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Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen

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i just had dinner at angeline's louisiana kitchen on shattuck and kittredge. i had the catfish po'boy sandwich with hushpuppies on the side and my friend had the jumbalaya. honestly, the fish in the po'boy was slightly bland and the jumbalaya had little flavor and it was all just kind of "eh.."
BUT! the redeeming factor that will make me come back again and again in the future were the hushpuppies... they were amazing and fried to perfection! just thinking about them now makes my mouth water. i dont know about anything else on the menu, but if you go there, you MUST get the hushpuppies. absolutely delicious.

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  1. I have had similar experience. I ordered the catfish po'boy with their soup of the day lunch, and both were forgetable, whatever. But I sampled my friends' huspuppies, bbq shrimps, pastas and they were all very good. My companion said the gumbo is delicious also. Their hamburger looks good and smells good, but my friend complained that the cheese is too strong (vermont?). You must try their bbq shrimps.

    1. Just had takeout. BBQ shrimp were great as were hushpuppies. Boudin was a nice appetizer side. The gumbo was a little lacking but added some of the shrimp's sauce to it and it was fine. Best of all were the Brussels sprouts. Fantastic.

      I can't wait to try the beignets with coffee. Chickory coffee.

      1. Anyplace that can make brussels sprouts not only edible but good deserves quite a bit of respect.

        1. I've been there a couple time now. I thought their gumbo was quite good (I'm a gumbo fiend and go long distances to try gumbos). It had a nice, rich stock, with more depth than other places. I did think the hushpuppies were fantastic the first time but not so great the second. The bbq shrimp was very tasty both times.

          I think they should add more choices to their menu, but the food was good overall.

          14 Replies
          1. re: jkt

            What are the places serving the best gumbo? Have you tried Nellie's?

            1. re: rworange

              I have tried Nellie's. I thought it was very good, it had a lot of depth in the stock and I liked the way they stewed down the chicken so that it had flavor and even the cartilage was soft. The one thing it lacked was sweetness, it doesn't need a lot but a little to round it out.

            2. re: jkt

              You should try the gumbo at Dorsey's Locker.

              1. re: chocolatetartguy

                Now I'll have to...

                What do you like about it?

                1. re: jkt

                  I guess the primary thing is that when I taste Dorsey's gumbo it transports me to New Orleans. It's also chock full o' stuff. More details at link below.

                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                  1. re: chocolatetartguy

                    I went to Dorsey's Locker today to try their gumbo. It had a lot of ingredients but was not at the level of Nellie's or Angeline's. They could use a richer stock. They used a lot of a basic sausage and chicken wings. They also used crab and shrimp.

                    1. re: jkt

                      I can see your point re Angeline's vs Dorsey's gumbo. Dorsey's broth is thinner and perhaps has less depth of flavor, but I think it has a mellower edge to it. Possibly due to a more judicious hand with the file powder. I guess I would characterize the difference as being that Dorsey's has more soul. But that's just my opinion. Not sure, but I think the thin broth gumbo might be another style from the thicker broth. I just thought about the baked potato place that used to be where Razan's is now. They made gumbo on Friday's with a similar thin broth. Now that was some gumbo.

                      I just got a gumbo tip from my man Tony at the post office about a joint with a Chinese cook and a Mexican name that serves a gumbo he likes. And Tony is a guy who cooks a big pot every New Year's. Will report after I check it out.

                      Oddly, my most memorable gumbo was at The Old Waldorf in SF where Paul Prudhomme set up shop for a month in the late 80's and not any of the places I tried in NO. Elite Cafe's version used to be pretty good, but can't vouch for the new incarnation.

                      1. re: chocolatetartguy

                        I'd probably remember that gumbo better if they hadn't been selling the people in line Cajun martinis in pint jars.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          I don't remember those pint jars of moonshine. I do remember sitting on those stone steps for 4-5 hours, but damn, if I wouldn't do in again in a New Orleans minute.

                          K-Paul also used to supervise cooking at a Mardi Gras festival at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View. They cooked gumbo, etouffee, etc in big wok like vats and it was good!

