BG Eats: Mancino’s delivers complex but balanced medley of flavors

The turkey bacon ranch grinder, served with turkey, bacon, mozzarella & cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and ranch dressing, is one of the many sandwiches served at Mancino’s Grinders and Pizza. Mancino’s is located at 2710 Nashville Road. Harrison Hill/HERALD

John Greer

In a crowded fast casual sandwich market, Mancino’s Grinders & Pizza does little to differentiate itself from the pack. 

The inside presents a very spacious and casual floor plan. A giant menu hangs above the front entrance. Customers place their orders at the counter. A few TVs tuned into sports channels line the walls. 

In title alone, the loaded cheese fries conjure up plenty of promise— a delicious vision of crisp potatoes drowned in a rich cheese sauce and larded with smoky hunks of crispy bacon. Unfortunately, Mancino’s did not deliver on the namesake.

The plate looked appetizing upon arrival, but the undercooked fries had a greasy sheen and were soft and limp. Mancino’s opted to melt a mix of mild mozzarella and cheddar cheeses overtop, which added little flavor and left each bite feeling really dry. The smokiness of the bacon was welcomed gratefully, but it still really needed some sort of a tangy sauce. 

Mancino’s predicates its reputation on its grinders, which are essentially the same thing as sub sandwiches. Thankfully, the turkey, bacon, ranch grinder was, overall, a much better effort. The crunchy and chewy bread was an appetizing vessel stuffed full of ingredients. 

The acidity of the beefy, vibrant tomatoes paired well with the richness of the bacon, melted cheese and ranch sauce. The sliced turkey added savory substance. The result was a complex and well-balanced medley of flavors. It may not have been spectacular, but it was certainly satisfying. 

In terms of value, Mancino’s is a suitable and filling choice. For more consistency and exciting flavors, better choices exist elsewhere.