Samuel Mancino’s Italian Eatery- Portage
Our Saturday night plan was to watch some basketball, rent a couple movies and do something low-key for dinner. I reserved a couple movies on Redbox.com and remembered we had a coupon for a free sandwich at Mancino’s. We’re both pretty big fans of the grinders, so it sounded like a winner. Cheap dinner, cheap movies, and great basketball.
After running to Walgreens to pick up the movies, we headed south on Westnedge to Mancino’s which is just north of the I-94 interchange in a small strip mall. I’ve eaten in Mancino’s all over the place and never been able to figure out the relationship between them. I’ve talked about it in past blogs, so I won’t go over it again, but just take from this, I like the grinders.
The Samuel Mancino’s in Portage is one of the nicer ones I’ve been to in Michigan. It’s a small restaurant with only a handful of tables, but it’s clean and the furniture is in good condition. I haven’t always been able to say that about some of the other Mancino’s restaurants.
We headed to the back of the restaurant to order. I looked at the menu board above the cash register and couldn’t find my favorite sandwich, the pizza grinder. I know the Samuel Mancino’s chain has undergone some changes recently, so maybe they took it off. Instead, I ordered the Chicken Parmesan Grinder. I went with an 8″ and no drink since we were going to take it go. J also went with an 8″ and got the ham and cheese grinder. She did get a drink and with our coupon for a free 8″ grinder, the total came to just a little over seven bucks. Not a bad price for dinner.
The sandwiches are made after you order and toasted in a pizza oven, so it does take a little while. About ten minutes after ordering, an employee brought out a plastic bag with two foil wrapped sandwiches. We grabbed the bag without looking in it and headed home. Big mistake.
I’ll start with J’s sandwich first. She was a big fan like usual. She said the ham had a little bit of a smokiness to it and other than the tomatoes that were on it even though there was a sign saying they weren’t putting tomatoes on sandwiches unless you requested it, everything was perfect. There was a thin layer of mayo on the bottom bun and a layer of cheese melted on the top bun. The 8″ was perfect for her and our plan for a cheap delicious meal worked out…..for her.
For me, it was a disaster. When I opened up the foil, I didn’t find a Chicken Parmesan Grinder. It was something completely different. I’m thinking it was the Chipotle Turkey Grinder, but I really don’t know for sure. There was definitely turkey, mayo, lettuce, onions, and cheese. I believe there were red peppers, which according to the menu, should have been flame roasted sweet red peppers. I took a bite and it did nothing for me. I don’t like onions. I don’t like mayo and that’s all I could taste. J took a bite and actually liked it, so she took half of my sandwich and gave me half of hers. Since there was mayo on both bottom buns, I took both top buns, the meat from both and made a sandwich that way. I only got about a 4″ sandwich, but it was double meat.
It’s too bad they screwed up because I really liked the place, but getting the wrong sandwich really pissed me off. It wasn’t a mistake like adding an ingredient I didn’t want. It wasn’t even the right sandwich! This is the only time I’ve ever had anything bad to say about Mancino’s. If they get the order right, I’m usually pretty happy and for a long time, looked forward to getting a grinder…but this trip left a bad taste in my mouth….literally.