Seriously, who doesn't like cheese! Even the lactose-intolerant can handle a bit of its pre-digested glory. Come on, chew a Lactaid, dive in!

One of the sickest and finest cheese-related dishes I've had the privilege of tasting is the PortWine Cheddar Cheeseburger from Big Nick's, the cramped, encyclopedically-menu'd uber-diner on 75th and Broadway. It's awesome, in so many ways that other coffee shops are not, in that it transcends the rule that only certain food 'groups' - ie, burgers, salads - are actually good on a huge-menu'd coffee shop/diner menu. The burgers are good, the pizza is good, the hummus is good, the weird sandwiches, big salads, the potatos...I could go on. The place itself is a sticky deathtrap of sorts (look out for the open-flame burners jammed near the doors, where the delivery guys and the registers are), with aging B-list headshots on the walls. But it somehow never feels crowded, and they don't rush you out. I think it's always open.

Anyway, the port wine cheeseburger is a burger (decently sized, get it charcoally), with a thick layer of orange-winey cheese slathered on top. It kind of melts from the heat, in a sharp semisolid mass. It's impressive. My dining companion got it, and all I could handle was two bites before retreating back into my portobello-veggie-mozzarella-focaccia (a bread I usually hate, but here it's really baked pizza dough, and amazing) sandwich and egg cream. Why my dining companion (a quirky dude of the highest order) was sullying this glorious burger with ketchup, I'll never know.

Outstanding. I guess this is more a Big Nick's lovefest than an ode to dairy, but there you have it.

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