It was a dark and stormy night, seems to be fitting way to start off our restaurant review from Hell. We drive by Mangia Bene restaurant in Martinez all the time. The outside looks like it could be a nice local Italian restaurant. At least that is what we wanted to believe. It was Monday night and we did not want to cook at home tonight so we ventured to Mangia Bene Restaurant to give it a try. You may want to stop reading now because this review will be going downhill fast.
We want to find positive in all of our dining experiences. Mangia Bene is a fun and warm looking establishment. Inside is painted brightly and decorated with Italian style adornments. The waiter was pleasant. He brought a small pitcher of sparkling water that was refreshing. The menu was reasonably priced. The wait staff was accommodating for my request for pasta instead of potatoes on my entrée. The rest of the evening was a food disaster.
Soft white Italian bread was brought to the table before our meal. The bread was okay in a white wonderbread type of way. It was served with a spread of tomato, garlic, bread and olive oil puree that I would compare to an aioli. The problem was it had just been taken out of the refrigerator and was icy cold. The texture was a little grainy and just seemed a little off. I ordered a New York steak with pasta. I always order my steak medium rare. It dawned on me; did the waiter even ask me how I wanted this steak cooked?
Our entrees arrived promptly possibly because we were one of two tables occupied in the whole establishment. Red flags screamed at me at first glance of my blackened piece of so called New York steak. I cut into this piece of protein. I am glad the steak knife was serrated because this pathetic excuse of a steak made shoe leather seem tender. It was horrifyingly cooked to past well done degree. I wanted to dial 911 and report a crime against a steak. Wow. The pasta was horrendous also. The red sauce had a greasy tinny flavor that would have brought a tear to Chef-Boyardee’s eye. The pasta must have been bought from the dollar store across the street. The steak was served with a mushroom sauce. The can opener was getting a work out at this meal. Canned mushrooms swimming in possibly Campbells soup just seemed wrong. This dish failed on so many levels.
Ms. Goofy ordered shrimp carbonara. Ms. Goofy barely pawed through this frozen iceberg shrimp disaster. The sauce was heavy and gloppy. The same mass produced pasta did not help this dish. Mangia Bene should be ashamed for sending out dishes like this from their kitchen. This meal misfired on all of its cylinders. We so wanted to find a good local Italian restaurant. It definitely will not be Mangia Bene
1170 Arnold Dr #116,
Martinez, CA 94553