Yesterday afternoon, Chuck had a dental appointment in eastern Massachusetts. The morning had been hectic as we continued to try to sort out the DSL problem, so all we had time for was a quick glass of juice and a yogurt. By the time Chuck got through his dental visit, we were both pretty hungry. Where to go? Inspiration struck when we remembered the “Chronicle” show we had seen the night before. (“Chronicle” is an excellent Boston based half hour television program that focuses on all things interesting in New England.) They had featured new restaurants the night before.
So we made a beeline for Route 1 in Saugus and “Angela’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings”. We hoped because it was 3:30 we wouldn’t have a problem getting seated and we weren’t disappointed. Kim led us to a booth in the front window, looking out at the cars zipping up Route 1, as the first wave of the evening commute began. The menu is limited but don’t let that dissuade you. “Angela’s” is working with their strengths and those strengths are impressive. Based on the "Chronicle" feature and the name on the sign, we ordered a small portion of chicken wings and a small pizza. We never order chicken wings in a restaurant. But these are marinated in olive oil, lemon juice and rosemary. The trip through the intense heat of the coal fired ovens (the only ones in Massachusetts) leaves the wings nicely charred, very juicy and fall-off-the-bone tender. They are served on top of slices of foccacia and then carmelized onions are draped over the wings.
As I think back on the chicken wings, I am trying not to drool, trying not to jump in the car and race east to Saugus and trying not to use expletives in my description of the wings! The wings were exceptional. In fact they were freakin’ awesome! They made me think of the best of my parents legendary collaboration with grilled chicken. My Mom would simmer the chicken in broth. Then Dad would brush them with Italian dressing and grill them over hot charcoals before service. But at the risk of disrespecting my Mom and my late father, “Angela’s” wings were even better. And using the foccacia to capture the onions and all those herb infused juices, puts the whole experience over the top.
After the transcendent experience of the wings, the bar had been raised pretty darn high for the pizza. But the pizza did manage to clear the bar. The crust was both crisp and chewy; the tomato sauce sweet, tart, complex and flavorful. We had ordered the “Melanzana” which obviously is topped with roasted eggplant. We decided to add sausage to the mix. The taste of the eggplant was good, but unfortunately it was salty. The sausage was good, but we had expected a little more zing. We would definitely order a pizza again, but we would explore some different toppings. We would also like to figure out a way to make room for one of their abundant family style salads.
The service at "Angela’s" was brisk due to the speed of the coal fired ovens, but Kim kept everything perfectly paced, so we never felt rushed. As we left around 4:30, the place was beginning to fill up with folks of all ages. We bet they all enjoyed the experience as much as we did!