Oneonta is no stranger to great barbecue thanks to restaurants like Brooks' House of Bar-B-Q, Sloan's New York Grill, and just outside of Oneonta in Colliersville, Andre's Blue Ribbon BBQ. Here's the great thing about barbecue, I have discovered that there are so many different types of barbecue to discover and when Big Al's BBQ of New York opened up in the former Lizard Lick location on Oneonta's Dietz Street on December 31, 2021, North Carolina barbecue-style cuisine hit the scene in our area.

via Big Al's BBQ of New York, Facebook
via Big Al's BBQ of New York, Facebook

Ever since its opening, chef and owner Alvin Shepherd has worked hard to get discovered by area residents and it sure seems like his restaurant is getting busier and busier as time goes by. I first met "Big Al" in the spring of 2021 when he brought quite the southern barbecue spread to our studios at Townsquare Media in Oneonta.

Shepherd grew up in North Carolina and after moving to our area, serves up his family's own recipe of barbecue at Big Al's BBQ of New York which he describes as "New York’s best East-Carolina style bbq and soul food" using "fresh ingredients to provide premium barbecued ribs, chicken, fish, and soulful sides". You can check out his menu here. Big Al's does not have indoor dining but offers outdoor seating along with online ordering with takeout and delivery.

After talking with Alvin about his North Caroline family barbecue dishes, his passion for cooking and sharing it with others really shines through and everything I've tried from his menu has been delicious.

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Business experts say that the first year of business is the hardest but if you can make it through that first year, then chances are you'll do well. I've been keeping my eyes and stomach on Big Al's BBQ and by the looks of traffic to his restaurant, I'd say he's here to stay. If you're ever in Oneonta, NY pop into Big Al's BBQ and give it a try.

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