Blast from the Future

In food on 03/26/2010 at 2:48 pm

Tonnelle Ave in Jersey City is a wretched stretch of 1/9. It’s one of those Jersey specialties where a left turn is non-existent. Firemen heckle bewildered drivers from inside a foodie national landmark on a prominent corner, the White Mana Diner.

Your resident intrepid photog stands in the middle of the street to snap this pic. Just imagine this joint in the heart of a small town with tree-lined streets on a Sunday afternoon. Mmmm.

This plaque reminds of a good book I read once, Devil in the White City, from my favorite genre: historical fiction-non-fiction, which was about the Chicago World’s Fair. My current hospital rotation features a fount of knowledge in the form of a retired surgeon who regales us with similar historical anecdotes, mostly about medicine and film. If only I weren’t forced to pretend to listen to his 3 to 4 hour long ramblings every day…

These prices are incredible. Too bad the food isn’t. I was hyped up by various food sites about this place. What’s unique is they have a very particular way of grilling the burgers-to-order.

First, oblong clumps of patty are plopped on top of generous pats of butter in the middle of the slow heat part of the griddle. Next, they are shifted to the hot side and sprinkled with rough-chopped onions.

Then, the patties are smashed flat, left to have juices leached out, then topped with slices of American cheese. Buns are parsed on each piece of meat, bottom side up. Four burgers are served up per paper plate. These are cheapskate burgers, a sliver of meat overwhelmed by its refined white bread bun. If you’re smart, and we weren’t, we would have ordered a ‘double’ cheeseburger to get the meat to bun ratio correct.

At least they don’t hold back on the pickles.

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