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Melba NYC: Meet People. Feast Together.

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Nearly a month ago, I received an unexpected invitation to a private launch party near Union Square, inside of a fancy, dimly lit, loft apartment decorated with wine bottles from other guests.  It was fitted with a narrow elevator directly opening into the apartment itself, along with an ostentatious piano, which left me to ponder how such an enormous instrument was intricately brought into this elegant apartment in the first place. If you haven’t noticed by now, I have a wandering mind.

This amazing occasion, which took place on President’s Day, was celebrating the Melba Launch Party in New York City. As luck would have it, I randomly replied to a tweet I saw in my timeline, which was reciprocated with an invitation to this exclusive event, from Alisha Miranda the head of community for Melba. Sadly, I didn’t get to formerly meet the former social media maven turned digital sales planner (The Week Magazine & Mental Floss Magazine), but she was far too busy greeting guests at the elevator door and taking care of curating duties. I didn’t want to be nuisance.

Still, Alisha stayed true to her self-proclaimed title as the “Ambassador of Awesomeness,” because she allowed me to bring the Broke-Ass NYC team with me. How awesome is that? Unfortunately, not everyone was able to make it out, but I did get to hang out with our Dollar Bin Darling and Couch-Change Spelunker, Sheilah Villari and May S.

So what is Melba?

It’s essentially heaven for food lovers. But more importantly, it’s a platform for “individuals to organize and discover food events like communal dinner parties, cookery classes and tastings.” It’s the best substitution to a simple evening of dining out. The goal is to bring people, mainly food lovers, together in an intimate social environment.

What can be better than sitting down with a few strangers and enjoying a meal together? You can talk about the wonderful food, if you’d like to break the ice, or you can discover a new home style cook/chef you’d like to support. That’s what makes Melba so exciting, the fact that an unknown talent in the kitchen can soon develop a following through these pop up dinners, largely laying down the foundation to a possible career and carving out a lane for many New Yorkers.

As Melba’s co-founder, Santiago Tenorio, would tell us before dinner was served, Melba had already had a successful launch in London. It seemed that now the city across the pond was finally ready Melba. According to Santiago, “Melba also gives cooks the chance to express their cultures.”

As the Broke-Ass crew sat at the “kids table,” we finally got to enjoy a European-style roasted pork, sauerkraut gravy, roasted potatoes and vegetables, prepared by Marilyn Donahue-Schiller. (I just suddenly got hungry just thinking about that plate.) We also had the privilege to toss down some suds from Brooklyn-based New Clarendon Brewing Company.

When I left my tummy was happy, and if my tummy is happy, then I’m happy. It was a cozy event, with drinks, tasty food and soothing music. In fact, if I remember correctly, I think we were serenaded to some Metallica and Pink Floyd by the piano man.


If you’re looking to attend one of the dinner parties set up on Melba, please visit their website at You can also follow them on Twitter at @Melba, Tumblr, and Facebook.

I’d also like to thank Alisha for the invite. (Thanks, Alisha!) You can follow her on Twitter at @makeshiftalisha, Tumblr, and stay up-to-date with her on her Flavors page.

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Enrique Grijalva - Mr. Minimum Wage

Enrique Grijalva - Mr. Minimum Wage

My father came, my mother saw...and I conquered. I encourage children to do drugs, I buy alcohol for teenagers, and I drink beer with the homeless. In my spare time, I attend art galleries for the FREE booze while rubbing elbows with modish elephants. I also hammer six-inch nails into small penises. Stuart knighted me as Broke-Ass King of New York. You've been warned.