You may recall my visits last fall to Angelo's Pizza in West Des Moines [see blog post]. Recently Angelo's opened a second pizzeria on E. 14th, in the old KC BBQ building.
Having sampled Cincinnati-style chili on its home turf, owner Mark Nicola had the idea of offering the uniquely spiced concoction at the new location. But how does it stand up to the variety of Greek/Midwestern-style of chili so common here?
Very well in fact. Lightly spiced – allspice influenced with a hint of cayenne – this all ground beef chili is thicker in comparison, more like a saucy loose meat sandwich filling. It's quite good served simply in a bowl, with oyster crackers on the side.
As a dog topper the closest thing offered in town is the beefy but mild coney sauce at Captial Pub and Hot Dog [see blog post]. Paired with a mound of finely shredded cheddar and just enough mustard and onion for flavor, Angelo's Cheese Coney is a pleasing sandwich, but I'd opt for a savory coney dog from Ted's [see blog post] if given a choice.
If you really want to make a meal of it, order the chili atop a plate of spaghetti. That's a 2-Way. Throw on mound of cheese and you've got a 3-Way. Further add either onions or beans and you're up to a 4-Way. Desirous of it all I polished off a 5-Way. Despite the carb load I consider this less of an energy food than something more conducive to a lazy afternoon's nap.
On a return trip to Angelo's new digs I finally took the opportunity to try the spicy Razor Blade pizza. It's not the hottest pizza I've ever eaten. That distinction lies with the hot sauce laden pie at La Pizza House [see blog post]. The beauty of the Razor Blade is that the heat doesn't bludgeon the senses, it titillates. The flavors of habanero and jalapeño are omnipresent, but only to complement the other quality toppings: meaty sausage, melty mozzarella, and diced red bell pepper.
For an optimal Cincinnati chili experience short of a road trip east, Angelo's Pizza on E. 14th is the place to go.