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White Manna


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136 replies to this topic

#61 pete ganz

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 03:08 PM

The book doesn't really say much. It just goes into how the guy who came up with this idea, Louis Bridges, introduced this concept for a fast food restaurant at the World's Fair in 1939. It mentions there originally being 4 stores, but doesn't say which came first.

#62 tommy

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 03:10 PM

The book doesn't really say much. It just goes into how the guy who came up with this idea, Louis Bridges, introduced this concept for a fast food restaurant at the World's Fair in 1939. It mentions there originally being 4 stores, but doesn't say which came first.

you just saved me a trip to the bookstore. shew. i'll head to the pub instead.

#63 NJ2FLA

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 09:38 PM

I wonder if any of the older *ahem* participants on here would remember Botwiniks deli in Bayonne. Supposedly this was quite the place years ago.

My mom is from JC so that's why I asked about the hospital, she said everyone was born there from JC! Guess not huh?

Then I heard the stories of Uncle Milty's down by the water.

Edited by NJ2FLA, 17 December 2003 - 09:39 PM.


#64 jhlurie

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 02:21 PM

Only the one in Hackensack is the "original". Its the Manna with 2 N's, not 1.

Until a source emerges that offers testimony to the contrary, I will hold my belief
that the original is in Jersey City. Until then we can agree to disagree.

AOL city guide

Jersey City history

Guess what? If you Google search for "White Manna" eGullet occupies the top two spots. So our search for the truth goes in a circle. :wink:

A little more digging leads to this site.

Much closer to an answer if not 100% there, since arguments can be made based on both chronology and who owned what (and when) if you are using a term like "original". The Hackensack location is definitely "older", at a minimum.
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#65 Holly Moore

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 02:48 PM

Guess what?  If you Google search for "White Manna" eGullet occupies the top two spots.  So our search for the truth goes in a circle.  :wink:

And at No. 4 HollyEats doesn't even show. That sucks. :angry:
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#66 jhlurie

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 02:51 PM

Here's a little something extra...

While searching for White Manna I also came across the work of a painter named John Baeder.

White Manna Hackensack, by John Baeder

White Mana Jersey City, by John Baeder

Baeder's site is also filled with images of many other iconic "joints", including White Rose System, the Super-Duper Weenie truck, the Bendix, the Empire, the Market, White Diamond and dozens more.
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#67 tommy

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 02:55 PM

Guess what?  If you Google search for "White Manna" eGullet occupies the top two spots.  So our search for the truth goes in a circle.  :wink:

And at No. 4 HollyEats doesn't even show. That sucks. :angry:

if you google "tommy new jersey", a post by me comes up as the second link returned. scary, if not a bit off topic.

#68 jhlurie

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 02:59 PM

if you google "tommy new jersey", a post by me comes up as the second link returned. scary, if not a bit off topic.

Maybe Mr. Baeder will do a painting of another New York/New Jersey icon... tommy. :wink:
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#69 NJ2FLA

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 04:57 PM

Can anyone provide the address of the White Rose?

#70 tommy

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 05:05 PM

Can anyone provide the address of the White Rose?

White Rose System? it's in highland park. other than that, i can't help you. or anyone for that matter.

#71 jhlurie

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 05:16 PM

Yahoo Yellow pages says... 154 Woodbridge Ave, Highland Park, NJ.

A Map.
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#72 Daniel

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 07:44 AM

The original White Mana is clearly on Tounelle Avenue in Jersey City. Its not even a question.

#73 jhlurie

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 04:17 PM

It's kind of a useless debate, but most of the stuff we've found indicate that NEITHER of them is the original. Neither the original "ever" (that one was at the World's Fair in 1939), nor probably in New Jersey (the one on Tonnelle Ave. opened in 1946, the Hacksack one a few years earlier--but the language describing all of this is vague and suggests that there were other locations even before that). I don't think EITHER location is owned by the family of the original owners any more--the Tonnelle Ave. location has passed through at least two other owners for sure. On the other hand, the Hackensack location was apparently torn down and rebuilt pretty much from scratch in the 1970s, so you could argue a loss of continuity based on that.

