Lannae's Food and Travel

I hope you like my food and travel blog.

November 25, 2010

That's my Manna!

1104 Charlotte Pike
Nashville, TN

kalbi with kim chi sides

Manna has been around for a long time. Manna Korean restaurant and Manna grocery store are on the corner of Charlotte and Industrial Way (11th Ave). The Greyhound Bus Station is now across the street from Manna, and the Greyhound Station used to be Hansen Chyrsler Plymouth Jeep Dealer located downtown. It is a strange location amongst an industrial area. The Manna grocery store is a bit " Down home Asian-esque" in that it is tight, cramped, a little messy, and not picturesque. It is Asian utilitarian. Don't be scared because there are some decent Asian products focused on Korean products at the grocery side. On the restaurant side, it seems a little worn, utilitarian, but clean enough. The chairs are old style convention center chairs, not the most comfortable, but they do their job. Neither side, grocery nor restaurant, is going to win for style or fashion. These places are purely about Korean food.

What me and my friends agree on is that Manna has the best and most generous portion of kalbi (also written in English as galbi). Kalbi is a thinly sliced marinated grilled short rib steak. I find this one to be my favorite flavor of kalbi in all of Nashville. Me and my friends agree that we like the side dishes very well here. Fire eater friend likes the variety of kim chi here, and my friend of Korean origin likes the value, kalbi and kim chi sides. I personally like the kalbi for its flavor as well as portion vs cost ratio. I also like the sides because they seem to have had small Korean style dried anchovies for a side dish every time I have gone to dine. It is hard to find these mini-anchovies at any other Korean restaurant in this town because the others don't normally have them in stock. I think other Korean restaurants in town have a more diverse client base which frowns upon eating dried mini-anchovies, and there must have been a lot of waste of this relatively expensive side dish. So, the other Korean restaurant owners are smart enough to know that throwing away dollars of fish every night is not a good policy for making money, so they just don't serve the stuff anymore. I love that Manna has the little fishies for me to eat with my rice.

The last few times I have been in Manna's, we were the only ones dining, or there were only one or 2 more tables being served. But, overhearing other tables, it is usually someone who has dined at Manna's multiple times and introducing friends to the place. That is how I feel, I want to bring no people to try this place because most people would just pass by this joint because it looks a little funky from the outside, and it is in a funky location. It looks like h*ll on the outside, and so plain on the inside, that it could be off-putting to some. But, enduring what it looks like, you may be pleasantly surprised with your meal.

Manna on Urbanspoon



At 11/29/10, 11:34 AM, Blogger Pete said...

I don’t know why I’ve never go to Manna, but now you’ve convinced me to go. I usually go to Seoul Garden or So Gong Dong, depending on what I’m in the mood for. I will certainly add Manna to my list.

At 11/29/10, 3:55 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

If and when you go, please let me know what you think of this humble place. My friend of Korean decent claims that the kim chi soup (chigai) is almost as good as her mother's chigai. She likes this soup even more than SDG Tofu House,and she loves Tofu House. My fire pepper eater friend loves the flavor of the kim chi soup here too. I did not have the soup because I always get the kalbi.

At 11/30/10, 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How are, if any, the vegetarian options here? This place is 30 seconds away from Corsair, and 2 minutes from Yazoo - a perfect stop for a meal afterward.

At 11/30/10, 7:52 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hey Anon,
Veggie options... well, there is the tofu kim chi soup (chigai), but I am not sure if the broth is veggie or chick. I will definitely try to find out the next time I am there what soup bases they have. All of the sides (besides the fishes) are veggie. I am guessing there are korean stir fried options with tofu, but I am not sure. I will check on veggie options next time I am there, hopefully next week sometime.

At 12/1/10, 9:13 AM, Blogger Pete said...

Does Manna serve dumplings? Seoul Garden had pork & chive dumplings on the menu and it was replaced with beef dumplings. Unfortunately, the beef is not even in the same playing field. I’m craving Korean food now.

At 12/1/10, 7:47 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Pete, when I go back in the next week or 2, I will let you know!

At 12/1/10, 8:16 PM, Blogger Pete said...

I went tonight...I couldn't help but crave kimchi jigae. It was easily better than So Gong and Seoul Garden's version. I loved their kimchi. It had a really nice kick to it. I was in such a hurry to order that I didn't get a chance to look at the rest of the menu.

At 12/1/10, 8:24 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Pete! I am glad you like the soup too! I really like all of the side dishes. I have been ordering the same thing (kalbi) for all my visits, I stopped looking at the menu. I plan on going there again in a week or 2 for lunch, and will make an effort to see the menu for dumplings and for veggie eater. It is just a humble looking space to eat, but the soup does rock!

At 7/6/11, 1:13 AM, Anonymous dave-oh said...

I love this place. I've been thinking about it lately; I think it's been about a year. I've had the dolsot bibimbop, the dak bulgogi and the excellent broiled mackerel. Wanna try a different thing every time. Their banchan rocks!!! And the owner is super-friendly!


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