                        2. re: chocolatetartguy

                          To me, it's not so much the thickness of the broth but the depth of flavor. This goes to real stock making - getting flavor from shrimp and crab shells, carmelization from the meats, sweetness from the onions, smokiness from sausage, and a nuttiness or even coffee tones from the roux, till you end up with a broth so good you could drink it by itself. I say the soul is in the depth and the sweetness.

                          The thickness can be adjusted by the amount of roux, okra, or file. You need a little thickness to have body, but I've also had gumbos with so much roux, it was like eating glue.

                          The best broth I ever had was at Dooky Chase. Their broth was so rich and well rounded - it's hard to beat a real Creole gumbo.

                          1. re: jkt

                            I hear you on the value of a well-made stock. Proper technique and long cooking might make for depth of flavor, but not necessarily depth of great flavor. I had the gumbo at Angeline's right after they opened and was impressed by it's depth of flavor, but it wasn't really to my taste.

                            I plan to give it another try and then compare it to the family-style gumbo I had last Saturday, which had a thin, tasty broth but probably not with the depth you seek. My quart of gumbo contained 3 crab claws, 1 chicken wing, 3 drummettes, 2 large shrimp, many coins of hot sausage with that nice, acrid bite. After eating it my fingers smelled of gumbo spices and crab. Chowhound pheremones! It was a feast.

                            I ate at Dooky Chase once and I think I had the gumbo, but don't really recall. All I remember was some sort of shrimp or crab toast dish. According to the NO board, they are inconsistent and I may have caught them on a bad night. Probably my least memorable NO meal out of a dozen over two visits.

                            As you say, you just can't beat a good gumbo ya ya.

                            1. re: chocolatetartguy

                              You are quite right about great flavor. Depth in itself is not enough. There also has to be life to the stock, otherwise it's flat.

                              1. re: jkt

                                I'm beginning to think that there are 2 distinct styles of gumbo broth because the soul food gumbos I've had, like Dorsey's and including some homemade ones, have had a soupy broth. While others in more refined restaurants have the gravy-like broth as at Angeline's. They aren't really the same animal, but perhaps just due to cooking variations. Anyway, love 'em all!

                            2. re: jkt

                              Thank You. Gumbo is about the flavor, be it Mississippi Tomato-ie or its beautiful thinner none tomato style cousin. File rules.

                2. I've been there a couple times too. I'd highly recommend the mixed grill, which includes a nice, hearty pork-and-rice based sausage, a Cajun link, a side of that same addictive BBQ sauce that accompanies the BBQ shrimp, plus some very good non-bland Creole-style potato salad. Loved it.

                  The jambalaya, which I tried on my other visit, was one of the better versions I've had even if it didn't quite blow me away. We had the bread pudding for dessert that time, which was just decadent goodness all around.

                  Overall, I love both the food and atmosphere, and I hope this place isn't hurt by its less-than-ideal location (this block has had lots of turnover and is a hub for downtown Berkeley's homeless population)

                  1. I would recommend against the mufaletta at Angeline's. For $11 (dinner time) you get a hamburger-sized bun with sliced meats, cheese, and olive salad. And although the salad ought to be salted, this one was so salty that I began to think the chef had a broken salt shaker (as previously reported, the jambalaya was also over-salted). The meats were not much either, seeming like piles of deli meat that was simply hauled out of the fridge, plopped on the bun and topped with olive salad. The bun was not the traditional bread found at the Central Market or the Verti Mart, so for me, I walked away from Angeline's disappointed.

                    I wish I had remembered to order the hushpuppies. That would have redeemed the meal, I imagine.

                    1. I'd like to try Angeline's next week for lunch. Can anyone tell me whether this is the sort of place one can linger and talk? How noisy is it?

                      Thanks!

                      1. I'm living in Baton Rouge, so my expectations for a "Louisiana" place in the Bay Area were not very high, but I was pleasantly surprised. The gumbo was good, as was the unusual barbecue shrimp, the sausage and boudin (from an Oakland supplier!) were first-rate, and the bread pudding was as good as I've ever had. Brussels sprouts sauteed in brown butter, garlic, and sage made a great vegetable dish. There are some California touches, but the vegetarian "jambalaya" was very tasty for a contradiction in terms.
                        Prices are on the high side for Baton Rouge, but quite reasonable by Berkeley standards. I'll be going back when I'm in town.

