Louisiana kitchen gets it with Austrian Zierfandler

I don't suppose this is much of a discovery, since Angeline's has been around for 5 years in downtown Berkeley, just a couple of blocks from Berkeley BART station on Shattuck, but it was my first visit. I try to avoid Berkeley ever since my college days and my start-up days at Ask Jeeves. The hippie scene is not my cup of tea, really. But it's hard to argue with all the good food in that neck of the woods, something Palo Alto is lacking, in my opinion, despite the glitzy facade.

Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen is one of those places that belongs on Food Network's Diners, Dives, and Drive-ins. I am no expert in New Orleans food, but Angeline's tastes damn good. Fried chicken, jambalaya, corn hush puppies, and out-of-this-world beignets. At a cool $10 corkage, what to pair with?

2008 Austrian Zierfandler "Mandel-Hoh" from Stadlman was perfect! Enough body and dominant, ripe quince flavor with hints of orange and Asian pear to go with sweet, creamy, fried and spicy meal. This is a higher-end wine than the generic Zierfandler I'd previously mentioned - Austria's native. The wine walks the line between heavy-handed and elegant, with crushed stone minerality and excellent acidity. At 13.5% alcohol, I didn't mind gulping a couple of glasses of it, and then dozing off at a furniture store afterwards while Rona was scouting out baby stuff.

Angeline's buttermilk fried chicken. Pricey ($16) but very good.

Crawfish Etouffee ($14) - perfectly cooked crawfish, with just enough spice.

Beignets - the New Orleans classic… Light French style pastry pillows served w/powdered sugar. Amazing taste and good value ($5).


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