1800 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95811. (916) 448-3898
We all want to eat healthier but at some point you get sick and tired of making kale salads and farro casseroles in your kitchen. Or maybe you're getting carpal tunnel syndrome from all that online holiday shopping and need some respite and a bite to eat? Then head over to Mangia!. I recently visited this cute little eatery with my friend Gretchen and I was pleasantly surprised by the tasty sandwiches and salads they're churning out. They recently opened shop next to Paesano's on Capitol Avenue, where a Java City used to occupy. They're right on the corner, you can't miss it- just look for the outdoor seating and the big windows.
Mangia! is open from 7am M-F and 8am on Saturdays, perfect for grabbing a breakfast panini on your way to work or popping over to nosh on one of their delicious sandwiches during your lunch break. They have about 15 specialty sandwiches on their menu, ranging from $7 to $9. The breakfast items (loaded bagels and fresh paninis) run from $4 to $6. They also offer soups, salads and fancy coffee drinks. On my visit there, I ordered their Atomic Meatloaf sandwich. Not exactly a calorie conscious choice, but how could I not? It was described as, "Bacon wrapped meatloaf served warm with jack cheese, red onion jam, housemade pickles and hot Mangia! fire sauce on an Acme roll." I bet your mouth's watering now, eh? Well, let me tell you- it lived up to my expectations. Total foodgasm. The hearty slice of meatloaf tasted just like Mom's (well, maybe not my Mom's but someone's mom) and the fire sauce/onion jam combo was quite simply- kickass. My only complaint? It would have been nice to have some chips come with it but I would definitely go back and order this again. My lunch date, Gretchen, who's a complete sweetie, offered me a nibble of her Bombay Chicken Salad sandwich, which I enjoyed as well. There was a spicy undertone (a mixture of jalapenos and red onion) which offset the sweetness of the curried mango mayo and plump golden raisins. It was no slouch in the yummy sandwich department. Mangia! smartly offers the option of ordering all their sandwiches sans bread. Instead you can have the fixin's over a bowl of crisp lettuce. I could see doing that with the Bombay Chicken Salad- it'd make a wonderful salad. Gretchen also ordered a side dish called, "Super Foods," which she excitedly told me I had to try. I'm glad she talked me into taking a taste- it was terrific. The Super Foods was a medley of quinoa, butternut squash, beets, blueberries, almonds and kale tossed with a light acai vinaigrette. I detected that there was a touch of cinnamon mixed in there as well. Now, now...don't turn up your nose. The Super Foods salad had a clean, invigorating taste that was delightful. I think I might try making this one at home. I really liked it and could see myself eating this healthy side a few times a week without tiring of it.
Since my visit, I've talked to a few friends about Mangia! to see their take on this joint. They all raved about the Hail Mary (house cured hot pastrami and melted gooey Swiss topped with Russian dressing and chipotle slaw on an Acme roll). I'm pretty sure a few of them were salivating while they were describing it. Also, one of my buddies who is gluten-free informed me that Mangia! offers gluten-free bread if you ask for it. (Nice! I like it when businesses try to be sensitive to their customer's dietary needs or preferences.) I think I might need to scoot over there soon and test out this Hail Mary. I'll let you know if it's a touchdown or not. In the meantime, the prices at Mangia! are on par with other casual eateries in the Grid, the sandwiches are bueno and the service staff is really friendly (they had an employee circulating through the tables checking in on patrons to make sure everything was to their liking). If you're in the area- pop over there and give them a try yourself, I would love to hear about your experience there.
Went back recently for lunch- it appears that Mangia! has changed their Super Foods salad. The old version was much better. The new version is complete rubbish, skip it!