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Holly Moore

White Manna

139 posts in this topic

At this thread's advice, tonite i travelled 35 minutes to try the burgers at Gaffer's in West Orange.

The place is a REAL "locals" joint, in fact this weekend they celebrated their 25th Anniversay.  The space is split down the middle, with a bar area on the right (with 3 booths for people that like to eat and smoke at the same time) and a restaurant area on the left side (with ~14 tables or so).   Surprisingly, the both the bar and restaurant were busy on a Monday nite, and we had to wait about 10 minutes for a table.

Ordered the burger as that was all that was discussed on this thread, and although i'm not a big fan of cheddar cheese, went with that as well since it was recommended.  The burger was VERY good, not the best i've ever had, but certain worth the 30 minute trip.  The cheddar is a hot sauce on top of the burger, and i really enjoyed dipping my fries into the cheese that dripped out of the burger and landed on my plate.  The staff seemed a bit overwelmed at how busy they were, but service was adequate and FRIENDLY (she kept apologizing that we had to wait for a table and a few other things that she really need not apologized for).

Lately i've been growing tired of the "same old places" that we typically go to, and this was a welcomed change.  We both enjoyed ourselves and said that we'd be willing to make the trip again when we're in the mood for a decent burger.

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Gaffer's is 5 minutes from my house so we don't mind driving there. Who do you feel makes the best burger?

Go Blue!


Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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Gaffer's is consistently good, as is O'Neal's in Verona, if you're looking for a burger, a beer, and ŭ change out of a ฤ..

Cryan's in South Orange used to be good, and I've heard several good things about the GasLight brePub in South Orange. On the list...


Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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My favorite burger is at the Jackson Hole (the location on 3rd Ave+35th St in NYC is the best in the chain, but the location is Englewood is VERY good as well, and not too far in 2nd place).

A "known" good place is Arthur's in Hoboken (burgers are better than the steaks) and is another place that you can go for a burger and a beer and walk out with more than ŭ in change for a ฤ.

An "unknown" place, also in Hoboken, is Oddfellow's.  This place is "just a bar" with a restaurant area, but has SURPRISINGLY good food.  The place has a New Orleans/Cajun theme and i (almost) always order a blackened burger which comes on a jumbo english muffin, and i substitue mashed potatoes for the spicey waffle fries.  We like this place a lot, HOWEVER, something always seems to go wrong.  Either the service is poor, a burger ordered well done is served almost raw in the middle, etc.  This place has the ability to be GREAT, but they DO need to clean up their act a little bit.  Overall, it's still a great place (although there's NOT a no smoking area) that we continue to go back to, as it's close to home and the food is decent and represents a good value.

And you are right... GO BLUE!!

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Was RPerlow confusing the White Manna in River St, Hackensack, with the White Mana Diner at Tonnele Av and Secaucus Rd, Jersey City?  They are two different creatures with some similarities, and I'll leave it to the veterans here to recap them...

(Edited by ziggybob at 6:02 pm on Dec. 9, 2001)

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Quote: from ziggybob on 6:00 pm on Dec. 9, 2001

Was RPerlow confusing the White Manna in River St, Hackensack, with the White Mana Diner at Tonnele Av and Secaucus Rd, Jersey City

However it's spelled, I was referring to the one in Hackensack, as I've never been inside the one in Jersey City - although I have driven by there.... From the outside, it looks a little bigger and not as run down as the Hackensack joint, which makes me a little suspicious... ;)

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finally got here last night.

unfortunately, i was full from dinner.  but i couldn't pass up the opportunity to go in, as there was no one there!

had 2 of those cheese burgers.  onions pickles catsup.  a perfect burger except for the bun . i think the bun to burger ratio was a bit on the high side.  the sandwich had a doughy quality, which is a shame.   otherwise, it was very good.

i'll go back, but hopefully i'll be either:

1)  drunk

2)  hung over.

i think the above 2 states would elevate these burgers to greatness.

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Quote: from tommy on 11:28 am on Jan. 31, 2002

had 2 of those cheese burgers.  onions pickles catsup.  a perfect burger except for the bun . i think the bun to burger ratio was a bit on the high side.  the sandwich had a doughy quality, which is a shame.   otherwise, it was very good.

Please refer back to my Aug 14 post on page 1 of this thread, where I said essentially the same thing. In your state of full, but wanting to try the place, I would have suggested one double cheeseburger, rather than two singles.

