When I moved to Matthews from New Jersey three years ago, my mission was to find the following: good Chinese take-out, good bagels and good Italian food and pizza. I had a pretty easy time with the first two but was having difficulty with the pizza and Italian food. On this point, I must admit that I was being a bit picky. There seem to be a number of places locally that claim to have “New York”-style pizza. All I can say is that they do not cut with me.

When I heard that a new Italian restaurant was opening in Matthews called Angela’s, I decided to give it a try because I was still on the hunt for good Italian food and also because this new place had the same name as my favorite restaurant in Hazlet, N.J. I called ahead to order a large pizza and was greeted with a familiar voice on the phone. Could this be a coincidence? When I arrived at the restaurant, I was even more excited to see that the logo was similar to my New Jersey favorite. By the time, I got inside to see the familiar faces that used to greet me in New Jersey, I had tears in my eyes! Talk about a small world.
I couldn’t wait to tear into that pizza. The best part of it all was that the pizza tasted exactly the same as it did “up North” and I cannot recommend it more.

The next day, I took my family back to sit down and enjoy some of their Italian specialty dishes. Pizza is the main attraction here and deservedly so, but Angela’s dinner dishes are not to be ignored. I had the Chicken Parmigiana, my wife had the Penne in Vodka Sauce, my 10-year-old had the Cheese Steak sub and my 7-year old had a 10-inch pizza all to himself. Both items the boys had are not available on the dine-in menu after 4 p.m. Chicken Parmigiana is my personal favorite but I have enjoyed almost all of their dishes and have never been disappointed. The portions are very generous and the prices are moderate. Actually, their large (16-inch) pizza is priced lower than most I have eaten in the area.

The restaurant, with an upscale casual Italian atmosphere, is well staffed and the service is very good, even when the restaurant is full. A lunch menu is available from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

For me to say that Angela’s is a taste of home is an understatement. I have finally crossed “good Italian food” off my list. More importantly, it was good to see some old friends and enjoy fine food in a friendly atmosphere. Buon appetito!

The Chow Down

Dollar deal: Pizzas $6.50-$13.50 (Sicilian) Entrees: $9.75-$17.25 (Zuppa di Pesce)
Kid-friendly: Yes
Especially for the little ones: Crayons and coloring books
To avoid a wait, go: Anytime
Noise level: Reasonable
Kiddie Fare: Spaghettti, meatballs and chicken fingers
Bathroom amenities: Clean
High chair/booster available: Yes
Got milk/juice: Milk and chocolate milk
Address: 9705 Mintworth Ave., corner of Idlewild and Margaret Wallace Roads
Phone: 704-573-2737

Clean Plate Score: x out of 5