Saturday, September 25, 2010

Monica DiNatale at Mel’s Burger Bar


Mel’s Burger Bar at 110th and Broadway in New York City is no ordinary burger joint. With the fun combinations of Sandwich and Burgers, plain lettuce and tomato would just be too boring here, although you can have your burger anyway you want it! I preferred the Broadway Burger with melted swiss, onions, thick Neuske’s bacon and jalapenos on sliced, toasted sourdough. If you like a little spice with your food, you’re going to love it!  The Chili was delicious and the Atomic Fries, were fun and unique.  Seriously, topped with a Buffalo-like sauce over real cut potatoes, these were excellent fries!  Thirsty???  There are always 18 draft beers and the tap lined back bar make trying each one very tempting!  Which is why this is a perfect time to stop by. . . Mel’s is participating in the New York Craft Beer Week by offering a fixed price $40 beer and food pairing.  This offer can’t be beat and is a fun way to enjoy good food and great craft beer specialties in one visit!  Like what you drink??  Mel’s sells each beer by the ‘growler’ to take home and enjoy later!  But, I must be honest, and, true to form, my favorite part of the menu is the “spiked” milkshakes. Excellent frozen concoctions like the “Beer & Cookies” shake made with Stout ice cream was so unique I wanted to taste all 12 flavors immediately, and I will, all in due time.  The “Shot of Joe” with mocha chip ice cream and Kahlua and Bailey’s is a chocolate lover’s dream. Mel’s uses Max & Mina’s homemade ice cream from Queens to develop the special flavors.  The in-crowd, families, burger and beer fanatics, and Columbia students all have something to love at this cool and busy Upper West Side newcomer. For more information go to

posted by funfoodwithmonica at 11:08 am  

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Doughnuts To Die for!

doughnut_plant.jpgTruth be told, I love dessert. Usually I can pass on doughnuts in favor of cupcakes, ice cream or cookies. Odd but true. Well, I have met my “doughnut” match! I visited Doughnut Plant at 379 Grand Street and was blown away. I sampled 6…I told you I love dessert. Mark Isreal’s creative creations definitely left me wanting more. Flavors do change with the seasons but my favorites were the carrot cake doughnut, filled with cream cheese frosting and the peanut butter glazed complete with raspberry jam. The creme brulee bursting with rich custard and topped with toasted sugar took my breath away. All the doughnuts are made on site fresh every day. It’s a tiny place so plan on grabbing a seat outside to sample your goodies…mine didn’t make it home.

posted by funfoodwithmonica at 12:24 pm  

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My “Peanutty” Celebrity Chef Interviews

monica_dinatale_peanut.jpgFew things give me more joy than eating peanut butter. I was happy to host an event for The National Peanut Board and interview celebrity chefs about all things “peanutty”. It was fun to get tips from the best!

Davi restaurant co-owner Suvir Saran has truely taken Indian food to the next level. His combinations of sweet and spicy and homemade curries will leave you wanting more! Be sure to have a drink at the bar to sample the nuts. These aren’t ordinary nuts! Devi is lovated at 8 E 18th Street in New York City.

If Thai food is what you crave in Sacramento, try Lemon Grass restaurant at 601 Monroe Street. I am a summer roll addict. I admit it.  Mai Pham’s fresh take on these rolls made my mouth water. The key…fresh herbs. Yummmm. 

Enjoy the video…

posted by funfoodwithmonica at 2:18 pm  

Thursday, October 30, 2008

New York Halloween Parade



It’s almost here! The official Halloween parade in New York City. It doesn’t get any better. Anyone can join in on the fun. Get involved this year. Here is the info….

Friday, October 31, 2008   Starting at 7 p.m.

All Those in Costume are Welcome to Join Hundreds of Puppets, 53 Bands of Different Types of Music, Dancers and Artists, and Thousands of other New Yorkers in Costumes of their Own Creation in the Nation’s Most Wildly Creative Public Participatory Event in the Greatest City in the World !

Line-Up !

For all those in costume is on 6th Avenue South of Spring Street and North of Canal between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Alert ! ONLY enter the line-up on 6th Ave. from the East and South between Canal and Spring !

Watch !

      Live: On 6th Avenue from Spring Street to 21st Street from 7 - 10 p.m.
      TV: NY 1 Television from 8 - 9:30 p.m.

