When you go to a resort area, it helps to know where the good stuff is. In the lakeside Village of Angola, some of the good stuff can be found at the Toasted Hog.
At first glance, it’s a typical burrito spot offering create-your-own burritos and rice bowls, reminiscent of a certain chain that rhymes with “shmi-potle”. But at second glance, the Toasted Hog offers a broader range of flavors and foods: If you’re on the beach and craving spice-rubbed pork belly or handmade gelato, there’s no need to make the 40-minute trek back up to Buffalo.
The Toasted Hog is an extension of The Frozen Hog, a food truck serving traditional gelato and sorbet. Co-owners Holly and Andy Tiedt fell in love with gelato during their honeymoon in Venice, Italy, and after developing their own line of flavors, the couple launched their gelato food truck in 2015.
Seeing a lack of dining options in their area, the couple built a new restaurant literally from the ground up. Lacking any kind of restaurant experience, the couple then recruited Mike Warner to be their chef and general manager. Warner gained his back-of-the house experience at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and had been working at the Dinosaur location in Brooklyn.
During my recent visit, Warner joked that moving from New York City to Angola is a bit of a cultural shift, which was made even more visible during the pandemic.
“It’s night and day, coming here from New York City,” he said. “I only ever took my mask off in New York when I was in my apartment. Up here, it’s like, whatever.”
The cultural difference is more than just choosing not to follow COVID rules. Angola locals don’t have a ton of food options, and the Tiedts said it’s been a bit of a work in progress trying to sell burritos and gelato to the masses.
“It’s almost like we’re trying to coach people in the area,” he said. “The reception we’ve gotten so far has been contained to this area, but it’s been really good option.”
“In the area, it’s pizza shop, pizza shop, pizza shop – and then there’s us,” Warner added. “For people to be able to change up their lunch or dinner out of the house, I think it’s gotta be nice.”
Cured overnight, slow roasted then grilled to order, the pork belly in the Toasted Hog burrito had complex interplay of herbs, spice and char. The burrito ate lighter than you might expect, with pico de gallo and a house-made chipotle aioli cutting through the fatty meat.
The Hot Hog burrito featured a chuck steak braised in tomatoes and spices that I found very reminiscent of the Cuban classic ropa vieja – a good thing. White rice and black beans added heft, while pickled red cabbage added a tangy counterpoint.
In addition to ice cream from Perry’s, the Toasted Hog also sells a rotating roster of The Frozen Hog’s gelatos, sorbets and edible cookie doughs, with “about seven” gelatos and sorbets available at any given time. The creamy vanilla gelato I tried was sent to Flavortown on a bullet train with toppings of edible cookie dough and crumbled Butterfinger.
While water and soft drinks were the drinks available when I popped by, the owners said they are hoping to offer cans of craft beer and frozen margaritas. Offering alcohol would round out the Toasted Hog as a premier spot to hit up on your next trip down to Angola, and Andy Tiedt said while they would like to offer alcohol, it’s important for the restaurant to stay as kid-friendly as possible.
“The ice cream and gelato are kind of geared toward kids, the food is more geared toward adults, and then if you add a big alcohol offering into the mix, it could be a bit much,” he said. “But yeah, we’re trying to walk the line.”
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 12 p.m. – 9 p.m., Monday and Tuesday CLOSED