Manganaros Foods v Manganaros Hero-Boy...
Does anyone know the story here? Manganaros Foods, at
488 9th Ave bet 37th & 38th, a 106 year old
establishment that comes recommended by Eric Asimov
for its sausage & pepper sandwich is just a step away
from unaffiliated Manganaro's Hero Boy 492 9th Ave
also bet 37th & 38th St.
Feuding brothers? Pure chance?
And more importantly...does anyone know who is better
Governor writes: "And more importantly...does anyone
know who is better for what?"
Heroboy sucks...for everything of theirs I've had, even
the pickles. They're a quantity catering business, in
which they'll prepare a six-foot hero to your
specifications; people who are having a large group for
lunch and want to spend as little per person favor
Manganaro's Foods on 9th Avenue is a Hell's Kitchen
gourmet shop; fairly pricey (at least you can get it
cheaper downtown: a liter of Madre Sicilia ex-virgin
olive oil costs $17.99 there as opposed to $11.99 at
Pasta Place on 10th Street; other prices are fairly
consistent with this), but their quality and selection
are good. As far as I know, they do catering, but most
important, they have a framed notice specifying that
they are *not* Manganaro's Heroboy. Again, I repeat:
Manganaro's Heroboy sucks.
re: Frank Language
Speaking of Hell's Kitchen, there used to be an
excellent cheese shop near Manganero's on the other
side of the Avenue. I was walking there a few days ago
and had my eye out for it but did not see it -- does
anyone know if they're still around? Also, it seems
like there used to be (~6 years ago) 3 or 4 West
African groceries along 9th Ave. within a few blocks of
there -- I only saw one of them still around. What
The food may be pricey but if you are looking for real
hearty authentic southern Italian, this is it. Really
great rice balls. Sal Dell'Orto makes a mean espresso
and his daughters are to die for. Ask for Nina or Linda
or Seline and see what a real Italian lady can do for
your meal. Mama Mia!
re: Robert Lord
my experience at manganaros foods has been great for a
lunch under $10.00. Whether I have had an
unbelievable sandwich or a great hot dish - I've
always enjoyed the food and the sisters. Now, I would
never walk into Hero-Boy. Nasty is a kind word for the
place. I can't imagine how anyone can eat in such a
re: the cat
As a french I know what "good food" means.
I want to emphasize on the fact that you don't just eat for less than $10 a lunch, you also enjoy the sisters, theirs jokes, stories, etc. In fact you're eating while you're in real live scene theater, Manganaro sisters are the main actors, the store is the theater stage and customers are part of the play. There is a latin spirit in this place that you would never find anywhere else expect in Italy. Just the place to be at lunch to make your day.
As Hero-Boy! has made two appearances in the new
corporate digs since our move, and I've had the same
number of visits over to Maganaros Foods, I figured it
was time for a followup...
Hero-Boy! is downright nasty. The bread's similarity
to the gaudy cardboard box that the sandwich is
delivered in is inmistakeable, the cold cuts held
within are thick-cut and third-rate, and iceberg
lettuce has no place on a sandwich as far as I'm
concerned. (Hey, I'm not down on iceberg lettuce -
shred it thinly and use it as a last minute addition
to broth based soups - just not in a salad or sandwich)
I want to like Maganaros Foods. The staff reminds me
of my family (genially squabbling but the smiles are
real), and they take care in preparation.
The cold cuts, both meats and cheeses, are first rate,
the roasted peppers are smoky-sweet. The bread is a
huge disappointment - especially considering that this
is not an overstuffed sandwich (not my thing either)
so that the bread is not a mere conveyance to the
mouth (like in a soft-shell crab sandwich), but an
integral part of the sensory whole. The crust has no
crackle, your teeth alternatively tear and pull to
seperate another bite from the whole.
There is also a price/value issue at Maganaros Foods -
what you get is not quite worth what you shell out.
That said, I'm still going to head over to try some of
their prepared specialities - I saw some fried
artichokes the other day I was stupid not to sample.
More 9th Ave eats to come,
With regard to governor's reply of 6/19/99 I agree
with you as far as Manganaro being far more superior
that hero boy, however I have to disagree with you
about the bread that Manganaro serves. I have had the
bread at Manganaro's and can honetly say that it has
the authenic taste of the breads I have eaten in
Italy. The crust is cripy and the bread has an aroma
and texture that enhances the wonderful sandwich I
had, (The Manganro Special. Therefore Mr. Governor I
suggest that you try another Manganaro sandwich and
think about what you are eating. Don't waste you time
with the Manganaro wannabe (Hero boy)....Have a real
mans or should I say womans sandwich.......Ciao
the mozzarella at manganaros was as soft and sweet as a baby's tosh. add some sun dried tomatoes virgin sicilian olive oil some basilico and a twist of fresly ground pepper and you"re in heaven
Post feature on No Reservations I walked over at lunch for my first try. I knew nothing about these places before last night tv viewing. My dining companion didn't like the age funk of Manganaros Food so we went to Heroboy not knowing they are not the same business. We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch. I had rigatoni with a splash of tomato gravy and the breaded chicken breast topped with spinach sauteed with garlic and a slice of mozz cheese. My co-worker chose a procieuto/mozz/tomato hero. We had a glass of house red.
I liked what I got, particularly the spinach/garlic. The chicken was good enough and the pasta (cooked or finished to order so I had to wait a few minutes) nicely al dente but completely cooked. Co-worker like his hero as well. He was complimentary on the bread, as crisp crust and soft but not doughy/too soft inside.
We wandered over next door where I bought some cheese but attempt at friendly conversation with the sister working the register prompted rancor: "we were famous a hundred years before TV" "...all the Thais, the Mexicans, all getting the dollars..." (the later came unprovoked from us and we just let it lay...) It wasn't until back in the office and remarking to another co-worker that we heard that the two Manganaro's are not affiliated businesses and so I googled my way to here.
I did like what I got from Heroboy. I will go back. Also I will go try the funky old restaurant in the food store. Glad to learn of such good tastes if I just walk 1/2 block more for lunch.
It's interesting reading these comments. I've never been in the groceria as far as I can recall; didn't know they served food. I went to Hero Boy quite a bit in the 80's. No, the food's not fantastic, but for a steam-table luncheonette it was a great place for lunch and I enjoyed the decor they had. I've always gotten the eggplant parm sandwich with a side of spaghetti ( which is always good and al dente). I used to get the ziti. With a couple of bottles of Manhattan Special it still suits me fine. I just don't care for the new decor at all. It was better with the brighter colors.