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Angelo's in Gulfport, Miss.

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Does anyone recall the old Angelo's? It was demolished by Hurricane Camille in 1969 and "rebuilt" but the new structure could never replace the old one, with the oak tree in the dining room. I wonder if anyone remembers the Angelo's salad and, if so, has anyone got a recipe? Angelo was Greek and he had feta cheese in the salad (and went light on the salt) and also included anchovies. For years it was one of only two or three Mississippi restaurants that tried to do more than merely fry catfish (Weidmeann's was another) I exaggerate only slightly.....

ANy help on Angelo's recipes--or descendants of the family who might hold recipes--would be appreciated.

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  1. Here's a brief from the online version of the local Biloxi Sun Herald, posted Aug. 5, 2001. Believe Angelo Xidis's daughter, Martha Dedicos, is still in Gulfport. Perhaps she can help with your request. Good luck!
    "Xidis guarded tasty secret
    Featured on this circa 1940s postcard, Angelo Xidis is preparing his famous secret sauce, just one of the delicious reasons that made Angelo's Place in Gulfport one of the most popular eating places on the Mississippi Coast.

    In 1915, at the age of 16, Xidis emigrated from Greece to the United States through the port of Mobile. In 1935, he moved from Montgomery, Ala., and opened Angelo's at the present-day site of Vrazel's Fine Food Restaurant, where his able partner was his wife, Marguerite.

    Not only Coastians enjoyed great foods at Angelo's. Any given Sunday found groups from New Orleans sampling such gourmet treats as Italian Spaghetti a la Caruso, Broiled Flounder with Angelo's special Lemon Oil Sauce or Chicken Livers a la Milanaise, all prepared by Xidis.

    After Chef Xidis' retirement, the tradition of Angelo's Place continued under the management of his daughter, Martha Dedicos, and her husband, Andrew. Martha Dedicos recalls that after the restaurant closed in 1985, she often ran into people during her travels in the U.S. and abroad who remembered dining at Angelo's."

    1. I remember fondly eating at Angelo's Spahgetti House and I'd give my right arm to get the recipe for his famous spaghetti sauce. It was so good, we'd have bottles of it sent to Illinois, where we lived.

      3 Replies
      1. re: julia woodward

        I have a recipe that came from one of our local food reporters..she got it from Martha Dedicos (a long time ago)..she hesitated on giving out the exact amounts because they were for the restaurant and they weren't able to capture the taste when they reduced the amounts for home use. However..if you are really interested I'll be glad to pass along this recipe ..the one I have and a few suggestions. I am going to try to recreate it by experimentation soon..as I have all of the ingredients that were used in this recipe. Obviously, I enjoyed eating there..I probably ate there in the 100's of times before it finally closed. I did eat at the original restaurant..but most of the times I dined there were after it was rebuilt from the destruction of Hurricane Camille. My email address is handlebar@gmail.com

          1. re: edible complex

            Hi - yes, we do ask that posters share recipes on the site rather than by email, so that all posters can benefit. Here is the link to the Home Cooking board, where recipes are posted:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/31

            Thanks.

      2. I also liked the Angelo's salad..it came with the Spaghetti and Meat Sauce Dinner..it's where I first tried anchovies (at the request of my wife..she really regrets introducing me to anchovies...because I like them on pizza). Eating the Spaghetti and Meat Sauce entree was one of the great things I remember in my life..I had them "burn it"..sort of a forerunner to
        blackening food. What they would do is just put it in the oven a little longer..it wasn't really burned. But it sure tasted great! See my message on the sauce below...will be glad to send it to you if you want.

        5 Replies
        1. re: HANDLEBAR

          Handlebar, I tried to send you an e-mail to get this recipe, but it came back undeliverable. My dad (who is getting up in the years) took me to Angelos when I was a kid....drove all the way from Gulf Shores, AL to eat lunch. He still talks about it as the best spaghetti he ever had. His birthday is coming up later this month...would love to surprise him by giving this recipe a shot if you'd be willing to share what of the recipe you have. My e-mail is wardwmcfarland@gmail.com. Thanks!

