However, once Alice met up with Marcus and me, we realized that just having pomme frites for dinner would not be the wisest idea (would we be fully enough?), so we decided to have a "light" dinner before. Alice suggested we try Mark, a few blocks from Pomme Frites -- she had heard great things about the famed sliders on its menu, so we figured it would be worth a shot!
The bacon sliders at Mark is testament to the common tenet that bacon does indeed make anything and everything better. It is a cardinal rule in all things gourmet and culinary -- no matter if you're a food snob or an average joe. Its savory, greasy, and crispy glory will always speak for itself. You'll see why shortly.
So beer and sliders it was. Each table has an assortment of homemade condiments -- jalapeño-honey sauce, barbecue sauce, chipotle ketchup, and dijon mustard.
Why Mark has bragging rights to serving the "Best Slider in NYC" is that the bacon contained in the slider is not simply on top of the miniature patty -- it is incorporated inside of it. Yea, you heard me -- a slider with bacon infused within its interior. Enough said, right? The menu already had me at "bacon," which I hadn't realized was just the icing on the proverbial cake. Each slider at Mark comes with cheese and onions unless otherwise noted to the waitstaff. I got my two bacon sliders with cheese only and sloshed on some sweet barbecue sauce on top.
The fatty goodness is the kind that you imagine clogging your arteries, but you could careless because it is just that amazing. Two of these really hit the spot -- definitely one of the best sliders I've ever had! Makes for a great spot to go to after a late night of dancing and partying -- its greasiness and overall awesomeness will cure any onset of hangover coming your way.
After sliders, we met up with a mutual friend of ours, Jenn, at Pomme Frites to use our Scoutmob deal on its very last day. I mean, c'mon! 100% off a regular order of pomme frites?! Who doesn't love free food? :D The only stipulation of this deal is that the only thing you'll need to pay for is the sauces (at $1 for each sauce or a combination of three for $2.50) in which to dip the pomme frites.
Look at that smorgasboard of sauces to choose from! It was very difficult to narrow it down, but eventually, we came to a final decision.
The pomme frites getting ready to be served and nommed!
The lineup of condiments a-plenty.
Between Marcus and myself, we had five distinctly different dipping sauces, which included, from top left going counter clockwise: mango chutney mayo (what the guy behind the counter said is the most popular one), wild mushroom mayo, Vientamese pineapple mayo, sweet chili, and peanut satay. Jenn ordered the mango chutney mayo as well, and Alice ordered the rosemary garlic mayo (not pictured above). I absolutely loved the mango chutney mayo (as did everyone else) -- it had a nice tanginess to it from the mayo counterbalanced by the creaminess of the mayo. My other favorite was the wild mushroom mayo, but does that really surprise you? Being the mushroom fiend that I am, it'd be crazy for me to not love it! Another favorite amongst everyone else was the Vietnamese pineapple mayo -- it had very Asian-inspired flavors, making it different from what you would normally expect from a typical condiment served with pomme frites or French fries. The sweet chili was a bit spicy for my liking, the peanut satay was just okay, and the rosemary garlic was pretty good overall.
Alice seemed to be filled with many a brilliant idea that night -- we each had Groupons for the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck deal (i.e., two cones for the price of one) that was to expire at the end of November that we hadn't had a chance to use up (I had bought two total, only using one when I reviewed it here). Big Gay Ice Cream had opened up an actual storefront to house its innovative confections, and apparently, the Truck was done for the Fall season. As such, I didn't realize the terms of the Groupon had changed for these very reasons -- the Groupon could be used at the "new" brick-and-mortar shop up until expiration date.
Here's the extensive menu over at Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, consisting of four different specialty cones, four different sundaes,and other assorted beverage/shake/create-your-own-sundae options.
Alongside Big Gay Ice Cream Shop's original offerings, the Shop also offers desserts and treats from other snack vendors including Melt Bakery, La Newyorkina, and Danny Macaroons, among others.
Inflatable unicorn -- love how it fits in with the whimsical design of the Shop's interior.
Another unicorn sighting, only this time it's a mural on the wall!
Marcus, Alice, and Jenn decided to get the Salty Pimp -- a combination of vanilla soft-serve with dulce de leche, sea salt, and chocolate dip. Marcus said it was just as he had remembered it from our visit this past summer. A solid but soft chocolate exterior with the creaminess of the soft-serve, sweetness of the dulce de leche, and saltiness of the sea salt at its center made for a pleasant flavor so bittersweet.
To try something other than the Salty Pimp that I had from the Truck, I decided to go with the specialty cone, American Globs, which had vanilla soft-serve with pretzels, sea salt, and chocolate dip. Very much like the Salty Pimp, American Globs features pretzels instead of dulce de leche, adding more crunch and saltiness to the overall specialty cone. It had all the delightfulness from a chocolate covered pretzel with the added creamy soft-serve to balance out the sweet and salty flavors.
Findings: All in all, I think we hit three great spots on our little nommin' adventure through the East Village. Mark had the most amazing bacon sliders that were the kind of greasy grub you hope for, especially on late nights; Pomme Frites had all of the sauces and condiments you could imagine (plus some more) for which you can dip your order of pomme frites; and Big Gay Ice Cream Shop had fun twists on classic soft-serve treats in a cone. We had a nice informal, three-course "dinner" pleasantly hitting all of the major tastes buds -- savory, salty, and sweet. We had a pretty complete, packed-in, and diversified meal -- all for under $15! Besides being easy on the wallet, these three places are definitely great places to go with a group of friends to catch up over some yummy comfort food -- sliders, fries, and ice cream are always okay in my book!
Looking forward to frequenting these spots again really soon!
Price point: $2.95 for each bacon slider; $4.50 for a regular-sized order of pomme frites (free through Scoutmob!), $1 for each pomme frite sauce, $2.50 for a combination of 3 sauces; American Globs regular-sized cone for $5, Salty Pimp regular-sized cone for $5 -- a total of $5 with Groupon!
--November 13, 2011
33 Saint Marks Place
New York, NY 10003
123 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Pomme Frites deal was available here*!
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
125 East 7th Street
New York, NY 10009
Big Gay Ice Cream Truck deal was available here*!
* This deal is no longer available, as the event/deal has passed.