Angela’s Café namesake, Angela Atenco Lopez, celebrated her 70th birthday at Spinelli’s in East Boston. Lopez, whose mastery in the kitchen helped put Angela’s Cafe on the corner of Lexington and Brooks Streets on the culinary map, was surprised by the visit of her family from Mexico, Texas and New York. Family who could not make it, sent a special message that was played on video during the cake ceremony.
Father Alonso Macias bless Lopez and her close-knit family, who includes Angela’s Café owner Luis Garcia and his brother, Joel.
The Mariachi band, Estampa de America, followed by a guest performance by Alex Deras, serenaded Lopez.
Wrapping up the night Alexander Farias and his band played Lopez’s favorite songs from the ‘Big Band Era.’
Guest received candy favors from Puebla and commemorative T-shirts, which the staff from Angela’s could not wait to try on during the party.
Lopez was born in the State of Puebla where she started her culinary career at 8-years-old following the guidance from her mother. After almost 50 years of professional cooking, Lopez moved to Boston and joined her two sons, Luis and Joel, as she pushed her career on to a new level.
Lopez’s cooking has been featured on the Phantom Gourmet, has made numerous ‘Best of Boston’ lists in local nightlife and food magazines and received international recognition after appearing on the Food Network.
The Food Network’s popular show Diners, Drive Ins and Dives (Triple Ds) debuted its segment on Angela’s and host Guy Fieri was beyond impressed by the Puebla/Mexican cuisine being served at the small corner restaurant on Eagle Hill.
Lopez dazzled Fieri with a traditional Puebla dish and staple among Mexican Food enthusiasts.
The entire segment focused on Angela’s Chilaquiles and the dish prepared by Lopez and Garcia using his mother’s recipe did not disappoint.
Garcia walked Fieri through preparing the dish’s important ‘green sauce’. Garcia showed Fieri how, at Angela’s, nothing comes from a can. Garcia boiled down tomatillos with jalapeños then blended them with garlic, water and stock to a thin liquid. The sauce was then put into a pan where Angela’s homemade fried tortilla chips are added. The sauce is reduced then topped with shredded chicken, fresh Mexican cheese, sliced onions and avocados, fresh sour cream and then fried eggs.
After one bite Fieri was propelled into food ecstasy that only a dish like Angela’s Chilaquiles can cause.
“I’m coming back to get this tomorrow,” said Fieri of the dish.
Fieri was also impressed by how quick Lopez makes her homemade tortillas as well as Angela’s Pepian Rojo and Mole Poblano.
Angela’s was also honored during a City Hall Celebration to mark Latino Heritage Month. During the celebration, which included food, music and live performances, City Councilor Felix Arroyo used the occasion to recognize Latino small businesses, like Angela’s, for making roots in the city and sharing their Latino culture with the larger population.