Several recent trips to Angelo’s Italian Grill (formerly Angelo’s Spaghetti House) have assuaged my fears. Open since 1993, Angelo’s is a Lakewood institution, developing its loyal following by offering consistently tasty Italian-American comfort food. Even when Carabba’s moved in (into the current Ali Baba location), Angelo’s stayed, outlasting the chain and becoming even more popular with the locals.
The space can feel a little maze-like, as you wind your way through the room to a table. The menu can also be a little overwhelming and, if you’re hungry, makes for a very difficult decision. My advice? Order a sampler! Sampler #1 ($15.95; my favorite) is chicken Parmesan, cheese ravioli with marinara sauce, and fettuccine Alfredo. I’m a sucker for a good chicken Parmesan, and Angelo’s is the best I’ve had in Dallas. Tender chicken, encased in crisp breadcrumbs, is covered with tangy marinara and melted mozzarella. I’m tempted each time to order it as an entrée, until I move on to the ravioli. Unlike the doughy, bland specimens elsewhere, Angelo’s is both light and rich, with a delicate layer of pasta surrounding a creamy, lemony ricotta filling. Alfredo is also an exemplary version of the dish; the sauce has body but is not so thick that it’s heavy.
Sampler #2 ($14.95) is also a good choice for the indecisive diner. Featuring meat lasagna, spaghetti with meat sauce, and Italian sausage, it is my meat-loving future husband’s favorite. The Italian sausage (also in the lasagna) is fragrant with fennel, but not overpowered by it. Speaking of the lasagna, it’s perfectly seasoned and utterly satisfying. Spaghetti with meat sauce is al dente pasta and rich sauce as good as an Italian grandmother would make.
Every dinner comes with a choice of salad, and the Caesar is the way to go. While most Caesars are either wimpy and completely lacking in flavor or so loaded with garlic that you can’t taste anything else, Angelo’s is assertive, but not aggressive, with just the right balance of lemon, garlic and anchovies.
Garlic rolls are fine, but mostly serve as a vehicle for the delicious marinara served alongside.
On an extra-hungry visit we tried the calamari ($7.95), and sadly it was limp, flavorless and not on par with the entrées. On another visit the cannoli ($3.95) also proved disappointing; the half-empty shell tasted like baking soda and the meager portion of filling was gritty and too sweet.
If you’re in the area during the week at lunchtime, Angelo’s offers an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet ($8.69). The menu changes daily, and ranges from pork chops in brown gravy to shrimp in seafood cream to roasted vegetables with penne.
Several varieties of pizza are also on offer, as well as salads and Angelo’s “famous” bread pudding for dessert, which is served warm with cinnamon whipped cream on top. Some dishes fared better on the buffet than others. Vegetable penne and lasagna were satisfying, but chicken carbonara was bland and nearly inedible by the time it reached my plate. An all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch ($11.95) mixes breakfast foods and selections from the menu.
Angelo’s has a full bar, a selection of beers (including a couple of Italian choices), and wine by the bottle and the glass. A perfect place for date night, a family dinner, or meeting a group of friends, the atmosphere and service are warm and friendly. Here’s hoping Angelo’s holds its own for another 20 years!
Angelo’s Italian Grill
6341 La Vista Drive
Lunch is served Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (buffet ends at 2 p.m.)
Sunday brunch begins at 11 a.m.
Dinner is served Monday – Thursday, 4 – 9 p.m.; Friday 5 – 10 p.m.; Saturday 5 – 10 p.m.; Sunday 5 – 9 p.m.