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Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders (Portage)

June 15, 2017

  • 10100 Shaver Road
  • Portage, MI 49024
  • (269) 327-5121
  • Website
  • Menu

There’s a billboard near Schoolcraft right along US-131.  The billboard is advertising a Mancino’s in Portage.  For the longest time, I always wondered why that billboard was there.  Shaver Road in Portage always felt so far away.  In my mind, you’d have to go all the way back to I-94 to the Westnedge exit then drive so far south to get there.  It was quite a while before I realized that Shaver Road actually Y’s off with 131 just before it turns into a freeway and that Mancino’s is just a few miles up the road.

I’ve blogged many, many time about my fondness for Mancino’s grinders.  In all the years we’ve lived in Kalamazoo, we’ve never had much reason to go that far south to get a grinder.  J doesn’t love them like I do, so I’ve never pushed a trip out of our way just to get one.

Last week, I actually had business in that area of town and spent a couple consecutive days in the area.  Finding time for lunch was hard, but on the third day, I was finally able to get away just long enough to pick up a sandwich for lunch.

Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders in Portage is at the corner of Shaver Road and Beethoven Avenue just south of the Shaver/Oakland intersection in the far southern tip of the City of Portage.  The building really doesn’t look like a restaurant.  I saw the sign from the road, but was unsure of where the shop actually was until I spotted some signage in the window after we turned in to the parking lot.  It shares a building with Bella Creamery, but it doesn’t share the space.  They are two separate in two separate spaces within the same building that looks more like it should be home to retail than restaurants.

The restaurant was quite packed for a Friday afternoon.  Most spaces in the parking lot were taken as were quite a few tables in the restaurant.  The space is pretty large with a large dining room at the front of the space.  Nothing fancy about it, but plenty of room and several different table options for large groups or those dining alone on their lunch break.

The order area is near the back.  It’s the same set-up as most Mancino’s locations.  There is a counter that separates the kitchen from the dining room.  The cash register sits on this counter as well as a laminated menu.  Someone from the kitchen takes the order and then it takes about 10-15 minutes for the sandwich to make it’s way through the conveyor oven.

I only have one order at Mancino’s.  I’ve tried other things and they’re always good, but they’re just not as good as my go-to.  I ordered the whole Pizza Grinder on white bread.

The sandwich set me back a little over $13 without a drink (Coke products) or chips, but the sandwich is more than enough and I just picked up some water and a couple of Pepsi’s from the gas station just down the street.

The order took about ten minutes.  A cook came out with a long, cardboard box filled with a steaming hot sandwich and called my name.  I grabbed the box and headed back to the car where my co-worker was waiting and working on our assignment for the day.

When we got back to our job site, I pulled out the box and broke it open.  The sandwich was cut into four somewhat equal pieces which made it easier to eat.

If this is your first time with my on a Mancino’s blog post, thanks for finally joining us.  If you’ve read one of the many others, a lot of this is going to be redundant.

It seems like no matter which Mancino’s I go to, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders or a Samuel Mancino’s, the sandwiches always taste the same and that’s exactly what I’m hoping for.

The thing that makes a Mancino’s sandwich stick out from other toasted sandwiches or even other places that serve “grinders,” is the bread.

The bread they use is somewhat flat and it toasts up really well in the oven.  There are little bits of crispy pieces hanging on around the edges and the whole sandwich has a crunch to it.   The pizza grinder is simple with just pizza sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese, but that’s what I love about it.  The sauce is slightly sweet, the pepperoni is a little spicy, and the cheese is gooey and sticks to everything.

I will never get tired of eating at Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders.  It always surprises me a little bit that a “chain” with so little known corporate structure can be so deliciously consistent from locally owned store to locally owned store, but somehow, it is.  The Portage Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders is no exception.

Mancino's Pizza & Grinders Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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