Mangia Mangia was San Diego’s first Italian food truck; it opened on March 27 of this year. The affable owner, Marko Pavlinovic, took some time to answer questions for SDFT.
Why did you open a food truck?
After dreaming about having my own restaurant for many years, I saw food trucks becoming so popular that I decided to open my own food truck and make it like a little restaurant on wheels.
I was working as a waiter before I opened my own truck. Due to economy problems, I ended up losing my job so I caught (as we say in Italy) the “bouncing ball”, and launched my truck in almost a heartbeat!
I was born and raised in Italy from a Croatian family where cooking was the major thing we were concerned about. Life is better after a good home made meal!
What makes your truck great/unique?
My food is unique because is simple and traditional and also the way I greet and treat my clients gives a warm feeling to my food.
Sign on San Diego did a “behind the scenes” video on Mangia Mangia. View it here.
What’s the best part about running this business and what is your biggest challenge?
The best part about running this business is seeing the happy faces that my food indulge to my clients, my biggest challenge is LIFE, the one I chose is a tough one; my family is all back in Europe and I moved to U.S. on my own to chase my own dream. I love and miss my family but doing what I am doing pays back all off my feeling especially because of the town I live in…. BEAUTIFUL SAN DIEGO!
How do you come up with menu items?
My menu items are easy to select, no brainer, Italian food is history and culture for me, what I eat at home is want I want my customers to enjoy…..CAPISCH??
That’s why I do a 5-course dinner (for $20) every Thursday night at 57 Degrees wine shop…to deliver the Italian experience to my customers.
What would you say is your most popular item?
My most popular item is for sure chicken parmigiana panini followed right behind by meatballs panini and my Mangia burger (a beef patty with garlic onion and rosemary grilled to perfection finished with pancetta, melted gorgonzola, bell peppers, grilled tomato, and romaine).
What is something “off the wall” that you would love to put on your menu but aren’t sure people would go for?
Something I would love to make on the truck but I am not sure people would order is Spaghetti alla carbonara (raw eggs, pancetta, parmigiano and pecorino). Raw eggs might not be so popular around here 🙂
What’s the best reaction someone has had to your food?
I heard many comments about my food but the best one so far was when my friend and customer Laurance Dorazio’s friend said….”I just had an orgasm in my mouth” 🙂 Fughetta bout it!