Lunch near 149/Concourse?
Recently started working close to 149th and Grand Concourse and trying to find lunch options in the neighborhood that aren't Mickey D's or Subway.
Sit-down or carry-out within 10 minutes walk or so, or delivery from further out would work.
I'm down for whatever is good. Would love to find a bodega that dishes up some good stewed chicken or pork ribs. West African? Absolutely. Soul food? Yes. An above-average slice? Sure.
And yes, I have searched this board for ideas. Not much, and a lot of it several years old. The two most helpful threads:
So far, my list of places to try is: El Nuevo Delicioso, La Perla Mexicana, Bruckner Bar & Grill, Sam's Soul Food, and La Isla Cuchifrito (ate there once- average fried pork, below average rice and beans- will give it another shot with another dish).
Don't let me have to pack a sandwich every day....
Some places to look into, with appropriate links:
Bate for Guinean. Particularly dig the sweet potato leaf stew. Sauce Clare is good, too. See more here: http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/0...
Mexicosina has a location relatively close to you. Can be hit or miss, generally decent and above average for New York Mexican. More: http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/0...
Carnitas El Atoradero is too far of a walk, but they do deliver. And they serve the best Mexican food in town. More: http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2014/0...
Nano Billiard's on 167th and the Concourse deliver. Best Dominican in town. Most anything guisado is a safe bet. Bacalao in red or white sauce is great too. And more: http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/0...
Xochimilco is OK Mexican. Not great, especially compared to some of the newer stuff that has popped up.
El Molino Rojo does a decent pernil.
You can get old school red sauce from Venice.
This is a good start. Can't say I've found a good slice in the south BX, but people like Yolanda's. I've never tried.
I'm curious to hear what you think. I rarely eat store-bought lunch anymore, instead bringing lunch from home almost every day for the past few years. I have no doubt that the hero got extra points from me simply by virtue of not being my daily salad. But I did think it was a fine example.
These are GREAT suggestions. Especially excited about El Atoradero and Nano (love some bacalao!), and glad to be turned on to Chris Crowley.
And yes, I was wondering about the pizza at Giovanni's and Yolanda's.
IIRC, was a decent slice for the South Bronx.
Giovani's Pizza & Restaurant (Mott Haven)
2628 3rd Avenue,
Bronx, NY 10454
Go to Grubhub.com and enter your business address. You will see how many restaurants will deliver to your office. You can pay by credit card (even the tip) or cash.
I've been slow to follow up on the many great suggestions- not least because the cold weather has made me a bit unadventurous.
But I thought I would pass on that I just recently tried La Perla and it was better-than-expected taqueria fare. The pozole had some nice chunks of pork and fatty bits going on and was darn satisfying. The quesadillas were thick little corn tortillas fried to a nice texture, though the carne asada in them was overcooked, and I could have done without the shredded lettuce everywhere. Both together and a drink were about $20, and were easily two meals' worth of food.
So not El Atoradero (which I'm itching to try), but much better than the fast food options in the neighborhood. I will definitely try some of the other menu items.
I thought I would update this thread with my neighborhood lunch findings.
El Atoradero is as good as promised, though I am more likely to hike over and get dinner after work than order lunch.
La Isla is actually pretty decent for roast chicken and fried pork, though you have to be willing to close your eyes to the grease-stained atmosphere.
The Bruckner is a reliable delivery option when you just can't be bothered to move. A bit pricier than the neighborhood ethnic joints, but they also have options that are less heavy and greasy. The Cubano sandwich with onion rings is darn good and easily a meal and a half.
One of the ladies who sells fruit at the corner of 149th and Morris (at least in summer) also sells pretty good tamales. If you say you want them spicy, they will come with big chunks of roasted hot peppers in them.
There's a Dominican place at 150th and Morris that serves a pretty good mofongo and has a slightly cheerier atmosphere than some of the other hole-in-the-wall joints.
Maybe my favorite neighborhood discovery is the Caribbean lunch counter in the back of the bodega near the north-west corner of 149th and Morris (I think the store is called "Nice Deli", and there's just a sandwich board outside advertising the lunch counter). The oxtail is respectable, but what keeps me coming back is the jerk chicken. Unlike a lot of Americanized jerk, it is more heat than sweet (especially if they ask you if you want "gravy"- i.e, sauce- spooned over and you ask for the jerk sauce). I mean, it's not napalm or anything, but it's pleasantly vinegary and piquant. A medium plate, with rice and peas, collards, and a bonus couple of pieces of plantain garnished on top, is a LOT of food for $8.50. My only gripe: they do that lunch counter thing of chopping up the chicken pieces with a cleaver, so you get bone shards scattered around. Ugh, why?
My big neighborhood surprise: one of the Wafels and Dinges trucks is now regularly serving right next to Lincoln Hospital (as one friend put it, "Did they get lost on their way to Hell's Kitchen?"). I am actually less excited about this than I thought I would be. I don't love their savory waffles- the pulled pork I find both too sweet and too soggy. I feel like where the waffle truck shines is the classic Belgian-style dessert waffle, hot and crispy. And that's rarely what I want at noon on a workday (Friday night after a couple of beers is a different story).
So with the exception of El Atoradero, not many options that would inspire you to travel to this area. But if you work there like me, or if you find yourself at Lincoln Hospital or Hostos at lunchtime, you won't be deprived.