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Angela's - Chowdown rundown + News!

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First the news, then a quick important note, and then the report!

News: Angela's is in this month's Boston Magazine! Yay!

Note: ALWAYS ASK LUIS for the SPECIALS! These are whatever Angela is cooking that day - and are in addition to the Specials on the board above the kitchen. Her usual things are spectacular, but it's always nice to know what else is available!

Report: For our main dishes - I loved her special - Shrimp with Tomatillo/Cilantro dressing. We also had a surprise - tried her (regular) special of a Steak Quesadilla - which came with her version of crema (like sour cream) and was a hit for all of us! We also tried her special of the day, Spanish meatballs - which weren't to my taste, although well prepared, and her special of the day Puerco con Adobo (Pork with adobo - a sauce made from ancho peppers, I believe) - the sauce, as always was complex and flavorful! Passed it on to the next table of CHers!

With our apps, we had, once again, rajas con crema with HOMEMADE tortillas - These are strips of peppers in that delicious crema - ASK for it, it's off the menu, and ASK for these homemade tortillas - also off the menu, wonderful, and a small charge.

Happy Chowing!

PS: I'm trying to add DRIVING directions from the Pike/Ted Williams to Places link - For now: Exit the tunnel, whip through the airport Arrivals, continue to airport exit/1A (South)/CallahanTunnel exit, but DON'T go through the tunnel. INSTEAD, take an immediate right onto Havre, left on Brooks, and Angela's will be on the left at Lexington!

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Angela's Cafe
131 Lexington St, Boston, MA 02128

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  1. Those rajas were paired with the carne asada special this weekend. My god they are good. I didn't think to ask for tortillas though. Next time, gadget!

    1 Reply
    1. re: tamerlanenj

      Note: they're wheat tortillas. Probably one reason the quesadilla was so tasty.

    2. Am I the only one who finds it maddening that there are so many interesting dishes NOT on the menu -- or even the specials board -- at Angela's? If they hope to drum up, and keep, business, it would seem to behoove them to make it more obvious to folks what their kitchen is capable of, rather than requiring you to ASK if there's anything not on the menu on offer. On our trip there, the girl serving us didn't say anything about specials and seemed to think we were there for eggs and coffee (like everyone else at the time). This doesn't make sense unless their business model is "only serve the good stuff to people who read Chowhound!"

      7 Replies
      1. re: Sgt Snackers

        Every time we've gone, we order off the Mexican chalkboard menu and also ask about specials. There are usually three to four specials. If these aren't automatically mentioned, just ask - they don't print up these verbal specials because they change daily depending on what Angela feels like cooking. There is a regular traditional/breakfast/lunch/dinner printed menu with just a couple of Mexican items (chilaquiles, tortas, etc.), the Mexican chalkboard menu, and then the daily specials.

        1. re: Sgt Snackers

          It's not as complicated as you make it sound. There's three things one must consider at Angela's, (1) the mostly boring printed menu, (2) the chalkboard menu of Mexican specialties, printed on large chalkboards over the kitchen, and (3) that night's specials, which in my visits I never had to ask about, as Luis eagerly described them each time.

          1. re: Blumie

            And aren't those also usually printed on a separate piece of paper that's handed out with the menus? Or is that only at dinner?

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              We didn't get one at lunch the other day but when we asked, Luis told us the specials. He may have told us without us asking but we didn't give him a chance :-)

              1. re: Chris VR

                We were there late yesterday afternoon, only 6 or 7 customers were there. Their should be a line out the door, that's how good the food is. Luis can't do enough to please us.I'll bet if we can get a write up on the Thursdays calander section of the Globe it would make a big difference.Does anyone have connections with the Globe?

                1. re: bostonron

                  Do we really have to involve Dippy Sheryl Julian? She'll just get the basic facts wrong in her review, as she always does.

                  Honestly, 6 or 7 customers on a late afternoon on New Year's Eve doesn't actually sound *that* bad! Most places would be deserted then!

                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                    We have been there a number of times and it has never been that busy. The food is too fantastic to let this place die.

        2. I orgainize a restaurant group and have planned an Angela's outing for next Sunday for an early (5:30 ish) dinner. There is no info on hours on the web - should I make a reservation (8 people) or can Angela's handle a walk in at this time? Should I ask for anything in advance?

          How are you learning about all the off the menu stuff - just talking to Luis/Angela?

          5 Replies
          1. re: laborchicky

            You may want to check. I think they are closed for Sunday dinner.

            We just ask what the off menu stuff is.

            1. re: laborchicky

              Angela's isn't open Sunday nights. It's Angela's "day off", which means they close at 3:00 instead of 9:00 : )

              If you do plan a party of 8, though, I would call and let them know just because it's a small place, and I'm sure they will put a couple of tables to be sure you have a spot waiting for your group!

              Also, re: the "off the menu" stuff - just ask for the specials, or they usually just tell you. It's really not a big deal - I think Sgt Snackers just went on a day where the waitress didn't mention them, and he didn't ask. It's not a whole separate menu, it's usually three or four daily specials. All the info including hours is in the Places link noted above by Fredid. Ha - I guess no one really reads it because I posted this under "What you should know" on that link months ago, but I'll mention it here again:

              "There is a printed menu, along with a chalkboard Mexican menu. In addition, be sure to ask for the verbal specials that change daily."

