By RAY CWIKLINSKI
York Catholic High School
When I walked through the doors of Mignano Bros. Ristorante Italiano in Glen Rock, I first noticed the chandeliers made out of wagon wheels. “Funiculi, Funicula” played from the speakers, and grape vines wrapped around pillars. The plaster walls imitated old stone, and were designed to look like the stone and mortar of a castle in Carini, Sicily — owner Salvatore Mignano’s hometown.
A photograph of the castle hung on the wall, along with a painting of San Giuseppe, the protector of Carini. On the wall also hung a wooden face with three legs pinwheeling around it. It’s the symbol of Sicily, Mignano said, and the legs represent the three corners of the island.
Before dining, I spoke with Mignano and learned about his life. Back home, he worked in a restaurant before coming to America in 1996 with his brothers Giuseppe and Gianluca. He opened Mignano Brothers in 2002 and has since worked hard to build it up.
Mignano’s day begins at 8 a.m., and he works until 10 p.m., making deliveries, cooking, cleaning, answering the phone and generally running the whole show. He’s very busy, but he finds time to talk to his customers.
“I love my job,” he said. “I love to cook and talk to people.”
All the food at the restaurant is made from scratch each day. Every morning, bread is baked. The eggplant is always fresh. Mignano makes his own sauce from tomatoes imported from Italy. He once tried using tomatoes form California, but the sauce wasn’t the same.
“All the preservatives killed the taste of the tomato,” he said.
Mignano’s is a very popular restaurant. Many people drive from York and Maryland to eat the delicious food, which, he said, they prefer to food from Baltimore’s Little Italy.
I wondered what to order for lunch. Chicken marsala is a very popular dish, as is crab alfredo. After much deliberation, I decided on the steak stromboli, and when it arrived, it was almost the size of a football. I was impressed, and I promptly chowed down on the savory beef, cheese and tomato sauce wrapped up in a splendid crust. I’m proud to say I finished the whole thing in one sitting.
After I finished eating, Mignano showed me the big, efficient kitchen. While I looked around, the pleasant waitress who served me came in and told Mignano that some customers had just told her how great the pizza was.
“They usually go to (another local restaurant), but they just said that Mignano’s was better,” she said.
Not only do Mignano’s meals taste great, but they are very reasonably priced, given the service, the quality and the quantity of the food.
So next time you’re starving, but you don’t want to cook, go down to Mignano Bros. Restaurant in Glen Rock. You won’t regret it.
If you go
What: Mignano Bros. Ristorante Italiano
When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: 14-16 Main St., Glen Rock
Details: Visit mignanobrothers.com or call 717-235-6884