Two brothers, Kyle and Jason Barraza, opened Mankas Grill recently and are doing a bang-up job. Named after one of the original owners, the building was established in 1853 as a major stagecoach stop. Today, they offer new and sensational twists on culinary staples that they are excited to share with the community.
We arrived very early, but they managed to get us seated within about 10 minutes at a great table. The place was packed and everyone was having a great time. There was truly a really nice buzz about the place that no doubt starts with the brothers who are very visible, including at the hostess stand where they are there to greet their guests. I’d say about half of the diners were regulars, and it’s easy to see why.
They have a small menu, but they cover all the bases. From Shrimp Cocktails, Lobster Bisque, Gorgonzola Wedge Salad to Hungarian Rubbed Ribeye, Pasta Bolognese, and a Grilled Portabella Burger.
We started out with Pork Belly Nachos, with a beer cheese sauce, pico, and sour cream. These are not your usual nachos! We could have licked the plate.
In keeping with the pork theme, Michael had the special that night, a perfectly cooked Pork Chop. To be honest, I don’t remember what the sauce was, but it was heavenly.
I tried the Cajun Shrimp & Truffle Infused Grits with bacon and cheddar. Unbelievably good.
We had a very nice 2018 Prohibition red blend from Vino Godfather Winery in nearby Vallejo.
Next time I’m up in the area, I will absolutely go back. In fact, the whole corner is so quaint that I can’t wait to explore what else is around.