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Quote: from RPerlow on 11:33 am on Jan. 31, 2002

Please refer back to my Aug 14 post on page 1 of this thread, where I said essentially the same thing. In your state of full, but wanting to try the place, I would have suggested one double cheeseburger, rather than two singles.

we are just two peas in a pod. ;)

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i think the bun to burger ratio was a bit on the high side.

To all things there is a purpose.  The "Meat to Bun Ratio"(official McSpeak) is the way it is for a reason.  Did you notice the mist about the grill?  These are the "juices"  (also official McSpeak - translation grease) from the cooking burgers.  The bun does an admirable job of soaking up the juices, synergistically compounding the Manna Burger's overall "juiciness."


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Quote: from Holly Moore on 3:22 pm on Feb. 1, 2002[br  The bun does an admirable job of soaking up the juices, synergistically compounding the Manna Burger's overall "juiciness."
and rendering it a McDoughy mess.  tasty yes.  doughy definitely.  i'll try the double cheeseburger (but don't double the cheese) next time.

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At the advice of an earlier post on this thread, i recently stopped at Ted's Restaurant in Meriden, CT (i know this is a NJ board, but putting here for continuity).

This place is a real "joint" where they speak to you in one-word sentences.  Upon walking in we were asked:

"Cheesburger"?

--> Yes please, thank you

"Onion"?

--> Yes, please

"Drink"?

In no time at all our food was placed in front of us (on paper plates).  Now what makes this place special is that they steam their burgers, and i don't mean they put a dome over it while they cook it.  They take a small tin, mabye 3 inches X 2 inches and load it up with meat, then place it on a shelf in a patented metal box which sits on top of the stove (and is above, i imagine, a pot of boiling water).  Cheese for the burger is also melted in the same box.

The burger drips when you bite into it (all that steam makes the burger extra juicy), and it tasted VERY good.  I spent quite some time to try to determine what was different and i finally hit upon it: The meat browns all the way through, but there is a stronger "beef" taste than with a traditional burger.  At $2.60/cheeseburger ($1.90 for no cheese) this may be the best burger value in the country!

We each had one cheeseburger (along with an order of cheese fries, which i recommend you pass on) and that was enough food for us.  Two guys at the counter each had 2 and were truely stuffed.

This place isn't worth a special trip from the NYC area, but DEFINATELY worth the trip if you are ever within a 30 minute radius of the place.  It's also VERY convenient to stop at if you ever make the drive from NYC to Boston, as it is right off the highway.

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and what highway would that be?  i'll be driving up to MA soon and will probably be on that same road.

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As a Rumson resident, I can tell you that Barnacle Bills makes one of the best burgers around. It is at least 10 oz and grilled perfectly to your order. The cheddar cheese is hot, messy and tasty. You get all the free peanuts you want and throw the shells on the floor. And a burger and a huge basket of fries is about 10 bucks which is pretty good for a nice sit down restaurant with quality beers and tap and a decent wine selection. It also has surprisingly good seafood specials like ciopino(sic) and the Asian ownership does a good job of buying good quality seafood. It is a local place but well worth visiting if you are in the area. It does however, get crowded on the weekends, especially during the summer.

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[]However it's spQUOTE]Quote: from ziggybob on 6:00 pm on Dec. 9, 2001

Was RPerlow confusing the White Manna in River St, Hackensack, with the White Mana Diner at Tonnele Av and Secaucus Rd, Jersey City[/quoteelled, I was referring to the one in Hackensack, as I've never been inside the one in Jersey City - although I have driven by there.... From the outside, it looks a little bigger and not as run down as the Hackensack joint, which makes me a little suspicious... ;)

The WHITE MANNA "Diner" in JC is very similar to WHITE MANNA in Hackensack. The look is just as run down. Behind the counter(oval not square) they have the same grill and soda machines. they make the fries in the back, where can't see them. The fries are the low grade frozen crinke cuts that are delish if you order them well done. The burgers are prepared in the same method(ala White Castle). The wrapping paper is the same and the "robot" who prepare the burgers also remembers every order exactly. The burger are about a half step below Hackensack, but their main claim to fame(in my mind) is their cheese steaks. They are the Steakum type served on white toast. They're open 24/7 and great on the way home from NYC after a long night of partying.


I'm a NYC expat. Since coming to the darkside, as many of my freinds have said, I've found that most good things in NYC are made in NJ.

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A native of Jersey City, (Shit! someone had to be..) I grew up on these belly busting delights. You see, if you ask a White Manna Grill man the secret he will tell you, the trick to making a good White Manna burger is to keeping your face off the grill! This is not as easy as it sounds... Just stop in, say about 2am on a weekend and count how many times the grill man almost burns his nose on the grill.

