Mangia, Mangia, Mangiatto’s

This is a mixed review for Mangiatto’s Italian restaurant which just opened on the Westside a couple of months ago.

We went on the 1st day of Lunar New Year and my family’s tradition is not to do any work or labor as it can foreshadow your year and fortune. You can clean or wash anything as it can “sweep or wash your luck away”. I couldn’t cook or wash dishes, so we went out to eat.

We were greeted warmly and was seated at a pretty small rectangular table for a family of 4. We asked if we could sit at the larger round table but the server said it was reserved, even though it didn’t have a sign. The reservation never showed up.

The lighting is very very harsh and glaring, the tables very cramped, and there was a lipstick stain on my cloth napkin, but the service more than made up for it. The server was lovely and attended to us right away. There was another family and a couple dining in and she was the only server.

Now for the food. It was good, but very confusing. We ordered calamari, the breading was well seasoned and light and the squid inside was tender and not chewy. It came out very hot and the portion size was generous. Even our picky kids liked it. I ordered the watermelon sangria and it was very boozy with ice, but didn’t taste anything like watermelon.

The kids ordered the kids pizza and it’s pretty big and tasted great, with a ton of cheese and pepperoni, the crust looked rustic and housemade. We ordered the 3 combo plate with chicken parmigiana, eggplant and baked linguine. We asked if the linguine could come with a cream sauce but they couldn’t accommodate.

So that’s where the weird part comes in. The plate came out and was smothered in melted gooey cheese and the plate was hot. The food was delicious but kinda cold in the middle. Hubby and I discussed it and came to the conclusion that they probably make the items but froze and reheat it as needed, hence the hot plate but cold food. The garlic bread that accompanied it was also sliced and toasted to a burnt crisp.

We enjoyed it but would’ve like to have hotter food. For the price, it was a good value and the service was wonderful. It’s a good alternative to chains like Olive Garden where the food is definitely frozen and not prepared on site. I’d probably come back as the food is good, just don’t expect a romantic or upscale atmosphere. It’s just homey food if you don’t want to cook pasta at home.

7214 N Mesa St, El Paso, TX 79912

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