Monday, January 14, 2013

mangia! mangia!

*Just FYI- my phone died as the first appetizer rolled onto the table, so I am unable to supply you with the typical blog graphic food pornography that you are accustomed to. However, I am not above just giving you descriptions and photos I have bogarted from google image search. Here is one of the only pictures we took all night, and food is not even in the picture [Tangent: Jamie has become really obsessed with bow ties lately and is stoked that he had an opportunity to showcase his new one.]:

All of my friends are turning 30 lately, so that means party after party after party. For my one of my oldest dearest, most republican friend Courtney's dirty 30, she opted to go to Mangia Nashville [actually located in Franklin, oddly enough], a place that I have been itching to try for about a year. [Tangent: Because I am dating a 34- year-old with the mind of a 12-year-old, he only referred to it as Mangina all evening, so if I slip up and refer to it as such- it's likely because that's all we called it all evening.] This is basically all I knew about it prior to eating there:

1. It's Italian.
2. There is random singing and dancing.
3. There is limited seating so you need a reservation.
4. It is pricey.
5. There is a shit ton of food. 

Seriously, this is all I had to go on. Basically it is a multi-course Italian meal that is $45 per person.  The menu is set and rotates seasonally and there is constantly some kind of entertainment popping out at you from all sides. What I didn't know is that by day, Magina [Mangina] is The Cool Cafe, which is basically a non-descript strip mall meat and three. Jamie and I got a smidge turned around and basically just ended up stumbling upon it. [Tangent: I pulled over in a strip mall to call my friends and find out where the hell Mangia was located, and it turned out we were there. The restaurant kinda looked like an adult video store or meth lab front from the outside because of all the windows covered with black papers. Thankfully, it was much warmer and decidedly less likely to offer me something X-rated once we entered the doors.]

All of my preconcieved notions were correct. There was a LOT of food and thankfully we had a large party so didn't have to share a table with randoms, which would have made for a pretty awkward evening. [Tangent: It's like when you have a family sitting next to you at a hibachi restaurant and you feel like you can't talk about anything fun all evening because Junior is staring you down as you shovel stir fry in your mouth.]  Also, there is a lot going on. Congo lines, sing-a-longs and the Godfather playing on several screens scattered throughout the restaurant.

clearly stolen from google.
 If you have a pretty open palette, you will absolutely get your $45 dollars worth and leave feeling stuffed beyond capacity. This is the menu we sampled.

For the most part the food was super yummy, but I would be interested in going when they swap their menu out, because the rosemary lemon chicken and vegetables were just meh. [Tangent: I was kinda embaressed because the super jovial chef probably saw me salt and peppering those bad boys and I know that's as good as giving him the middle finger. Not my intention...I just needed some more flava!] 

The pasta and appetizers were clearly my favorite parts, because seriously who doesn't love carbs and tiny food with dipping sauces? The lemon rissoto cakes are something I wish I had on hand at all times. Yum....Mangina Mayonaise! And, as a self proclaimed expert on mozzerella sticks, their Mozzerella in Carrozza were the best I've ever had.

Overall, I think its something that is fun and definitely worth a trip, but bear in mind that the $45 goes partly towards atmosphere. [Tangent: Like it's not unusual to see middle aged women doing a modified electric slide through the middle of the restaurant to "That's Amore!"] Unlike most of my friends who work in restaurants, these servers seemed to actually be thoroughly enjoying their jobs [Tangent: Weird! I know.]  even though they had to "Cold Stone Creamery Style" sing sporadically through their shift. It was almost like eating on a cruise ship...I say that in the most complementary way possible.

Also, make sure you block out a good 3 hours plus for this tour de flavor and save zeppole for breakfast the next morning. They are delightful with a cup of coffee...and you will be stuffed.

Happy eating folks.


  1. I was with you until Mangina Mayonnaise. Hahahaha!!!

  2. Foooooooood. I love food. Please feel free to write lots more blogs about food. Mmmmm.

    1. somehow I knew you would love that food pornography!

  3. Take the gun; leave the cannoli.


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