By Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If a square-cut slice of pizza can be directly linked to a town, Angelo’s is South Saint Paul.

“Everybody knows everybody,” said Deanna Burbank, second generation co-owner of Angelo’s Italian Restaurant.

“It’s a community, family restaurant,” said her sister, and fellow co-owner, Michelle Apman.

Deanna and Michelle grew up inside their mom and dad’s restaurant, founded in 1971 in St. Paul and then relocated to its current spot in South Saint Paul.

“At 10 years old, we stood on milk crates doing dishes,” laughed Michelle.

Pat and John Burbank decided to open a pizza place that was focused on community. But according to his children, John made up the name.

“My dad started the name ‘Angelo’ because it would be the first in the phone book,” explained Deanna. “There’s no Angelo.”

There is incredible pizza. Made with the same recipes, by the same family.

“We work, our children work, our aunts, everybody works,” said Michelle.

The dough is made fresh daily. They use John’s pizza sauce recipe, homemade sausage with meat from a local butcher, and the same mozzarella they’ve been buying for nearly 50 years.

“We have a lot of community support. They rally around us, it’s nice to have that since we’ve been here for so long,” Michelle said.

That longevity has positives and negatives: changing the menu in any way is met by immediate, feedback.

“Remember when we tried to change the butter on the bread!” laughed Michelle.

But why would you change some of these things that have become icons. The Italian Fries are legendary. A pan pizza dough topped with oh, so much cheese.

“We have those trademarked,” said Michelle. “[Dad] started them, he originated them. Now generations that come in, that’s their favorite thing, the Italian Fries.”

Crunchy, gooey, and perfectly dippable. Every day, every order, is done while thinking of the first generation that paved the way.

“My dad purchased this [pizza-shaped pendant] a month before he passed a way, it means a lot to me so I wear it quite often,” Michelle said.

Angelo’s Pizza is about more than crust, sauce and toppings. It’s about family, community and love.

“We’ll be on the fourth generation. My daughter has an 8-year-old. We figure she’ll have to start working in another couple years like we did,” laughed Michelle.

Angelo’s Italian Restaurant
1203 Southview Boulevard, South St. Paul
Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday until 10 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday dinner only

Jason DeRusha