Angelinas 30A is the Locals Choice for Pizza and Pasta
With two young kids and a new business, I have to admit that we don’t often go out for lunch or dinner. It’s a combination of not wanting to deal with parenting in a sit-down style restaurant as well as a need to watch our budget. On the rare occasion we do go out to eat, we typically choose some variation of an Italian restaurant.
I realize that everyone loves pizza and pasta but we might love it just a little more than what’s considered normal which is why I was so excited to talk with Shawn O’Drain. Shawn is the kitchen manager at Angelina’s which is one of my all-time favorite Italian restaurants and not just on 30A, but everywhere I’ve been.
Angelina’s just has an authentic feel to it and everyone is so welcoming when you walk in the door. Their pizza is among the best I’ve ever had and their pasta dishes are amazing as well. Shawn graciously shared his story and the story of Angelinas 30A with us on a beautiful South Walton December day. Angelina’s is centrally located in Seagrove Beach so it’s easy to get to no matter if you’re staying in Rosemary Beach on the east end or Dune Allen Beach on the west end of the 30A corridor.
Conversation with Shawn O’Drain at Angelina’s Pizzeria and Pasta in Seagrove Beach
Shawn: I’d like to welcome y’all to Angelina’s here in Seagrove Beach. My name is Shawn O’Drain and I’m the kitchen manager. I’ve been the kitchen manager here for 3 years and have been working on and off here since the year 2000 and I just love this place, love working here.
30A Prime: How did Angelina’s Pizzeria & Pasta get started?
Shawn: Angelina’s was started by Jan and Brian Ethridge as well as Jan’s father Al. They opened this place up about 23 or 24 years ago and just wanted a cozy little Italian restaurant and Pizzeria.
30A Prime: What is the atmosphere like at Angelinas 30A?
Shawn: We have a really nice central location in Seagrove Beach and it’s definitely like being with family when you come in here. The tables are close together so you’re probably going to hear the next tables conversation and that’s OK, everybody’s cool with that, its a really good environment.
30A Prime: What would you say is the signature dish at Angelina’s?
Shawn: Our signature dish would have to be our pizza. We have a New York style thin crust and hand-tossed so it’s really great, classic pizza. If you’re talking about pasta, I like the Linguine Frutte De Mar. It’s the greatest dish that we have in my opinion in terms of pasta. We’re really known for our pizza here at Angelina’s but if I had to choose just one pasta dish it would be the Linguine Frutte De Mar for sure.
30A Prime: Please tell us about the ingredients that make up the Linguine Frutte De Mar dish.
Shawn: Linguine Frutte De Mar is made up of sauteed shrimp, scallops, clams, a little bit of garlic, salt, crushed red pepper, fresh parsley and a white wine and butter sauce. The dish really comes out nice every time and it never disappoints.
30A Prime: We heard it was your idea to add a Margherita pizza to the menu. What inspired you to do that?
Shawn: Margherita pizza has been around for a long time and I just thought it was something that we needed to offer here at Angelina’s. Basically, some of our best ingredients in our refrigerator weren’t being used enough. Ingredients such as our fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and our fresh basil. We make our pesto here so we always have fresh basil and I felt like we were just kind of needing to offer the Margherita Pizza and it’s been a real hit. For example, on a busy weekend, our Margherita Pizza will match a Supreme Pizza in terms of sales. So I’m really proud of that and I’m proud to offer it here at Angelinas 30A.
30A Prime: Is Angelina’s popular among 30A locals?
Shawn: Yes it sure is especially for our lunch. We get allot of 30A locals coming in here and many have been coming in for years. You have all types of people from the painters to the bankers to the floor guys… You know, it’s no secret that this area has seen a lot of construction in the recent past. Angelina’s is the comfort food for those guys and gals building up the 30A corridor so it’s something that we take pride in for sure.
30A Prime: Please tell us about Angelina’s lunch specials.
Shawn: Our lunch specials are something we just started this year and it’s a really good deal. You’re looking at spending $9.35 plus tax gets you to $10 with a drink included. The actual food specials change each day but let’s take today for example… With Angelina’s lunch special today you’ll get a Chicken Parmesan over a bed of spaghetti and you also get salad and breadsticks.
30A Prime: Do you offer takeout at Angelinas 30A?
Shawn: Yes we do… For example, on Saturdays basically, our To-Go business will match our in-house business which is pretty cool. You’ll see a line coming out the side door all-day-long and people coming out with stacks of pizzas.
It’s a lot of fun… It’s a hustle… We get in here really early each day and we start chopping and prepping and getting everything ready, making the dough. We basically have a small enough cooler to where if we fill it jammed full in one day, we’ll wipe it out and start fresh the next day. So we’re just small enough to keep ingredients completely fresh and just large enough to feed the masses.
30A Prime: You have a really cool bar here at Angelina’s, please talk about it.
Shawn: Our bar is great… It has the old neon “In Vino Veritas” which means “In wine there is truth”. The bar is made of wood and it’s just kind of feels real homey when you sit at it.
Back in the early days of Angelina’s we used to always have a bunch of 30A locals lined up around our bar. That was back when Jan’s father Al was here. They were known as the “Sunday Crowd”. Al really knew how to draw a crowd and allot of those people still come in and ask about the family and how everyone is doing. Al brought allot of influence to this place and I like to think it’s still around and that we’ll continue to carry it out for him.
30A Prime: What do you like best about working at Angelina’s?
Shawn: The best part about Angelina’s for me is just the family environment. Many of the people that come to work here tend to stick around. It feels like family and is just a really welcoming place. I’ve worked at other restaurants but came back here to Angelina’s and what drew me back was that family atmosphere. It’s nice when you go to work and you feel welcome, you feel happy to be there. It’s always been that way for me here at Angelina’s and as long as that continues, I’ll continue to work here.
Everybody is welcome at Angelinas 30A. It doesn’t matter if you have your flip-flops on or whatever you know… This is the beach… Come on in… We have some good pizza and pasta for you… We’ll be looking forward to serving you here at Angelina’s in Seagrove Beach.