Right when you walk into Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen in Downtown Berkeley, CA, you’re greeted by the aroma of southern/New Orleans cooking. The atmosphere mimics that of a southern restaurant and they have a somewhat open kitchen so you can see fire blazing in the back. The place isn’t big, and chances are if you walk in you’ll probably need to wait. When I went, we waited about 10-15 minutes for a table for two.
I had heard great things about this place so I wanted to try as much as I could handle. We started with two appetizers: the fried oysters and a bowl of authentic gumbo. The oysters were huge! Some were almost the size of my palm, which was amazing. The dish was well prepared, although I felt as though the oysters had a little too much batter around it when fried. The gumbo was quite authentic with andouille sausage and everything. There was a spicy kick to the gumbo as well and you can tell they cooked the rue for hours. If you’ve never had authentic gumbo before, I recommend trying it out.
For the main entrees, I decided to try the fried chicken with ham gravy and side of mashed sweet potatoes/yams and green string beans. It was absolutely delicious. The chicken was still juicy and moist but crunchy on the outside. And while the chicken was good, I think what really made the dish was the gravy that perfectly complimented the chicken. The gravy had a hint of smoked ham in its taste, and it just made it magnificent. The mashed sweet potatoes were good, but somewhat forgettable. The beans were also good with parmesian cheese on top, but also somewhat simple and common. My old roommate could have made the same thing easily.
My girlfriend ordered the fried catfish with side of potato salad and hush puppies. The catfish was pretty good – not too oily and not dried out either. Hush puppies were pretty amazing as well, especially with the butter that came with it. I personally didn’t like potato salad since it was cold and was a big contrast from everything else on the plate that was warm/hot. I think the catfish was good, but not necessarily something you HAVE to try. There are lots of other options on the menu you can/should try.
Finally to cap off the night, we decided to order the Beignets for dessert. They are almost like donuts with lots of powdered sugar. VERY DELICIOUS! Although we were pretty full from our meal, we finished the dessert because it was so hot and delicious right when it came out from the kitchen. Angeline’s also has other desserts, like bread pudding, caramel apple slices, etc.
Overall, I had a very good experience at Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen. The service was good, the aroma in the restaurant made me hungry all night, and the food was absolutely delicious to satisfy that hunger. I would recommend you try it at least once, especially if you’ve never had southern cooking before. Southern cooking is all about spices and soul, so when you’re there splurge to your heart’s desire. You won’t be sorry.