Neither. :smile: That's my conclusion based on all of the evidence and I'm stickin' to it!
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#74 Daniel

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Posted 27 February 2004 - 07:01 AM

Like i said, many questions arise from this debate. hehe

#75 babyluck

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Posted 27 February 2004 - 08:22 AM

I'm so confused! Are the other "Whites" just ripoffs of Manna or are they somehow connected? White Diamond, for one, has a completely different method of cooking the burgers (they smash the meat to oblivion) but everything else seems pretty similar.

Another question: are they diners? There is a lot of talk on the web about "what is a diner?" but it all seems to be useless. Here's one basic criteria of mine: at a diner, you order sitting down but pay standing up. Therefore, White Diamond is not a diner.
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#76 Daniel

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Posted 27 February 2004 - 08:36 AM

I looked up diner in several dictionaries. And basically what they are saying is that a diner is a restaurant that resembles a dining car on a train. So that is what the original diner comes from. Other definitions have said its any restaurant with a long counter. I dont think there is a clear definition of a diner at this point. Its pretty much left up to the interpretation of the owner.

#77 Daniel

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Posted 27 February 2004 - 08:38 AM

I'm so confused! Are the other "Whites" just ripoffs of Manna or are they somehow connected? White Diamond, for one, has a completely different method of cooking the burgers (they smash the meat to oblivion) but everything else seems pretty similar.

Another question: are they diners? There is a lot of talk on the web about "what is a diner?" but it all seems to be useless. Here's one basic criteria of mine: at a diner, you order sitting down but pay standing up. Therefore, White Diamond is not a diner.

By the way i really liked your definition of diner. That was very observant.

#78 pnapoli

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 08:37 PM

i feel compelled to state that, after careful consideration, i like the white manna burger better than the white mana burger. which isn't to say that the white mana burger is not good. it is. and, in fact, i think it has a better bun-to-burger ratio than white manna's, where i find it necessary to order a double in order to avoid an unsatisfactory bun-to-burger ratio. but, the burger itself, i think, is better. and in the end, that's what matters. :smile:

#79 ghostrider

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 09:49 PM

Aren't diners required to be open extremely late (if not 24/7) & serve breakfast at any hour of the day?
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#80 Holly Moore

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 06:48 AM

Aren't diners required to be open extremely late (if not 24/7) & serve breakfast at any hour of the day?

They got rid of that rule when "diners" added ferns, faux stone fronts, salad bars and cocktail lounges.
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#81 babyluck

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 12:19 PM

Aren't diners required to be open extremely late (if not 24/7) & serve breakfast at any hour of the day?

They got rid of that rule when "diners" added ferns, faux stone fronts, salad bars and cocktail lounges.

Yuck. I hate those "brown" diners, as I call them. Diners should be shiny with chrome & vinyl. When the pebbled beige & mauve floral upholstery goes in, it's all over.

Yes, I would add to my definition that you can get breakfast any time of day, as I recently noticed that a pizzeria may fit my other criterion (ordering sitting down & paying standing up). However, the 24-hour thing is optional in my opinion. My favorite diner of all time (the Royal on Rt. 22 in Branchburg) closed at 11. My friends & I always sat in the corner table & at 11 our waitress would set down a thermos of coffee, have one of us pull the chain on the OPEN sign, and we'd hang out until she was done closing. Now that's a diner.

I guess I'll have to visit them myself to determine whether the "Whites" fit the bill.
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#82 Daniel

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 12:44 PM

I really contribute the ferns and the stucko outside and the attempt to "class up" the place to the greeks. My old neighbor owned the old Kings Diner on rte 18 about 12 years ago.. And i swear to god, the guys place was decorated exactly like a cheesy greek diner.

