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Restaurants & Bars 19

Angela's last night... not what I'd expected

heWho | May 14, 200809:16 AM

Since this was probably our last chance to go before leaving Boston, I literally dragged my wife to East Boston so we could try Angela's last night. We got there very late, a bit before 9. This may have affected the food, the kitchen was just about to close.

We started with the guacamole. Very, very good. The chunkiness of it was perfect, the citrus was spot on. I like mine with a bit of spice, but it was still solid guac. The chips were ok, maybe a bit too thick, there was more crunch than snap to them.

I had a chorizo gordita with green sauce as an app. It was ok, nothing too exciting really. I was excited for the homemade corn tortilla, which was decent, but didn't blow me away.

They are now serving wine, but still no beer. There are three wine varieties... one white, two red (a merlot and a malbec). The white I had was excellent... fruity, not too sweet. There was a generous pour for $5.50 a glass.

The entrees are what really didn't gel for me. I got the mole with pork, my wife had the Chile Rellenos. Now, I've never been a mole-lover. It's good, but I don't see what all the fuss is about. After reading reviews of Angela's, I thought this would be the mole to change my mind. While it was better than other versions I've had, the flavor just doesn't do it for me. It's very complex, there are a lot of different things going on there, which is interesting. But for me, it just doesn't taste that good. Adding to the frustration, the pork was way, way overcooked. It was very tough, to the point that it was hard to cut. When I did cut a chunk off, it was somewhat stringy to boot. I don't care how good your sauce is, with pork that over-done, the dish is not going to be good.

The Chile Rellenos faired even worse. As my wife put it, the breading was "doughy". It had an odd texture, especially for something fried. The cheese inside was pretty flavorless. It wsa just a hunk of doughy, chewy weirdness. The pepper was the only redeeming thing about the dish, but it was lost in all of the breading/cheese. There was also no sauce to help it along. The beans and rice for both entrees were very good... nothing earth shattering, just solid beans and rice.

Maybe the kitchen was off because of the late time? Even if the kitchen were firing on all cylinders, I don't see how this food could stack up to Tu y Yo. The chile relleons at Tu y Yo is one of my favorite dishes in Boston. A nice, light fried coating, bold peppers, great stuffing with shrimp, olives and cheese. All balanced with a great sauce. On their best night, Angela's peppers couldn't compare, the components just aren't there.

Overall, I'm wondering if I'm missing something? It reminded me of seeing a movie that every one of your friends tells you is amazing. Eventually it gets so hyped that when you finally see the movie it feels flat. Or was this just a case of a good restaurant in a very Chowish location? I often see little spots in out of the way places favorably reviewed and wonder if the hunt helps add a positive reflection on the restaurant. Either way, the Angela's I visited is certainly not a 3 star restaurant (as reviewed by the Globe). For a restaurant to hit that high of a mark, food should not come out of the kitchen as it did for me, even on the worst night. I wish I could go back and give it another try, but with time running short, it's not possible. Add the fact that it takes forever to get there, and it really made for a disappointing night.

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