              Also, Fredid updates parking and directions on that link.

              1. re: Rubee

                To be honest, our waitress seemed pretty clueless and we had no idea there were off-menu specials ... it also felt odd being the only people there ordering Mexican food, and elaborate Mexican food at that, when the whole restaurant was eating scrambled eggs and toast :-) Will try again soon!

                1. re: Sgt Snackers

                  I suspect that that was Luis's young niece. She's just a kid; you've got to cut her some slack.

              2. re: laborchicky

                Their website says the close at 3pm on Sundays. The server will tell you the special,s each day, they change daily.Go to angelascafe.net and click contact us.

              3. Chowhounds read Boston Magazine?

                That's my article, and another chance for me to give a shout-out to some of my favorites, many first uncovered here by other Hounds: Angela's, Muqueca, Cafe Polonia, Reef Cafe, and Xinh Xinh. On the same page is another piece of mine comparing what $31 gets you at fancy and cheap places, and includes Speed's, Ortanique, and Pupuseria La Guanaca (vs. La Voile, Icarus, and UpStairs).

                www.bostonmagazine.com/dining_food_wi...
                www.bostonmagazine.com/dining_food_wi...

                (The photography in the print edition is very nice.)

                15 Replies
                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Great job Slim!

                  PS - BTW, you mentioned in the Phoenix that Angela uses a dozen chilis in her mole. When I've made mole, I only used 3! I could ask the next time we go, but do you know which ones? I'm thinking of actually making mole again........

                  1. re: Rubee

                    Thanks, Rubee! The short answer is that I only got the rough outline of Angela's mole recipe, and didn't press on details like which chilis went into it. I try not to be too conspicuous when I'm on review assignments: as it is, I get some funny looks with my questions. I'm pretty sure the owner at Pita Kabob thought I was a competitor trying to steal his secrets.

                    1. re: Rubee

                      All the mole references are giving me a craving. Does anyone know if the much-referenced mole at Angela's is a mole poblano or does she do different moles?

                      For reference, Larousse gives recipes for >30 moles (excluding pipianes); the poblano has 4 types of chiles and most have 2-3, but I digress.

                      1. re: chilibaby

                        It's a mole poblano.

                        Don't know if she follows Larousse..doubt it

                        1. re: 9lives

                          What's especially nice about Angela's is that she likes to cook specials - adobo, pipian rojo, pipian verde....and I'm sure she has others. too...So as they get more and more established (eg more and more regulars?) I think they'll keep expanding the Mexican menu....They really want to know what people are interested in - And if "tu hablas Espanol", Angela is a delight! And if you don't speak Spanish, she's still a delight! But it would be easier to talk with Luis!

                        2. re: chilibaby

                          Yes, a fantastic mole poblano - Angela is actually from Puebla (the birthplace of mole poblano). As Fredid mentions - I also love her adobo and and pipians.

                          1. re: Rubee

                            We FINALLY made it there last night! Rubee, Luis was wondering where you and E have been. We told him you'd be stopping in soon.

                            Anyway, that mole is so deliciously complex with so many layers of flavor. The tinga was also to die for and I'd certainly order that again. I had the pipian rojo and while I loved the flavors of the sauce, I have to agree with those who didn't love the white meat chicken. Some dark meat would have been good and maybe a little less dry. I was perfectly happy to sop up the sauce with my rice or just my fork for that matter.

                            1. re: lissy

                              Nice! I'm glad you liked the tinga - one of my favorites there. We are so overdue for a visit. If E's isn't too hung over from mucho Mai Tai's at Billy Tse's last night (heh), I'm going to try to talk him into heading over and picking up lunch for us. Besides the rojo, what were the other specials last night, and do they still have live music on Wednesdays?

                              1. re: Rubee

                                There wasn't any music last night. Other than the pipian rojo there was a stuffed pepper of some sort with a tomato sauce. I'm blanking on what else.

                                1. re: Rubee

                                  I couldn't figure out where in that space the musicians would be - behind that little bar? Not much room! There was also a grilled steak with something peppery...

                                  1. re: heathermb

                                    Ahh, probably the carne asada with rajas! The one Wednesday we went, the young man was in the corner with a guitar.

                                2. re: lissy

                                  Don't forget the guacamole - might be the best I've had! Agree with you on the mole and the tinga. That mole sauce was just amazing - so flavorful without being overwhelming with the spiciness. That pipian sauce was delicious as well.

                                  So happy I've finally been - will have to go back soon (but maybe sit at a table that's not right next to the window, even last night it was a wee bit chilly).

                                3. re: Rubee

                                  Music last Saturday night - This kid walked in wearing a hoodie, took it off, set himself up, and the began crooning Mexican ballads in a beautiful, deep voice! What a nice surprise!

                                  As for the heat, just ask Luis for one of the heaters close by...

                                  1. re: fredid

                                    I know you love this place fredid, and I do too. But you shouldn't really have to ask for a heater inside the restaurant on a relatively balmy night, should you? Wish they'd just fix the problem and make it an even BETTER place to visit.

                                    1. re: yumyum

                                      My thoughts exactly. The problem is definitely the windows. They have some kind of plastic on the inside of the windows(something like saran wrap but i do think it's sold as window insulation). The windows are really drafty though because we could see the plastic being buffeted by the wind outside so a lot of air is getting in those leaky windows!

                                      Next time I'll try for a table against the wall!