Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Split personality. Good and Bad. It’s a common theme in literature and not so often a restaurant experience. Usually good restaurants have mostly good food and bad places tend to go into a sort of death spiral of mistakes. One lunch at Ms. Angies left me a bit confused.
The little restaurant is located on Brick Church Pike next to I-24. It’s probably easiest to get there from Trinity Lane, heading north on Brick Church. Inside is a cheery dining room. You order up at the counter and the owners are quite happy to chat. Ms. Angies has been open since May and there is clearly still work to do in the kitchen. For example, the menu advertises smoked chicken wings. I inquire and find out that they are not smoking yet, so the wings are fried. They have also just recently added meat and three items. They don’t have a display board out for those dishes yet. You’ll have to ask.
Originally the restaurant was known as Ms. Angies Fish and Wings. They added the restaurant part to encompass the new meat and three offerings. I go with the originals and order up fish and wings. A few minutes later my order is brought to the table. The fish is clearly a standout. Two long planks of fried whiting stick out absurdly from the standard pieces of white bread. The nicely browned fish caught my eye immediately. I snap off a piece and find a delightful crispy crust, a little crunchy and with great peppery flavor. Little spots of hot sauce dot the skin. Inside the fish is perfectly cooked. I continue to eat the fish around the sides to make the sandwich more manageable. This is a lot of fish for $4.95. When I finally do sink my teeth into the sandwich itself I find myself in heaven. This is an excellent fish sandwich. The white bread, mustard, cheese, pickles and onions all meld together and still the fish remains the crisp highlight.
Okay, round one goes to Ms. Angies.
The wings are smothered in the honey-hot sauce. The first bite reveals that the sauce itself is quite good: a sweet, gooey kick in the pants. There is actually some decent heat there. Unfortunately it all goes downhill. These wings are chewy, tough and generally overcooked. It’s a shame. They look like they may have been juicy in another life. But here on the plate they are well below average. It’s tough to screw up chicken wings if you have a good sauce going. Overcooking or undercooking is the one sure way to do it.
So, round two and Ms. Angies is fifty-fifty. Now, I ask myself: how do they fry fish perfectly and then overcook the wings? I really like this place and that fish sandwich was right up there with the best in Nashville. But how can I forgive those wings? None of it makes sense. The only solution is a return trip.
I arrive on a Saturday at about 11:15am. The place is dark. Chairs are up on the tables. I see someone stirring inside. Despite the 11am opening time on the sign I decide to come back later. 12:30pm. Ms. Angies is still dark and those chairs are still up on the tables. I go in anyway and find the counter open. I look around notice they are mopping the floors. Now, I understand that people have different ways of running a business, however it seems like it would be a good idea to open your doors when you say you will, and then make sure you are truly ready for business. I ended up asking if I could take a couple of chairs down to sit at a table. They were gracious.
The wings were better this time round. I ordered hot-hot and once again found a really good sauce with plenty of heat and lots of flavor. The wings were much better than before, albeit still slightly overcooked.