Manna Donut shops are sprinkled across Dallas-Fort Worth, serving their neighborhoods with doughnuts and a few specialty items, too. Although each branch has individual owners, frequently of Asian descent, they're a loosely connected network, named for the "manna from heaven" passage in the Bible, with branches in California as well.
The Yoon family owns two branches in Fort Worth, including the store on McCart Avenue and this outlet on West Berry, also known as the TCU branch. Its relative proximity to the university gives it a student customer base that extends beyond the stereotypical construction worker and policeman.
That explains why the menu offers something you don't see at other doughnut shops: bubble tea. Manna does the variety known as "fruit milk tea," in which flavored syrups are combined with milk and ice and blended into a frozen smoothie-type drink. You specify whether you want boba, the gummy tapioca balls that make bubble tea what it is. (The answer is yes, of course.) Manna has about a dozen flavors, including mango, coconut and exotic lychee; at $2, the price is almost half what you'd pay at a bubble tea shop.
The doughnut case held both raised and cake, some with appealing embellishments and toppings. One likeable doughnut came topped with chocolate icing and slivered almonds, nice and crunchy. Cake doughnuts came in flavors such as blueberry and chocolate, either glazed or topped with colored sprinkles.
There's a shelf of smaller items such as the mini cinnamon rolls (4 for $1), in which the dough from the yeast doughnuts was sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and formed into a wee spiral. The shop had a rich version of doughnut holes (4 for $1) filled with cream cheese; you only need a couple of those.
Manna also does good sausage rolls ($1-$2) filled with plain sausage, sausage and cheese, and, the best one, sausage with jalapeño, which had a good dose of sassy heat.
Manna sits in a modest strip center, with only the word "donuts" on the sign to tip you off. The interior is surprisingly roomy, with tables and chairs that make it feel like a restaurant instead of a regular doughnut shop.
It stays open in the afternoons, and you can always count on seeing a few students coming in and out.