Put the napkin in your lap and pull up to the table with Eau Claire's Hungry Italian as he provides the area's only true Restaurant Review.  Don't have another family night ruined by poor service.  Find the perfect spot to take that special online someone on the third date that has romance commingled with value.  


DINING DATE   Tuesday June 30th

MEAL TIME     Dinner

ATTENDEES IN PARTY   2 adults, 2 children


Ordered  Medium Chicken Parm Sandwich with French Fries


That sandwich you make at home can have the best fillings and accoutrements, but it just won’t taste as good as one at a restaurant.  Why?  It’s all about the bread. Flavorful and succulent fillings need to be augmented by pillows around them allowing the flavor to fall asleep in your mouth.  As opposed to being bundled up by a jacket of gluten glue. 

Mancino’s is a great example of where the bread makes the difference but more on that in a moment.

The ongoing life circumstances may prohibit regular dine-in experiences, but it doesn’t necessarily block one from enjoying restaurant quality meals.  While the Hungry Italian and his bambinos have ventured out somewhat, taking advantage of eating at home continues to be the main course of action.  The latest being a helping of Mancino’s at the Hungry Italian domicile.

This is one of those hybrids that is technically a franchise but with long time local ownership it has always felt like our own.

On this Tuesday evening, it was a carry-out experience as orders were placed online then picked up while doing other errands.  First and foremost, the food was brought home, unpacked and on plates within 15 minutes of the pick-up.  Obviously not as fresh as the dine-in experience but the quality wasn’t impeded to a noteworthy degree.

The little ones had plates of baked spaghetti which features a tangy and sweet red sauce and plenty of melted cheese.  The Hungry Italian’s better half enjoyed a steak sandwich while the Hungry Italian himself went with a medium sized chicken parm sandwich.

Mancino’s has been a regular on the dining circuit and the Hungry Italian has enjoyed a number of sandwich offerings from this place with all ranging from all good to crave able.  A consistent factor being the bread which seems to be a ciabatta, Italian hybrid with some characteristics of a French loaf.  The sandwiches (called grinders here) come in anything but a sub roll. More like a mini loaf bisected and it makes all the difference.

This is a taste that just can’t be replicated at home and another reminder as you eat that lunch time turkey sandwich with store bought bread (or stale three-day old home made stuff) you’re taste buds are being let down by you routinely.

The bread guarantees that even a mediocre filling will still make for a passable meal and that was the case here.  This was the first time the Hungry Italian had the chicken parm from Mancino’s and wasn’t as impressed as other options.  The chicken was grilled and cubed with the same tangy and sweet sauce that goes on the pastas and pizzas.  There was ample cheese.  The issue was the chicken just didn’t have much excitement too it.  Almost tasteless with a mushy consistency.

The French fries were okay. Nothing special about them so if you want to stick with chips or a cookie do that.  If you have a craving for fries, order them.  Definitely not a “need to have” but no reason to stay clear either.

So, this sandwich falls down the depth chart but with a number of other options that have been pre-approved this place gets a thumbs up.

Let this be the takeaway as well.  Try new entrees and options and places.  There is a chance you may find a new favorite and even if you don’t like the different choice there is a strong possibility, you’ll still find it passable which was the case here.  The chicken parm is the worst of what I’ve had here, but if someone brought me a free one from Mancino’s I wouldn’t hesitate to eat it again.


I’ll likely stay clear of the chicken parm sandwich but have a plethora of other choices I’ve already given the thumbs up too such as the Lumberjack.




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