The residential sliver of the Heights sectioned off by the junction of Yale and Cavalcade is full of surprises. Looking for an art film? 14 Pews might be in the middle of a Norwegian film festival, as it was all last month. Modern office spaces appear seemingly out of nowhere. How about coffee? Or a loaf of sourdough? A pizza, perhaps? Those are all at Angela's Oven, perhaps most unlikely of all.
I shouldn't have been too surprised. Jerry and Angela Shawn have been baking as Angela's Oven since 2006. They settled into the Aurora bakery seven years ago. But it was all new to me, from the bustling crowd packing up to bring breads to a farmers market to the eye-catching portrait of Frida Kahlo watching over the proceedings.
I was really there for a sandwich. There are only five options, which sound disappointingly simple. I was weighing trying the BLT on sourdough to assess the quality of the bread, but Shawn pointed me in the direction of the Italiano. He wasn't wrong.
The sandwich is stacked onto a ciabatta roll so large that the crusty bread filled the cardboard take-out container in which I brought it back to the office. Powerfully garlicky aioli settled into the pores of the fluffy-centered bread, but also adhered to the funky slices of Provolone. The sweet, squishy roasted red peppers were present and accounted for, but after that, what I got broke from what was listed on the chalkboard. In place of onions, there was baby spinach. And instead of pepperoni, I was delighted to see a substantial layer of prosciutto. It was smart combination of quality ingredients, well-assembled. I desire nothing more from a sandwich.
And that wasn't the only item that impressed me at Angela's. A seasonal peach danish soaked up the fruit's juices without getting soggy and a loaf of cranberry walnut bread had fresh, vibrant berries in its pillowy slices, not seemingly mummified dried ones. I would tell the bakery "Welcome to the neighborhood." But it seems to been getting along just fine without me.