The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Instagram

Lakewood restaurant Angelo’s Spaghetti House offers big Italian flavor

Angelo’s spaghetti with meat sauce, pictured, has a sweet sauce with a hearty texture of meat and fresh tomatoes, making an ideal comfort food.
MICHAEL DANSER/The Daily Campus
Angelo’s spaghetti with meat sauce, pictured, has a sweet sauce with a hearty texture of meat and fresh tomatoes, making an ideal comfort food.

Angelo’s spaghetti with meat sauce, pictured, has a sweet sauce with a hearty texture of meat and fresh tomatoes, making an ideal comfort food. (MICHAEL DANSER/The Daily Campus)

Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” plays from the corner speakers. Fake ivy climbs up the walls with the power of staples. Prints of an over-eating chef are among signs reading, “buon appetito.” The cloth napkins are accompanied with tall, plastic water cups.

Sure, I could be describing an Olive Garden. But this Lakewood spot won’t feel like a chain; Angelo’s Spaghetti House brings more to its Italian dining than bottomless salads and bread sticks.

The somewhat cheesy setting I walk into proves to be worth embracing from the minute I’m greeted at the entrance, commonly done by the owner’s daughter. Dim lighting proves opportunistic for an intimate setting, while the exposed brick gives the restaurant a more rustic feel.

On my way to the table I pass a family who appears to be making its weekly visit to the neighborhood establishment, then a couple bearing the body language of an awkward first date. But the plates of pasta going by me at eye level on the hands of fervent waiters is too distracting for me to notice anything further.

After sitting down at my table, I pick up the small wine list that contains a less-than-impressive selection of red and white options. Luckily, the Chianti I order comes out slightly chilled, a factor that is inevitably lacking in many restaurants.

As I take my time to order, a plastic basket lined with paper arrives with two rolls and a small cup of the house marinara sauce. The butter-shining rolls are as warm as they appear, but it’s the sauce that truly impresses me—a simple, garlic-marinara sauce that is routinely pleasing any night I choose to visit Angelo’s.

Each main dish is served with a salad. While there’s the option to change your the dressing to a vinaigrette or ranch, the Caesar that is automatically included is one you won’t regret—the creamy dressing with thick Parmesan cheese would be perfect if it only had more garlic.

Seafood takes over a top portion of the menu, on which are classics like crab ravioli, shrimp diavolo and shrimp scampi. The frutti di mare is simply fine: tossed with angel hair pasta and a garlic butter herb sauce are shrimp and scallops with bits of crab that are small enough to be omitted. But, the overall taste is acceptable.

Specialty dishes like veal piccata, various raviolis and chicken parmesan also grace the menu. Classic dishes such as chicken parmesan are executed well, as is the the fettuccine alfredo. A rich, creamy sauce covers this fettuccine, exceeding many locals’ attempts at the sauce that routinely comes out across the metroplex. No need to revive the taste with the salt and pepper on this one.

Angelo’s has one small section on the menu to which I pay the closest attention: spaghetti dishes. Now, while I encourage eaters to experiment with various foods and dishes they have never encountered, I implore these same eaters to at least try the spaghetti with meat sauce at Angelo’s at least one visit.

Three options compose this important section: you can have your spaghetti with meat sauce, meat balls or marinara; pair it with two links of Italian sausage; or have it tossed with fresh mushrooms and a garlic butter sauce.

For the mushroom lover, I urge you to wait until experiencing the classic: a meat sauce with a hint of sweetness accompanies the just-past al dente spaghetti, serving as the ultimate comfort food indulgence. The waiter graciously shreds the Parmesan cheese over until I tell him to stop, a minimum of 20 seconds.

In the few seconds that it takes for the cheese to melt into the sauce, I take no consideration into where to start my meal. My first bite is chosen by the fork that simply dives into the over-sized heap, and the smell of garlic and tomato anticipate my taste buds for the bite of pasta that enlarges with my swirling fork. Garlic, bay and a sweet tomato flavor combined with a meat to give the dish the heartiness necessary to make it a comfort food.

While Angelo’s is my first choice when craving spaghetti, I have one unfortunate warning for its visitors, the meatball. The two meat balls taste no more exciting than they appear: two rounds of meat. I’m sorry to say, they are nothing beyond that.

The back of the menu features a page full of pizza options, which are acceptable for take-out (a popular business for Angelo’s), but the mediocre crust topped with a near rubbery mozzarella isn’t worth skipping a pasta or meat dish.

If looking for a closing taste to the Italian meal, a slice of Italian cream cake, tiramisu and cheesecake are among the list. While the Italian cream cake is a perfectly satisfying option (it comes from Cheesecake Royale), a less-than appetizing “strawberry” sauce makes it an dessert I avoid.

However, the cannoli (which is actually a Sicilian dessert) is one I choose if I have room after spaghetti. I admit I lower my bar of expectations when not in Italy or Boston when it comes to biting into a cannoli. In my favorite city of Dallas, I expect a bland cream inside a soggy crust. But at Angelo’s, the sweet, creamy filling is lightly decadent inside of crisp dough topped with crumbs of pistachio. If short on time, or you took the waiter up on his offer of another basket of rolls, leave a tip and take a cannoli.

Angelo’s Spaghetti House

Average meal price: $$ (Appetizers and salads $3 to $10.95; main dinner courses $11 to $17.50; desserts $3.50 to $4)

Service: Always personable; owner or owner’s daughter is frequently greeting customers. Service is fairly attentive.

Ambience: Whole-in-the-wall; intimate; good first date spot.

Location: 6341 La Vista Dr., Dallas; 214-823-5050; angelosspaghettihouse.com

Hours: Lunch, Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Dinner, Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9:30 p.m., Friday, 4 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, 5 to 10:30 p.m., Sunday 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Brunch, Sunday beginning at 11 a.m.

Payment Information: All major credit cards accepted.

Special Features: Banquet facilities/private room; selling of beer and wine; catering; delivery/take-out; reservations available

What may seem like a hole-in-the-wall restaurant makes for an intimate setting, one common for family dinners or first dates. (MICHAEL DANSER/The Daily Campus)

More to Discover