Angeno's Pizza and Pasta has thrived in its Maple Grove location since 1982 mostly for what it isn’t.
It’s not fancy, not pretentious and not expensive. Just clean, comfortable pizza at an affordable price, and oh yeah, they’ve got room for your birthday party or soccer team, too, with a huge banquet room.
What’s nice about Angeno’s pizza, though, is that despite its workmanlike attitude - it packs a decent punch of flavor, tang and style. The everything pizza, loaded with black olives, sausage, pepperoni … was a winner, especially the version this reporter tried, with a thin crust. Aficionados of that lighter pizza crust style would do well to visit Angeno’s, as its no-frills yet crispy, toothsome crust was a highlight. Especially as the toppings and cheese practically spilled over the edge, giving the crust a golden punch of browned cheesiness. It’s the kind of pizza you want to keep right on eating even though your stomach may tell you, ‘enough.’
The sauce, a generously proportioned red with a slight spicy bite, was a surprising touch of flavor. It would be easy for a family-friendly joint like Angeno’s to scale back in that realm, but the little jolt really did something to set the pizza apart. As a sauce, I’d pick it again and again, and probably even take a bowl on the side to dip the crust in.
There’s not a huge selection of wine and beer at Angeno’s, but after nearly 30 years you have to figure owners Jeff Deelstra and John Mooney know what works. Deelstra mentioned Samuel Adams’ seasonal beers and Chianti wine as the most popular, and a small tap selection helps deliver the true pizzeria experience (there’s no substitute for tap beer with pizza).
Weekday lunch at Angeno’s is another reason people keep coming back. Why? Buffet. Pizza, chicken wings, salad bar, and another favorite: pasta. Angeno’s offers a whopping 20 pasta dishes on its regular menu, including regulars like spaghetti, lasagna and fettucini but also shrimp tortellini, manicotti and even veal parmesan.
Calzones and pork ribs are also available, along with three salads: a small tossed salad, “The Antipasto” and “The Antipasto Supreme,” the latter of which is truly a meal, topped with Canadian bacon, pepperoni, onions, green and black olives, mushrooms, peppers and mozzarella cheese. There’s lettuce in there, too, but who cares.
So really, if you can’t find something at Angeno’s that sounds good, you’re picky. With all those choices, beer and wine, a casual atmosphere and room for at least a few baseball teams, Angeno’s will likely be a Maple Grove stalwart for another 30 years or so.