“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”  Richard Saunders aka Benjamin Franklin


Mark (photo by MJ Byers)

Eatery:   Mark, 33 St. Mark’s Place, New York

I am super-reluctant to talk about my new secret slider joint, Mark.  For some inexplicable reason, people seem not to know about this place.  And that is, quite frankly, proof that the world has gone mad.  On the other hand, being able to turn up at a place of this caliber at what should be the height of the lunch rush and encounter virtually no other customers is so freakin’ awesome that I kind of don’t want to tell anybody.

But tell I will because, well, that’s why I’m here.  Like most of the world, I had never heard of Mark, a sliders-focused joint in the East Village.  My friend Scott told me that this was a must-try, so one day we made the trip.  Now, if you’re a regular visitor to these pages, you may know that I consider the sliders at Killarney Rose to be some of the best in NYC.  And, as luck would have it, I had eaten the KR sliders just a couple of days before this visit.  It was as close as I ever manage to get to a head-to-head comparison.

Double Regular Sliders at Mark (photo by MJ Byers)

Cutting to the chase, Mark wins this one on the basis of the textural experience (though I still prefer the beefier flavor profile of the Killarney Rose sliders).  The Mark sliders are really juicy, oozing with American cheese and brimming with grilled onions – they have figured out a way to get the cheese all super-melty without drying out the burger, a trick that eludes most restaurants.  The flavor isn’t super meaty but the beef was tender and very fresh – the fact that Mark grinds its own beef shows – and the burger had a lovely steamy quality to it, with a just the right touch of grease (in a good hamburgery way). On the first visit, I had the Double Regular; I like to order the most basic burger on my initial visit to an establishment.  I returned a few days later for Scott’s recommended Bacon Double (the bacon is mixed into the beef – awesome!), which had a subtle bacon flavor and was a bit saltier than the regular.  Perhaps a bit too subtle in fact, as I’m not convinced the incremental flavor was worth the few extra calories.  Maybe bacon needs to sit atop a burger for maximum flavor impact? It still kicked ass on most sliders in the city, though.   By the way:  you can’t beat the prices at this place.  A basic slider is $2.50 ($2.95 for bacon), and you will not leave hungry if you have two.

Double Bacon Sliders at Mark (photo by MJ Byers)


Chili Cheese Fries at Mark (photo by Tony Byers)

On final note: I also tried the Guinness Shake and the chili cheese fries.  Now, I’ve had Guinness Shakes before and never really got the point.  You could never really taste the Guinness and the whole thing just felt gimmicky. This shake actually does have a reason to exist – perfect thickness, kind of a tangy caramel taste, all deliciousness – and I think I may have gotten a tiny little buzz from it.  Definitely have one if you visit.  The chili cheese fries – not so much.

Guinness Shake at Mark (photo by MJ Byers)


Price:  Double Regular, $4.50; Double Bacon, $5.50; Guinness Shake, $7.00; Chili Cheese Fries, $6.00.


Destination Burger:  No question.


Fat/Calorie Worthy:  Yes.


Optional French Fry Rating:  Skippable – even Husband says so.  Not quite crispy enough on the outside and a bit too undercooked potato-y on the inside.


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