Mangia is not at all what writer expected (thankfully)

by Joshua Maloni

Bec Poletti prepares something scrumptious.One of the reasons I avoided Mangia Café & Bakery since its move to Center Street was for fear its breakfast was a little "too healthy" for my liking (i.e. no bacon or sausage). Another reason is the fact it's located on the ground floor of architect David Giusiana's house and, well, that's just weird.

Suffice to say, I was wrong on both counts.

The reason you must drop everything you're doing and go there - right now - is the Mangia meal I had last Saturday. It could easily be featured on the Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate." It was arguably the best breakfast I've ever tasted, and the reason I've been kicking myself all week for delaying this treat for so long.

I knew Mangia offered classic desserts - stellar cakes, pies and cookies - at its previous location. I was curious - nay, excited - to see what breakfast dishes owner Bec Poletti would offer when she moved into a larger space last year. But, when Mangia first relocated to 621 Center St., I looked over the menu and didn't see my two favorite breakfast meats.

Bacon and sausage may have been on there, but they certainly weren't featured as star players. Instead, I saw a lot of words like "fruit," "vegetable" and something the young kids like to call "hummus." Plus, there were sections such as "healthy grains" and "vegetarian" in place of "processed" and "covered with cheese."

I hadn't thought much of the eatery since then. But when Mangia waitress Margie Pryce stopped me recently at Artpark and asked when I was going to write about her employer, I decided to give the place a try.

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