A Cut Above: The Best Steak in NYC

A well-known and successful steakhouse is about to attempt its east coast debut in the biggest city in the east, New York. Mastro’s, a chain that started in Scottsdale, Arizona has enjoyed success in sunny California and is ready to expand to hungry parts of the country. With their sites set on one of the most competitive markets in the world, Mastro’s will have to compete with a number of other institutions. Steak staples like Morton’s, Del Friscos, Bobby Van’s, and Shula’s make up a fraction of the Michelin-rated competitioAri kellenn waiting for Mastro’s in NYC.

With unique interiors that differ from city to city, you can expect a new experience in each Mastro’s. New York’s decadent restaurant is filled with dark wood furniture and low lighting. Echoing the image of a 50’s New York City steakhouse, the calm and dark demeanor sets this location apart; proving Mastro’s understands how to feed the Big Apple. With a stylistic flair to set itself above the competition, how does Mastro’s meat measure up to the test? Are they serious business, or more sizzle than steak?

Each strip of beautifully cut steak comes from naturally raised, grass fed cows. Though this place is sure to cost a pretty penny, each bite is well worth the hit to your wallet and waistline. Starting at just over $50 and ending around $150, these steaks are for those who know what they want. Additionally, to keep your gorgeous steak company on the plate are sides cooked to perfection. Whether you prefer mashed potatoes with just the right amount of garlic or steamed vegetables, Mastro’s has you covered. For steak connoisseurs looking to taste some of the best in New York City, look no further than the charming Mastro’s for your next meal.

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A Godzilla-sized Gator

As the old phrase goes, everything’s bigger in Texas. However, local residents thought this pleasant moniker belonged to the local food and flair, not massive creatures. When a gargantuan gator was found weighing nearly 1,000 pounds was found by the local Gator Squad, Christy Kroboth sprung into action against a monster some would rather run from. But what went into wrangling such a monster? How do you put something into a cage that’s bigger than the truck you drove to the site?

13-feet of scales and teeth, the locally dubbed “Godzilla” was a sight when Christy arrived on scene. Responding to a call for a gator half his size, the routine procedure for catching a normal alligator quickly proved useless. The 50-year-old beast looked like something out of a dinosaur film. Missing piece of its tail and coated in the scars, Christy looked more like a knight preparing to fight a dragon.

An accomplished wrangler, Christy says that many doubt her ability to capture such prehistoric-looking prey, but she never fails to impress with her ingenuity in a pinch. Her partially blind quarry was no match for her years of experience, and with a roll of duct tape, a forklift rented from Home Depot, and more than a little persistence, Christy was able to lift the massive monster into the waiting bed of her truck.

Ari KellenNow a happy resident of a local alligator shelter, Christy is confident that Godzilla will live out the rest of his long life in comfort, far away from any he may frighten. One of the few female alligator handlers in Texas, Christy is proud of her laundry-list of accomplishments at only 30. With more than 40 calls a week from people in need of rescue from their own monsters, Christy’s work is far from finished in the state of Texas.


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Travel Smart

In light of the recent and horrible events in Paris, many are reconsidering traveling outside the borders of their home country. In a world where borders are becoming more like dividing lines than simple lines of demarcation, do we choose to venture beyond or stay within the relative safety of the familiar? Below are some ways to combat the ever-growing sense of unease that comes with travel, and remember that the world was meant to be seen, not feared.

Be Aware: You’d be surprised how many people arrive at unfavorable conclusions because they didn’t take the time to research where they were going. It’s not enough to purchase a ticket and pack a bag. A smart traveler does research on where they are visiting if there are any dangerous elements, and how to avoid them. This applies anywhere you can travel, from Colorado to Columbia, so keep a level head and do your homework.

Be Understanding: Though it’s pertinent to be aware in this day and age, the same can be said for being understanding. Assuming that everyone around you is a potential threat will only ruin your vacation and weigh heavily on your mind when you should be relaxing. You may not have control over what goes on around you, but you can certainly manage your reactions.

Ari KellenBe Realistic: While the attacks in Paris were awful, it’s important to be realistic when traveling. Statistics show that, at least in the United States, you are more prone to catch a stray bullet from an act of gun violence than be involved in an act of terrorism. Now, I’ve listed this as the third thing to remember because the above two are vastly more important. Statistics cannot replace alertness and will not substitute understanding, but they can offer some sense of truth in a time of concern.


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The Hidden Bars of NYC

Everyone enjoys a good meal and something to drink. In the capital of what some would consider the greatest food city in the United States, you have more choice in the Big Apple than most. But what if you wanted something a little different from your average restaurant? What if you were looking for a piece of adventure with your meal? Below are some of the best places to get a drink that are hidden from the public eye. So the next time you’re in New York, look up one of these locations and you’ll surely enjoy yourself.

Lantern’s Keep: Dating back to the turn of the century, the Lantern’s Keep is the place to be for those looking to dive into times past. Tucked in the heart of the Iroquois hotel, this quaint cocktail bar is known to only the initiated. A small lantern on the facade of the building is all that marks its, and when the lantern is burning the bar is open. With over 40 unique cocktails designed for the discerning businessmen or businesswoman, anyone looking for a calm night on the town should surely follow the lantern.

No Name Bar: In keeping with its namesake, the No Name Bar is well-hidden behind a wall of burnt-wood. Nothing, not a sign nor a signal, denotes the location of this mysterious bar. If you’re looking for a drink, first you must find the door knocker in the shape of a dragon, and push. Inside you’ll be greeted by a thin, almost traincar like appearance. Small benches and tables line the walls of one of the few bars left in NYC to remain open until 4 am.

Sakagura: In the basement of a seemingly ordinary Midtown office building, Sakagura is waiting for you to come find it. Stepping into this bar willAri Kellen feel like going back into a Japanese village. The main body of the bar is meant to feel like you are sitting outside in an ancient Japanese village. Traditional food and drinks echoing the taste of the Edo period are available for any weary traveler looking to hang up their sword and relax.


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