A Trip to Louisiana, by way of Berkeley?!

by | Oct 6, 2011 | Restaurant Overviews, Travel

We’re fixin’ to take ya’ll on a trip to the South by way of Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen in Berkeley… We recently took our friend Deana, a native Louisiana gal, on her first trip to Berkeley. Telegraph Avenue is one of my favorite spots to take tourists to give them a unique view of the hippy mecca, a time warp back to the 60’s (I did end up buying a couple of leather bracelets from a street vendor, really!!). But the main reason for this trip was get Deana out of the house where the kids were getting ready for their surprise 30th anniversary party. So her daughters and I found a restaurant online that touted southern hospitality and Louisiana cuisine, Angeline’s Kitchen, the perfect diversion – food from home! The Blume family knows southern hospitality, and fortunately, we have often been the recipients … red beans and rice, huge pots of gumbo with a slooooooow cooked roux, shrimp casseroles, home made root beer, another story to be told in a future blog.

So we covertly headed to Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley with an appetite and found Angeline’s, a small unassuming storefront, but once you step inside, it’s southern comfort all the way.

The aromas from the kitchen, decorations on the walls, the bar and open kitchen make you feel right at home. It was a tough call when the menu came, we wanted to try everything, and we almost did! Prices were very reasonable, and the portions looked plentiful as the plates were passing our table by. There were only three of us but we did our best to eat our way across Louisiana, you would have thought we were ordering for a small army.

Deana recommended that we start off with the Hush Puppies, a traditional cornmeal fritter with honey butter. Those puppies were served hot and full of flavors from the South, herbs, spices and a wee bit of a kick, which won Deana over from the start, she was home!

Hush Puppies with a flavorful kick

Our traveling partner Rose chose the Classic Muffuletta, overflowing with salami, mortadella, provolone, and olive salad, taking us on a flavor trip right back to New Orleans. The Baked Mac & Cheese with a crunchy parmesan crust was calling her name, so we all got a taste of some home cookin’, just like mamas.

Classic Muffuletta, Potato Salad and Mac & Cheese

The Southern belle ordered a NOLA classic, the Shrimp Po’ Boy dressed with lettuce, tomato, pickle, Creole mustard, mayonnaise and hot sauce. Fresh crunchy shrimp was spilling out and the kick of the mustard and hot sauce was LA all the way. Their sandwiches come with a side of Potato Salad, red potatoes with Creole dressing and green onions, the dressing gave it a very flavorful kick. And for just $2.50 you can substitute your side with Angeline’s Gumbo full of okra, andouille, tasso ham, and shrimp, so instead of having to choose one or the other, we got both. We were beginning to fill up!

Straight from the South Gumbo and Shrimp Po’ Boy

I ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken, I was so excited with the menu I didn’t realize it was boneless breast of chicken, not whole pieces, my only disappointment, but it had a crusty crunch on the outside and was moist and delicious on the inside, great flavors. The chicken came with ginger-vanilla sweet potato mash, tasso ham cream gravy and Blue Lake green beans. The sweet potato mash was absolutely divine, that alone was worth the drive to Berkeley! Sweet, creamy and full of flavor, it could be a meal in itself, close to sweet potato pie delicious.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken and heavenly Sweet Potato Mash

The Blume family tells me that it’s very hard to find a hot, fresh Beignet outside of New Orleans, well we hit the jackpot at Angeline’s, they were cooked to order, hot and absolutely melt-in-your-mouth delicious with a mountain of powdered sugar sprinkled on top. I didn’t know that you’re supposed to eat beignets with your hands, not a fork, so I got a teasing from Deana, me the hillbilly that usually doesn’t have the best of manners. And you’re supposed to have powdered sugar battles at the end of the meal, so don’t wear black!

Fried to order Beignets with just a little powdered sugar!

We met Angeline’s Chef, Brandon Dubea, who hales from Louisiana himself, Baton Rouge, where he spent many an hour growing up in his grandpa’s Cajun grocery store, and helping out with crawfish boils. I think he has hot sauce running through his veins, he definitely made his grandpa proud with this meal.

Direct from Baton Rouge, Chef Brandon Dubea

If it wasn’t for the 3 cups of coffee we drank (goooood coffee) we definitely would have eaten ourselves into a Cajun coma! It was a good thing we were planning to introduce Deana to the Telegraph neighborhood where we could walk off lunch browsing the street vendors, and yes, there was a tie-dye t-shirt vendor peddling his wares on the corner.

We will definitely be heading back to Angeline’s Kitchen, it wasn’t just a meal, it was a gastronomic adventure! A few items I plan on trying next round are the Fried Catfish, Voo Doo Shrimp, Crawfish Etouffee, Grilled Boudin, Abita Pure Can Root Beer, and we will definitely finish up with another round of beignets, eaten without a fork. Our Southern belle Deana gives Angeline’s a thumbs up!

Laisser les bons temps rouler!

Nancy, Deana & Rose