However, I must say comfort food is relative and if you grew-up in my neighborhood, this is one of them "comfort foods."

:cool:


I Will Be..................

"The Next Food Network Star!"

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But I submit that when it comes to great roadfood, be it a couple of White Manna Burgers or Rutt Hut Rippers or whatever, between the layer of grease on the walls and eye appeal's lowly position on the grillman's totem pole, you have to check your eyes at the door.

Since Rippers came up on a Hamburg thread, I feel as tho I can ask this --------what is so great about the Rutt Hutt Ripper? I was there last summer for the first time. I was at a lunch meeting, and serving a pile of people might be difficult, food-wise, but after all the hype about those hot dogs, I was sooooo disappointed! Deep-frying them was unique, and the varied sauces were good, but the cold roll ruined it all.

Being from Mass. I have to say that I have been spoiled by New England style rolls (the one with the soft sides) that are grilled on both sides, and I like my hot dogs grilled or boiled with skins. So I may have carried my predjudice bags with me, but I really didn't think the ripper deserved all the oohs and aahs!

Is it just me? Or did I miss something.

DH thinks the only hot dogs worth eating were those served on open carts, under the 3rd Avenue El in NYC. (when there was a 3rd avenue El) They came out of greasy hot water and went in a cold roll. DH said the best ones were when an elevated train was rolling by, above the cart! LOL!

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But I submit that when it comes to great roadfood, be it a couple of White Manna Burgers or Rutt Hut Rippers or whatever, between the layer of grease on the walls and eye appeal's lowly position on the grillman's totem pole, you have to check your eyes at the door.

Since Rippers came up on a Hamburg thread, I feel as tho I can ask this --------what is so great about the Rutt Hutt Ripper? I was there last summer for the first time. I was at a lunch meeting, and serving a pile of people might be difficult, food-wise, but after all the hype about those hot dogs, I was sooooo disappointed! Deep-frying them was unique, and the varied sauces were good, but the cold roll ruined it all.

Being from Mass. I have to say that I have been spoiled by New England style rolls (the one with the soft sides) that are grilled on both sides, and I like my hot dogs grilled or boiled with skins. So I may have carried my predjudice bags with me, but I really didn't think the ripper deserved all the oohs and aahs!

Is it just me? Or did I miss something.

DH thinks the only hot dogs worth eating were those served on open carts, under the 3rd Avenue El in NYC. (when there was a 3rd avenue El) They came out of greasy hot water and went in a cold roll. DH said the best ones were when an elevated train was rolling by, above the cart! LOL!

I'm trying to picture a Ripper on a toasted and buttered New England style bun. First reaction is culture-clash. But it is a fascinating idea. The butter from the bun pairing with the grease from the deep fat fried hot dog. A quest to be pursued.

The New England style hot dog bun is indeed the best hot dog bun. Top split, non crusted sides. Split, toast both sides and butter. Just can't figure why it hasn't made its way to New York and beyond. They show up at supermarkets here in Philadelphia, semi-occasionally, during the summer, but no consistency. I recently lhave been looking for a bun baker in the area that can supply New England style buns, but no luck.

All in all though, I'm not sure why the Rutt Hut's dog is so special. It just is. Tradition has something to do with - a consistent tradition, no resting on past laurels. Their unique mustard relish. The cooking range - "In and Outers" to "Rippers" to "Cremators". A beautiful ugliness. Some sort of synergy I guess.

And a picture often does say it all

i1614.jpg


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

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A native of Jersey City, (Shit! someone had to be..) I grew up on these belly busting delights. You see, if you ask a White Manna Grill man the secret he will tell you, the trick to making a good White Manna burger is to keeping your face off the grill! This is not as easy as it sounds... Just stop in, say about 2am on a weekend and count how many times the grill man almost burns his nose on the grill.

However, I must say comfort food is relative and if you grew-up in my neighborhood, this is one of them "comfort foods."

:cool:

chef, are you referring to the White Mana on rt 9/tonnele? this thread is actually about the White Manna (not affiliated as far as i know) in Hackensack...although i've always been curious about the one in JC!

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Forgive me for not being up on the lingo but what's a "DH"?

Rosie.. were you born at Margaret Haigue? (Did I spell it right)

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Forgive me for not being up on the lingo but what's a "DH"?

Rosie.. were you born at Margaret Haigue? (Did I spell it right)

Devoted husband

My brother was born at Margaret Hauge. I wasn't.


Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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