508 West Ave.
Austin, TX 78701
Frank and Angie’s is the kind of restaurant where you check your pretense at the door. It’s not one of those foo foo Italian restaurants that have become so popular in the bigger US cities: you’re not going to find gnocchi or risotto or squid blackened linguini. There are no wait persons who posture endlessly at your table. The wine list is not going to be recognized in Wine Spectator. What you’re going to get is good Italian food and pizza at reasonable prices in an environment that’s laid back and fun. Anyone have a problem with that?
I always tend to start with the Bruschetta. Their own baked bread is spread with olive oil and marinated tomatoes. Simple, but very tasty and appealing.
And I am partial to their Angiepasto salad. At $6.95, this is a monstrous salad with green leaf and iceberg lettuce, bell peppers, spinach, red onions, salami, pepperoni, cappicola ham, black olives and tomato wedges. Served with a tart vinaigrette dressing, it is a meal in itself if you’re so inclined. But then you’ve got to move on to the pasta dishes. You should try Mama Soprano’s baked ziti. It reminds me of this little Italian joint in New Haven that I used to dine at as a kid. Requisite amounts of ricotta cheese is the key here and it’s quite tasty. And in keeping with the non pretentious theme, they don’t call their sandwiches Panini. They’re just called sandwiches: imagine that!! But they’re good. I like the DiMaggio, named after Joltin’ Joe himself. It’s got salami, herb vinaigrette sauce, provolone cheese, lettuce and tomato and it’s one of my favorites. Another solid sandwich choice is the DiNiro. This features pizza sauce, meatballs, provolone and romano cheese, and layers of serious flavor. And you can also substitute veggie meatballs. Bona fortuna!
But it all begins and ends, in my opinion, with the Pizza at Frank and Angie’s. It has steadily improved to the point where I would rate it against some of the best pizza joints in Austin. Why? It’s got great crust. That’s the focal point of pizza. Try the Chairman of the Board and tell me you don’t agree. This 18″ beauty features Italian sausage, mozzarella, pepperoni, red onions, green bell peppers, mushrooms and romano cheese. My buddy Don King first turned me on to this pie and I’m indebted to him. Another stellar pizza is the Lugosi’s Lament, which for you old movie fans, obviously features garlic, old Dracula’s nemesis. But it’s does it in an intriguing manner with mozzarella, chopped tomato, and Romano cheese. It’s hard to resist this one. And for dessert, polish things off with one of their stellar canolis. These confections are vintage Italian and the sweet cheeses inside make for an irresistible contrast to the crunchy exterior.
Frank and Angie’s works for me on a number of levels. It’s fun, the food is good, and what’s more, it’s consistent. And the pizza just keeps getting better. And the prices are reasonable. Now how cool is that? As Don Corleone himself might have said: “I don’t need no stinkin’ pretense. Just give me something good to eat.” At Frank and Angie’s, I’d say, mission accomplished.