Mangia's pies have got muscle. At this new pizza spot owned by Mary Starr and Russ Hubbard, forget the sparse, made-for-one pizzas at higher-end pie shops in town—these pizzas eat like a meal.
Starr and Hubbard, the duo behind the nearby Industrial Cafe and Saloon, transformed the small house that was the home of Filbert's, which closed abruptly last winter. The casual interior space isn't huge—a U-shaped counter/bar takes up most of the main room—but the outside space has roughly doubled with the addition of a rear porch.
While Starr had described her pizzas as thin-crusted before the restaurant opened last fall, they now boast dough about a third of an inch thick that's been smeared with an herb- and garlic-laden tomato sauce, layered with copious toppings and a generous layer of cheese. This isn't a connoisseur's pizza, but the high-quality ingredients and crusty, pillowy dough make for a satisfying slice at lunch ($3-$3.50, available until 5 pm) or a solid pie to take home for movietime munching.
Pies come in two sizes (12- and 16-inch, $13 and $20, for cheese), with myriad traditional and more creative toppings available. The Greek ($16 and $24) came spread with roasted garlic and olive oil, and topped with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, more garlic, feta, kalamata olives and fresh spinach. Tasty, the flavors blended well and toppings were plentiful.
Calzones ($8) appear to use the same dough as the pizza—which could use a touch more salt for punch—and are stuffed with Fred Carlo sausage (the farmers market favorite), salami, vegetables or grass-fed beef. We tried the salami calzone, stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella and tomato sauce, only because the server said we couldn't order one with just cheese. Peculiar. It was satisfying, and chock-full to bursting with the cured meat.
The rest of the menu shrinks behind the pizzas and calzones: A Caesar salad ($5) had slightly wilted romaine leaves and a thin, sharp dressing, and the chopped salad ($9), while crisp and green, with plenty of chunks of salami, fresh mozzarella, olives and tomatoes, also had a mostly vinegar balsamic vinaigrette.
Service is beyond cordial, but the kitchen seems to lag a bit at night when you're waiting for a full pie. That's OK—you'll be lagging yourself after a dinner this big.
Mangia Pizza, 1937 NW 23rd Place, 222-2667. Lunch and dinner 11 am-9 pm Monday-Friday, 5-9 pm Saturday-Sunday.