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Manganaro's-Thy Name is my Enemy

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So I go to Manganaro's Grosseria, which in case you didn't know the menu and signs will repeatedly remind you is not affiliated in any way with the Manganaro's Hero Boy right next door (except that it's the same family). Great original 1893 Italian deli in front with little tables covered with red checked tablecloths in the back. The original owner's adult daughters serving cold and hot heros and other food. Reminded me of my favorite Italian groceries in Boston's North End or San Francisco's North Beach or Brooklyn or Leo's Latticini (aka Mama's) in Corona Queens near where I grew up. So even though it's barely 11am, they warm me up (in the microwave) what turns out to be a delicious meatball parm hero and even sprinkle fresh parmiggiano-reggiano on top. With a Moretti beer I'm enjoying the parm and soaking up the atmosphere and history. All of a sudden I hear one of the daughters screaming "Get out! Where's my $%^&*^% cannoli?! Get out and bring back my %$^#$%^& cannoli!" Turns out the family feud out of Romeo and Juliet that's been going on for over 30 years is still on. As best I could tell, the bakery delivered the cannoli to the wrong Manganaro's and rather than redirecting them to the Grosseria, Hero Boy happily accepted and paid for the pastries. This led to much additional cursing and screaming by the daughters, firing the bakery and scrambling to find another supplier. I suggested Veniero's not realizing that alliances had been made decades ago with one daughter saying that Veniero's are $%^&$ even though her father helped get them established. Apparently my back-up suggestion of Bruno's as a purveyor of cannoli was more acceptable. I won't go into the history of the family feud here (but look it up-it's fascinating and sad). I also won't pick sides but Hero Boy looks (and I suspect tastes) more like a Subways. My Dad and his Italian best friend, whom I believe I was named after, used to get their heros at Hero Boy in the 50s prior to the declaration of war between the Manganaros. I fantasize that someday the kids can reunite the family. Then we can all say "a meatball parmigiana hero by any other name would taste as yummy".

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