Thursday, November 27, 2008

DeAngelo Express

Louis DeAngelos Express
2740 Country Club Road
Lake Charles, LA
Monday - Sunday 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM $1-25
For those who have been missing DeAngelos there is now relief. At this basically take-out venue they cover most of the original menu. They have limited seating but virtual no decor. The plan was always to expand to South Lake Charles but the destruction of the original spot kinda made it mandatory. Construction on the old site should start sometime this month with them shooting for an April opening. This express venue will remain open after that event. So there will be two establishments to get your fix.
I started off with Gamberetti and Pancetta Flat Bread. It is basically a sauceless pizza and in this case they top the crust with grilled shrimp, crisp Italian bacon, fresh spinach, roasted garlic cloves and Asiago cheese. The combo of flavors (sweet shrimp, fatty pork, mellow garlic, sharp cheese, slightly bitter spinach, and warm comforting bread) really hit my palate hard but in a good way.
Next I tried the La Caprese Towers. I received seven double stacks of sliced Roma tomato and sliced fresh mozzarella. Arranged around them were calamata olives, capers, and pepperoncini (semi hot peppers). A chiffonade of basil and in-house vinaigrette topped them. Excellent flavor and very sharable. I ate all of mine with great gusto. Each stack was perfect. It was like having seven perfect caprese salads. The Tuscan Chopped Salad next. I expected a regular steakhouse style salad. This was very good but just not a chopped salad. On a bed of spinach and romaine surrounded by Granny Smith apple slices they heaped on the tomato slices, red onion slices, feta cheese, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans. Adding the grilled Lemon-Basil shrimp I ordered extra and their excellent in house Italian dressing turned this into a feast. I tend to like salads that have no iceberg and combine fruit and nut in delicious ways. The slight bitterness of the greens, sweetness of onion and cranberry, tart sweet apple and full flavored feta with the nuttiness of the pecans makes for a delightful taste. I ended with Toasted Almond Cream Cake. Like Tiramisu but using almond and coconut instead of coffee and chocolate. It was fine but I prefer the original version.
Last foray I got Mozzarella Bread. They use their sandwich loaf and add so much cheese I would have blanded out except for an excellent in-house marinara dipping sauce. The just right sharpness and acidity of it gave the cheese something to partner with. Then I ordered a Whole Wheat Calzone with Meatballs and Italian Sausage with anchovies added. This became an unfortunate mistake. The new guy at the ordering station misunderstood me I think. What I got was Italian sausage with an inordinate amount of anchovies, too much for even me. To compound the style sausage they use here I do not like. It is compact and dense while I like a looser version. The concept of this calzone I love. Using no sauce but offering it as a side with ricotta and mozzarella as the binding agent and cutting big slits for the escaping steam does away with all my objections with this product normally. With a different filling I am sure I would have loved it. Just have to put it down to miscommunication and my personal preferences.

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