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south bronx eats?

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spending a lot of time in the south south bronx (just over willis ave. bridge, nearish the bruckner expway/parkway) and . . . . looking for some eats. any recs? can be any cuisine, any style, but preferably cheap of course.

I've been picking up some very nice tamales from the lady just outside the subway at brook avenue, there are many mexican groceries (one of them, California Grocery) has an amazing selection of chilis and other supplies near the back and the other places around are basically chuchifritos. Was planning to visit the Vietnamese Enclave up near Kings Bridge Road (Good Taste or Good World is the spot???!) but also looking for potential Cambodian stuff, excellent tacos or other latin eats, perhaps some good african or any mideast stuff, anything like that? otherwise, everything I've seen lately around just doesn't look different or interesting.

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  1. if you go up brook ave there is an awesome grocery store on the west side of the street around 145th that makes the best deli sandwiches (i never pay attention, i think its called boriquan or something like that but its a big sign & place). two twin bros take turns at the deli counter. theres a long line at lunch including cops so dont just take my word!

    if you come up to brook & 149th there is LA ORQUIDEA, the honduran diner just around the corner. to the east near the 3rd ave 'hub' on 149th is a cuchifrito w/ great rotisserie chicken.

    lets see what else? up at longwood & southern is YOSANTYS, for fine pr/dr diner chow. kitty corner DI ELLES is a good 'ol diner too, w/ a more classic emphasis. the real deal at this intersection these days is that next to it is a little mexican bodega where the family makes decent tacos in the back.

    if you want jamaican of course there is plenty in the bx, but the southernmost & my fav is KAYLAS HUT at westchester/prospect.

    last, if you get a bbq craving you gotta try MO GRIDDERS in hunts point. best chow in the point -- expensive, but good.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mrnyc

      thank you man! will check it out.

      1. re: mrnyc

        Great stuff. Checked out Kaylah's Hut on Friday: a cozy friendly joint with counter service and just three tables. Nice homey curry goat (over rice and peas, with collards) hit the spot on a chilly afternoon. Three cute kids, still in school uniforms, were clowning around in the dining room.

        Not positive I found the cuchifrito joint on 149th, but there was a newish location of the El Valle chain, with chicken on the grill in the window, somewhere west of La Orquidea. And unless I was turned around (quite possible), Borinquen is on the east side of Brook (same side as most of the Betances Houses project).

        Some place info ...

        -----
        Mo Gridder's
        565 Hunts Point Ave, Bronx, NY 10474

        La Orquidea
        500 E 149th St, Bronx, NY 10455

        Kaylah's Hut
        805 Prospect Ave, Bronx, NY 10455

        Yosanty
        798 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10455

        Di-Elles Restaurant
        801 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10459

        Quetzal Deli Grocery
        1023 Longwood Ave, Bronx, NY 10459

        Borinquen Supermarket
        436 Brook Ave, Bronx, NY 10454

        1. re: squid kun

          squid kun, what you doing uptown!!? that's for the recon, will def. hit up Kaylah's Hut, and thanks for all the addresses as well.

          1. re: squid kun

            great work young squid!

            the cuchifrito is on the north side of 149th, just west of 3rd avenue (and next to mcdonalds). they were renovating recently, but are 100% back in action. you cannot miss it the smell will draw you in as will the roatating birds in the window.

            which reminds me, there is a very decent pizza slice joint right across the street. they do a ton of business and its always fresh if unspectacular.

            one more we like at work? there is a juice joint at brook & 149th. technically on the sw side of 149th next to the corner deli. it's fairly new (since we started this thread). they have a takeout menu you can pick up and a wide variety of fresh juices. stop by and support'em!

            1. re: mrnyc

              oh i forgot to add the names. the cuchifrito joint is called DELICIOSO, pizza slice place is PIZZA and the juice shop is LA ISLA DE JUGOS or something like that. they have big signs out front.

