Mangia Italiano Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

       Whole wheat radiatori with bleu cheese, spinach and walnuts. | Mabel Suen
       Whole wheat radiatori with bleu cheese, spinach and walnuts. | Mabel Suen

This weekend, South Grand staple Mangia Italiano (3145 South Grand Boulevard; 314-664-8585) celebrates its 30th anniversary with a day's worth of festivities. A full schedule of live music performances runs all day into the late evening, in proper night owl Mangia tradition.

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"Mangia Italiano started out as a little coffee shop delicatessen and eventually evolved into a full-service restaurant and expanded," says co-owner Collier Evans, who took the reins at the restaurant in February 2011. Most recently, the restaurant has shifted away from lunch service, focusing on its dinner and late-night menus.

From 1 to 11 p.m., head to the parking lot beside the restaurant for a special block party featuring grilled food, live art, vendors from south city, face painting and even a noodle-eating competition. Show up and see if you can devour a big bowl of Mangia's handmade noodles quicker than the next guy -- a gift certificate to the restaurant for more carbo-loading awaits for the winner.

All the music performances of the day feature past and current Mangia employees as well as customers. The schedule of live entertainment follows:

1 p.m.: Blakk Caesar 2 p.m.: Ashley Batiste 3 p.m. Johnny Xacto 4 p.m.: Jon Bonham & Friends 5 p.m.: Don E. 6 p.m.: Ellen the Felon and the Mattronome 7 p.m.: Flex Boogie 8 p.m.: The Company She Keeps 9 p.m.: Flex Boogie 10 p.m.: The Pat Sajak Assassins 11 p.m.: Sometimes Voices 12 a.m.: Ground Flow Fusion

Outdoor dining options include the likes of ribs, Italian sausage, grilled Portobello sandwiches and melon salads, with plenty of specials on beer all day long. Alternatively, dine inside and have one of the restaurant's specialty dishes like lobster mac'n'cheese or duck ravioli. Mangia! Mangia!

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