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Chinese Halal Jersey City

Jersey City trek: no Mana; halal Chinese; Senegalese??

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Jersey City trek: no Mana; halal Chinese; Senegalese??

steve d. | Nov 18, 1999 03:13 PM

It's so gorgeous out today I decided to make the trek from my office (at Exchange Place) to the famed White Mana Diner on Tonnele Ave., being in the mood for a couple of greasy burgers. It was an even longer walk than I had expected, taking the better part of an hour, and by the time I walked down the steep slope of Spruce St. to Tonnele I was good and hungry. Imagine my surprise when I found no trace of the historic round building; the directions I had gotten off the Dinercam website implied it was just off the Pulaski Skyway, but -- well, it wasn't. (Would some aficionado please provide more accurate directions?)At any rate, I walked south on Tonnele, heading for Journal Square and the PATH station. I figured I could get some quick takeout from Milano's when I got back, and at least I'd had a good walk. Then, as I was about to cross St. Paul's, I glanced across the street and did a double-take: yes, the sign said Amin's Halal Chinese! I forgot the fact that I'd already stretched my lunch hour to the breaking point and dashed across and entered. The menu, as I expected, was the usual -- chicken w/ broccoli, beef Szechuan style, Gen. Tso's chicken, you can write it yourself (but obviously no pork) -- but I was hoping to find out where the chef was from (Sinkiang? Kansu?) and perhaps persuade him to make me a local specialty sometime. Alas, the girl behind the counter spoke almost no English; the guy who came over to answer my questions turned out to be Senegalese and knew nothing about Chinese ethnic geography. However, once I expressed my fondness for mafe' and yassa he told me that Amin's had been a Senegalese restaurant until a couple of years ago! I asked him if it was possible to get Senegalese food in JC, and he said a friend of his had gone to work at such a place -- he waved vaguely southward -- but just then my informant had to leave! Does anyone know anything about such a place? If I've got to spend more time in JC (my boss promised once again to move us back to Manhattan, but nothing is happening) it would be nice to have some peanut sauce to cushion the blow.By the way, in case you're wondering -- I ordered chicken curry to go; the cook stuck his head out to ask if I wanted it spicy, and I said yes -- it turned out to be pleasingly spicy, with lots of onion and nice big mushroom slices, a bargain at $4.25 -- but not exactly a Uighur specialty...

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