I got to take a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of my life by enjoying a chicken shawarma at Al’s Paradise Cafe near Harmony Park in downtown Detroit.
The best thing is I got to eat out doors and not even the street bums bothered me for money. I needed a good meal and a place filled with peace and quiet. As I drove downtown to cover the Tigers-Texas Rangers game I did not know where to go. I stopped at Bookie’s but the bar was on jam so I left. The same with Harry’s Detroit. There were too many people and I didn’t know when I’d get my meal because I knew the kitchen was on jam.
I needed to cover the game for The Detroit News.
Then the light bulb hit me. Al’s is the spot. I walked past thousands of Tiger fans, order the shawarma and sat at one of only two out door tables. I was the only person there. The weather was great and it felt great. Now and then a group of fans headed to the game would walk by. Some looked at this dive of a place, then looked at me and wondered why I would stop and eat someplace like this?
Some recognized me and said hi and boombaye.
I don’t blame the the people that looked at me cross eyed. I’ve done it before. You see a place that does not look great. Sometimes you take a chance and discover something new. I’ve been going to Al’s for a couple of years. This time it hit the spot. And it was fun watching the bewildered look on the fan’s face.
Many were in search of food. They’d grab something at the ball park or a bar or restaurant they were familiar with. I knew deep down whatever they found would not be as delicious as the shawarma I was scarfing down.
I sat there for a moment after my sandwich, picked up my plastic tray and placed it inside.
Then I joined the noise of Tiger fans who later celebrated a Game 3 victory over Texas.