($9.50). Made in house, with all white-meat chicken, the mix is so popular that you’re lucky if they still have any when you order. He added only lettuce for a topping, so he could enjoy the full flavor of the chicken salad. Perhaps not a tradition choice, this sandwich is yummy to it’s core and will leave you wanting more.

He also ordered the honey maple turkey breast wrap ($6.75), which, according to the menu we saw, features sun dried tomatoes, walnut pesto with feta, lettuce, tomato and onion in a wrap and grilled on the press. Like the buffalo chicken, the maple is infused into the meat by Boar’s Head. Unfortunately, the sun dried tomatoes and walnut pesto were MIA, but it still made for a tasty treat.

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For another meal, I had the trio salad ($6.99). You can pick from the chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad or “krab” salad. I picked the tuna, chicken and egg. Don’t make me pick a favorite, I’d be hard pressed. But I can tell you that the egg salad mixes well with either of the meat salads. The trio is severed over a traditional veggies salad, and with a side of dressing (balsamic in this case). I ate the trios first, then added the dressing to the greens. We all eat our own way, don’t we? Yummy!

My partner in dine ordered the Greek salad ($5.99). With tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, feta cheese, and olives and dressed with salt, pepper, Greek oregano, and olive oil this salad was a flavor explosion. And both salads were a work of art. If you’re looking for the biggest bang for your buck, the salad plates are the way to go.

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I would like to see Big Al’s develop a website (but they do have a Facebook page) and an order online option. But here’s the deal, this place is so popular, it’s innovation that can wait. Your best bet is to order ahead by telephone and avoid the long lines.  

Big Al’s serves up quality deli favorites that keep people coming back for more. It adds a lot of flavor to the home we call Marco Island.

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This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food.

If you go

Big Al’s Deli (aka Big Al’s Sub Shop)

  • 715 Bald Eagle Dr, Marco Island, inside Pelican Plaza
  • 239-642-8080
  • facebook.com/Bigalsdeli/