- 3731 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY, 40218
- (502) 451-5454
- Overall User Rating:
- (1 rating)
- Monday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 4-10 p.m.
- Official Web Site:
Gourmet and artisanal pizzerias are popping up all over town — well, in some parts of town, anyway. And that’s all to the good. I love the coal-oven pizza at Coal’s, the exotic toppings of the day at Papalinos, the charred crust at The Garage and the intricately designed Boombozz flavor combinations.
But let us not lose sight of the simple pleasures to be found in old-school, family-owned neighborhood pizzerias — the places where the furniture might be worn, but the service is warm; where the tomato sauce was perfected a generation ago and has never changed; where the salads are made of crisp iceberg lettuce and, if you like, sprinkled with bacon bits and croutons.
These places used to be found all over town, too. But nowadays you have to seek them out, or hear about them from tipsters like my pal Johnny, a connoisseur of old-school cuisine (he’s one of those folks who can tell you the special of the day at every blue-plate restaurant in the city).
Johnny has been touting the virtues of Angio’s Italian Restaurant in Buechel for as long as I’ve known him, so not long ago I met up with him; his wife, Bobbie Ann; and their friend Henrietta to check the place out.
Angio’s is not about frills. The chairs are hard; the upholstered booths are a bit saggy. The list of draft and bottled beers concentrates on mass-market lagers (though there might be some Stella Artois on hand). The TVs are tuned to sports.
The owners, Tom and Cathy Schmitt, and their son Michael seem always to be on the premises, and service is neighborly and alert (but if you ask for anything out of the ordinary, you might have to ask twice, by way of reminder).
The food is pretty darned good. On one visit, we concentrated on entrees — piping hot lasagna, made from mildly spicy sausage, layers of tender noodles and a crown of cheese that had been baked until the center was golden brown and the edges faintly charred ($8.49), and big tubes of manicotti stuffed with creamy ricotta and sluiced with a classic red sauce ($7.99). (Note to self: The next time you’re craving good red-sauce Italian, remember that places like Angio’s and Iroquois Pizza, 6614 Manslick Road, are masters of the style.)
Salads and sandwiches are fine as well. A meatball sub ($7.49) might come on a soft, uninteresting roll, but the meatballs are wonderful: finely ground and smelling richly of herbs and garlic. And though the salad dressings aren’t house-made, the salads themselves ($3.20 for a tossed salad) are fresh and crisp.
As for the pizzas, Johnny insisted we order them well done — and that turned out to be a good choice. The rims were crisp and blistered. The triangular slices were sturdy enough to support all the ingredients.
Pizzas run in price from $9.99 for a 10-inch cheese pizza to $18.75 for a 17-inch cheese. A deluxe pizza with seven toppings rings up for $15.49 to $26.99. There are a few idiosyncratic offerings, as well, like a pizza topped with sausage and sauerkraut ($11.99-$21.99) and a taco pizza ($13.99-$25.99).
A half-and-half pizza — one part covered with bright, freshly cut vegetables (diced tomatoes, mushrooms, black and green olives, green peppers and onions); the other part golden-brown cheese pretty popular with our group. But the other pizza — topped with sausage, pepperoni and onions — vanished faster than a kid when it’s time to wash dishes — perhaps because the subtle scent of that Italian sausage was impossible to resist.
Contact freelance restaurant critic Marty Rosen at firstname.lastname@example.org.