        2. OMG I L-O-V-E this thread!
          You're gonna regret having invited me to post here.....lol!

          Ok, now I just finished rummaging through my kitchen menu draw....here we go....by the way I ONLY keep the menus of the places I really like:

          Honduran Food: La Orquidia which I won't get into because I see you have it on your list already.

          AHA! But did you know about:

          Ecuadorian Food: Lucio Barrios - - Best damn chaulafan.....it's addictive. Word of caution - this dish costs $10 but it's enough to serve 2 ravenous persons and leave them STUFFED

          Jamaican Food: I have two places I like

          1. Flavas (this place has been around for years) - 3204 Third Avenue, Bronx NY 10451, they deliver (718-292-7200) Love the collard greens, macaroni and cheese and oxtails here!

          2. I can't find the menu but it is on the west side of 3rd avenue between 152nd street and 153rd street. It's very tiny, you can almost walk past it if you're not paying attention. It has a black awning on the outside with a colorful palm tree if I'm not mistaken.

          3. Italian: I have three of these that I like for different reasons

          1. C&C House of Pizza located at 3075 Third Avenue on the corner of 157th Street (718-292-5503) just opened a few weeks ago. The owner has been in the neighborhood for years (a really nice hard working man) and decided to open a pizza shop which took him forever to open(I don't know what the deal was with that but if any of you ask him let me know - I mean it seemed like the place was ready for 6 months before it ever opened, I'm sure it was city related issues). Now it's the typical pizza shop but his buffalo wings are REALLY good and you can choose from a variety of sauces for the wings, which I've never heard of before (honey bbq, honey dijon, spicy bbq, hot sauce, mild, toxic waste, roasted garlic, son of beach, hot spicy garlic). I mean usually you just go to a place and buffalo wings are just buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing.

          2. Fresco located at 560 E 149th street (corner of St. Anns Avenue, 718-292-5744) is a casual family style restaurant with awesome pasta. Yeah, you have to wait a while for you food but all that means is that is fresh. I don't have a problem with fresh food. If I'm in a rush then I'll go to a fast food joint. If I'm hungry I'll go to fresco's.

          3. G Bar Lounge & Restaurant located at 579 Grand Concourse (718-239-3300) awesome everything here, nice jazz, great drinks, tasty food, lively ambiance, nice place to hang out on a friday/saturday night.......it gets PACKED! I hear their sunday brunch gets packed, haven't been there on a sunday.

          MexiRican:

          Coqui Mexicano, 871 Brook Avenue (intersects w/3rd Avenue 718-450-3477) this is a brand new business still getting on its feet and still in the process of creating a steady menu BUT the food is good and the place is clean with a nice mix of old & new latino music. What I like is the feel of the place (did you ever see the movie barber shop/beauty shop and locals like to come to the place because they were comfortable? Now imagine that its a food shop and not a hair shop). Although you go to places like this to eat, I also enjoy the fact that they are trying to improve the neighborhood any way they can and so they've made themselves an official bookcrossing spot. YOu can drop off books and pick up books for FREE. OMG and the desserts, I've tried ALL of them - Budin de Maiz, Tembleque, Triple Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake, Flan, Mata Hambre, Passion Fruit Mousse, Pina Colada Pie.......Can you tell I have a sweet tooth???? LOL

          5 Replies
          1. re: narcisa

            I forgot one of my favorite places....forgive me!

            This is my most favorite place in the south bronx. it's a little hard to find though.

            It's called Bruckner Bar & Grill located at 1 Bruckner Boulevard Bronx Ny 10454 (718-665-2001). They have a really nice champagne brunch that I've been to on Saturdays after shopping at the dimitri's greenhouse across the street. And Friday nights can be really hopping!

