Sunday, 15 November 2015

White Mana

White Mana in Jersey City, USA began life in 1946, founded by Louis Bridges alongside another restaurant in Hackensack which also still exists.  Although both locations were created by the same owner, the businesses have since separated and are operated independently of each other.  The building used in Jersey City to this day existed originally as part of the 1939 World's Fair before being moved to it's current location where it serves perhaps the most down to earth sliders you're ever likely to find.

Our trip to White Mana had been over a year in the making, our original visit planned for the previous year's trip.  As it was, time (and the sheer variety of places to eat) meant that we never made it and so, on our return to NJ in 2015, it seemed fitting that we should immediately make our way there.  We went from Edinburgh airport to Newark airport and then straight on to White Mana.  We weren't going to miss out this time.

The diner itself is basic but welcoming, the simple laminated menu a fitting build up to what's about to follow.  A large circular counter with bar stool seating allows customers to watch the chef at work, something I'm always a fan of for obvious reasons.

We opted for the three slider meal deal and answered yes when asked if we'd like onions with our patties.  The chef threw the minced meat and chopped onions around the hot skillet in an often frenzied fashion, chopping and flattening as he cooked the onions directly into our burgers.  After standing back for a minute or two to let the cooking continue (or, perhaps simply to admire his own excellent work), a cheese slice and bun top were added, steamed through until hot and served up to us unceremoniously on paper plates.

For a plate of sliders cooked with such speed, ease and simplicity, the flavour was really out of this world good.  Bun, meat, onion, cheese.  Sheer simplicity, cooked to perfection.

I can honestly say this was up there with some of the best burger experiences I've ever had.  Ok, this isn't fine dining in the traditional sense.  I'll say one thing for white mana though - it's certainly a fine diner.

White Mana is open 24/7 and you'll find them at 470 Tonnele Avenue, Jersey City NJ 07307

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