For years I’ve been passing by Angie’s Pizza House on Niagara Street, but for some reason I never veered in… until just recently. Thanks to funding from a Better Buffalo Fund’s Buffalo Main Streets Initiative (Empire State Development – Homes and Community Renewal), the 63 year old business was able to get a brand new facade. The new windows are certainly enticing, and apparently they are also very good for business. That’s why I ended up popping in a couple of days ago, after a visit to the Black Rock Historical Society (next door). I ended up getting a bowl of chili and a cheese and pepperoni pizza to go. While the chili was out of this world, the pizza was off the charts disappointing. The cheese was a big gloopy mess – the foundation couldn’t support the toppings… the ratio was so far off. Pizza is all about balance, and Buffalo is a city of great pizzas. It was unfortunate because Angie’s does have a deck oven that can cook a nice pizza. So, there was a hit (the chili) and there was a miss (the pizza). I decided at that time, that the 50% success (glass half full) warranted another visit.
Earlier this afternoon, I decided to pay a visit to CooCooU with my mom and dad, to browse some mid-century furniture. But before we headed over to the retro design warehouse in Black Rock, we decided to stop into Angie’s (nearby), because I told my dad about the delicious chili. When we walked in, it was eerily quiet. Heck, I’m all for a relaxing lunch, but it was dead quiet. There was one customer sitting at a booth, so we sat right behind her. I was kinda hoping that someone would switch on an old radio, because even speaking softly, I felt like we were being loud. But within moments, I heard the sizzling of food from behind the counter, and that’s all it took to get that diner-vibe flowing.
While Angie’s front windows look 100% better, there’s still some room for improvement on the inside. Mainly, the booth seats could stand to get re-upholstered because they look shabby (not shabby chic). Other than that, the worn appearance lends a sense of character, which lets the customers know that they’ve been around the block a few of times. To me, Angie’s is the type of diner that one might expect to find along a country road – there are no pretensions whatsoever. What you see is what you get.
A few minutes after we sat down, our server came to the table to take our order. It turns out that she was the granddaughter of the original owner, Angie. She was also doing a bunch of the prep work and the cooking.
For the most part, we were all there to have breakfast, despite the fact that it was 1pm. My mom ordered an omelette, my dad ordered a Belgian waffle and a cup of chili, and I ordered two eggs over-easy, rye toast, sausage patty, and home fries (crispy). I also ordered a turkey club sub to-go, for my wife who opted to stay home.
My dad, being a chili aficionado, said that it was the best cup of chili he had ever had in Buffalo. It was hearty and flavorful. For that reason alone, Angie’s is on our lunch list moving forward. He also thoroughly enjoyed his Belgian waffle – it was very fluffy, and made a great catch-all for the butter and syrup. My mom said that she thought the omelette was a “good diner omelette” but that it was nothing to write home about. I enjoyed my breakfast offerings, and was very pleased that they crisped the home fries nicely.
While the food overall was very pleasing, it’s the atmosphere at Angie’s that will keep us coming back. These types of unassuming diners are getting harder and harder to find in the city these days. If Angie’s was in my neighborhood, I would be there all the time – even for just a good cup of coffee. Also, the prices are very reasonable. Our server took a little while to warm up to us, which is fine – it kind of goes with the territory. But by the end of the meal her gruff charm turned out to be endearing. I’m of the belief that the vast majority of customers at Angie’s are die-hard regulars who all have their routine down pat. Someday, we will as well.
By the end of the meal, we were hooked. My dad was joking around with Marianne as he paid the bill. As an added bonus, the turkey club sub that I brought home for my wife turned out to be a big hit. We both agreed that it was one of the better subs around – the toasted roll was excellent, and the ratio of ingredients was spot on.
We will definitely be back for more sub selections. I also heard from a couple of regulars that their lasagna is superb, and during the summer they offer a chicken finger summer salad that will rock your world. I’m game try out a few more menu items the next time I’m over in Black Rock, which is actually more and more often these days due to the spirited grassroots renaissance that is underway.
Angie’s Pizza House | 1904 Niagara Street | Buffalo, New York 14207 | (716) 873-2212 | Facebook | Cash only