Food and the City | a millennials guide to food, fashion, and life.

July 31, 2015

Why It's OKAY To Not Have Your Shit Together Yet

We've all heard the phrase "not all those who wander are lost" before. It's a snippet from a poem by J. R. R. Tolkien entilted All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter, which is one of my favorite poems of all time. It's basically saying: not everything is the way it appears, and that just rings so true in my heart.

Take social media for instance. We're constantly scrolling, liking, tweeting, editing, tagging, and uploading little portions of our lives that we want the world to see. What we want the world to think our lives are always like. We always have fresh flowers in a vase sitting on the windowsill, and we always have our hair perfectly done wearing the most put together outfit. Our lives are always perfect, right?

Wrong. Our lives on social media are what we want others to perceive our lives are like, and that's a two-way street. We're looking at other peoples feeds, thinking "Wow, I wish I can do those things. Why haven't I done those things? Why haven't I traveled? Or gotten that promotion? Or figured out how to correctly layer my clothing without looking like I jumped out of the hamper?" We have this idea in our heads that by the age of twenty-something, we're supposed to have everything figured out. We're supposed to have the best job, or the best friends, or the best retirement plan.

The truth is, we're living in a different generation. As a fellow twenty-something (ahem, 24), we were thrown into a time of recession. A time where jobs weren't as easy to come by as they used to be. A time where debt was at it's highest and technology was changing. 

If you look back, some of the most admired entrepreneurs of our time didn't get their feet wet with what they later ended up doing until much later in their lives. They were figuring this shit out just like we are now. They went through obstacles, and turmoil, and breakups, and failures, and seamless orders taking forever to arrive, also. Okay, maybe not that last one - but you know what I mean.

We need to start thinking in a way that says "Hey, I got this. I'm going to be alright." instead of thinking "I'm in my early twenties and still have no idea how a 401k works." We have time to figure this all out and we're not in a rush to get anywhere. You'll arrive when you arrive and you won't arrive any sooner. Take each day as it comes, and work your butt off to get where you need to be. Then, and only then, will you realize you're going to be just fine. It's okay to be a little lost in this little world, and maybe that's why I chose the photo that I did for this post. It was a candid shot a friend of mine took, and her exact words were "Mel, you look kind of lost." I don't know why, but I liked that a lot. Maybe I was thinking of something, or someone, or a place, or a distant memory. But what I do know is that she was wrong in her assessment. Not all those who wander are lost, and not everything is how it appears on the surface, remember?

I want to leave you off with this little chart that I found on the interweb, which essentially inspired me to write this post. It's an outline of some really awesome folks who didn't get their shot at destiny until later in life. I think it's a great reminder that Shits. Going. To be. OKAY.

That being said, Happy Friday.

(no but really how do you work a 401k)

July 30, 2015

Cutie on Campus: 8 Must-Have Style Items

Check out Cutie on Campus: 8 Must-Have Style Items
by Mel Rose at Mode

LOL. It's almost back-to-school time. I celebrate everyday that I'm past that stage in my life, but seeing as I have a whole bunch of you book beauties still skipping around campus, I figured I would put together a little must-have style list for you.

Keep in mind these are just essentials. Like your essential bootie, your essential sassy sweater, and your essential emoji phone case. Because yes, emoji phone cases are essential.

Shop the list:

July 29, 2015

Serving Summer on the Rocks

Sponsored by Wild Turkey American Honey via Mode Media. 
It should go without saying that New York City in the summer is like nowhere else on this planet. Ok - maybe not the planet - but this little city is definitely special this time of year. Being an island, there are so many waterfront restaurants, bars, activities, and now - free concerts.

I was invited to come hang out with Wild Turkey American Honey at their VIP lounge that they had set up at the Hudson RiverRocks stage over at Pier 84. They were serving up delicious cocktails, featuring their standout whiskey, in adorable mason jars which made it all the more fun. 

If I had to draw up what a quintessential summer night in NYC would be, that most certainly would be it. Cocktails and music on the water? What else can you ask for? The weather was perfect, the musicians were dope, and the whiskey.. well.. do I really need to even say it?

There's one more free concert in the series on August 6th, so if you're in the city, be sure to stop by and jam out to some good vibes.

American Honey is the original honey bourbon, made with real honey and real bourbon. Serve up your Summer with American Honey! Follow American Honey on Facebook.

July 28, 2015

7 NYC Rooftops To Hit Up Before Summer Is Over

Summer might be half-way over, but that doesn't mean the rooftop partying has to stop. In my personal opinion - drinking outside is always better than drinking inside. To this, I have no idea why my brain thinks that, but, you can't deny that sipping on a cocktail while simultaneously staring at buildings that people fly across the world to visit isn't lovely.

Seeing as we have about a month and a half left of summery weather, here are 7 NYC rooftops you must hit up before the cold fronts move in.

Check out 7 NYC Rooftops To Hit Up Before Summer Is Over
by Mel Rose at Mode

July 23, 2015


Tomorrow is National Tequila Day, my friends. I like to think of this day as my own, personal Christmas. If you're unaware (which, like, how could you be), I'm a bit of a margarita snob. Spicy, sweet, fruity, straight up. Give me all of the margaritas in NYC. Actually, the world.

