Big Al's Cafe

Biggest little diner in town

Big Al’s Café serves up dinner delivery for Discovery Bay residents that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner menu selections
  • Fast and nice service.
  • Satisfaction or money refund guaranteed.
  • We serve the best burgers in town.
  • We smoke our own ribs.

Big Al isn’t. Big, that is. But his reputation for the best breakfasts and burgers is. Al Kulling is the mild-mannered owner of the popular Discovery Bay diner, Big Al’s Café, famous for their authentic biscuits and gravy, juicy 1/3-pound burgers, and mouth-watering home-style ribs.

Kulling’s restaurant success began in Brentwood in 1990, with his first family diner. He opened his Discovery Bay location in 2008, and operated both locations for three years.

“After my 21-year lease expired, I decided to move permanently to Discovery Bay,” he said. “I wanted a newer place, more modern, more populated.”

Kulling chose the Sandy Cove Shopping Center, and with anchor store Safeway, Kulling banked on his future for success. The move has proven a wise one, and Big Al’s Cafe just got bigger. Kulling recently added dinner delivery for Discovery Bay residents.

“I think delivery service is important to Discovery Bay,” said Kulling. “We have a very diverse dinner menu so we can offer a lot of choices.”

Popular delivery items include Al’s tempura battered fish and chips or prawns, as well as his Big Al’s Barbecue Ribs.

The small eight-table diner, complete with a four-stool counter, has become an icon in Discovery Bay. The over-sized country tables play host to local businesses advertising through shiny laminate, adding to the restaurant’s hometown charm. The corner café is almost always full, and the fast service of kitchen and staff keeps the tables occupied and customers satisfied.

What makes Big Al’s work?
“Our food is consistent,” said Kulling. “We have had no complaints.”

Regular specials such as biscuits and gravy served with two eggs, sausage and choice of hash browns or home fries draws customers from throughout the county.

“When my wife and I were looking to relocate to Discovery Bay, we would come out every weekend, specifically to have breakfast at Al’s,” said Dan Gonsalves. “I would have Al’s biscuits and gravy everyday if my wife would let me. There are none anywhere like them.”

Kulling also attributes his success to his employees. His chef of 26 years, John Gaudette, has never missed a day of work. His dishwasher / prep / busperson Jose Garcia has been with him for 16 years. Two of his servers have seen more than 20 years with Kulling, and his son Kyle and wife Sherry, are also involved in the day-to-day operations.

“Great food, great menu and great employees,” Kulling said.

Big Al’s boasts the “Best Breakfast in Discovery Bay” award, a local people’s choice vote, and has been rated number one since he opened here. “I won Best Burger, too,” he noted. With entrees like the popular 1/3-pound sourdough Angus beef burger and the Ortega burger on grilled sourdough with swiss cheese and Ortega chilies, Big Al’s specialty burgers earn their titles.

Kulling introduced busy families to his dinner menu with the benefit of delivery and continues to add new items. “We deliver to all of Discovery Bay,” he said. “The Lakes, golf course, anywhere. Most everyone knows our breakfast and lunch menu, and we’ve added some great choices for dinner. Our patty melt and New York steak sandwich are great dinner items, too.”

The little diner’s menu is quite extensive, and includes classics like Philly Cheese steaks, specialty burgers, salads, soups and desserts. Beer and wine is available, as well as a very tasty wine-based Sunrise and Bloody Mary.

Big Al’s Café is located in the Sandy Cove Shopping Center at the corner of Highway 4 and Bixler Road in Discovery Bay. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday, 5 to 9 p.m. Delivery and takeout orders can be made by calling 925-516-7500.