2011-11-02 / Marketplace

Mancino’s offers 22 varieties of its signature grinder

810-452-2601  nelliott@mihomepaper.com

Pam Gillett holds an Italian Special grinder. Pam Gillett holds an Italian Special grinder. LAPEER — It’s a household word in Lapeer: Mancino’s. That’s because everybody sooner or later seems to succumb to the temptation of a Mancino’s grinder.

With no less than 22 different types of grinders on the menu, there’s loads of possibilities. Owner Jeff Schlaud says the Italian Special is a customer favorite, replete with ham, sausage, salami, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo. Even the 8-inch half-sized Italian Special has quite a heft to it, just loaded with meat and cheese aimed to please. Just be aware, it’s going to take two hands.

“It’s kind of our house specialty. We sell a lot of them,” said Schlaud. “We make our own bread every day. We put on lots of meat and lots of cheese.” And once the grinder’s oven-toasted, “The cheese kind of melts into the bread. They’re really good."

With so many possibilities on the menu, there’s lots of room for exploration. Fresh on the menu right now is the Turkey Dinner Grinder, with, you guessed it, turkey, cheese, gravy and yes, stuffing.

Just what makes a grinder a grinder anyway? The term dates back to World War I, when Italian immigrants operated sandwich shops near the East Coat shipyards.

According to Mancino’s, “These super-sized sandwiches were a favorite of the hard working men who ground off rivets on the metal warships. The friendly shop owners referred to these men as grinders, and the ever poplar sandwiches also came to be known as grinders.”

While grinders are a Mancino’s staple, there’s plenty more on the menu, from salads to pizza, penne pasta and even buffalo wings.

Although many a Lapeer resident has swung by Mancino’s to get pizza or grinders to go, diners also enjoy eating in, where booths and tables accommodate up to 50 people.

Tony and Anna Wolf of Metamora came in

Monday for a pizza, a favorite of theirs at

Mancino’s. “You get hungry just coming here,” said Anna.

Plus, Mancino’s will deliver to area businesses, industry and schools with a $50 minimum order. And for the football party or holiday event, check out Mancino’s party grinders, party salads, and cookies and brownies.

Schlaud, who grew up in Lapeer, has been in the restaurant business since he was 19. “I started out as a short order cook,” said Schlaud. After managing several restaurants, he got in business for himself right back in his hometown.

Schlaud opened Mancino’s doors in Lapeer in 1993. He currently employs 20 people there.

Mancino’s is located in the Kmart shopping plaza at 805 East St. in Lapeer, just east of M-24. Starting next week, their hours will be from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, they stay open until 10 p.m. On Sunday, hours are noon to 8 p.m. Call 667-3800.

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