How is this possible? My oldest is now a high school graduate and come mid-August I will officially be able to say I’m the mom of a college student. Obviously a monumental event like graduation called for a little celebration. The Mancy name has always been synonymous with great food and great service. When we heard about the opening and reboot of the original Mancy’s Ideal, my family thought it might be just the place for our celebration.
The Short Course
To avoid wait: Reservations accepted.
Noise level: Moderate.
Bathroom amenities: No changing station.
High chairs? Yes.
Got milk? Yes.
Kids’ menu? Ask your server for kid options.
Allergies: Some gluten free options available. Alert server so food can be prepared separately.
Back where it all began
Before there was Mancy’s Steakhouse (which is listed in the Top 40 steakhouses in the country) or Shorty’s or Bluewater Grille or Mancy’s Italian…there was The Ideal, started by cousins Gus Mancy and Nicholas Graham. Step back in time and think of the early 1920’s and a little place at the end of the trolley line to grab a quick meal. Located on Phillips Ave. in west Toledo the restaurant evolved through the 1940’s drawing many Willys -Overland employees for lunch to enjoy the Blue Plate Special. By the 1960’s it became a popular hangout for families and college kids. In 1964 twins George(Gus) and John Mancy took over management from their father and incorporated their own style of food and décor which eventually led to their restaurant being known for great steaks and a name change to Mancy’s Ideal Restaurant and Oldtyme Saloon.
After a fire destroyed the restaurant in 1973 the brothers reopened in the building next door and named the new restaurant simply, Mancy’s. Though the family has opened several other specialty restaurants over the years, the decision to reintroduce Many’s Ideal came about as they “were looking to get back to our roots”, said manager and 24 year Mancy’s employee Monica Drouillard.
Classics with a twist
They wanted to include some of the menu items and comfort food from the original Ideal, taking things up a notch by adding a contemporary twist. Daily specials bring back memories of yesteryear and include salmon patties, Yankee pot roast, and chicken ala king. The menu also boasts a classic burger, salmon, meatloaf, pork chops, buttermilk fried chicken, and even a Waldorf salad. Talk about a trip down memory lane.
If you aren’t into the classics they feature more contemporary offerings such as pasta with pesto which my daughter enjoyed, or a lemon-oregano grilled chicken breast. For an appetizer we enjoyed the phyllo baked brie with fruit. I’m quite certain that was not on the original menu, nor were the roasted brussel sprouts. It’s a Mancy family restaurant so they offer a few choices of their trademark steaks, as well as prime rib on Saturdays and Sundays. The menu is not extensive, but there are options to please most everyone.
Taking advantage of this being a celebratory dinner for the family, my youngest ordered the prime rib special. He begrudgingly gave out four bites and polished it off himself. As for the rest of us, we enjoyed the classic burger, swordfish, and salmon. Everything was delicious with special attention to the sauces, sides, and vegetables which complemented each meal perfectly. As always, we are never disappointed at a Mancy family restaurant.
Come one, come all
Though the “fancier” Mancy restaurants are welcoming to children, I still never felt completely comfortable taking my children when they were young, out of respect for diners wanting a kid free evening. I understand,I like kid free evenings out as well! But at Mancy’s Ideal, while still nice, the mood is laid back and more casual. According to Ms. Drouillard, Mancy’s Ideal is a place for all ages. She said they have a mix of young and old, couples on date nights, families, etc.
Ask your server to hear about the kid friendly options. Prices range from $6-$9 and include everything from grilled cheese to a 4oz. steak, and much more. Ask to be seated in their back room, where you may feel more comfortable dining with little ones.
Bottom Line: The Mancy name is synonymous with high quality, great food. Going back to their roots the family has re-invented the original family restaurant offering many classics but with a contemporary twist. Diners of all ages are welcome at the Ideal. The back room is wonderfully decorated, yet more comfortable dining if you have little ones.