            I should've included some of the websites of these places, forgot that too:

            http://toscanyc.com/enter.html
            www.myspace.com/coquimexicano
            http://www.brucknerbar.com/

            1. re: narcisa

              I second the recommendation for Bruckner's brunch. It's probably the best in the Bronx (not that that's saying a lot). The egg's florentine is the best and they serve these great little fried potatoes with the egg dishes. Can't beat the prices and the people who work there are incredibly nice, especially to regulars. The crowd isn't all hipsters, at least for brunch. It's everybody from neighborhood residents, to elderly folks and city workers.

            2. re: narcisa

              What a great post. Thanks. People have been asking for this type of information for years.

              1. re: Bob Martinez

                Agreed - I drove through the Bronx a couple of times this weekend, and was thinking that, apart from Arthur Ave., I don't see many threads about the Bronx.

              2. re: narcisa

                Narcisa, I was just reviewing some of your tips here. You were one of the best "one shot wonders" in the history of the site. So...on the odd chance you're still out there, lurking, I wanted to invite you to come back and update some of these tips!

                If anyone else has had recent experience and can confirm places are still good, that'd be great, too.

              3. Just thought of two more places that I like:

                African food: Bate Restaurant located at 860 Melrose Avenue on 159th Street

                Mexican Food: Xochimilco 653 Melrose Avenue (want to say 153rd Street). Awesome enchiladas and sopes at unbelievable price.

                I've just finished trying to input all the addresses in chowhounds restaurant listing. It's pathetic but south bronx wasn't showing ANYTHING! I'm kinda new to chowhound (signed up 3 days ago) so I didn't realize I could just put the link instead of yapping away. Sorry!

                -----
                Fresco Pizza and Pasta
                560 E 149th St, Bronx, NY 10455

                Bruckner Bar & Grill
                2412 3rd Ave, Bronx, NY 10454

                Lucho Barrios
                516 Courtlandt Ave, Bronx, NY 10451

                Coqui Mexicano
                871 Brook Ave, Bronx, NY 10451

                Flavas International
                3204 3rd Ave, Bronx, NY 10451

                C&G House of Pizza
                3075 3rd Ave, Bronx, NY 10451

                Xochimilco
                653 Melrose Ave, Bronx, NY 10455

                G-Bar
                579 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451

                3 Replies
                1. re: narcisa

                  narcisa, thanks SO MUCH for your contributions; let's blow this thread up! and, I will want to hit many of these places.

                  1. re: bigjeff

                    I'm on a mission now.

                    There's no way we can expect our communities to improve unless we are willing to promote and support them ourselves, especially during these difficult times where most of the business are struggling first time family owned here in the bronx.

                    We need to seek out the places that we see may have potential and help them reach the greatness we know they can be.

                  2. re: narcisa

                    is the south bronx safe? don't want to sound like a nervous nelly! but I've never been up there and i'm hoping to hit a few places on this wonderful list.

                  3. Here's another spot that is literally hidden near fort apache - but not for long - Boricua College's monster campus grounds are being constructed directly across the street from Perry's. Where there's students there's business, there's change, there's life. The future looks bright if the businesses in this neighborhood can hang on, unfortunately several have already closed unable to pay their bills such as the tropically decorated Mom's Coffee Shop that used to be located across from the forman mills on third avenue. The owner's really tried to hang on but it closed suddenly about 4 weeks ago. I swear, that place made THE best latin caribbean style noodle soup in this neighborhood. I ventured out one day while I had the flu and after I dragged my feet back home that soup was CURATIVE....I SWEAR IT REALLY WAS....that's how GOOD the stuff was! That soup was made with love.

                    R.I.P. Mom's Coffee Shop!

                    -----
                    Perry's Coffee Shop
                    2783 3rd Ave # 2, Bronx, NY 10455

                    1. excellent oaxaqueno tamale sold on 138th street, between willis avenue and 3rd. not sure of their normal hours but, this was today, monday, mid-morning. $2 got me an 8" x 3" x 1" log of mole-flavored, deliciously greasy chicken tamale wrapped in banana leaf and really really good. they also have the corn ones in various forms (red, green, etc.) and, have been around for 5 years.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bigjeff

                        Bigjeff

                        I love tamales!!! But they've GOT to be well made. I would LOVE to try these that you mentioned. Is this a store or the ladies that sell from their carts on the street. If it's a store, the next time you're in the area could you get me the name and address.

