Pizza Mandolino & Mike's Pizza Kitchen

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  • This topic has 98 replies, 24 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by Avatar photoDan.
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    Avatar photoEric

    Vince, you made quite the masterpiece. Can I print it out and frame it? <3

    Avatar photoVincent


    Avatar photoChris Ziich

    Google Earth ain’t got nothing on this

    Avatar photoSteeevyo

    Also went to Mandolino’s onm Saturday for lunch.

    I saw the little stage for a band that might play there at night which would be a reason not to go there for me because I cant stand anything beyond very subtle background entertainment while eating.

    The pizza is the classic style from Napoli only the dough lacks a certain type of typical flavour I know and cherish. But the slight burns on the edges the rustic appeal thats excactly what to expect

    I give it a ‘pretty good’ and it’s decent in terms of pricing considering that to be pretty good mozarella they use. Should not really be compared with Mikes which is american style.

    I also want to confirm that toppings and cheese on a pizza from Napoli is not evenly distributed. So that is normal and intended.

    Avatar photoCharlie

    Both Pizza Mandolino and Mike’s Pizza Kitchen are on Chengdu Places now so you can leave feedback on those locations there for people to see:

    Mike’s Pizza Kitchen

    Pizza Mandolino

    Addresses, maps, and photos of each place are there also in case you want to check them out for yourself.

    Avatar photoIan

    Mike’s pizza is good American style pizza, but being European I still think Le Sud has the best Italian style pizza. In the last few months the boss changed hands, but they still have the same chef.

    Avatar photoRay

    I’m kinda behind the times but i just checked out Mike’s restaurant. Gotta say, great pizza, easily the best i’ve had in Chengdu. BUT…..

    dude, you berate, insult and threaten your staff in front of customers ain’t cool. My date and i were shocked and the table next to us vowed never to return. Mike, if i talked to anyone like that (staff/stranger/friend) I’d expect a swift slap to the face, and no offence dude, but you ain’t big enough to be talking like that, even if you do pay the salaries. Maybe a hectic or busy night? Don’t know, don’t really give a f**k, but it was embarrassing.

    Again, phenomenal pizza man, and i guess at the end of the day, that’s what i pay my $$$ for. Maybe I’ll get delivery next time though…

    Avatar photoChris Ziich

    Welcome back, Ray 🙂

    Avatar photoRay

    Thanks Ziich. I’ll stop trolling now.

    BTW: when you gonna change that photo? Nobody has a right to be that happy….oughtta be a law.

    Avatar photoRachel

    The one time I ate at Mike’s I didn’t see this, but I did hear the exact same thing from another person who ate there, about him yelling at employees in front of customers. AAAAWKWARD.

    Welcome back Ray! We need to get together. I want to hear about your trip!

    Avatar photoCharlie
    Mike, if i talked to anyone like that (staff/stranger/friend) I’d expect a swift slap to the face, and no offence dude, but you ain’t big enough to be talking like that


    Avatar photoWes

    My 2 cents here (disclaimer: I’ve known and been a colleague and friend of Mike’s for a while now)

    Yes, it can be understandably disconcerting for someone to hear yelling for any reason, especially in a dining establishment (worked for Gordon Ramsay though). I suspect you would not hear something similar at Grappa’s (I did witness a near brawl at Mandolino’s a couple months back though between chef and waiter, hilarious). If your looking for quiet controlled date dinning, shell out some cash, impress your lady, and go to Grappa’s or Parador. You want a place that’s fun and has personality, go to Mike’s and lighten up.

    Two, Mike’s is not Foxconn. If his staff doesn’t like the work environment, they are free to go. As far as I know, none of his staff has been thrown jumped from a roof.

    Why do they stay? He pays them well and treats them fairly, in exchange for dealing with a temper-tantrum or two every now and then.

    Alternatively, you could choose an establishment whose employees who are voluntold to take Christian fundamentalist indoctrination cultural sensitivity training.

    Avatar photoJerryS

    Equating a pizzeria and foxconn is pretty off. No one is stating they are forced into labor, rather it’s the treatment of employees. Anyone has a choice of staying or not, but that’s not the issue. From the people who experienced being at Mikes, they had good pizza, good service, yet had to bear witness of the owner berating his employees. Sure Mike can ‘control’ his employees, but he can not control other people’s opinions.