          1. re: wardmcfarland

            Did handlebar ever send you the spagetti recipe. If so, wanna share? I was raised about one mile from Angelo's and we would go to lunch after church every Sunday with guests from New Orleans. There usually was a line from other travelers from New Orleans for Sunday lunch. But, we would go on other days as well. My favorite thing in the whole world was the garlic bread. It was crusty and robust full of garlic and cheese and other stuff I can't duplicate. I have tried to duplicate it, but never quite get it right. I hate to admit but I could eat 2 baskets by myself! Anyway if anyone knows the secret of the garlic bread, please let me know. It was a treat to dine at Angelos - everything was good. The salad was delicious - mom and I would swap feta cheese and anchoveys (At 11 years old, I liked the anchovies and she liked the feta) I chose their 1000 Island dressing and not the house dressing. I could scrape the salad plate every time. I do know Angelo sold his sauce, his fish sauce, 1000 dressing, house dressing and I can't remember the other stuff. I wish we could get ALL his delicious recipes. I would make them all at once and then have a memorial lunch to a great restaurant that will always be close to my heart. Even though we went to other restaurants in Gulfport and Biloxi, Angelo's remained our favorite forever.

            1. re: charlie2u

              I would be glad to hear of ANY recipe from the old place. If not posted here, please provide a tip. The salad, as I have noted, is what I'd love to have.

              1. re: hazelhurst

                I really wish I could help you but I am in the same boat - if you hear of any recipes let me know. I loved the garlic bread!!!! The only thing I can tell you that I learned from a waitress friend who worked for Angelos for years, that the secret to their steaks was Oregno. That's it. They were really closed mothed with recipes. Let me hear from you if you learn anything.

                1. re: charlie2u

                  Will certainly do so...the dwindling crowd of The Angelo's Cult must stick together....

        2. I fondly remember Angelo's, as we dined there fairly often, when not in NOLA. I do not recall the salad, however. I also miss the tree through the roof.

          Another really good restaurant, that overstepped the norm of the Coast, was Allman's, just across the US 90 bridge in Ocean Springs.

          Slightly down-scale for any of the other restaurants in the thread so far, was Benny's on the Pass Road in what was then Handsboro, between Gulfport and Biloxi. Though he specialized in fried local seafood, he took it to a new level. In later years, there was a restaurant, Chappy's, that had some fame. I always wondered what the charm was, but then I had experienced Benny's treatments, without some of the hokey treatments. Guess that it was all about press.

          Wish I could help with the salad, but am at a loss to even point you in a good direction.

          Good luck,

          Hunt

          11 Replies
          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Aw,geez, I was hoping that you could recall that salad..I can come kinda close...sorta..not really. It had anchovy, feta, cucumber--I awlays "ate around" those, tomato(ate around) some basil and thyme(I think) olives and I think the dressing acid was both lemon and vinegar. It was a glorious thing. (The owner, as you no doubt know, was not Italian, but Greek, and much of the food showed that---but I didn't know a damn thing about that when I was 8 or 10 or 13 years old. The tree, of course, was the Glory of that wonderful room--remember watching the flounder fisherman at night?. When it rained, the drops that came through the hole would strike the floodlamps at the tree's base and sizzle.

            I never pass the space--it is now Vrazel's, whic got the buliding "Angelo" built after Camille--without a tear in the eye. If someone knows the salad recipe, please give forth. Or, in the alternative, if anyone knows surviving family, pray get us all in touch.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              Somewhere in a stack of recipes I have a sauce recipe for Angelo's. Wow! That is a blast from the past! My family owned a restaurant in Long Beach and there were few places we ate outside of our own...never any time. But I do remember Angelo's and a place on Pass Road in Gulfport ...think the name was Milo's. I loved their pizza!

              1. re: ps1

                Patty, have you located the Angelo's sauce recipe you said you have? Please share! I have recipes for two of their sauces (flounder sauce and creole sauce) and will post them on Chow.com as soon as I can figure out how to do it. Nothing I try works!

              2. re: hazelhurst

                Sorry to disappoint. Were my mother still alive, she could have helped, as she was the salad person in the family. It was really not until much later, that I graduated to more than a wedge, or maybe a finely chopped lettuce and carrot.

                Still, I remember them well.

                Thanks for the memories,

                Hunt

                PS we did Vrazel's post-K (for the first time) and it was not bad for lunch. Not perfect, but considering that they had just gotten back in business, not bad. I'd give them a dinner go, and see how they do.

                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  Thanks, Bill, for your reply. I am glad to have a confrere out there who recalls those days.

