My name is David and I was Burger Beast’s first customer at Oh, the Horror DVD Shoppe (his old indie film store). When he closed the place down I decided it was time to move on, so here I am residing in the Garden State. Which brings me to White Manna, a tiny burger joint built in 1946 resting right on the banks of the Hackensack River in Hackensack, New Jersey. It’s probably worth mentioning that the original White Manna still operates in Jersey City.
I have passed by this place for 3 years and every time I do this little burger stand is always packed with people. They even wait outside. I mean, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is, you have to wait to get a burger here. My expectations were pretty high because of this I have to admit. My first impression when I walked in was that it looked like a miniature diner or maybe something out of Willy Wonka’s Factory. The phone’s ringing off the hook, and people wanting to know how to get there. There were customers ordering take out while others chomped on their sliders one at a time.
I ordered a dozen sliders, half with cheese and all of them with onions, an order of fries and some soft drinks to go with that. Relax it wasn’t all for me, I had some company (my wife and her sister). After a bit of a wait what I got was quite unexpected, 4 burgers on a plate all squished together. One of them even had a finger indentation left on the bun (it was pressed in fear of the lady who grabbed it from slipping through her grasp). I have never seen a more appetizing collection of meat and buns in my life to be honest. I was so happy, I was moments away from sinking my teeth into a New Jersey slider that obtained cult status from its locals and beyond.
Even with all the fresh, local ingredients and the delicious Martin’s Potato Rolls it was still a disappointment. The heavenly looking slider was a bit dry and the onions were thinly cut. So thin in fact that after sitting in the cold awhile they seemed to have dried up (losing its taste). The meat was lacking flavor, unless you had plenty of ketchup and cheese (this burger was hardly palatable). I’m sorry I let you down folks but the White Manna let me down too! I don’t see what all the fuss is about. I think it came to the point where people eat there just to say to their grandchildren one day that they did. White Castle is only 2 miles away and that’s where I’ll be eating my next slider.
When in Jersey:
Facebook: White Manna
358 River Street, Hackensack, NJ