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Dominican restaurant Mangu opens in Gretna

The family-run business opens on Belle Chasse Highway

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It's a family affair at Mangu (2112 Belle Chasse Highway, Suite 7, Gretna; 504-324-9870; www.facebook.com/lesmangu), a new Dominican restaurant now open on the West Bank.

  Owner Dariana Marte runs the back of the house with her mother and father, Jhovanny Marte and Jose Dario, in the kitchen, while her fiance, Jovany Barreto, and her brother handle the front of the house and marketing for the restaurant.

  "Even the bussers and hostesses are cousins," Barreto says. "It's an all around family business."

  The idea for the restaurant, which sits on a stretch of Belle Chasse Highway near Terry Parkway, was hatched by Marte, a New Orleans native whose family hails from the Dominican Republic. With few Dominican options in the area, Marte, a longtime service industry professional, saw a niche to be filled. "We wanted to bring authentic Dominican cuisine to our area. We're passionate and prideful of our culture," Barreto says.

  Traditional dishes from the Caribbean islands, are served here. There's yaroa, which consists of French fries or sweet plantains topped with roasted pork and melted cheese; mondongo, a tripe stew served with rice or fried plantains; and bolas de yuca, deep-fried yuca balls filled with melted cheese.

   Mangu is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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