That's the philosophy of Eric Brechtel, owner of DeAngelo's (111 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-7331) on the ground floor of the Heritage Plaza.
"We try to serve the freshest ingredients possible," he says. "We try to give good service and make people happy when they come in so they come back." He does that with fresh gourmet pizzas, calzones and foccacia sandwiches assembled on authentic Italian bread that's made fresh daily, with the dough aged in tempered coolers until it's ready to be placed in an oven. The pizza sauce and marinara that grace Italian dishes are made fresh daily from whole plum tomatoes. Even the health-conscious salad dressings are prepared every day with canola, peanut or olive oil.
The lagniappe comes in the form of live local jazz played in the restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights and a happy hour every day that features two-for-one drinks as well as different featured specials such as a 16-inch pizza with pitchers of Miller Light or Abita Amber one night, margaritas another and martinis on still another night. At lunch diners can enjoy dishes normally on the dinner menu in a special lunch size at a lowered price. Desserts include almond cream cake (similar to tiramisu but made with Amaretto and almonds), chocolate cannoli and three kinds of cheesecake.
DeAngelo's is a franchise that started in Baton Rouge and now has more than a dozen outlets across the country. The Metairie restaurant has hit home with a lot of locals, but Brechtel says he's still trying to reach families who don't realize what a kid- and family-friendly place it is, with its bright, spacious dining areas, semi-private rooms and easy access (there's plenty of free parking available right outside the entrance). The space has two large banquet rooms that can be used for private dining, parties or business lunches. DeAngelo's also offers take-out and catering.
Brechtel says he plans a few improvements to give customers even more. "We're expanding the menu to include more things, adding to the pizza and making it more a traditional Italian restaurant Š refining the menu."
Traditional timekeepers are hard to find these days -- those craftsmen who can keep clocks and watches running or repair them no matter what the problem or how old the device. Josef Herzinger, who owns Clock & Watch Shop (824 Gravier St., 525-3961) with his wife, Judith, is one of those people.
He learned his craft in his native Austria, where part of his seven-year higher education involved not only repairing but making timepieces from scratch. That knowledge has worked well for people who seek out Clock & Watch Shop for repairs.
"Our specialty is really repair and restoration of watches and clocks," he says. "If any parts are missing and not anymore available, we can make the parts by hand. We do our own gold refinishing and silver-plating and case refinishing. We do all the work in-house."
The shop's reputation for repair and restoration brings it business from all over, including New York, California, Mexico and even China. To help the process, Herzinger says he has a vast inventory of parts for antique timepieces as well as hard-to-find glass crystals for watches.
In addition to repairs and restorations, the Clock & Watch Shop also sells a wide range of new, vintage and antique clocks and watches, including about 15 brands and hundreds of styles of watches. New lines in the shop include the Swiss maker August Raymond and Tutima of Germany. Other brands include Wittnauer, Seiko, Movado, Bulova, Hamilton, Fortis, Seth Thomas, Howard Miller and Linden.
The Whole Picture
The Wholistic Wellness Network is holding its fourth annual national conference in New Orleans -- the first time such a meeting has been scheduled in the Deep South -- April 1 through 4. Most of the events will be held at LSU Medical School (1542 Tulane Ave.)
The goal of the conference, hosted by LSU Health Sciences Center's new Section of Integrative Medicine and its School of Public Health, is to help both practitioners and prospective patients understand how conventional and complementary or alternative therapies can be used together for better health outcomes.
The conference includes demonstrations of complementary therapies such as massage and reflexology for both professionals and the public as well as national speakers and a continuing education course for medical professionals that will explain how to integrate conventional and complementary therapies. Subjects covered during the three-day conference include chronic disease treatment, naturopathy, nutrition, physical therapies, cancer, cardiovascular disease, menopause, depression and more.
Some of the sessions are free and open to the public, but registration fees are required for others. For a full schedule and more information on the conference, visit the Web site, www.wwn.us/events.html.
- Co-workers Gina Grunberg, David Hudson and Alan Daigrepont (front right) enjoy a lunch of pizzas and pasta at DeAngelos, where they travel at least once a week from their office near the Causeway to have lunch.