There are two faces of the City of Flint...
One "face" you'll see in the glossy brochures as advertised by the Genesee Visitor's Bureau... the other, is the the one you'll hear about on the national news on PBS and NPR (about crime and poverty), and in documentary movies such as Michael Moore's "Roger & Me" and "Pets or Meat".
This bi-polar existence of the city can be simultaneously experienced at Angelo's #1 (the original).
The location of Angelo's #1 is in the North-East side of Flint in a highly depressed area of the city with scary views of blight within a few steps away from this restaurant, yet, this historic landmark lingers on with such a rich history of the city's glory days.
The restaurant, while kept moderately clean, is showing signs of wear and has the "historic dive" look.
Quite a few years ago, this place was run by a different owner who just didn't have what it takes to keep this place in business. Neil is keeping Angelo's running by keeping his workers "to the book" when it comes to portion control and efficiency in tasks.
My wife and I visited Angelo's #1 on a Saturday afternoon. This was actually my first time here (I usually avoid this part of town like the plague). I figured that this place has so much historic significance to the food history of Flint that I really should go here at least once before it closes. After my dining experience, my guess is that this place will just "keep on keeping on" as it has been for the last 65+ years.
Neil was sitting at a nearby booth and interviewing recently hired employees to see how they doing their jobs. His management method is no-nonsense and he is brutally honest and quite demanding. I certainly wouldn't want to be one of his employees, but I can appreciate the task that he has to keep this place afloat.
Well, I guess you are wanting to know about the food... OK.
I ordered two coneys. They were good as I expected them to be, however the prices are a bit on the high side (over $2 each). I know of some other places in town that will serve the same quality coney dog at nearly half this price. The fries are just average... at least they were served fresh and hot.
This place serves both Pepsi AND Coke products (a rarity in the restaurant business). The mix of the Pepsi products seemed a little watered down so I tried a Coke Zero and it's mix was even worse. The alternative is to buy bottled water (I wouldn't recommend the Flint river tap water... yech!).
It seems that Neil is obsessed in "making a buck" any which way he can. There are tacky, gimmicky distractions all over the restaurant that give it sort of a "flea market" ambiance. There are tee shirts for sale and plastic guitars (that you can actually play) which you can have filled with a beverage. I'm guessing that he is aiming to make some money from the local college students with these.
You really haven't experienced Flint's food history without checking out this place at least once, however, having this place checked off my bucket list, I doubt I'll return.
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