'Bronx Eats' on Serious Eats
I've been fascinated by the look of Delmy Deli & Juice Bar for months, its outdated and unkempt diner appearance a paragon of commercial 149th Street. The Dominican food served there isn't a destination by any means, but you can get a decent breakfast of plantains, salami, eggs, and fried cheese—all for six bucks.
Situated near the Bronx Zoo, Actalan is a decent spot for tacos, a great place for horchata, and a worthy sit-down option to fuel you up for a long day of gawking at giraffes and otters.
For blocks in either direction on Westchester Avenue, you're more likely to find ancient but unpromising Greek diners, beat up bodegas, and fast food franchises than anything interesting. S&R Grocery and Deli offers one solution to the dilemma of where to eat if you're in the neighborhood and on the run, in the form of Trinidadian steam table fare.
This new bodega doesn't have great food by and large, but there's one exception: crisp, tightly packed gorditas, with a great porky payload.
Estrellita Produce, located just a few blocks from the 5/2 train stop at East 149th Street, serves the first mamela that I've encountered in New York. The corn cake is like thicker tortilla, slapped on the comal and brushed with asiento (rendered pork lard.)
Jackie's Caribbean Bakery is known chiefly for one thing: their coco bread. You'll find it in an unimpressive strip mall on the fringes of the Bronx, the kind of place that reeks of suburban stagnation. But it's the best coco bread I've had, fluffier and fresher than I knew the stuff could be.
Flatbush might be the destination du jour for Jamaican food in New York, but Bronxites know that there's a tasty patty or two to be had in Edenwald and Wakefield. One of the more celebrated takeout spots is Royal Carribbean Bakery, where you can get jerk chicken, brown pork, and other Jamaican standards for typically low prices. But it's the patties that people come for, and come they do.
Birria—Mexican goat stew—is a rare treat in New York City, a blip on our culinary radar worth hunting down. So when we spotted the dish ($10, weekends only) on the menu at Real Azteca, whose heaping enchiladas michoacanas we featured on Bronx Eats two weeks ago, we knew we would have to investigate. It is, after all, what we believe to be the only regularly available bowl available in the borough.
Two streetside vendors in the Bronx are selling the rare Carribbean drink called mavi, a soft drink made from the boiled bark of the mauby tree with gentle fizz and sweet, spicy, and fermented flavors.
Real Azteca's menu has its share of duds, but the enormous plate of enchiladas is well worth a visit.
Reading through last week's New York Diet by Ivan Orkin, I was surprised when I came across his casual mention of "a Vietnamese restaurant on Jerome Avenue." Not because of the location, but because my meals at the restaurant, recognizable as Com Tam Ninh Kieu, have been unanimously unimpressive. Still, his positive reference made me wonder, have I been I missing something? I returned to the restaurant to find out.
Santa Cruz bakes its pan dulce throughout the day. It does fresher, tastier versions of the Mexican pastries than pretty much anywhere in the borough, and it does so for a dollar a pop.
We're experiencing some of the best weather of the year right now, and what's the mean? Picnic season. What better way to spruce your's up at the nearby Bronx Park then a spread of meats from Calabria?
For a burekaphile like myself, the appearance of a new burek is an event that demands attention. So when reader Rob Starobin chimed in with news of a new burek in the far western reaches of Kingsbridge Heights, I knew I needed to check it out.
Like all right-minded people, we here at Serious Eats love a good pupusa. Griddled corncakes, thick like a pancake, stuffed with a savory, waistline-be-damned filling—what's there to complain about? You'll find New York's most revered pupusas down at the Red Hook Ball Fields and plenty of good ones out in Queens, but the Bronx is no slouch either.
Cheap eats don't exist inside Yankee Stadium, where you're liable to spend $5 on a Nathan's hot dog and $15 on a prime rib sandwich. Eating outside the Stadium offers a much less costly and international alternative—only two bucks for a snack at Concourse Jamaican Bakery.
Nano is unexpectedly one of the South Bronx's best restaurants, a place that will change your mind—assuming you didn't grow up in San Domingo—about what Dominican food can be.
Papaye's okra soup is not a soup featuring okra; it's okra as soup. It has a light and humming heat, one that will make your lips tingle, and a slightly earthy and funky flavor that is so characteristic of Ghanaian cuisine.
Saigon Market won't change your mind about Vietnamese cuisine, but it's doing some of the finest Southeast Asian cooking in the Bronx.