Manganaro's is simple, old-school Italian cooking. With recipes that have stayed the same since 1893 when it first opened, this family-operated joint is doesn't mess around. The food is served on styrofoam plates and the tomato marinara is made in the morning. I went with two friends and we strategically ordered different items. The super star dish was the Manganaro Special (pictured above); a sandwich made from mixed meats, cheese and peppers. Drizzles with a little balsamic and served on some rustic Italian bread, this sandwich was divine.
Their marinara was really superb. I've never had anything so flavorful like it. It is not oily at all but fresh and chunky. We got an extra bowl of the marinara to dip our sandwiches in. It was heavenly.
We also got a plate of lasagna that would have sent me back to my childhood had lasagna been a food of my childhood.
And as a treat the lovely women behind the counter gave us a plate of tasty, toasty and crunchy sesame seeds cookies. In addition, they also gave us a shot of their special Korean tequila!
In summation, go for the food, stay for the experience and....well, leave when they start giving you a hard time. I can't wait to go back and order another Manganaro Special with a side of meatballs, a riceball, and some cookies.
Manganaro's Grosseria & Ristorante
488 Ninth Avenue (between 37th and 38th)
New York, NY 10018