                        It sounds like you're around 138th alot.

                        There's a Mexican shop on 138th between Brook and Willis? that makes such DELISH mexican breads (I don't remember the name but it's on the south side of 138th street)!

                        OMG..... the best if you go around 4pm!!!!

                        That's when all the different types JUST come out of the oven......all soft and nice and hot.......IT'S YOUR FAULT I'M TALKING ABOUT THEM AND NOW I'M GONNA HAVE TO GO THERE TODAY! NOW YOU SEE WHAT YOU WENT AND MADE ME DO?! LOL

                        I have to tell you there is one lady (I forgot her name....I think it's Rosa) that sells from her cart on 149th & 3rd Ave (the same corner where the eyeglass shop is, around the corner from Cookie's Dept. Store) that makes a mean tamale wrapped in banana leaf too! They are sooooo moist and tender!

                        1. re: narcisa

                          ya that one is definitely a cart but, almost like a deluxe cart, I think they have a small table or something.

                          I just bought some conchas (I think that's the name of the breads) from that very mexican store but to be honest, I thought they tasted really bad . . . . got 3 kinds and they had a very chemical aftertaste. or duringtaste, I dunno. had such high hopes! I did buy a crazy vanilla cream filled donut on the corner of 138th and brook though, from a cart on the corner; the vendor had filled ones and unfilled, it was $1.50 for a dense, sweet fried monster, but not too sweet.

                          between those two mexican groceries (california, and the one with the bread) I can get lots of nice groceries; huge selection of chilis in the back, lots of corn wrappers for tamales, etc. and I love that they have constantly changing groceries; you can get papolo and all sorts of interesting mexican groceries.

                          definitely will look more for the oaxaqueno tamale, I definitely prefer them over the plain. in the mornings, that mexican grocery with the conchas (next to the chuchifritos) has a tamale lady, they are $1 for smallish, dryish ones (steamed in corn wrapper and then tin foil), not so good. the woman across the street (set up in front of the subway and the beauty supply store, also at brook ave and 138th st) sells them for $1 but sometimes $1.25 (pisses me off) but they are better; a little moister, a little bigger but because of the inconsistent price (what, I get a chino tax?) I stopped going to her, and just go to the subway at 138th/3rd in the morning instead to pick up the oaxqueno one.

                          damn that is a long confusing post! still looking for grub in the area, I know there's a pio pio further up near cypress ave (franchise).

                      2. Bigjeff!!!!!!!!

                        I'm backkkkkkkkk.

                        You thought I forgot about ya!

                        I was out last night......went to Bruckner Bar to hear my friend play w/his band, "The Scheme" .....had fun.....house was packed.....they belt out funky jazzy r&b mixed with a little rock & latin rythms.

                        On the way to bruckner bar I passed a wine bar/cafe. It immediately caught my eye and my reaction was that my mouth hung open as I asked myself what is this doing here?! It just looked so out of place......in an AWESOME way.....change for this neighborhood has GOT TO START SOMEWHERE! Right?

                        I was speeding by because I was running late.....but the place looked like it belonged in the west village with it's little umbrella covered tables on the sidewalk. I think the name was Alexander's Cafe or maybe it was Alexander's Wine Bar.

                        Does anyone know of it? What's the word? Have you tried it yet? I can't wait to go back and give it a try! We need more business owners who are daring enough to open little places like these regardless of what neighborhood they may be in.

                        The funny thing is, I was so excited about "discovering" this little diamond in the rough that I just woke up (w/headache & tummy ache....too much fun last night) and I had to head straight to the computer to put in this comment!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: narcisa

                          yep, the bruckner & alexander are a part of hipsterville "sobro" southern tip of the bronx. both are nice places to hang out, but be careful around there at night time!

