Secret Places

Al’s Coffee Shop

June 2019

Al’s is the kind of place you have to know about before you go, tucked as it is into the side pocket of the entrance lobby of the office building at 2121 Ponce. It is a locals’ hangout – though not much hanging out is possible, with just six tables in a windowless room papered with fake bricks. What people come here for is fast service, low prices and great sandwiches. Their $5.95 “classics” include pan con bistec, Cuban sandwiches, and pan con pollo. For the same price you can get a “Health Wrap” of turkey, Thai chicken or hummus. For that sweet price you can also get quesadillas or Al’s Original breakfast of eggs, toast, hash browns, and bacon, ham or sausage. Add another buck and get a salad of Asian chicken, popcorn chicken, or chicken Caesar. Or splurge at $7.45 for grilled steak and eggs – or go lower, with the cottage cheese and fruit for $2.75.