    That note, why the heck would anyone bring foxconn and xyz fundamental blah blah blah into this discussion… That’s just.. out of left field (might as well bring baseball into this thread).

    Avatar photoRachel

    Haha, Charlie! That’s the one!

    Avatar photoWes

    @JerryS “Tongue-in-cheek” as defined by wikipedia:

    is a phrase used as a figure of speech to imply that a statement or other production is humorously or otherwise not seriously intended and it should not be taken at face value.

    The point is, if the staff were informed of the work environment when they were hired, they are fine with it, and generally happy to work there (some since he started up) who is anyone else to say that they are wrong and Mike is wrong. You as a customer are equally not obligated to eat in that environment. Like Ray said, they have a delivery option if you need a pizza fix.

    Also, when have you personally borne witness to said “berating?” It’s pretty subjective.

    BTW: What are the left fields like in New Haven?

    Avatar photoJerryS

    Not sure if there are any left fields in New Haven, if they are, then mostly occupied by druggies and dealers. Top 20 worst city in America!!! Can’t wait to overtake St. Louis!!

    As for the berating, i never saw it, hence i wrote some has. Rather or not if its wrong, its between those parties. It could be situational; say an employee took a dump and did not sanitize his or her hands, then of course getting a verbal warning is warranted. And only Mike can answer the reasons why he yelled at his employees. Since he is an employer, wonder if he does the 3 strikes and your fired rule (baseball again, go Mets!)

    Avatar photoRay

    Didn’t wanna create a shitstorm. I don’t know Mike, and as I said, he makes a mean pizza, so that’s the bottom line, right?

    Man, everyone has a meltdown sometimes (I have daily ones) so who am I to judge? Anyway,you vote with your redbacks….

    : it was more of an Ari Gold (you know, from Entourage?) than a Gordon Ramsay, but it also had a dash of Donald Trump. Anyway, it’s all good….

    Avatar photoMike’s Pizza

    Hi Ray.

    First of all, I’m really glad you enjoyed the pizza. That means a lot to me. Thanks for saying that.

    As for the rest:

    As Judith Viorst would say, Monday was a “Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” Thanks for making my shitty day a matter of public inquiry. Isn’t the internet wonderful?

    I had one employee call in sick, another one just not show up at all (he’s fired now) and my wife who I absolutely depend on was not available either. We were vastly understaffed. Between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 I received 38 phone calls for pizza orders, (on average that’s a new order every 3 minutes, but nobody wanted to wait 3 minutes) in addition to having to handle a full house without any people. As you may have noticed, I am the one answering the phone, and making the pizza, and coordinating the orders with the kitchen, and trying to get food out the door. And yes, as you were kind enough to point out, my stress level on Monday was at maximum.

    We had an employee’s bike stolen.

    And my employees, who know better and usually do better, were walking out the door with incomplete orders, incomplete tickets, or just not walking out the door at all.

    As Rachel said, it doesn’t happen all the time. It doesn’t even happen most of the time. However, it certainly happened on Monday.

    But let me take a minute and talk about my employees. The ones that I keep/have stayed with me are amazing. They find houses and addresses of people who don’t know where they live and they do it fast. Do you realize how many customers give me incomplete or just plain wrong addresses and these guys still figure it out? And take a minute to compare my people to any other food delivery service in Chengdu. I was watching the security footage today trying to find who stole my employee’s bike, and I was amazed by how fast my people were getting out and back again. And those deliveries are often pretty far away. Also, the girl in the kitchen and the girl helping me on pies and ovens on Monday were flawless. They are superstar class A ninjas at what they do and they saved my ass all night on Monday. I’ll say it again, my people are amazing.

    So I’m really not sure what you think you heard, (a lot of Monday is a blur to me right now…I do recall smashing a plate with my fist) but I can guarantee you took it out of context and the recipient was not as offended as you were. They know me and they know how I talk. Yes, when they are washing dishes instead of doing deliveries I will yell, “Get out the Fucking door NOW!!!” When they forget the cheesecake and I have to send out another person who I can not spare to make up for their mistake, I will let them know, in no uncertain terms, that walking out the door without double checking your ticket is UN-FUCKING-ACCEPTABLE. But they know that, and they accept when they made a mistake, and they take responsibility for their actions. And 98% of the time, the same person doesn’t make the same mistake twice.

