Mangieri's Pizza Cafe
His grandfather was serving up pizza in 1920s New Jersey; now, Anthony Mangieri's doing so in Southwest Austin
Reviewed by Claudia Alarcón, Fri., Sept. 29, 2006
Mangieri's Pizza Cafe
5900 W. Slaughter Ln. #490, 301-0063
Monday-Saturday, 11am10pm; Sunday, 11:30am9pm;www.mangieris.com
Southwest Austin is growing by leaps and bounds, and enterprising restaurateurs are not missing the many opportunities the area is offering. One such place is Mangieri's Pizza Cafe. Housed in a newly developed shopping center in the Circle C neighborhood, Mangieri's is the brainchild of Anthony Mangieri, whose grandfather started serving pizza in New Jersey back in the 1920s. He now brings his authentic family recipes to Austin in a family-oriented atmosphere.
After visiting the Web site, my impression was that Mangieri's was a quaint, quiet, upscale dining establishment. However, I was a bit disappointed to discover that it is actually a quick, casual counter-service restaurant. There is not much real estate in the small entryway to wait for a table, especially since many people wait there for their takeout orders. Our solution was to order a pitcher of beer and a bottle of wine and take one of their tiny cafe tables outside. The young counter staff mostly high school students graciously brought out our beverages and promptly let us know when our table was ready.
We started with a Caesar ($3.25) and a Greek ($4.25) salad. When I inquired about the salad dressings, the staff honestly answered that they were not homemade. I appreciated that. Since anchovies are on the menu as a pizza topping, I ordered some to jazz up the flavor of the Caesar, which was made with crisp romaine topped with crunchy croutons. The Greek salad didn't need any help with its fresh, flavorful vegetables and pepperoncini.
Because all of the specialty pizzas sounded good, we opted to try four different 10-inch pizzas for $8.39 each. All are made with a thin and crisp East Coast-style crust flavored with herbs. The unusual and delicious Bella's is topped with grilled chicken breast, baby spinach, fresh Roma tomatoes, oregano, sesame seeds, extra virgin olive oil, mozzarella, and feta cheese. My 8-year-old friend Felix thought the combination of pepperoni, sausage, beef, Canadian bacon, bacon, cheddar, and mozzarella on the Capo would be good. And boy, was he right. The Giovanna's with meatballs, fresh mushrooms, fresh garlic, mozzarella, onion, as well as red, yellow, and green peppers tasted traditional and was fulfilling. The pizza of the week was simply topped with fresh tomatoes, garlic, oregano, extra virgin olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. All pizzas were topped with just the right amount of ingredients. For dessert, Felix and I split the Caramel Turtle Cheesecake ($3.99), which we enjoyed, although it was not made in house.
I liked Mangieri's pizza so much that I decided to go for takeout, so I could enjoy it with the wine of my choice and in a quieter environment.
My order was promptly ready at the time I said I would arrive and remained hot all the way home. This time we tried the Paesano pizza deal, which is quite the bargain. When you order a medium pizza for $11.99, the second is only $7. The Toscana, with fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata and green olives, artichoke hearts, onions, feta, olive oil, mozzarella, and whole-wheat crust was delicious. But the Mary Ann's Alfredo sauce, grilled chicken breast, bacon, fresh spinach, fresh mushrooms, mozzarella and cheddar disappeared incredibly quickly. We also tried two very tasty subs ($6.39). The roast beef comes au jus with a sweet-spicy giardiniera relish that was just right for my taste. The Syracuse sub, made with spicy Italian sausage, ricotta, mozzarella, and marinara, was good and savory, to the delight of my friends from Pittsburgh.
Mangieri's is a welcome addition to Southwest Austin. I wish they weren't so far out of my way, and I wish they delivered to my neighborhood. But they'll remain high on my list of reliable takeout alternatives.
Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter
If you want to submit a recipe, send it to email@example.com