                        1. To answer my own question, Angeline's is not busy for lunch, at least on Mondays. It was relatively quiet, and we were not rushed in the least.

                          The food was really fabulous. I had the roast beef sandwich, recommended by our waitress, with a side of red beans and rice. The sandwich was wonderful, with great flavor and interesting textures. The side of red beans and rice was also good, but a little salty for my taste. We split an order of hushpuppies and they were, as others have indicated, absolutely perfect. My friends also loved their food, especially the gumbo.

                          I can't wait to go back and try other dishes.

                          1. They've got a Web site with the menu and hours (on the Directions page):

                            http://angelineskitchen.com/menu

                            Today's Chron review says the owner is Robert Volberg and the chef is Brandon Dubea (native of Baton Rouge).

                            So who's Angeline?

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Is it in the space that used to house dear, departed Metropole?

                                1. re: Sharuf

                                  I think that the Metropole spot is now occupied by Beckett's basement. Angeline's used to be part of what was Blue & Gold Market?

                                  1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                    The building's relatively new, last ten years, four floors of apartments over the commercial space. I don't know what was there before.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      Angeline's is where the Long Life Noodle Company was. In fact, I think Angeline's kept the red lights over the kitchen that Long Life had.

                              1. Has anyone tried the Buttermilk Fried Chicken here? My husband and I seem to be on a quest for good fried chicken in the east bay.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: chemchef

                                  chemchef...if you haven't already, for fried chicken, try Delancey's in Oakland on Park, and Jodie's in Albany just off of Solano Ave (only on the weekends)

                                  1. re: nicedragonboy

                                    Thanks for the rec! We tried to go to Jodie's this weekend but he was out of chicken when we got there. Will try again soon.

                                    1. re: nicedragonboy

                                      That's Declancy's (easy to confuse with Delancey Street in SF).

                                      -----
                                      Declancy's Welcome Table
                                      2000 Park Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

                                    2. re: chemchef

                                      Fried Chicken (some time in January): De-boned flattened chicken thigh and/or back. The crust/batter was super good. If this had been on the bone, it would have been some of the best fried chicken out there. I reeeeally dislike thigh/back meat when it is fried, and that is all I got. The menu should say it is de-boned, and it doesn't (I don't think), otherwise I wouldn't have ordered it. The mashed yams would have been good if I liked that sort of thing... but I want savory as the primary starch with my fried chicken (sic) and not sweet.

                                    3. We went there for dinner last night. The food was generally very good, but not everything was great. Service was friendly, but had a few rough edges.

                                      There was about a 20 minute wait to get in on a Friday night. They happily brought a chair for my obviously pregnant wife when I requested it, but it would have been nice if I didn't have to ask.

                                      We started with the strawberry lemonade that was recommended to the server. It was way too sweet. I found it even too sweet when I had diluted it with an entire glass of water. We ended up sending it back, and they made more. Better, but still too sweet to enjoy, I thought.

                                      We had hushpuppies and barbeque shrimp for starters. Took about 15 minutes for them to come. We enjoyed the hushpuppies, which came with a sweet sauce I couldn't identify. The shrimp were in a dark, rich sauce that was a touch too salty for me.

                                      Almost 1/2 hour after the appetizers, our gumbo came. We had just ordered a bowl. It was very good. Rich and smokey.

                                      Finally, our main dishes came. We had the mixed grill and the fried chicken. The ribs were the highlight of the mixed grill. Melt off the bone, with a delicious sauce. Only downside was that it got our hands sticky, and it was a struggle to get the servers' attention for napkins. When my wife Jing (who, as I mentioned, is pregnant) put the creole shrimp into her mouth, she found that it was nearly raw, and I was not very happy about that. We pointed this out, and they were very apologetic and reduced our bill by the amount of the shrimp appetizer.

                                      I really liked the chicken - especially the crispy crust. As mentioned by another poster, it is deboned.

                                      When we sat down, we had intended to order dessert, but we were too full and too trired by the end of the meal. I'd thought they had just opened, so I wanted to be forgiving of the little quirks, but it turns out they've been open eight months already.

