Last week my girls and I were met with the common dilemma that encroaches our day-to-day lives: Valentine’s Day. In my eyes, it’s a made-up holiday so Hallmark can sell some cards and chocolate makers can make millions; an absolute and utter cop-out of a celebration that does not need to be appreciated. Usually the 14th of February is a very intimate affair between my cat and I, however this year my girls and I decided to use Valentines as an excuse to go out for some wining and dining, all whilst mocking this horrendous holiday. With so many new restaurants that offer an abundance of different cuisines popping up in Nelson, we were spoilt for choice – but a 2-for-1 milkshake deal from Al’s Deli swayed us towards their classic American diner destination.
Al’s Deli is Nelsons first classic diner style restaurant, and is popular with the locals; especially as it shares its grounds one of Nelsons busiest pubs – perfect for people to enjoy a massive feed and then hit the bar for a cheeky bevvy! The actual restaurant itself is huge and is decked out with the traditional American diner booths, but it also has a perfect little picturesque outdoor courtyard surrounded by fairy lights and trees, which is where my Valentines and I got comfortable, all ready for a bite to eat and a gossip. Now, I’m not a big fan of milkshakes myself, but I know my girls are, so the 2-4-1 deal was a perfect way to celebrate Valentines. However, judging by the reactions of my friends the milkshakes did not taste like what they were meant to – last time I checked a Snickers bar is a chocolatey and nutty blend rather than just peanut butter flavour! After the milkshake disappointment we placed higher hopes on the food; I opted for a halloumi and pomegranate seed salad with a side of deep fried spicy sriracha cauliflower wings. The salad was okay at best, something I could’ve probably got from any bog-standard café or restaurant, but the cauliflower wings with that spicy sriracha were absolutely banging – I couldn’t stop reaching for another after another even though I was meant to be sharing! A very delicious and healthy substitute for the general oily chicken wings that dominate diner cuisine.
All in all, a little disappointing at Al’s Deli. If you are craving large diner style meals that are filled to the brim with protein and carbs then Al’s deli is for you, otherwise I would suggest going to another one of Nelsons bountiful eateries. With drinks that had flavour confusion and average tasting food, the only thing that really saved this place was the cute courtyard and its Pinterest-like décor. I have to be a little cutthroat here, and score Al’s Deli a harsh-but-fair 4/10 on the CCL scale. I had only heard one review from my friend regarding this place saying that the restaurant is alright, but nothing to write home about, but I thought it would check it out myself and see if his review was accurate, and unfortunately for Al’s Deli, it was reflective of my experience. Definitely not somewhere I would go again, alone or with people, but if you yourself want to check this place out then I encourage you – just don’t raise your expectations too high!