I don't know if you've heard or not, but I am an ADHD diner. When I go out to eat with friends and family my mind goes into a tailspin trying to figure out what to order without looking like a pig. It works out best when I go out to eat with a large group of people and we agree to a "family style" meal so that I can try all the things that I want to. is perfect for me because I can order whatever I want but don't necessarily have to eat it all in one sitting.
You can peek inside Manny's through the huge windows. The spot is clean but the seating area is limited. You walk inside and there are huge shiny glass cases filled with wonderful foods. Many of my favorites were featured here: crab cakes, coconut shrimp, variations on salmon, sweet potatoes, etc. The items to be fried are breaded and ready for the fryer (e.g. fried shrimp) while other foods are pre-made and just need to be heated through (e.g. chicken pot pie).
I ordered the mini crab cake lunch special (all the lunch specials are $6) which came with two mini crab cakes, cole slaw and your choice of side (I chose the mashed sweet potatoes). The crab cakes were brimming with lump crabmeat, probably more than I've ever had in a single crab cake. They were so good that I didn't need any remoulade or dipping sauce; they could be enjoyed on their own. They were quite crisp but succulent when you bit into them. The cole slaw was well balanced and well seasoned. It was tart and creamy with just the right amount of salt. The sweet potatoes were heavily seasoned with cinnamon and butter (you could smell the cinnamon as soon as you opened the container) which I enjoyed. Those that like a more savory sweet potato mash should not order these.
I couldn't resist ordering a bit more for the road. I added on one of their famous chicken pot pies ($7.95), a small order of lobster mashed potatoes ($3.75) and a salmon pesto puff pastry ($7.95). The chicken pot pie had a flakey and buttery crust which covered a thick and creamy filling of large white meat chicken chunks, peas, carrots and potatoes. It was a traditional pot pie big enough for two. It's definitely a much better example than the Swanson's chicken pot pies that I ate in my youth. The lobster mashed potatoes were tasty but not all that lobster-y (most of the lobster was placed on top instead of in the potatoes). I should have known better given the modest price point. The salmon pesto puff pastry was decent. The richness of the pesto and puff pastry were a bit too much for me. However, it would make for an elegant dinner entree the next time you entertain.
The food at Manny's Place is very good. It's well seasoned, well prepared and made fresh on a daily basis. It's extremely reassuring to see the clean prep and cooking areas at Manny's Place while you wait for your food. My old 3- and 4-star chefs would be pleased with the level of cleanliness. Remember: a good chef is a clean chef. While the seating area may be limited, I would recommend stopping by Manny's Place the next time the weather is nice and picking up some savory items for an impromptu picnic. The prices may be a bit higher than other takeout venues but much cheaper than dining out at a quality restaurant and make no mistake, this is quality restaurant fare. I already have a craving for a crab cake. Just like in The Princess Bride when Wesley replies to Buttercup, "As you wish," when you enter Manny's Place you can order "as you wish" without fear of judgment.