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Jun 19, 2006 03:06 PM

Mandolas Italian Market-Austin

  • j

I stopped by Mandolas Italian Market yesterday (in the new Triangle development at Lamar and Guadalupe). It's a really cool place, with a bakery, deli, gelato counter, grocery, and cafe. I tried some of their Gelato, which was very good, and I bought some cherry peppers stuffed with prosciutto and provolone, as well as a delicious sundried tomato and cheese bread loaf hot out of the oven. I will be going back to try out more of their food.


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  1. Mandolas has the best bread in town, a multi-grain loaf covered with seeds, with a crispy crust and a dense interior. Very European. Recently I went to HEB (Anderson and 620) and asked the baker if they didn't have any bread that wasn't already bagged. "Oh, no, sir, she said, our customers wouldn't like it. It could have flies on it!") However, even if you go to Central Market, where the long row of breads looks great, and they don't put it in bags, the interior of the loaves lacks the density of a good European bread. I've been told the flour is different and all kinds of stuff, but I think bakers here generally cater to American longing for Mrs. Baird's and fear of flies.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dave Zersen

      Whole Foods on 6th has much of their bread in racks in the open air. They will bag it for you if want it sliced or once you pick a loaf.

    2. Mandola's is probably my favorite accessible Italian restaurant for a casual no fills meal. The pizza is good (their prosciutto and arugula is great), their paninis are also good, I prefer their porchetta sandwich) and their pastas often add fantastic but often overlooked ingredients. I had a pasta with fresh basil, mushrooms and kidney beans, that was terrific.

      I love Enoteca Vespaio, but living up north makes it a bit of a trek to get down there at a reasonable dinner time.

      Mandola's is a tasty alternative that is good for a single or group meal.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Homero

        Party of Four with two sharing a pizza.

        Nice thin crust with the topping actually cooked (I hate raw mushroom thrown on a pizza). The crust had nice little charred pieces which were great.

        The other two had sandwiches about which they raved (but I didn't try.)

        The bill was 24 with drinks (not too shabby)

        1. re: Homero

          I've had some good and really really terrible meals at enoteca. What do you get there? the only thing that has been consistently good there has been the suppli. the arugula, procuitto, and quail egg pizza was a monstrosity of salt and oil. The crust was okay, but the gush of lipids and sodium that oozed into my mouth with every bite was just too much to handle. The linguine misto mare and conchiglie ripieno ran into the same problems of being too oily with the latter resembling alpo. I REALLy wanted to like it, but i didn't. Did we just order the wrong thing?

          Also, their margherita pizza does not have basil... it has dried oregano. that's not okay. The overuse of arrabiata was evident as well.

          1. re: foodiefound

            My thoughts on what to order at Enoteca:


            The proscuitto pizza is fairly automatic; I'm sorry you had a bad experience. I've had this dish a number of times and haven't ever been salted out of my gourd. Then again, each person has a different sensitivity to salt.

        2. The bread is great, although the quality of the loaves has gone down recently. The sourdough, rosemary, whole wheat... they all used to be fluffier and more yeast-y on the interior. They have become very dense and I haven't bothered buying them anymore for the past month. The baguettes are perfect though. No competition in Austin.

          The prepared food is mediocre. It was pretty good at opening, but now it's like spaghetti warehouse. The pizzas are still excellent, though. I really like the procuitto arugula.

          For gelato, Teo is tops (38th a few blocks west of Lamar). Mandola's can be good, but the flavors are a bit grainy and not strong enough. Go to Teo, you wont be disappointed.

          1 Reply
          1. re: foodiefound

            Teo's is great. My favorites are the pistachio, anything containing chocolate, and the ginger snap (which I think they only have during the holiday season). I will say that something suffers slightly in quality at the outpost at Tech Ridge in the HEB. This Teo's does have *good* gelato but in my opinion does not compare to the 38th street location. In fact, despite shopping at the Tech Ridge every week, I pass on Teo's there. I usually sate my cravings when out and about in central austin.