A perfectly delicious teeny tiny menu! 

Mark Burger serves amazing sliders, yummy fries, and milkshakes!

I love all of the places in NYC that focus on doing just a few items, perfectly...
Mark is one of them!  

The juicy, cheesy, mini burgers are simply perfection! Super fresh, perfectly cooked, and packed with flavor!

The tables are equipped with specialty sauces for your mixing and dipping pleasure - and the hand cut French fries make wonderful vehicles for the sauce of your choice! (jalapeno sauce rocks!!)

The one thing I regret is not super over indulging and going for a bacon milkshake on the side!! Yes...BACON milkshake!!

I'll definitely be back for more, plus a bacon milkshake... after bathing suit season has passed!! 

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Baked Chicken with Rice

Healthy comfort food at it's best!!!

You'll Need - 

1 Can of Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Envelope of Onion Soup Mix
1 Cup of Minute Brown Rice
1/12 Cups of Water
5-6 Chicken Breasts

Mix the first four ingredients in a greased baking dish. Place chicken on top of mixture and cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes until gravy this thick and bubbly and chicken in brown. 

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Mel's Burger Bar

Mel's is a wonderful concept, offering a high quality and fun menu which features whimsical treats like fried pickles, burgers topped with spinach dip, and booze spiked milk shakes! 

Located on Broadway, just steps away from Columbia's campus, Mel's has earned quite the reputation with their "all you can eat wings" on Monday nights, $2 bloody mary's during their weekend brunch, and their delicious menu full of comfort food! 

The wings are great! I think I've had them on every trip to Mels! 

And...if you have fried pickles on your menu, there's an 90% chance I'm ordering them!

Now for the burgers....

Mel’s has several suggested “burgerlicious combinations” all made with Pat LaFrieda premium beef (Pat LaFrieda is a local family owned meat purveyor who have gained an amazing reputation in NYC). Some of these featured burgers include: 

“The Original Burger” made on white toast as a homage to the Louis' Lunch burger -- the self proclaimed creator of the hamburger

“The California Burger”  with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, avocado, monterey jack, and house sauce 

“The Cowboy Burger” with cheddar cheese, chili, onion strings, mushrooms, BBQ sauce! 

You can also choose from an impressive list of sauces, toppings, and cheeses to create your own masterpiece! 

On this particular occasion, I went with the sliders....They were perfect!

My friend went with the burger loaded with spinach dip, and she loved it!


To wash it all down, there are 18 different beers on tap, ten different bottled beers, and five different cans, not to mention an impressive menu of shakes, boozie or not! 

Another cool thing...if you're up for sharing beer, Mel's doesn’t offer pitchers but instead reusable 32 or 64 ounce growlers of beer. (very green!) 

Seating is nice and roomy and they have a great bar area up front! With Mel's just steps away from our apartment, we've been several times and I'm sure we'll go several more!

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Sausage Peppers & Onions


You’ll Need –

1 Package of Hot or Sweet Italian Sausage
1 Large White Onion
2 Large Peppers (green, yellow, red, etc)
Salt and Pepper
Crushed Red Pepper

Start by chopping the sausage into bite sized pieces and slice the peppers into thin strips (they’ll shrink down as they cook!)

Add the sausage and veggies to a baking dish and season with garlic, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Cover with foil and bake at 375 until the veggies are tender and the meat is cooked through!

Add to a hoagie roll with some American cheese for a delicious “Fenway Park like” meal J

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Ricotta Stuffed Veal Meatballs

You'll Need - 

1.5 lbs of Ground Veal 
1 Egg
Ricotta Cheese
1/4 Cup Grated Romano Cheese
Minced Garlic
Fresh Basil 
Crushed Red Pepper
Salt & Pepper

Mix up the veal with some minced garlic, egg, grated romano cheese, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

In a separate bowl mix the ricotta, salt, pepper, more minced garlic, and finely chopped fresh basil. 

The size of your meatballs will determine the size of your ricotta balls, I like to make giant meatballs, so I rolled my ricotta accordingly! As the ricotta warms this it will get harder to work into balls, so work fast! Place the balls on a parchment lined baking sheet and into the freezer for about 25 minutes (if they are really sloppy, just pop them in the freezer for about 10 mins, then reshape them and freeze for another 15!)

When the ricotta balls are frozen and ready to go, flatten some meat in the palm of your hand, place the ball of ricotta inside, then wrap it up around the cheese. 

Bake them in a 400 degree  until done (which will depend on the size you make your meatballs!) They'll give off quite a bit of moisture so you may want to drain the pan (don't forget to re-grease) about halfway though cooking! 