#83 schmooty

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 11:40 AM

I have been to both of them and prefer the Hackensack one. I find the burgers there
to be much more juicy than the ones in Jersey City. Also they always seem to skimp on the onions in Jersey City. Plus, I live in Hackensack, so that one is much easier. When asked to describe the manna to out of towners, I say it's jersey's version of a cheesteak. I could go for about 3 doubles right about now! Plus, they just extended their days to Sunday. Can't wait for halftime burgers during football season.
-Al

#84 hitmanoo

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 06:34 PM

Schmooty and I attempted to have lunch today at the Mana at around 1:15, and we couldn't even get in the door. The crowd was unbelievable.

Is it usually this crowded for a Friday lunch or lunch in general?
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#85 Rachel Perlow

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 08:58 AM

Yes. You should have waited out the crowd and gotten your burgers to go. Then go sit by the river out back to eat them.

#86 hitmanoo

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 11:38 AM

Yes. You should have waited out the crowd and gotten your burgers to go. Then go sit by the river out back to eat them.

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Not necessary. Now we know where we'll be getting some dinner with some friends on Wednesday! :biggrin:
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#87 Kobi

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 01:08 PM

Having been to the WM in Hackensack and throughly enjoyed it, I decided on my way home this morning to stop in Jersey City and have a few sliders. I ordered the same thing- four cheeseburgers with onions and pickles with a side of fries.

From on the outset, I noticed it was going to be different. The roll looked different, and they didnt melt the cheese on the burger while grilling it. Also, the onions were diced, not sliced like in 'sack.

Brushing my doubts aside, I quickly ate all four. While I definitely liked them, and would go back, it was no where as good as the out of body experience that I have had in Hackensack.

So, on the way out, I casually asked- "Is it only the two places- in hackensack and here?" at which point I was scolded and quickly told they are unaffiliated, and that they use potatoe rolls in 'sack and not JC. While the place is worth a visit for ambiance alone, next time I am craving a slider I will certainly be back in Hackensack.


- Kobi

#88 TongoRad

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 01:20 PM

Having been to the WM in Hackensack and throughly enjoyed it, I decided on my way home this morning to stop in Jersey City and have a few sliders.  I ordered the same thing- four cheeseburgers with onions and pickles with a side of fries.

From on the outset, I noticed it was going to be different.  The roll looked different, and they didnt melt the cheese on the burger while grilling it.  Also, the onions were diced, not sliced like in 'sack. 

Brushing my doubts aside, I quickly ate all four.  While I definitely liked them, and would go back, it was no where as good as the out of body experience that I have had in Hackensack.

So, on the way out, I casually asked- "Is it only the two places- in hackensack and here?"  at which point I was scolded and quickly told they are unaffiliated, and that they use potatoe rolls in 'sack and not JC.    While the place is worth a visit for ambiance alone, next time I am craving a slider I will certainly be back in Hackensack.


- Kobi

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I'm with you- it's all about those Martin's potato rolls! It's amazing to hear that JC has something against them. I distinctly recall my first White Manna experience (Hackensack), and my feeling then was that I had certainly tasted burgers like that with the same flavor profile before, but at White Manna all of the elements (beef, onions, roll) had a distinct presence and texture. I think the sliced onions make a difference as well.
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#89 Lima Bean

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 04:39 PM

I've been to WM in Hack a number of times and they are the best. No need for seasoning, the cheese and onions are a must. I prefer singles and not doubles as I think they sometimes cook them too much when a double.

We usually go around 2-3 on a Saturday and wait for just a short time

#90 hitmanoo

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 07:20 AM

Never been to White Manna. And I have never had a McCDonald's hamburger either. For burgers we go to Gaffers in West Orange.

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Gaffers makes a decent burger, but nothing spectacular. In West Orange, I think that Pal's Cabin makes a better burger, and if you're willing to take a 15-20 minute ride, the Franklin Steakhouse in Nultley makes a much better burger than Gaffers or Pal's.

That being said, White Manna is a different burger and different burger experience all together, and is worth judging for yourself. I was there just a couple of weeks ago, and it was delicious!
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