Killer combo

Beatriz Pico and her father, Julio Canjura, are the owners of Angelica's Italian and Mexican Restaurant.

Beatriz Pico and her father, Julio Canjura, are the owners of Angelica's Italian and Mexican Restaurant.

Photo by AMY BECK

Angelica’s Italian and Mexican Restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

When I heard there was a restaurant serving both Mexican and Italian food, I was eager to see how it would come together, so my friend Brett and I headed out to Angelica’s on a Saturday night to give it a try. We were greeted promptly by a smiling hostess who told us we could sit wherever we would like.

When the hostess brought the menus, I was impressed by the options. The menu is divided into sections offering traditional Italian and Mexican dishes ranging from cioppino to chimichangas. A very friendly waitress—who ended up being Beatriz Pico, the owner of Angelica’s—brought us a basket of warm chips and spicy salsa, and took our drink orders. Brett went with Pacifico ($3.50) and I went with a glass of the house Cab ($5). Angelica’s doesn’t have much as far as wine choices, but they also have a full bar and quite a few beer choices so you won’t leave thirsty.

For entrées, I ordered the gnocchi a la gorgonzola ($11.99). The large serving came with slices of chicken and lots of flavorful mushrooms. The potato gnocchi was soft and filling, covered with a nice layer of rich gorgonzola cream sauce that didn’t overwhelm the flavor of the dish. The gnocchi also came with a side of garlic bread which was basically just a few slices of poorly toasted sourdough with a little garlic butter. However, since I’d already eaten so many chips, I didn’t mind skipping the bread.

Brett ordered the chili verde ($9.99), which arrived with a large serving of pork covered in tomatillo sauce, rice and beans, and a side of tortillas. The sauce had a nice tang and wasn’t overly spicy and the chunks of pork were fairly tender. While the beans were tasty, the rice was undercooked and still crunchy. Still, it was a good dish overall.

We ended the meal with a piece of the flourless chocolate cake ($4.50). The cake was amazingly rich and chocolaty, with a raspberry sauce cascading over the sides. This was rich enough to split but so good you won’t want to. Midway through our meal, the friendly owner came back over and brought more wine for me and another beer for Brett with apologies that the meal had taken so long to come out. I didn’t think the food really took that long, plus the place was fairly busy, but I always appreciate free alcohol. I thought it showed how much the owner cared about keeping customers happy. She may be young, but she has already learned an important concept: a liquored up customer is a happy customer.

Unfortunately what the second glass of wine couldn’t do was make me get over the atmosphere. Angelica’s is located in an old Arby’s, and by old Arby’s, I mean Arby’s circa 1975. The orange booths, wood paneling and brownish-orange tiled counter remains and had me looking around for the roast beef. A large wine rack is now on the former ordering counter blocking the kitchen from the dining area. There was Italian music playing in the background and some Tuscan themed pictures on the wall, but I couldn’t help but wonder while I waited for my food if I would get an Italian dish or a Big Montana.

Ultimately what you have with Angelica’s is good food and good prices with excellent customer service. Angelica’s has only been open about six months so I hope that once the place is more established, the Arby’s-orange will be out the door.