Here are 5 of my favorite places to get margarita shwasted around the city:

BOQUERIA: I''ve mentioned plenty of times before that Boqueria is one of my favorite restaurants in all of NYC. Their tapas is some of the best I've tried, and their margaritas are definitely some of the best I've tried. I may even go as far to say it's the best spicy margarita I've ever had, and I've had a lot. 

HARLEM PUBLIC: Harlem Public is a quaint little pub up on 149th street in Harlem. I found this gem a few months ago when a girlfriend of mine moved to the area. It was a Tuesday night and it was packed. Needless to say I soon figured out why. Not only is their guac on fleek, their french margarita had me feeling all sorts of ways. (but that was prob just the tequila)

BARRIO CHINO: Oh, Barrio Chino. Perhaps one of the hardest places to get a seat. No reservations, and it's always packed. Score a seat at the picnic-style table and dine amongst other patrons who weren't lucky enough to score a table. All of that aside, their margaritas are BOMB DOT COM. For real. Every single one of them. I've tried a bunch of different varieties in my few visits to BC, and they never disappoint. I suggest you get tequila drunk here soon.

ANEJO: If you like spicy margaritas, and I mean spicy margaritas, you have to try to JalapeƱo marg from Anejo. Located in Hell's Kitchen, this bar who is just as known for their tequila as they are for their tacos, houses one of the spiciest margaritas that I've ever tried. And I'm okay with that.

EL CAMION: While debating where you can get some of the best margaritas in NYC, El Camion was brought into the mix. I can go on and on and on about the food here, because it's legit, but their margaritas are the real star here. The first one I ordered straight from the menu was the hibiscus margarita. While it was delicious, the real trick here is to just order a spicy margarita. Not on the menu, and nothing too detailed. Whatever they use to create such a beautiful cocktail - I'm not sure. But the discreet spicy version blew the hibiscus margarita out of the water.

How are you going to celebrate National Tequila Day? Tweet me! @officialmel #meleatsnyc

July 15, 2015

#MELEATSNYC: June/July 15'

Remember that time I was super responsible and updated my blog religiously and totally didn't abandon you guys without any explanation at all? I think I'm having one of those epiphanies where the person wakes up and realizes, "Oh right, that blog thing was fun. I should probably continue to do it." Except most epiphanies have zero to do with writing a blog and more so to do with real life, grown up things, like mortgages and school districts and stuff.

This isn't that type of blog. This blog is about a girl who can't even remember to water the basil plant that she didn't even harvest this year that she so desperately wanted to do but didn't because lol and then she writes run on sentences that make no sense but hopes people understand where she's getting at in between all the ramble. I'm glad you haven't hit the exit button yet.

But, ah. #MELEATSNYC. An instagram series I started in the beginning of the year and then stopped after a few months. Why? I have no clue why. I moved and then I forgot. Chronicles of Mel. 

Here are some things I really enjoyed shoving in my face over the past month and a half:

Maya (UES): Maya is a cute little Mexican restaurant on the Upper East Side that I have visited a few times, and few times for one reason only: BRUNCH. This place is the mecca of all meccas of brunch spots in NYC, and I cannot stress that enough. What's really in it for you is the value, at $43 a head, you get ALL YOU CAN ORDER FOOD AND DRINKS. Most places offer bottomless mimosas, but Maya takes it up a notch and not only offers you bottomless margaritas on top of the bottomless mimosas, but also bottomless tapas items from their very extensive menu. Now, it should be noted that on any given brunch date you probably wouldn't even eat that much food, but the fact that you can is it what holds the anchor far down in my heart for Maya. (p.s the photo at the beginning of this post is also from Maya, in which I was already elbows deep in margs and quinoa salads.)

Loreley (LES): Okay, so, Loreley is more of a beer garden then it is anything else, but it's one of those beer gardens that actually has really good German food. I've been to this location a couple of times, and their outdoor garden remains a decent spot to chill and chug a brew in the absurd NYC heat. The pretzels, which are obviously shown above, are not to be skipped as they are perfectly doughy on the inside and crisp on the outside. That's the actual formula to a good pretzel, incase you didn't know. (I have no idea what I'm talking about.)

Quality Italian (MIDTOWN): My God, if only I had a better picture of this masterpiece. But as the title goes, this is instaeats, so all photos are taken with el iPhone before diving face first into the food we're admiring. This. THIS YOU GUYS. Part of me has zero words that I can put into a sentence that makes sense while talking about this chicken parmigiana at Quality Italian. Also, I would bet half of my lifesavings that you originally thought that that is a photo of a pizza. Wrong. It's their chicken parmigiana for two. Sliced and served like a medium-sized pizza would be from any pizza joint across the city. It's beautiful. It's wonderful. It's like something you've never tried before. Please go there immediately.

El Luchador (FiDi): We need to talk about tacos for a minute, and how I never used to like them until recently. I know, I know, wtf Mel? How have I gone my whole life, not to mention in a city with some of the best tacos available, without liking these tortilla angels? I have no idea, honestly. But, I'm happy to report that I am now a taco loving machine, and these, well these chicken tacos from El Luchador have now set the bar so high for other places, it ain't even funny. El Luchador is situated in a teeny little shop that's on a corner tucked away in the Financial District. I believe they're fairly new, albeit not a secret in the slightest. They're quickly becoming a favorite downtown spot, and by right.

Check out some past #meleatsnyc here & here.