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Samuel Mancino’s Italian Eatery- Portage

March 27, 2010

  • 5363 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 382-2527
  • Website
  • Menu

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 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.

Ham & Cheese Grinder

Chipotle Turkey Grinder (I Think)

Samuel Mancino's Italian on Urbanspoon

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2010 2:10 pm

    Great blog! I enjoy reading your experiences with SW Michigan dining options. It seems as if we have similar opinions regarding Mancino’s. The food is usually delicious, (if you get what you order, of course) but I always seem to have trouble with the service, delivery esecially, at the stores around the Lansing-area. It’s a shame you didn’t get the correct sandwich because the Chicken Parmesan Grinder is a usually a great choice. Us grinder-lovers will have to keep on the lookout for a Mancino’s that has that unbeatable combination of clean, efficient, and delicious.

    • SW Michigan Dining permalink*
      March 29, 2010 2:14 pm

      Thanks! This is probably the only time I’ve ever had a problem at a Mancino’s. I used to eat at the Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders (not related to the Samuel Mancino’s franchise) on Cedar Street in Lansing all the time. Loved the place…..I’ve been eating at some sort of Mancino’s store for fifteen years and I always look forward to going back. Just wasn’t happy with this particular trip….

      • Michele Mancino permalink
        May 17, 2011 12:41 pm

        Dear Customer

        I am very sorry you received the wrong grinder. Please contact me at my email and I will make it right for you.


        Michele Mancino

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