We’ve all seen it on calendars, roadtrip inspired commercials and book covers and now I can say that I’ve actually been to, and eaten at, the famous White Manna Hamburger stand nee diner in Hackensack NJ. To paraphrase one of my favorite local road food writers Holly Moore, a trip to the White Manna isn’t a roadtrip, it’s a pilgrimage!
Seated at the counter I could see the tiny burgers that they’re famous for, starting out as lil balls of meat and being smushed into patties on the grill directly across from the entrance. With onions and cheese looking like the way to go, I ordered two, and began to check out the details of this mini-diner.
Built in the late 1930′s by the Paramount diner company it has been on this site since 1946 (and should not be confused with the White Mana “with one N”, in Jersey City, which is also on my must visit list.)I loved the look of the curved glass block and counters below and just had to crop out the view of the McDonalds across the street!
Despite the bustle of people coming and going, calling in orders for bags of burgers, my sliders were slid over to me in short time.
Retro RoadHusband will be amazed when he sees that I dared order my burgers with cooked onions as I usually abhor them, even on a classic Philly cheesesteak. What can I say? I was trying to fit in with the regulars. Unfortunately for me, the onions didn’t sit well in my stomach still recovering from a weekend adventure, but nevertheless I could see the appeal in these tiny cheeseburgers.
And as it says on the vintage sign outside (peek below) they are also a place to get some damned tasty fries- my favorite kind- crinkle cut! Once I saw them on someone else’s plate I knew I was powerless to resist,
Another gratuitous shot of this lovely roadside burger stand and it’s vintage neon sign, which I hope gets lit up at night!
Open every day, if you ever get back to Hackensack, the White Manna will be there for you.
White Manna Hamburgers
358 River Street
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