mandolas_200 photography by Kevin Marple

If the mere sight of a can of San Marzano tomatoes gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling, then Mandola’s Italian Market may be your kind of place. This Austin import, which opened a branch in south Arlington in December, has a restaurant-plus-market format, with shelves of packaged Italian goods designed to make you feel like you’re in an Italian-American family market. But Jimmy’s need not worry. Mandola’s is more theme-park restaurant than market, with its massive dining room and broad menu of pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches. Deli meats—prosciutto, Genoa salami, mortadella, capicola, soppressata—are especially good, whether in pressed panini with melted provolone or cold subs such as the Mandola’s hero with flavorful chopped green olives. Mandola’s was conceived by Damian Mandola, who co-founded the Carrabba’s chain, but brought north by Chili’s founder Larry Lavine, who hopes to expand it nationally and already has his eye on more locations in and around Dallas.

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