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White Manna, White A Drag

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Joel Krans Mar 30, 2001 12:38 PM

White Manna in Hackensack-greasy and tasteless White Castle wannabe burgers with bad sliced onions served by the nastiest folks in Bergen County (which is really saying something). What's the deal with this place?

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  1. j
    Jason Perlow RE: Joel Krans Mar 30, 2001 03:46 PM

    "White Manna in Hackensack-greasy and tasteless White Castle wannabe burgers with bad sliced onions served by the nastiest folks in Bergen County (which is really saying something). What's the deal with this place?"

    White Castle wannabe? Uh, I dont think so. At least White Manna uses real meat. While White Castle was founded in 1921 I think Manna predated the White Castle company's first stand in the NY metro area by a year or two. We're talking late 1930's.

    Greasy, yes. Tasteless, no.

    White Manna is an experience. Also to say the employees there are nasty is rediculous, if you came barging in and expect to be served immediately, then you didnt -get it-. You gotta wait your turn, and when they are ready for you, you order. Also if you went in the middle of the day the place gets very busy, and since only one cook can work the grill at a time, its not exactly a mass production operation. Go at night.

    If you cant handle the grease then go elsewhere. Grease rules.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jason Perlow
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      Mark DiBlasi RE: Jason Perlow Apr 1, 2001 05:41 PM

      You make lots of assumptions, most of them incorrect.

      Yeah, the White Manna building is pretty old, but the place is owned by Israelis, and since Israel didn't exist until 1948, these are not the original owners, or even their great grandchildren.

      Face it, the place is overrated and trading on deco "nighthawks at the diner" vibe.I work a mile from this joint, and I've had plenty of these ersatz sliders. They're nothing special.

      And, for the record, I don't barge, either in or out,
      and my sense of expectation is pretty acute.

      Ciao

      1. re: Mark DiBlasi
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        Rob RE: Mark DiBlasi Apr 1, 2001 06:44 PM

        I have to agree with Jason, and say that you just don't get it.

        The fact that the place is run or owned by other than the original owners, seems to me to be totally irrelevent.

        What is relevant is that White Manna represents a piece of American culinary history, which is authentically preserved for us to experience. Sort of like Colonial Williamsburg, but with Hamburgers.

        White Manna allows us to go back in time, and understand how and why the Hamburger has become such an integral part of our culture. This is classic American food, served and made like it used to -- and should -- be. The ritual of waiting your turn, and having the food made in front of you, is just part of the experience -- not unlike going to Di Fara's. As an added bonus, the hamburgers are really good.

        By the way, I like Apple Pan in Los Angeles for exactly the same reasons, and the burgers are even better.

        1. re: Rob
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          Jason Perlow RE: Rob Apr 2, 2001 11:17 AM

          "What is relevant is that White Manna represents a piece of American culinary history, which is authentically preserved for us to experience. Sort of like Colonial Williamsburg, but with Hamburgers."

          Exactly. Its a shrine to the simple burger and an era long gone by. The prototype for american fast-food cuisine. Long before the burger wars, before there was "Big Mac" or "Whopper". Or before other strange items complicated the menu. Just, "Do you want cheese and onions on it?"

          I usually go for 4 or 5 doubles with onions and cheese and extra pickle. I pay for it later, but man is it worth it.

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