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Good News/Bad News MARK Burger

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Despite the insane amounts buzz garnered by the similarly themed Bill Bar & Burger, the two week-old MARK burger on St. Mark's managed to stir up quite a bit of talk amongst the blogs. As a result, burger lovers have been flocking to the East Village slider spot, with many citing the much discussed bacon burger and Guinness milkshake as huge successes. While there's a little concern about the service, the biggest issue here is the negative review from burger expert Nick Solares. Regardless, it remains to be seen if MARK can survive amongst the dozens of other food options on that block, not to mention burger heavyweight Paul's right around the corner:

The Amazing News: A Yelper loves everything about the place, from the Guinness milkshake to the dipping sauces: "This new burger place is a welcome addition to the East Village. A great place for a late night treat at very reasonable prices. Definitely try the Guinness milkshake - a scrumptious blend of vanilla milk shake and Guinness draft. The two types of sliders - with or without bacon (the bacon is grinded into the beef patty by the way, to clarify an earlier reviewer who could not detect it), are very juicy and smothered in cheese and onions. I'd recommend trying one of each, and getting a side of shoestring fries. Of the four dipping sauces, the Chipotle Ketchup and Jalapeno are the best, the Jalapeno is especially spicy and offers a great kick...its also interesting to mix some of the sauces together to create you own. I've already been twice since it opened, but I'd definitely pop in again especially after a long night on the town!" [Yelp]

The Bad News: Burger expert Nick Solares weighs in, telling his readers not to buy the hype: "...despite the adherence to the established method of preparation and the use of mostly traditional ingredients, the sliders at Mark are a big let down, and I suspect that the blame lies with the griddle...The result in my experience at Mark has been dried out beef, unevenly cooked onions, and tepid buns. Speaking of the onions, they are far too thick...The burgers were far too salty, except the bacon slider (the bacon is actually incorporated in the patty), which was not salty or "bacony" at all. Also, I think the beef blend is completely unnecessary—a slider really only needs fresh chuck to work..." [AHT]

The Great News: Always Hungry files an absolute rave: "With everyone obsessing over Bill’s Bar & Burger there is a sleeper that is going under the radar that may just be serving the best sliders in New York. The food on the restaurant’s concise ten-item menu, is simple and straightforward, and all the better for it. No hyperbole: these sliders are unreal. They’re juicy, cooked to a perfectly consistent medium, and have robust beefy flavor. What’s more, the restaurant offers a trio of homemade sauces: jalapeño-honey, chipotle ketchup, and barbecue—all of which pack a punch. The Bacon Sliders ($2.75) are MARK Burger’s real innovation. Considering the great value, cool vibe, and late night hours, MARK Burger should be packed with East Village locals and NYU kids looking for some post-revelry grub in no time." [AH]

The Pretty Good News: A MenuPages user draws the popular comparison to White Manna, finding the joint pretty great: "The burgers are reminiscent of White Manna & the quality of the sliders quite good. The fries are very good and the shakes are more than adequate. Four sauces: ketchup, BBQ, Jalepino & chipolte ketchup on the table in squeeze bottles. The beers at $4 are a steal, Hoegarden for $4 a bargain! The peacan pie is very good & served ala mode at $4 two - three people can share. The place is narrow, the place is cool. The bathroom is clean and the music's good too. Worth the trip for this focused, but narrow menu. If you have ever had White Manna, this will make you feel all warm inside." [MP]

The Mixed News: A couple of Martini Boys commenters get in on the early word buzz, reporting varying degrees of success: "Our visit to Mark was an amazing experience, both culinary and atmospheric. The staff are outstanding, the timing on bringing out the dishes is perfect and the overall meal is a great value & high quality," "The restaurant is clearly still working out the kinks. We were given the wrong item and then our waiter proceeded to tell us what we wanted wasn't on the menu when the people next to us had it. The food was good and the drinks were strong. The decor is very cute!" [MB]

The "She's Got Potential" News: Another Yelper has some issues across the board, but loves the bacon burger: "The biggest problem was the fries. I like that they're skin-on. I like that they're skinny and properly salted. I don't like that they were overly greasy, and not crispy enough. Close, but no cigar. The burgers are pretty good though. I had three, including one bacon one. A lot of burger blogs and the like have given their burgers low marks, but I enjoyed them. I love the bacon inside the bacon burger, instead of on top. And the onions and potato bun brought it home. Also worth noting, the vanilla shake was VANILLA. Lots of flavor, which is how I like my vanilla. Improve the fries, and get the service slightly more attentive, and we have a winner." [Yelp]
—Matt Duckor

Mark Burger

33 St. Marks Place, New York, NY

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