                  I ate at Vrazel's before Katrina and it was fine--I just lamented the Gulf view which wass occluded by some warehouse(Banana's?). Angelos built that building in a clever way to afford views of the water...now all you can see is warehouses. Times change.....I have not been to Vrazel's in years and so I cannot comment on teh food.When last I was there, for several continuous visits within a month or so, it did not seem to have an "identity." Maybe it was just my failing. Nowadays, it must be the Established Survivor and I hope it can work off that.

                  Will be in California in two weeks, Mendocino way..any thoughts? post on appropriate board with hint where I can see it.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    "When last I was there, for several continuous visits within a month or so, it did not seem to have an "identity."

                    That is astute. I always felt that most dining on the Coast did lack an "identity." Many tried to be New Orleans Very East, and some tried to be northern Mississippi. Few ever quite got it. There were some, who just did their "thing" and did that well. Did they draw the NOLA folk, who had homes on the Coast? A very few did. Angelo's seemed to have the right idea - do not attempt to be NOLA East, and just do great food in a bit more of a homey style. For decades, it worked wonderfully.

                    In general, the Coast was too close to NOLA in some ways, but too far away in others. Actually, with a very few exceptions, Biloxi seemed to handle it better, though they were not perfect.

                    Still, between Gulfport and Biloxi, I have at least two absolute first place dishes, and actually a few 2nd, or 3rd place awards. Considering some of the great restaurants that I have dined, plus the fabulous cities, that is not bad for an area that, combined, was not about about 35,000 residents.

                    As for Mendocino County, I do not think that I can help you. I have some places in other similar areas, like San Mateo, San Francisco, Los Gatos, and Montery, plus down the coast. Got a few in Napa, but not Mendocino County, sorry. Never hesitate to contact me off-line. Things have been a bit odd lately, but we're in town for most of July. My POP is listed as my "blog," which I do not have, but an e-mail will find me. Add "Chowhound" to the Subject, so my mailwasher does not mark it as spam.

                    Travel safely, and in style,

                    Hunt

                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      I remember Angelo's fondly, too. I will be in the Biloxi area soon and am interested in your award-winning recommendations. I know the Hunt Award must be renowned along the Coast.

                      1. re: cajungirl

                        Me too! I would love to know the first place dishes!

                        1. re: Clarkafella

                          Let us hope our learned friend Bill can winnow out some goodies regarding The Salad...or anyhting else, for that matter.

                        2. re: cajungirl

                          Sorry for the delay, but we've been in the air, more than on the ground.

                          Unfortunately, most of my Gulf Coast recs. are no longer there.

                          Back in the old days, Baraciv's (I go back to their location at the old Ocean Springs bridge location), and then Magnusen's House of Seafood are long gone.

                          We had a good meal at Mary Mahoney's in Biloxi, but that was just after Katrina.

                          Enjoy, and please post.

                          Hunt

                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                            See my review on this board on Emeril's Gulf Coast Fish House.

              3. Thought this link appropriate to the topic of Angelo's recipes. I ate there many times while growing up on the coast, moving away in the late 60's. I'll be visiting next month and continue to miss this personal landmark. Would love to have that recipe!

                http://www.infomercantile.com/blog/la...

                1 Reply
                1. This is from a Travel guide book I picked up in a used bookstore. If you are still interested this may be of some use to you. Angelo's 3206 West Beach, Gulfport, MS. "Angelo Xidis, owner and chef at this famous spot, had one hard-and-fast rule: Never reveal a recipe. His secrets were successfully kept before we coaxed this one from him. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner."
                  "Angelo's Broiled Flounder and Sauce-Make several small cuts across the top of the cleaned fish and insert slices of garlic. Sprinkle fish with oregano and broil. Make a sauce by combining lemon juice, a touch of mustard, mayonnaise, olive oil, chopped capers, parsley, and salt and pepper. Pour sauce over broiled fish and heat in oven for a few minutes before serving." "Sounds simple, but Angelo takes it for granted that you will know the exact amounts to use." (The Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places, Copyright 1950 by Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI. Printed by Western Printing and Lithographing Company and published by Simon and Schuster-New York) This little book has been an adventure for me as I google each eatery to see if they are still operating. I dream of someday traveling around and actually experiencing them personally. I hope you have enjoyed what I've shared.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sherdi55

                    That's fun. My father had that Ford book. I never saw it when I was a boy but found it in his thinigs long after his death. And I recall Angelos was in it but I lost that book along time ago so appreciate hearing that. I still hope the family might throw out the salad recipe in a fit of generosity, as the Ramos Gin Fizz was divulged by the bar when Prohibition took hold.