Support Them !

posted by funfoodwithmonica at 2:12 pm  

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pumpkin Beer Has Arrived


Often released as a fall seasonal, Pumpkin Ales are quite varied. Some brewers opt to add hand-cut pumpkins and drop them in the mash, while others use puree or pumpkin flavoring. These beers also tend to be spiced with pumpkin pie spices, like: ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and all spice. Pumpkin Ales are typically mild, with little to no bitterness, a malty backbone, with some spice often taking the lead. Whatever the variety, these beers are worth checking out. It’s like pumpkin pie in a glass! Some are sweeter than others so be sure to ask the bartender for a sample before purchasing.

Heartland Brewery is one of my favorite places for fun seasonal beers. There are 3 locations in New York City; 127 West 43rd Street, 35 Union Square and 350 5th Avenue.

posted by funfoodwithmonica at 8:06 am  

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Restaurant Week

monica_eat.jpgIt’s here…the Summer Restaurant Weeks dates and restaurants! It’s the perfect way to sample some pricey restaurants at a reasonable price. Make reservations NOW so you don’t miss out. Enjoy discounted meals on July 21-25 and July 28-August 1.

Three-Course Prix-Fixe Dining. Lunch $24.07 | Dinner $35.00 Beverages, gratuities and taxes are not included.

Visit the web address below for all the yummy details!  Aquavit, Beacon, Cafe des Artistes, Gramercy Tavern and Gotham Bar and Grill are some places you should consider. Normally you could easily spend double. I’ll see you there.

posted by funfoodwithmonica at 6:17 am  

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Shake Shack is worth the wait!

monica_small.jpgNothing says nice weather like eating outdoors in the Big Apple. If you’ve walked by Madison Square Park, you’ve probably noticed a huge line of people at all hours of the day.  Well, it doesn’t get more fun than The Shake Shack at Madison Avenue and 23rd Street. The burgers are so tender, the meat melts in your mouth. I don’t think I’ve ever had a burger so tender. You MUST try a “Concrete”…delicious blends of ice cream and your choice of mix-ins. They are a meal by themselves. My favorite is the Concrete Jungle with bananas, peanut butter and fudge. It’s worth the wait!!! Enjoy!Smile

posted by funfoodwithmonica at 1:59 pm  

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Restaurant Recommendations in New York


There are many many places to eat in the city but here are some places  to check out that won’t break the bank…

Patsy’s Pizza. 61 West 74th. I love pizza!!! This is my favorite…and I’ve had them all.

Grimaldi’s. 19 Old Fulton St. Brooklyn. A fun destination in Brooklyn. You can walk the Brooklyn Bridge to get your pizza and your exercise. There is always a line outside but it is worth it! It’s the coal oven that makes it special. The best on this side of the bridge.

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Right across the Brooklyn Bridge. I stop there on my way back once I’ve had my pizza. You have to pass it anyway! Save some room.

Coppola’s. 206 W 79th. A nice reasonable italian place. Great pastas and pizza.

Gradisca. 126 W 13th. Pricy but worth it. All pastas are homemade. $20-$30 pastas. I love the gnocchi in a truffle cream sauce. The menu changes often so you never know what you might find.

Harry’s Burrito. 241 Columbus Ave. (67th) Great outdoor seating and killer margaritas. There is usually a wait but worth it. One of the large drinks is all you need! I like to build my own quesadilla.

Fred’s & High Life. 83rd & Amsterdam. They are across the street from each other. Great American food. High Life also has good sushi. There are tons of bars on Amsterdam so it’s a nice place to stroll.

The Half King. 505 West 23rd. The best and biggest burgers. I love the sweet potato fries too. Go hungry! In the back there is garden seating. It gets a good bar crowd also.

Zen Palate. There are a few in the city. The most popular vegetarian place.

Thai Basil. 860 9th Ave. A tiny place with authentic Thai food. The staff is always pleasant. Reminds me of my time in Thailand.

Serendipity. 225 East 60th. An ice cream lovers dream. You must get the frozen peanut butter hot chocolate. Trust me. They do serve food but I go for dessert.

The great thing about New York is that you can stumble onto a great restaurant at any time. All of these neighborhoods are worth exploring. Happy Eating!!

posted by funfoodwithmonica at 3:29 pm  

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