Too Garlicy or Not Too Garlicy?
Baldwinsville’s Angry Garlic answers the question
By Christopher Malone
There’s nothing like a curmudgeonly garlic giving the stink eye to garner attention. If illustrated logos are worth a thousand words, well, Baldwinsville’s Angry Garlic, located at 29 Oswego St., probably says it all.
Just stay off his lawn and away from his garden.
Actually, Angry Garlic is a very welcoming place. Its bright interior shows off the restaurant’s casual vibe very well. After being open just over a year, the place still has that new venue feel and, judging by the floor, tables and bar, the place is very well maintained. The atmosphere is that of a typical restaurant, and there are televisions throughout. The loudest noises, when there aren’t live musicians crooning to patrons, are from people conversing themselves.
The service was also notable. Aside from our server, we had a couple other staffers come by our table whether it was to assist in serving the food or to check on our meal.
This place is more casual than anticipated. It’s also more affordable. This is a great spot to watch my Yankees not come back from a three-point deficit. Good thing they have a worthy beer list.
One of my former coworkers joined me on this eating excursion. In fact, he recommended Angry Garlic months ago. We were so wrapped up in conversation, it wasn’t until after all the food came out that it dawned on me — we probably ordered too much food. The bill came to just over $110 for two people before tip. Cheers to leftovers!
Plus, we did have two pints each over the couple-hours-long meal of heavy, garlic-laden American fare. We opted for local brews — Talking Cursive (Syracuse) and Full Boar (North Syracuse). I highly enjoyed the IPA from Full Boar, which I have yet to visit. Beer ranged from $6.50 to $8.
The two of us kicked off the meal with an order of garlic parmesan wings (we opted for five for $7, but there is a 10-wing option for $12) and garlic meatballs ($10). The wings were, of course, garlic-heavy but not overbearing. They were some of the crispiest wings I’ve had in a long time. There’s a nice crunch when biting into them, and the chicken inside is wonderful and not compromised.
The meatballs are served in fives as well. They’re large and in charge with an accompanying dish of marinara sauce. The garlic was noticeably more present in the meatballs, which were delightful. These presumably pan-seared meatballs do come out dry with the marinara serving as a dipping sauce. Despite enjoying the meatballs as-is, I’m not the biggest fan of the presentation. I would definitely love to try them after they’ve been basking in a hot vat of that sweet Italian gravy.
We got a couple of hand-held mid-meal delights: The Bees burger ($11) and fish tacos (two for $12). Despite the high price for two tacos, the filled flour tortillas were of decent size. What made up for it was the flavor. The lightly breaded fish seemed to be the accompaniment of the onion, tomatoes, garlic chipotle cream and cilantro. Let’s not forget the conductor of the harmonious flavor — the pickled red cabbage.
The Bees burger is a menu standard with heat. It’s served with jalapeños, cheddar cheese, fried onions and honey garlic barbecue sauce. The burger was cooked as requested and the meat itself had good flavor to it. However, it’s a specialty burger with flavorful pizzazz and not overpriced. In fact, all the burgers are reasonably priced.
Both of those options are served with chips with substitute options. Passing the chips for the fries were $1.99 upgrades each. The super crispy seasoned fries were delightful. Speaking of sides — cue the mac and cheese ($4; entrée is $12). The portion of the side of mac and cheese is so large it boasts an aura of confidence. The absolutely shareable American fare staple with smoked garlic and blended cheeses with cavatappi pasta is heavenly.
The last dish on the bill was the vodka riggies ($16) with chicken ($3 extra). The sauce with garlic and basil was the standout ingredient to this dish. I love how every restaurant does their vodka sauce differently. Unfortunately, the chicken was on the drier side.
The Angry Garlic left me smiling. It’s something Baldwinsville needs. Sure, the cuisine isn’t as bold or experimental as The Chef & The Cook. However, when looking for a great meal out with family or friends in-town or just visiting, Angry Garlic is a great place to go. It’s another reason to head to Baldwinsville and explore.
29 Oswego St., Baldwinsville, NY 13027
Sun.: 11:30 a.m. – Midnight
Tues. – Thurs.: 11:30 a.m. – Midnight
Fri. & Sat.: 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Photo: The Bees burger ($11) at Anfry Garlic. It’s served with jalapeños, cheddar cheese, fried onions and honey garlic barbecue sauce.