Recently, I showed up at Mangia for lunch with one thing in mind: a sandwich on their pizza bianca. I mean, why wouldn't you want that given the option? (As you may know, we're big pizza bianca evangelists.) But 1:45 was too late, and they told me they were out. Distraught, directionless, I scanned the menu frantically, all too aware of the impatient man behind the counter. I went with the herb roasted grilled breast of chicken ($7.95), served with watercress, tomatoes, and herbed mustard on Tuscan flatbread. That sounded like a good enough back-up.
When I was handed my sandwich, I was disappointed to see it looked like little more than a paltry grocery store wrap. First no pizza bianca, now this! I walked across Midtown dejectedly. But, for all my disappointment, the sandwich was a pleasant surprise. The chicken, while slightly dry, was nicely flavored and had a distinct taste of the grill. The tomatoes were incredibly ripe and sweet—no pale, pink specimens here—and added a bright acidity to every bite. The watercress was a nice, crunchy counterpart. But the Tuscan flatbread, which I'd so quickly dismissed as bland wrap fare, was the real star. Pliant and fresh, it had a lovely char from the grill and a wonderful flavor. I could have used more of the mustard (a great grainy blend), but all in all, it was a pleasant surprise of a sandwich.
About the author: Lauren Sloss is a bicoastal food-lover who splits her time between New York (where she is finishing graduate school) and San Francisco (where she does most other things). She writes about food, music, travel, and everything in between. Some of her favorite things include The Black Keys, goat gouda, and guacamole. You can follow her on Twitter @laurensloss.