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

A delicious pizza crust made from cauliflower and cheese! 
Great if you're watching carbs or are gluten free! 

You'll Need- 

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower (instructions below!)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used weight watchers)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon crushed garlic
½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper
salt and pepper

To "rice" the cauliflower take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. (One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.)

If you have a food processor, add the florets into it and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over pulse or you will accidently puree it! (If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater or chop very finely with a large chopping knife). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. (no need to add water).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay parchment paper down on cookie sheet … the first time I tired this recipe, spraying the pan with oil wasn’t enough and my whole crust got really stuck to the pan :(

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and other seasonings. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9" round. 

(Use parchment paper - this ended up getting stuck!)

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes...flip and bake for another 5-10. I like my crust crispy so I left mine in a little longer even! Remove from oven and add your favorite pre cooked topping! Place back into the oven until toppings are warmed through and the cheese is melty! (approximately 5 minutes).

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McSorley's Old Ale House

McSorley's Old Ale House is known as the oldest continuously operating tavern in New York City. Located in the East Village (at 15 East 7th Street) McSorley's was one of the last "men only" pubs until 1970 when they were legally forced to change.  Whether you live here or are visiting I’d highly recommending checking out the 150 years of history at McSorley's!

McSorley's began as a blue collar saloon where the beer was sold for pennies and cheese and the crackers were on the house! These days it's not much different...they still only offer two choices,  dark beer or light beer and no matter what they'll always give you two when you order one! Even the cheese and crackers are still around and are sold for only $3.00/plate!  

(don’t let the simplicity of this fool you...
the super spicy mustard (which is to die for in my book) 
with the raw onion, savory cheese, and the salty crackers, make a perfect bar snack!!!)

The floors at McSorley's are covered in saw dust and you'll notice there are a few bar fixtures missing…there are no stools so you must fight for your piece of standing room and there has never been, and most likely never will be, a cash register! 

McSorley's is covered with history... In both the front room and the backroom (where the ale flowed during prohibition) the walls are covered with aged photos, artifacts, and newspaper clippings! Among the artifacts are as Houdini's handcuffs, wishbones hung by those going off to World War I, an original wanted poster for Abe Lincoln's assassin, and the farewell from Yankee stadium photo that Babe Ruth donated!

Many other notable people have visited McSorley's, including Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Peter Cooper, Boss Tweed, and Woody Guthrie. Literary figures like Brendan Behan, Paul Blackburn, LeRoi Jones, Gilbert Sorrentino, George Jean Nathan and even the 1994 Stanley Cup Champs, the New York Rangers who took the cup to McSorley's and drank out of it! 

McSorley's is defiantly a cool spot with a great story and I hope its around for the next 150 years!

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Bann has become one of the premiere Korean restaurants in New York City and actually isn’t even located in NYC’s famous Koreatown (Koreatown is located in midtown -- bordered by 31st and 36th Streets and Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenues). Bann is nearby…in midtown on west 50th street. Bann is known for it’s authentic yet upscale Korean BBQ, and is in complete contrast with the mom and pop Korean BBQ joints located in Koreatown! The decor is swanky and modern while each table is still fitted with a smokeless grill where you can cook your own fresh marinated meats and seafood to your liking.

We started out with with wings for an appetizer. They were spicy, sweet, sticky, and yummy!

spicy honey chili glazed crispy chicken wings with pickled sweet & sour daikon

We then moved on to ordering dinner...All of the barbeque dishes are freshly marinaded and delivered raw to the table! We went with the small platter which included veggies, short rib, rib eye, and shrimp.  

Small Platter
Kal Bi (short rib) , Bul Go Gi (rib eye) , Sae Woo (shrimp)

All BBQ dishes are also served with house romaine salad, rice, assorted 'namul' side dishes & lettuce wraps

 Assorted 'namul' side dishes & lettuce wraps

We had so much fun cooking our food and creating different combinations of lettuce wraps! I'm so excited to take my husband here! He'll love the little grill and being able to control the cooking so that he can enjoy his steak just the way he likes it...still mooing!! 

We also tried the chicken fried was good, but pretty standard! It did make a nice addition to the BBQ though so I'd recommend getting a noodle or rice dish in addition! 

wok fried rice with bean sprouts, egg & scallion

Lastly we shared a dessert...the Soju Banana Sabayon...

The dessert was soju & banana flavored custard over mixed berries and was served with sweet sesame wafers. I hated this dessert…to me it tasted just like melted banana NOW & LATER candies….yuck!

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