'Best Breakfast USA': Mangia Café & Bakeryby jmaloni
by Joshua Maloni
"Feel good food" can mean eating something that's healthy, or partaking of a meal that's made with fresh ingredients. It's not necessarily both - unless Mangia Café & Bakery chef Bec Poletti is making the food. Then you know you're going to eat a great meal that's guilt-free.
When Poletti moved into her current location several years ago, and expanded her bakery business to include breakfast, customers were "excited about the healthy foods; they were excited that I was switching over to a restaurant," she said.
When it comes to preparing food, Poletti's philosophy is simple. "You are what you eat," she said. "If you truly care for people, you give them a good, quality product. And I do; I do care what people eat."
As an added bonus, Mangia is lowering its prices and adding a $4.95 breakfast special, which will consist of eggs, toast and home fries.
Popular items: Egg-white omelets, veggie omelets, sweet potato home fries and steel-cut oats.
"The quiche is very popular," Poletti said. "We sell a ton of quiche."
"It's made with the finest of ingredients," she noted. "It's just made fresh. There's not a lot of ingredients in it, but it's just. ... It's like Italian cooking. It's simple, and because it's simple and basic, it's good. And I think that's how Italians cook."
Mangia is a world-class bakery, too, so grab an apple pie square on your way out the door.
Chef's choice: Poletti has been dining on a new menu item: rye toast, smoked salmon, a poached egg and a Scandinavian dill mustard sauce - a twist on eggs Benedict.
"I've been eating it every day since I started to carry it on the menu!" Poletti said.
Writer's choice: Western omelet (ham, pepper and onion) with bacon and mozzarella cheese. It's simply sublime. Impeccably cooked meats and seasoned vegetables in perfectly golden eggs. It's savory in every sense of the word.
Mangia Café & Bakery is located at 621 Center St., Lewiston. Breakfast is served from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.