We've been wanting to try this place since we'd heard about the "goats on the roof" and had it recommended. Unfortunately we left disappointed, a bit hungry, and feeling a tad jipped.
Overall the atmosphere was nice We found the waitress to be a bit cool, but her service was fine. The food was tasty enough, but nothing extraordinary. However for the prices they charged we expected to receive a lot more food than we did. In our opinion they should charge less, or make the experience/food quantity more worthwhile.
Not worth a repeat visit. From now on we'll just walk past to enjoy the goats.
Shady business: frivolous lawsuits are on the menu!.
I can't vouch for the food or the service, but I do think potential patrons of this place should know that Johnson is deliberately driving a small operation out of business 750 miles away.
Apparently he has trademarked the practice of putting goats on a roof to attract customers - not a particular name, logo, or anything else that should actually be proprietary, but the idea of having any goats on any roof. And now he's filed a federal lawsuit against a small tourist shop in Rabun Co., Georgia called "Goats on the Roof". One must wonder, is Johnson actually worried that this place is competing with his Wisconsin restaurant? The idea seems a little ludicrous to me.
The issue came to my attention because I lived and worked in Rabun County for the last four years, and today a friend alerted me to the lawsuit. We have become quite fond of our quirky little landmark, and I find Johnson's assaultive business practice offensive. Why are people so rabid about patenting/trademarking everything in today's society?
Still a Door County Must See.
No matter what anyone says, see Al Johnson's. It has been a part of Door County forever. The decor is old, the menu is not all Swedish food, the waiters speak some English, and during the summer season the wait may be long, but the experience is old Door County. The Swedish food may not be the same as that in Chicago where my mother-in-law (100% Swede) joined the Swedish community as a young girl in 1920, but it is Swedish enough that it made me wish she was there to enjoy it. Our meal for four was an inexpensive $120.00 including tip, and everyone was satisfied. My steak was not the best cut of meat, but it was prepared properly. We had no room for dessert, unfortunately, because they looked great.
We were there in the off off off season (Door County in March?!) and everything was very very good. I think those were the same chairs they had back in 1968.
I can't think of anything negative to say. The four of us enjoyed our evening experience and went back for a special fund raising breakfast with Swedish pancakes and lingonberries. 100% of the proceeds of the breakfast went to a charitable cause, something Al Johnson does all the time. Al Johnson's is a huge part of Door County and still a big must see.
Try again.. My husband and I went to the Door for our honeymoon last week and went to Al Johnsons on a recommendation. First, the interior was outdated and ugly. I get the swedish thing but this was bad, very tacky. The menu was mostly american to begin with and the food was mediocre at best. I am from Milwaukee and am used to having higher standards in restaurants so maybe thats why we didnt like this place. We didnt see this huge wait for a table either, we walked in and were seated immediately. The entrees we ordered were not worth what we paid for them and didnt taste very good. I didnt think the pricing was bad but the food was. Dont waste your time, there are better places to eat in Door County.
Swedish? I don't think so.. Strawberries with your Swedish pancakes? Huh? Complimentary lingonberries for the table that are not fresh from the jar but stale from a giant bucket that sits out night after night. I've had better lingonberries from a jar I bought at Ikea. I'm from Chicago where we have several excellent Swedish restaurants and this place doesn't come close in quality of food. Al Johnson's is clearly on auto-pilot. The 'swedish meatballs' were definetly frozen and past their expire date. Also, this place is way over-priced.
User review by wanderingtourist. Everyone was talking about how special Al Johnsons is. I thought the goats on the roof were unique. The food wasn't that great. It was way overpriced. And my server didn't know english. It was very hard to enjoy when your server doesn't understand you. The location is nice.
It's Gute for Yew!. Yummy Svenska Pankakes/Lingonberries/Shutbulles! Connect to your Swedish heritage here! Midsommar festival is gute too! Pretty waitresses dressed in Swedish costumes; building has look of Swedish lodge with knotty wood. Dining room has Nordic bright colors. Butik attached is a MUST. Buy a Dala horse for gute luck! Make wish eating Swedish pepperkokor cookies! Tak Sa Mycket! Var Sa Gud!
Al Jonson's, i've found, was highly over rated. The surroundings of Al Johnson's and its goats on the roof, were the only special things besides the Swedish Pancakes. The menu was priced to "Door County" standards and it had your basic burgers & fries, sandwich & soups, and the "swedish" dishes.
The staff was excellent, except for those few foreign girls who couldn't understand a word of english. Having foreign employees add a certain flair to the restaurant, but when you can't get the proper dish, it makes for a bummer of an evening.
coach. over priced meatball, average taste. service was below average, I have had better service at a fast food resturant.
Al's is GREAT!. I live around 20 miles away, so when i go to visit my grandma we occasionally go to Al's. It's such a great atmosphere, and being from Swedish roots myself, I think it's wonderful! It's so popular though, that there's a little bit of a wait to get a table. The waitresses are VERY friendly and the service fast. The prices are reasonable, and you're just a few minutes away from the beach, and LOTS of shops in downtown Sister Bay. So, if you're ever in Door County stop by Al's. I'm sure you'll enjoy it!
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