Out and About – A Covid Review of Manna BBQ 4.5/5 COVID Rating 5/5

Finally, after a couple of months, Covid cases finally started to die down in the Phoenix area. I decided to take the chance and go down to eat at a restaurant. I have been dining in the main metropolis area ever since I moved here for college and the one thing I miss from home is the experience of eating at a Korean BBQ restaurant. With that in mind, I decided to do a review on Manna BBQ.

Manna BBQ is an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ restaurant. However, there are two types of Korean BBQ restaurants, one would be all-you-can-eat and the other, pay by entree. Korean BBQ, or KBBQ brings the concept of the server bringing you raw pieces of protein (chicken, beef, seafood, etc.) to the table and cooking it in front of you. Some restaurants have the server cook for you and others give you the opportunity to cook it yourself. Each table is equipped with a hole in the middle with a grill inside, powered by propane. This time, they only served their dinner menu and charged their dinner prices. Lunch prices originally were $18.99 per person while their dinner prices were $25.99 per person. A bit pricey, but it is definitely worth it for the high quality ingredients they give to you.

At first glance, it may look like a fancy restaurant right next to an Asian market, but when you walk inside, the atmosphere is amazing! The restaurant has an atmosphere filled with bright blue lights, lining the sides of the wall. Temperature wise, after coming from the 104 degree weather outside, it was nice to feel  cool when walking in. In keeping with Covid-19 regulations, you are mandated to use the sanitizer up-front and get a temperature check before dining in. Servers wear a mask when they serve you as well as disinfect their hands before interacting with objects held by the customers. Both sides of the restaurant had two rows of booths. Every other booth was open and the side with two rows had tables rotating where people sat. For example, if there was one party sitting in a booth near the door on the left row of the right side, the next column table on the opposite side would be seated. When seated, they give you small packets of alcohol wipes to wipe your area  and the servers prepared the table with extra disinfecting practices.

All in all, the restaurant has definitely kept up with their Covid-19 guidelines as well as took extra precautions when continuing to open for business. With food that you can cook yourself, it’s hard to limit yourself on what cuts of meat or seafood you would like to order first! Typically when ordering here, it’s always best to start off with the “Chadol Baegi” or beef brisket. The fat from the brisket will lubricate the grilling pan. Luckily, the brisket cooked fast and never burned due to our server turning it up to the right temperature. Chadol Baegi is a highly recommended starting dish at this restaurant followed by the order of their Hawaiian chicken, covered in pineapple sauce, and their garlic pork belly, seasoned to have a tame taste of pepper and garlic salt.