Andrea’s View: Dave and I decided to cave to pressure and review an Italian restaurant, so we ended up at Mangia! in Carmel on a Saturday night. According to the website the restaurant specialized in northern Italian cuisine and was locally owned and operated. Perfect. We park in front of a nondescript strip mall (our favorite kind) and as we walk up to the door Dave says, “Did you check this place out before you picked it?” I said, “No, why?” He responded, “I don’t know, just wondering.” I soon figured out what he picked up on immediately. This place is over the top pompous and pretentious. The hostess acted like we needed a reservation but she quickly “found” us a spot right away. We were seated in a room with a decidedly older crowd with the exception of one misplaced young couple. The older patrons were dressed to the nines while the young lady kept her purse on her lap the whole time as if someone might steal it. I looked at the menu and said to Dave, “I’m sorry, I made a terrible mistake.”
I ordered the extremely overpriced Penne alla Medici. What I received was overly oily penne macaroni with some dry chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. Occasionally I would bite into an artichoke heart that for some reason looked like the chicken, so I was always taken by surprise. But bad food aside, (I won’t even mention the glass of wine that was a tad bit off) the worst part was the service. Our waiter could not get us out of there fast enough. I don’t even recall if he asked if we wanted desert (we didn’t), and he seemed troubled by Dave’s request for a second beer (we would therefore be seated in his section for the duration of said second beer). That said, he had enough time to chit-chat with the over dressed socialites that seemed to be loving the obnoxious food, but he could not be bothered with us. One lady seated to the left of me even shouted across the room to him, “Hey, is this what I ordered?” and he still treated her with respect.
On a side note, I apologize for the lack of pictures for this blog post. As you will notice, we don’t have pictures of our disappointing food. I tried to snap a few pictures of the inside of the restaurant before our dinner was served, but I received numerous glares from other patrons. And before I get hate mail, I did not have the flash on nor was I taking pictures of other people. Maybe the lady in the corner wearing a full length fur coat on a 60 degree day didn’t want to be noticed and identified by PETA. I understand. But enough of this nonsense, Dave and I are getting back to our adventure roots and seeking out food that gives you a big hug and is served with a big, genuine smile.
Dave’s View: I’ve been in many restaurants where I didn’t feel comfortable, but this restaurant takes the top spot and it’s not even classy. It is overly stuffy and the food is sub par. I was thinking if I could possibly get some members of Occupy Wall Street to sit next to me or occupy another table we could have made a lot people sweat. But I don’t think it would matter. The people in this restaurant THINK they’re the 1 percent.
Why does this exist? Why must we compete with each other? You’re going to up-one somebody for what? To make yourself feel better for one minute in a life that will span an average of 75 years? You may say, well, I’m talking about the patrons of this restaurant, it’s not the restaurant’s fault. Oh, on the contrary, Mangia perpetuates this mentality, it’s ridiculous. The service was extremely uppity and presumptuous.
The food: I had the Suprema di Pollo. Sorry did I pronounce that wrong? Don’t worry, the waiter will correct you. I love that in a waiter. (I’m being sarcastic here!) Anyway, it’s suppose to be chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto ham, spinach, and provolone cheese in light tomato sauce. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any prosciutto ham that I could see stuffed inside this chicken and it was overly packed with spinach. If you ever had a frozen stuffed chicken breast from the grocery store, this is exactly what it tastes like. The only difference is the price. $20 vs $4.99 at the store.
The ambiance of this restaurant: I can sum it up in the following picture, the one and only picture we could shoot inside.
Look at this picture carefully. See all the jesters.
This restaurant IS the joke!
Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 1 Total: 7 out of 30
$60-70 will adult beverages.