Let’s face it, 95 percent of the food I cover originates from Manhattan. All the big names, great restaurants, all the good stuff is known to foodies around the world, and I’m there to try it. I get to Brooklyn a lot, even to Queens, just like most of the NYC foodies, but the hidden gem is the Bronx. Subject to ongoing gentrification, the food is starting to pop. Is it starting though, or was it always great? I lived here for twenty years, and I have always loved the food here. The pizza is the best in New York in my opinion, Latin food is superbly authentic, don’t even get me started on the Jamaican food. Recent immigrants from Albania have brought us Burek, and I love that stuff. Have you heard of Arthur Avenue? City Island? There’s a myriad of great food here, and I sure will bring some into your lives via my blog.
A couple of months ago, my friend a fellow food blogger Em, aka The Hungry Dominican, who also hails from the Bronx, hosted a discussion panel with chefs and foodies from the Bronx in the Bronx’s very own Port Morris Distillery, and I felt so inspired and vindicated in my quest to highlight Bronx food. It reminded me once again why I love this borough so much with its glorious and illustrious history, and its unique diversity. The following restaurants were part of the discussion and the Foodie Down Bronx movement (which Em has already turned into a television show, hats off!).
For more info on Port Morris Distillery click here
In the Highbridge part of the Bronx (4 train, 170th St. stop), you find Suyo Gastrofustion. Chef Andy (Andres Sen Sang) has successfully brought Asian Peruvian fusion to the Bronx. It’s a colossal restaurant with 2 stories, and a bar that will have you gasping. The gigantic shelf is floor to ceiling, and I dare you to find a liquor or a cocktail that’s not available. It’s impressive. The food you ask? It’s comfort food at its finest, balancing asian and latin flavors in the most scrumptious manner. I took my twins there for their birthday, and we ended up ordering nine appetizers in order to get the most variety. Our choices were (are you ready?): Pork Belly Steamed Buns with cucumber and Dragon sauce, Steamed Shrimp Shumai Dumplings with a soy ginger dipping sauce, Berkshire Pork Belly with pickled watermelon, Thai Chicken Empanadas with coconut curry, Beef Picadillo Empanads with Aji Peruano, Beef Anticuchos with Queso Blanco sauce, Cuban Pork Potstickers with garlic soy sauce, Korean BBQ Beef Tacos with Mojo Rojo, and Glazed Chicken Wings with Kimchi. The balance between the two cuisines was masterful, we loved everything, which is not an easy task when you order that many dishes. Not only did we have a great birthday dinner, but also a brand new awesome experience.
For more info on Suyo click here
You probably can’t get any closer to Manhattan than this. Located practically under the Third Avenue Bridge, also known as the Willis Avenue Bridge (6 train to 3rd Ave), this spacious spot with a great outdoors area, serves just what it says: empanadas. Added to the menu by chef and owner Jason Alicea are Rice and Beans and some Chicharrones de Pollo (Puerto Rican fried chicken). Upon entry you find yourself in a very large space, headed by a food truck, where you will find your menu and place your order. Look up to your right, and you see the “Lab”, which is the kitchen, and where all the magic happens. Loud Hip Hop music lends to a fun atmosphere, and I couldn’t love this spot anymore, it’s so refreshingly different. My daughter Sasha and I had one of everything that day with some sodas (it’s BYOB), and we had a blast. The flavor of the empanadas changes frequently, and having tried nine of them so far, I haven’t come across a bad one yet! My favorite was “Nobody’s Chicken”, and do not skip the rice and beans (which tastes like your Puerto Rican mom made it), and the chicharrones, they’re amazing…
For more info on Empanology click here
You can’t leave the Bronx without trying some Central American food. Once you’re here, you might as well indulge. Not everyone has the cajones to dine in the South Bronx while it’s still reeling from its infamous history, but I promise you, it’s not as scary as they’ll have you believe. Personally I go wherever there’s good food, and that’s right on Prospect Avenue. (6 train to 149th St.). The restaurant itself is a sunny, spacious corner restaurant, the staff is authentic with thick accents, guacamole is prepared table side. The prices are low enough for you to order extra to take home for tomorrow, so bring a bag! I ordered plenty, ate plenty, and enjoyed my culinary journey through Central America immensely. Guacamole, Tamalito de Elote, Canoas de Plátano, Tacos, and (my favorite) Pechuga de Pollo a la Mexicana, which is sauteed chicken breast with jalapeños, melted cheese and tomatoes. You probably can’t get much more authentic than this, and it’s a Bronx must try!
For more info on Seis vecinos click here