                          http://www.alexanderstogo.com/

                          we go to those once in awhile, however, on those occasions after work we prefer the old school glacken's bar on 149th near walton. a true bronx hole in the wall dive.

                          1. re: mrnyc

                            What type of spot is glacken's. I've never been there or seen it although I MUST HAVE passed it a million and one times! Is it a place where two girlfriends can go for a "low key" night out.

                            I tried googling it but there doesn't seem to be much info on this place.

                            Do they serve food or is it just a bar?

                            1. re: narcisa

                              yikes! absolutely not!

                              it's a rather seedy old school bronx dive bar.

                              glad i caught this before you ventured in there -- whew!

                              1. re: mrnyc

                                LOL!!!!!!!

                                Hysterical! I haven't been able to get there yet....now curiosity is killing this cat! I just wanna see!

                        2. Had to do an outreach (work-related) event today at a public school on Longfellow. Thanks to this thread, I had my eyes on a few South Bronx eateries for lunch.

                          Settled on La Orquidea, and had a cheap and terrific meal. I started out with the Baladea Carne, which was pretty much a beef taco with a thick, gyro-like flatbread tortilla. At 3 bucks, it wasn't overly big, and made for a good, tasty appetizer. I followed it up with a small but plentiful bowl of Sopa de Caracol, a soup loaded with cassava, plantains and a deep-red mystery meat (whose identity was lost in translation somehow) all in a delicious, deeply flavored fishy and tangy broth. This was superb, and I'd make the trip again just for the soup. I downed all this with a refreshing Honduran Banana Soda.

                          So thanks to Jeff, Narcisa and all for chiming in on this thread. There are some other tempting places listed here, but I enjoyed La Orquidea so much that it will be hard to resist when I return.

                          Oh, yeah...for the uninitiated: take the subway. One wrong turn in this part of town and you're f_cked. Pretty damn hard to make a left off of Westchester as well.
                          p.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Polecat

                            La Orquidea has pretty good food! I would only recommend la orquidia during daytime hours though since as night falls it becomes a central gathering spot for latino gangbangers.

                            SO JUST A WORD OF WARNING:

                            - LA ORQUIDIA DAYTIME OK

                            - LA ORQUIDIA NIGHTTIME BE WARY.

                          2. Awesome thread!
                            Anyone care to expand this to places in walking distance of the Zoo? I've read the usual Italian suggestions, I'm looking for tamales Oax!

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: pitu

                              Actually, there's a casual Mexican place on Arthur Ave. (diner kind of ambience) just south of the Market that I've heard some good things about (but haven't tried yet).

                              The area has a growing Mexican population, and I assume they primarily serve locals (since most folks going to Arthur as a destination are not looking for Mexican food!).

                              1. re: Striver

                                We ended up at a Vietnamese place, "World of Taste" for bahn mi . . .
                                very tasty, a spicy "bbq" meat thing, #2 -- it was the only sandwich they were serving
                                (Ba Xuyen in Brooklyn is better, but that's Brooklyn)
                                The bread was really good, the veg not marinated enough, and siracha instead of fresh jalepenos for a "spicy please" order. But totally tasty, and the meat was spicy all on it's own. It was almost curry-flavor...

                                The pho looked really good, and they were dishing it up like crazy.

                                -----
                                Pho Saigon No. 1
                                2614 Jerome Ave, Bronx, NY 10468

                                1. re: pitu

                                  interesting, can you take a look at this thread, and see how your experience was in context of whatever was happening?

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4041...

                                  seeing as you've been there most recent; thanks! love that place, just want to know exactly what is happening, and what sort of split there might have been.

                                  1. re: bigjeff

                                    Jeff, I read that thread once I got home, and I have to tell you I have no idea.