                                      Depending on your mood, it could be a good choice. The food was enjoyable and a nice change of pace, and they have a good atmosphere there. But I went (on a busy Friday night) with my pregnant wife, my (almost) 4 year old daughter and my 74 year old mom, and the long waits for the food were a bit much for us after a long day. From when we walked in at 8:30 until we left was about two hours.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Martin Strell

                                        They said a 45-minute wait when we were there around 8pm.

                                      2. Finally managed to eat here.

                                        Hushpuppies were good but already sweet enough without the honey butter.

                                        Boudin was good. Smoother texture and less rice than I expected.

                                        Fried catfish was good. I wish the waiter had warned us that it came with a full order of hushpuppies--I liked them with the remoulade / tartar sauce.

                                        Jambalaya was good and nicely spice though a different style than I know, seemed like all the elements were assembled at the last minute.

                                        Pecan pie was as good as homemade: tasty nuts, moist filling, buttery, crumbly pate brisee crust--one of the best pies I've ever had in a restaurant. I'd have liked to try the beignets, but after two orders of hushpuppies ...

                                        Saw somebody at another table get a dish of file powder for his gumbo.

                                        Great place and very reasonable prices. No wonder there's often a long wait.

                                        -----
                                        Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen
                                        2261 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                          Yes. it IS a busy place, and for good reason - it's a very good restaurant.

                                          The hush puppies are great, texture unbelievable, wonderful flavor.

                                          The BBQ shrimp is quite tasty, the sauce memorable.

                                          The gumbo is meaty and earthy, and yes, I always put file on my gumbo.

                                          The crawfish etouffee over fried cheese grits is off-the-charts good, so I asked
                                          the chef how he came up with it.

                                          He said: "It's two things I really like so I decided to put them together"

                                          How typical of a Cajun to think and then cook...or is it the other way around...

                                          As a south Looziana expatriot I would be hard pressed to find better Cajun food
                                          anywhere else in the Bay Area.

                                          The service has always been good every time I've gone there, even though it can
                                          be admittedly tough to get a seat.

                                          Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

                                          1. re: bayareatiger

                                            We really liked it too. The hush puppies and BBQ shrimp are perfect renditions. I was less enthralled with the gumbo -- I felt something was missing (perhaps I have to get it again and add the file powder). Also loved the pecan pie and the beignets.

                                          2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                            Was that boudin noir by any chance? Worth a try anyway, but I'll hop to it more quickly for boudin noir... thanks!

                                            1. re: bernalgirl

                                              No, it's Louisiana-style boudin, pork with rice.

                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                Cajuns also make boudin noir -- with rice. I've enjoyed it in Louisiana but never seen it here. I like both, and I think my husband might die over the shrimp and grits, so well worth a visit in any event.

                                          3. I tried it out, and wasn't blown away. I will give it another chance and try some other stuff on the menu, last night I had the shrimp po boy and a side order of hushpuppies.

                                            The Po boy was okay, seemed basic if functional...slightly on the small side for $11, but the potato salad I chose as a side was spicy and good. The hushpuppies were okay, I'm not singing hosannah or anything, but something different.

                                            One thing I noticed was that the order took an inordinately long time, and there was only one table of two and one single in there with me (late afternoon)...could be argued that they were giving my order individual attention, but if that's normal I can only imagine the wait when the place is hopping.

                                            Service staff was very pleasant and efficient, I bet that is a strong point of the place.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Munching Mark

                                              I have gone there twice recently and haven't had any of the legendary service issues. I always get the Shrimp PoBoy and Gumbo lunch combo. My Shrimp PoBoy was just like Mother's in the CBD in New Orleans itself and the gumbo was excellent. Angeline's is definately the best cajun restaurant that I have been to in the Bay Area(not that there is any real competition...).

                                            2. Just wanted to add that I actually prefer their lunch menu rather than dinner. The main difference is the Fried Chicken PoBoy. They do not serve this sandwich for dinner. I've never had such a great sandwich. Of course, I had to have a side of hush puppies.... mmm... so good! To be honest, we have been the last 3 Saturday's. I believe the fried chicken PoBoy is better than Bakesale Betty's off of Telegraph, and I love that fried chicken sandwich a lot, too.

