For over 18 years, Angel's was an Andersonville stalwart. Tucked away under a bright yellow awning on Clark Street, the Mexican restaurant served chilaquiles
to soak up an immeasurable number of hangovers brought forth by the nearby Simon's
or Big Chicks
. Angel's was also responsible for producing a good number of those hangovers itself, due to its ivy shaded, multi-tiered patio and warm summer nights.
Angel's moved on from the space to open this location, and now it's West Loop residents who get to bask in the warm, comforting attention of Angel's on their mornings after. The decor is much the same as it was in Andersonville: brightly painted walls festooned with brightly painted local art. The staff is as friendly as the eponymous Pedro Angel himself, and nearly any meal here feels like a great time spent with great, positive and happy people.
The food itself is delicious and affordable, with Mexican favorites given that nouvelle twist. At $9, the tortas de jaiba are a tasty and interesting way to get started. These Mexican crab cakes are served with a delicious chipotle and pineapple aioli. Dinner plates, served alongside the classic rice, beans and tortillas, range from $8 for a selection of flautas to $16 for a shrimp molcajete. Imagine the stone mortar and pestle you've seen in other Mexican restaurants used to prepare guacamole, and then take it and bake your favorite meat inside of it along with vegetables and cheese. Served in the molcajete itself, this dish is extremely hot and it isn't uncommon for the cheese to remain bubbling long after it's reached your table.
Angel's has a patio which opens for good weather, as well as a full bar. This West Loop location has no trouble capturing the spirit of the restaurant's former digs, and it's not hard to imagine this iteration of Angel's lending an assist with hangovers for many mornings to come.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Bill Burman