    (And, Jerry, I do have to add that you absolutely hit the nail on the head with the hygiene and the 3 strikes comments. The first time I had an employee walk back from the bathroom and try to get past me without washing his hands, I told him nicely to wash his hands whenever he came back from the bathroom. The second time it happened I SCREAMED. There should not have been second time, I wish there wasn’t, but if the first time didn’t sink in…and there is no third time.)

    However, Ray, while we are talking about your sensitive nature, I did not appreciate you giving my employee a lecture on what you thought was or was not polite. He went to your table, in the middle of the 23 other things he was doing simultaneously because he is also a ninja rock-star, to see if you needed anything else. I think that’s pretty polite and considerate of him. But still, for some reason, you had to pull my employee aside and waste his time, and my time, because he didn’t say any magic words before he asked if you needed anything. Was that really necessary?

    Which brings me to my final point. I hope that you are a rational human being. I sense that part of you might be. You might also have had a bad Monday, like me. But this shit:

    Mike, if i talked to anyone like that (staff/stranger/friend) I’d expect a swift slap to the face, and no offence dude, but you ain’t big enough to be talking like that

    is unacceptable.

    First of all, as I said before, I guarantee you are taking something out of context.

    Secondly, the masked threats of violence diminish your attempt to make a rational statement. Everyone who knows me knows that I one hundred percent appreciate constructive criticism. And the fact is, I am grateful to you for voicing a reminder (ill-phrased though it may have been) that disciplining employees in front of customers in our tiny, open kitchen causes awkwardness and discomfort. However, when what could have been constructive criticism is, instead, phrased as both a threat and an insult then how am I supposed to engage you in any kind of intelligent discourse?

    Which brings me to the third point:

    and no offence dude, but you ain’t big enough to be talking like that.

    I have to be honest with you, Ray, I do find that offensive. In fact I find that very offensive. If someone made a similar comment about someone’s race or ethnicity you would call them a bigot, wouldn’t you? But why, then, do you feel it is okay to make denigrating remarks about my genetics?

    And what exactly are you trying to say there? If you follow that argument to it’s logical conclusion, then short/small people everywhere should choose their words carefully because there will always be a tall/big person waiting around to smack them down.

    Is that really the argument you were trying to make? At exactly what size does one become, ‘big enough to talk like that’?

    And who is the bigger person that is going to make me regret ‘talking like that’? Is that you?

    The rational part of me knows that the rational part of you did not mean it that way, yet those were the words you chose. So maybe both of us chose words on Monday that were ill-advised and could be taken out of context?

    I didn’t choose to be short, anymore than you chose to be tall. Yes, I happen to be shorter than you are, but if you feel superior because you happen to have been bred by taller parents, through no choice of your own and with no action on your part, that really says more about you than it does about me, doesn’t it?

    Anyway, Ray, I’m glad we had this talk. Thank you for voicing your concerns and thank you for letting me vent. (Who am I kidding, no one has the time to actually read this whole post.) Today was actually a much better day, we were just as busy but things ran so much smoother because my amazing wife was there to do all the managing and coordinating and all I had to do was answer the phone and make pizza, which is what I love doing anyway.

    @Charlie: Thanks for making me laugh, I really needed that today.

    @Wes: Thanks, and you are absolutely right about the atmosphere of my tiny 40 square meters of heaven. At it’s best, it is a cleverly choreographed cacophony of chaos; and at other times it’s just chaos.

    @Jerry: Remember that post you put up after the Lazy Pug Halloween last year? I’ve been dying to tell my side of the story, but you have to PROMISE that you won’t get mad.

    Avatar photoCharlie
    As you may have noticed, I am the one answering the phone, and making the pizza, and coordinating the orders with the kitchen, and trying to get food out the door.


    I feel you man. When I saw you at the restaurant you were like a one-man band, doing everything at once. It was like watching someone juggle while preparing pizza.

    Avatar photoChris Ziich


    Thread title should now be changed to “Mike’s Pizza Kitchen.”

    btw. I’ve been curious to try the nuclear fries, are those not available anymore?

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