When kids enter the picture, your food bucket list has to change. There is no Eleven Madison Park, no waiting on line for fancy-pants brunch. Nose-to-tail is out and farm-to-table is pushing it. Hell, sometimes there is no table. Which is where City Island's seafood shacks come in.
'The Bronx' on Serious Eats
The best way to do Arthur Avenue in the Bronx is to stick to the markets, and from sausage to cheese to pasta to olive oil, we have recommendations for your whole Italian shopping list.
Let it be our secret: the best sandwich on Arthur Avenue can't be found in any deli. It's one you make yourself with great ingredients from all over the neighborhood.
Patina, the restaurant's eponymous chef and owner, was born and raised in Nigeria, land of pepper soup, egusi, and suya kebabs. Here in the Bronx she cooks the food of her people, the Yaroba, and it's a great boon for us.
You could stick to Yankee Stadium's improved but pricey concessions, or you could be bolder, save a few (read: a lot) of bucks, and venture out into the surrounding neighborhood. The Bronx is a wonderful place to eat if you know where to look, and we have you covered.
With Los Janquis back in action, you may be looking for the best things to eat near Yankee stadium. Don't worry: we have you covered. But for right now let's talk about one more good morsel.
Calandra's Cheese, the stoic Italian cheese shop, is an Arthur Avenue O.G., one of a few holdouts of a once solely Italian neighborhood that's diversifying every day. It's especially vital for its owner's insistence on quality; unlike other Arthur Avenue bakeries and restaurants, it doesn't rest on its ancestral laurels. The must-buy? Burrino, aged mozzarella stuffed with butter.
You have plenty of options for pizza on Arthur Avenue, but the eggplant-topped square slice at Cafe al Mercato may be the best.
Patina's brighter, fresher West African food sets it apart from others in the Bronx.
The Good Dine is the Bronx's best Jamaican restaurant, and there's one clear must-order: this oxtail.
Good news! There are more tacos arabes in the Bronx than we thought.
While it's not the Bronx's best Mexican restaurant, Taqueria Tlaxcalli is up there. And there most destination-worthy item is a fat cake of masa stuffed with cheese and nubs of fried pork.
Lina Chavez, the owner of bodega-turned-restaurant Carnitas El Atoradero, is no stranger to hard work. Part of that work is exposing New Yorkers to the real flavors of the Mexican kitchen.
After ten-plus visits to this Dominican cafe I've learned two things. Get the rice dishes and get the stew, especially the pork ribs.
In the Bronx, chicharrones abound, found in any number of Dominican and Puerto Rican diners, at more ambitious bodegas, and in a number of taquerias and pupuserias. But coming across a great Dominican-style chicharron, which calls for the whole belly to be fried for something that is at once crunchy and moist? Well, it's not the easiest thing to do.
There is an exemplary fried rice called chaulafan to be found in Mott Haven at the Ecuadorian restaurant Luchos Barrios, but to my taste the best fried rice in the Bronx is farther north. It is at Sabrosura, the Parkchester staple billed by its owners as an "American-Born Chinese Dominican Eatery."
Until recently, the only way to enjoy owner Denisse "Lina" Chavez's cooking was to eat your picadata while leaning against the narrow store's shelves. Now she has opened up a full restaurant in the former pint-sized Mexicocina space next door. At first glance, the restaurant reads like an basic taqueria, with a menu that mostly lists antojitos and seating for about ten. But take a second look and you'll see that Carnitas El Atoradero is where you go to order the food you never get at your local taqueria. This is the home-style cooking, way beyond the taco, that New York needs.
Up until last week, if you asked me where to find a quality doughnut in the Bronx I'd scratch my head. Now I can tell you: one of the borough's finest desserts is the Honduran-style Rosquillas el Dulce ($1.50) from Mott Haven's Seis Vecinos.
We covered a ton of ground again this year in Bronx Eats, eating everything from lemon chicken soup in Riverdale to birria in Hunts Point. We started digging for the north Bronx's best Jamaican food, and picked up an ongoing quest to find the perfect mangu. If this second year of Bronx Eats proved anything for me, its that there's so much more good stuff left to eat and share with you.