                                    The blue awning place across the street was shuttered during peak lunch hour today. The meat on our sandwiches could easily have been meant for pho, except it was very slow-cooked spicy. Two Vietnamese women were working the kitchen, two non-Vietnamese women (one Latina, one Black, I was totally impressed with this very NYC integration) were also working, one managing. One other middle aged/older guy not behind the counter seemed like he might be attached to the place...is that David?

                                    It was my first time eating on Jerome Ave, so I have zero context to understand the situation. I would certainly go back for pho or a sandwich if I was in the nabe....

                                    There was nothing non-Viet on offer other than standard issue Chinese restaurant style fried stuff like chicken and fries on the menu.

                                    1. re: pitu

                                      This excellent post by J. Slab - which is what got me into World of Taste (formerly Phung Hung Market, at that time) - contains several pics of the former digs, when they were across the street. Hope the pics are of help. The post is one of my favorite ever on the web:

                                      http://www.porkchop-express.com/2007/...

                                    2. re: bigjeff

                                      I go there once a week while doing my laundry & since Mary is so nice. The Pho is a hit and miss now. She does give bigger portions than the last owner though. Now I get the rice dishes a lot, my favorite is the chicken lemongrass over rice.

                                      The new Pho place hasn't opened, but I'll let you know when it will.

                              2. I love the Feeding Tree
                                I always bring it with me when I go to Yankee Games. I had an oxtail jerk chicken combo last night. The oxtail was just so tender. The jerk chicken is very nice. Patties are great too. I really dont understand how the golden crust a block away still has any business.
                                892 Gerard block north 161st.

                                1. The best rotisserie chicken in all of NY State is Nuevo Delicioso at 410 E 148th St !!!! They have a garlic/citrus marinade that makes every thing it touches DELICIOSO! I even use it on the avocado salad instead of oil and vinegar. It is Domincan and has all the regular dishes and sides but go for the chicken, yuca with onions, arroz con gandules and avocado salad. Ask for extra salsa/marinade.

                                  1. Hey guys, one of my favorite Mexican Restaurants in the Hub is "Xochimilco" they have outstanding enchiladas and their hand made Quesadillas will leave you wanting for more!!! and what's best their prices are really cheap for the quantity given.. definitely recommend it to anyone who might be around third ave.
                                    Joey's is another favorite of mine, they serve the best heroes ever!!!!! they're located on Morris 149th ...

                                    1. hey, did we forget the VENICE restaurant on this thread?

                                      old school italian on the corner of e149th st (& wales st) -- just west of the bruckner & southern blvd or a bit east of st. mary's park.

                                      i usually just get the heros or wraps for lunch, but some people swear by the pasta and the rest of the menu.

                                      VENICE is a non-arthur ave bronx institution for sure -- and look they have an interwebs presence:

                                      http://www.venicerestaurant149.com/

                                      another lunchtime favorite i forgot to add near the hub is the SOBRO office counter on bergen st just past the nw corner of 149th (this is just east of busy 3rd ave) -- if you need a visual this is where the subway comes up out of the ground and the bx19 busses line up. stop in for wonderful fresh heros and other more-common-in-manhattan style deli stuff. for ex., i had an avocado/smoked turkey sandwich the other day that i practically inhaled.

                                      couple more?

                                      just north of 163rd street on prospect, on the east side of the prospect behind a bus stop, is a small dominican counter diner that is very good. i *heart* the bacalao there. next door to that is a deli that makes good bustelo coffee (no espresso machine tho) and deli sandwiches too. i get a large container of coffee & heated milk there for $1 that will wake the dead!

                                      1. I'm working at Casita Maria on Simpson Street near E. 163rd St tomorrow afternoon. Anything worth checking out in the area?

                                        1. Kayluhs Hut on Westchester Ave/Prospect is indeed great food. It's not salty, but maintains the authenticity of its native island spices. I feel their Jerk Chicken, and cabbage is great. I included a photo of when I visited the hut a few months ago.