Mancini's grilled garlic bread: 100 Favorite Dishes


As a countdown to the Best of the Twin Cities 2010, coming this spring, Hot Dish is serving up a hundred of our favorite local dishes. Send your own nominations to hotdish

No. 66: Mancini's grilled bread

Don't fill up on bread? Nothing could be more antithetical to the Mancini's experience. Steak dinner at the St. Paul Italian institution would be a shadow of itself if not for the homey accompaniments: iceberg salad (Thousand Island please!), baked potato, and relish tray--but especially the bread. The heaving bread basket comes full of white and rye slices, golden crisp with butter and darkened by swipes of char. Each bite is at once soft and crisp, buttery and garlicky, with an ever-present straight-from-the-grill taste and that satisfying acrylamide crunch. It goes down great with the restaurant's $4 glasses of house wine. And if it makes any difference, you've got company. John Mancini says the restaurant goes through about 1,000 loaves--which the restaurant buys from St. Paul's Rosemark Bakery--in a typical weekend. Steak? What steak?

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 100: Volcano Salad at Tiger Sushi No. 99: Eclair at Butter No. 98: Moussaka at Gardens of Salonica No. 97: "Flappers" at Colossal Cafe No. 96: Bento Box at Obento-Ya No. 95: Sausage, salami, onion, and green olive pizza at Black Sheep No. 94: Crab Cake at the Kitchen No. 93: Passion fruit cake at Pardon My French No. 92: Kafé 421 Signature Dips No. 91: Lutefisk at Landmarc Grill No. 90: May Day Cafe Croissant No. 89: Dowjic at Babani's No. 88: Osso Bucco at the Modern Cafe No. 87: Chef Shack Hot Dog No. 86: Adult Mac & Cheese at Good Day Cafe No. 85: Ropa Vieja at Victor's No. 84: French Toast of the Dead at Chino Latino No. 83: Uni at Origami No. 82: Bagel at Common Roots No. 81: Jasmine Deli's bánh mì No. 80: Pho 79's bò cuốn lá nho No. 79: Sweets Bakeshop's Kettlecorn Cupcake No. 78: D'Amico Kitchen's Chicory Salad No. 77: Be'wiched Deli pastrami sandwich No. 76: La Grassa's lima bean appetizer No. 75: Bulldog NE Tater Tots No. 74: Pop's Swedish Meatballs No. 73: Hot Plate's Caramel Apple French Toast No. 72: Grand Cafe's Ham and Cheese No. 71: Galactic Pizza's Thailander No. 70: Jackson's milk chocolate gelato No. 69: Patrick's Bakery and Cafe's tiramisu No. 68: Punch's chopped Italian salad No. 67: Red Stag's smelt fries