There is nothing worse than rushing around running errands and having to settle for what I would call “road-food”. It is especially bad since I am not an eater of most fast foods. This leaves me with the options of nasty grocery store sushi, limp salads, and stale sandwiches – ew!
That is, until recently, when I was introduced to the amazing Manna European Bakery. This, I am officially calling my ultimate “to-go” spot. You can even place the order in advance and have it ready for when you are! What could be better?
Upon entering you are greeted with cases filled with cakes, cookies, chocolates and a wall lined with shelves of bread. My dream come true! The staff are friendly, welcoming and easy to have a conversation with, in true Newfoundland style. The seating area is a little dated and generally lacking of any atmosphere – but the food is the real draw here. We’re here for the food.
In classic comfort food style, Manna serves up a selection of made-to-order fresh sandwiches and classic Newfoundland soups, such as pea soup, beef & barley and chicken & vegetable.
Lately I have been on a curry-kick, so I stuck with it and ordered a Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich. This is when I had my “ah-ha!” moment about the true quality of Manna European Bakery. For my sandwich I had the choice of any bread they make fresh in store. Like, hello, bread-lover’s dream! After requesting a list of options and a moment of staring into space trying to determine how I could possibly choose – I went with a classic, yet dense enough to handle curry, Light Rye. Apologies to the person working, I’m sure remembering that list isn’t easy – but I appreciated it.
I added to my sandwich a touch of mayo, a bit of spinach (for extra healthy points) and a couple slices of provolone. Of course, there are a ton of options to choose from! With each sandwich you have a choice of two sides, I chose the classic pickles and carrots.
My mother (and partner in food-admiration) went with the Baked Ham Sandwich. Watching the server slice the ham fresh for the sandwich almost made me regret my decision of the curry chicken salad… None-the-less, I stuck to my cravings (and requested a taste of hers, of course).
To top off the meal we both got a side of soup: one pea soup and one chicken & vegetable. I didn’t find the soup to be quite as full of flavour as the sandwiches but it sure hit the spot on a hectic, cold winter evening.
Although watching your sandwich come together is totally worth doing, there are a few other things you should check out while you’re at Manna.
Manna European Bakery has a selection of their own olive oil and balsamic vinegar infusions! Very unique and the smell definitely adds to the appetizing atmosphere in the bakery itself.
Of course, being a bakery, there are a large selection of pastries, cookies, cakes, pies and donuts. It’s going to be hard to leave this place with out grabbing a little desert. At least, you’re going to want to take home a fresh homemade loaf of bread.
To top it off, there are a selection of food trays available for special order that would make the perfect addition to any party or event. (Hint: someone bring me a cheese tray…). You can order online from Manna Bakery here.
One final appreciation I have for this bakery is their use of recycled and recyclable take away containers. This aspect is largely over looked by restaurants, mostly due to cost, but I appreciate the dedication this shows to the local environment from a delicious local restaurant.
Overall: next time you’re out and about, stop into Manna European Bakery. Have a chat with these fine folks while they make you a delicious sandwich, get it to-go, and make sure you don’t forget desert!
If you’re a frequenter of Manna Bakery, what would you recommend for me to try?