Friday, September 30, 2011

"ART IS NOT WHAT YOU SEE, BUT WHAT YOU MAKE OTHERS SEE." - quote from the wall of Mango Bistro

It's time for me to do some more bragging on my hometown of Englewood, Florida.  I can go on & on about our beautiful beaches, shark's teeth, & shells but a girl's gotta eat sometime.  I about wore poor Tennessee Sister out. We went to the beach every day & sometimes twice a day. She deserved a nice lunch out.  If possible I like to frequent local business when I shop or eat out. Supporting local businesses is the best way to help the local economy. Englewood has a rejuvenated downtown district on Dearborn Street with lots of fun restaurants, quirky shops, & artist galleries called Olde Englewood Village. 

 It was the perfect day to eat outside and the colorful porch of the Mango Bistro caught my eye. How could we not sit on the porch with it's zebra-striped bench and tropical colors.  It down-right beckons you in. We were greeted shortly by a very friendly server who guided us to her favorites on the menu of authentic French crepes, grilled paninis, gourmet wraps, & homemade soups. The Mango Bistro serves breakfast from 9am - 11am & lunch from 11am to 3pm.  We arrived at 11am but were told "no problem" - order off of either menu.

 While waiting for our food we chatted with several other diners who were enjoying their meals al fresco on the porch.  Everyone was amiable & Tennessee Sister got every one's life story and turned every stranger into a new FB friend. All agreed that the Mango Bistro was one of their favorite places to eat on Dearborn Street because of the atmosphere & the original food.  I slipped inside to discover an open kitchen that was a piece of art in itself. One of the owners Marie Laforge was cooking.  She was nice enough to stop & chat with me for a few minutes. Mango Bistro has turned a small place into functional art from their drink & desert displays to the wine shelves that line the walls. Every nook & cranny has been painted to be pleasing to the eye.  There is also an area that displays local art for sale. Marie's creative skills extend way beyond the epicurean. Her line of original art silk pareos are displayed for sale also. With so much to see & so many gastronomic choices to indulge in, Tennessee Sister & I left the Mango Bistro with all 5 senses full to the brim.

The owners of Mango Bistro admit they have not resolved if they are a European Cafe or an Island Bar....they have left that up to the customers to determine.

Unwinding on the colorful porch couldn't be more alluring especially now that the humidity is below 95% & the Florida fall is in the air.

Every inch of the Mango Bistro is covered in vivid color.

This looks like a comfy spot to meet some friends and listen to some live music on the week-end.

Tennessee Sister has never eaten a crepe before so she's not really sure where to start. Hers was a ham & cheese with a  side salad of fresh greens with the house dressing. TS loved every bite.

My wrap was a yummy combination of Prosciutto, imported Brie, sliced apples, arugula, & pine nuts.  The Lobster Bisque was creamy with just the right touch of Sherry.
Owner & artist Marie Laforge smiles from the open kitchen as they prepare for the lunch rush. She & co-owner Ricardo Roggero combined influences from their native countries of France & Brazil to create their own brand of European Cafe & tropical fusion.

Having an open kitchen is a brave move.  You are on stage all the time. As a former waitress I find it fun to watch.

Marie's handmade pareos or beach cover-ups are are for sale as well as jewelry from local artists.

The color palette is either Englewood sunset or Mango sorbet.

And there are books.....

and beer......

and wine....oh my.

It's no wonder the Mango Bistro was voted a favorite by the locals.  They make pure fruit smoothies and have large selection of coffee drinks and teas.

On the hunt for the perfect gift?  I like gift certificates because you don't have to wrap them.

Visit the Mango Bistro's Trip Advisor for more reviews.  

For a schedule of live music visit Mango Bistro's FB page.  Every Friday & Saturday night from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm (or later) come sit on the porch & enjoy live World music ranging from Bossa Nova, Flamenco, Rumba, Spanish Popular, Salsa, Jazz, & Classic Rock.

PS - I have not received any compensation from the Mango Bistro.  The post is all my own thoughts & opinions.  I always like to spread the word about great places to visit in Englewood, Florida.