ManhattanJack, the coffee house/bakery/confectionary from baker buds Jack Petronella and Coleman Jernigan has been open since January, but the Uptown coffee and sweets hub is fast becoming a sandwich destination with the addition of a lunch menu about a week ago. A slew of unique sandwiches like a Monte Cristo, a Taylor Ham and Cheese on house-baked bagel, and a Crawfish Roll (in honor of a lobster roll) round out the more traditional offerings (Reubens, Cubans, and Clubs), which are available from 11 a.m. to close.
ManhattanJack is located at 4930 Prytania, in a building owned by La Thai hot chef Diana Chauvin, next to Creole Creamery, which actually now has an ice cream flavor named after Petronella with vanilla, caramel swirl, and chocolate covered rice krispies called Crackle Jack. The busy stretch of Prytania also includes St. James Cheese Company, Kyoto, La Thai, Upperline, La Crepe Nanou, and The Kingpin, but it's never had a coffee shop. So naturally, Uptowners are going off on the place.
"Some people call us ManhattanCrack," Petronella tells Eater. "I don't know if that's good or bad, but everybody in the neighborhood has been really good to us." His signature item is a chocolate covered salted caramel, which he honed at his bakery in Chelsea before moving down to New Orleans about three years ago. "People can't get enough of them," he says.
There are pastries and chocolates galore, or as Ian McNulty writes this week:
Small-batch baking and a highly varied repertoire are two calling cards for this new spot, where two dozen different breads and pastries share the bill with candies, sweets and coffee. Buttermilk drops, doughnuts, biscuits, macaroons, cupcakes, croissants and crawfish pies are all part of the program, and bagels are a particular specialty. Petronella says that the buttermilk drops are actually sourced from Dwight Henry of the Buttermilk Drop, in an effort to keeps it real y'all, as are the donut shells which Jernigan and Petronella fill with fresh seasonal fruit. They also created a turtle in honor of the former McKenzie's next door. Their coffee is a signature blend created for them by the New Orleans Coffee Exchange.
The duo started ManhattanJack as a wholesale business, selling their sweets to restaurants like McAlister's Deli and Izzo's Illegal Burritos, but they've put that on hold while focusing on their new bakery ie. waking up at 3 a.m. for their first bake of the day, and crawling home around 11 p.m.
Sandwiches are currently available at 11 a.m. til close, pastries and coffee are available as early as 6:30 a.m. from Tuesday to Sunday. The duo also plans to stay open later on Friday and Saturday nights and offer plated desserts in the near future. They'll also expand out into a back courtyard to add more seating sometime in the coming months.