                                              1. hubby and I ate here tonight. We were looking for something pre-movie at the Shattuck Theater, and I let him choose between this place and Great China. In retrospect, while it was ok, I sort of wish he had gone with Great China.

                                                At a bit before six, it wasn't too crowded and we were seated promptly. However, it did take a bit of time to get our orders taken, partially because the server was chatting with the few occupied tables. However, once I told him we had a movie to catch, things speeded up and were fine; we ended up having plenty of time.

                                                The hushpuppies DID look good going to neighboring tables, but we weren't that hungry, so just got the jambalaya, the gumbo, and a side of brussell sprouts.

                                                Jambalaya had nice ingredients but was WAY too tomatoey, as if they overdid tomatoe paste in the sauce. My gumbo was very good: quite spicy, complex, a big serving. The brussel sprouts were roasted with olive oil and sage and would have been quite good if they hadn't been slightly overdone.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: susancinsf

                                                  next time don't pass up the hushpuppies or the beignets.

                                                  1. re: nicedragonboy

                                                    I had lunch there today. At 1 pm there were only 3 occupied tables and the service was prompt. The lunch combo of gumbo and an oyster po'boy was excellent. The cup of gumbo had several shrimp and lots of sausage. I thought it was not spicy enough, but that's just my taste. The po'boy was on a nice roll with several tasty fried oysters, lettuce, pickle, and mayo. With a coke and tip, about $16. I would definitely return.

                                                    1. re: osc3

                                                      it was reviewed on Check Please 4/18/08. I have to try their pecan pie which looked good.

                                                      1. re: hhc

                                                        The pecan pie was great, see my report above.

                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                          Went yesterday and I am glad to report I was much impressed with how the place has matured. The food was excellent all around, and since I went with a few folks yesterday I had the chance to try more things. One thing is for sure, it is popular; that "Check Please" has some viewers, apparently. The place is not fast food, but still they did a good job moving it along and making the wait not too crazy. Pacing of the meal once ordered was reasonable, if not snappy...but IMHO just right for the quality food served.

                                                          The sauce of the bbq shrimp (starter or entree) gets the most stars, IMHO...delicious! Hushpuppies good, the honey butter perfect...sausage appetizer solid, if not bountiful, interesting and unique spices in there.

                                                          Fried catfish was excellent, small gumbo was spicy and the large size spotted at another table quite a serving!

                                                          Bread pudding was also just right, carmelly and dense, and the pecan pie just the right amount of sweet with great whipped cream.

                                                          Speaking of sweet, the sweet tea was a nice blast from the past, just right, and the refills and ice kept coming!

                                                          They did let us know when we were seated that it wasn't going to be fast, but in a nice way that did a good bit of setting our expectations on the length of how long we'd be there...no problem!

                                                          I do think the place has found a groove; the service was professional and friendly, never rushed; the staff was attentive, and the food excellent overall. I hope they keep getting good crowds that are appreciative of their efforts and the continued upward trajectory of the overall experience.

                                                          1. re: Munching Mark

                                                            I don't think Check, Please! made a difference. The place has had long waits at peak dinner hours almost since it opened. Great food and nothing like it in Berkeley.

                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                              Yeah, it's been busy for at least a year that I've noticed, which is why I never went in. Great smells came out of that place and now I regret not sucking it up and just waiting.

                                                2. Angeline's has a problem with the word reservations. Evidently this word indicates to them that you want to eat there and, well, don't expect them to go much further with this understanding. I made reservations for 9 after Figaro on Saturday. WE arrived only to find the place packed. I said we were the party of 9 and we were told that he didn't have room yet, probably wouldn't for at least an hour. Wait! Did you reserve a table for us? says I.
                                                  Well, you see, says he, he tried to call a few minutes ago to tell us he didn't have room.
                                                  Why would you call to tell us this when we made reservations? I asked.
                                                  "Couldn't we see he was full?" he asked. As far as he was concerned we should not be surprised if we find that there is not room when the tables are all taken, after all, did we really expect him to ask people to leave so we could be seated?
                                                  Yes.
                                                  He was simply amused by how stupid we were. He said that we could either wait an hour and maybe enough tables would empty at once for all of us, or we could find another restaurant.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: glennam

                                                    So, what did you do? Did you wait...and have dinner, or, did you go elsewhere?