Tag Archives: Bronx

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

Some people have heard about the gins or whiskeys made in Brooklyn, but many New Yorkers have no idea that there is a traditional Puerto Rican spirit being made in the Bronx. To make the pitorro, Port Morris Distillery uses a mix of brown sugar, corn, local honey, and New York gala apples. They make different infusions and aged versions, but the pure pitorro is perfect on its own – even at a dangerous 92 proof.

PORT MORRIS DISTILLERY
780 East 133rd Street (between Willow and Walnut Avenue),
Port Morris, Bronx
(718) 585-3192
portmorrisdistillery.com

My search for the best pizza in New York continues….

The students at Fordham University in the Bronx are luckier than most college kids. Not only are they steps away from the most densely populated authentic Italian food mecca in NYC (Arthur Avenue), but they also get to have Pugsley as their local pizza joint.

I stopped by one day on my way back to the Metro North train from Arthur Avenue (where I often give food tours). I had heard about Pugsley and felt like I needed to find the best pizza in the area (look for other reviews to come soon) so that means it was my duty to check it out. (more…)


Category: Pizza

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

My least favorite time to go food shopping are the days leading up to the holidays – most notably the week of Thanksgiving. Food markets are a zoo with long lines and shops running out of inventory.

This was the first year that I was up in the Bronx along Arthur Avenue (the real Little Italy) giving a tour on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. And it was just as crowded as anywhere else.

In fact, it felt even more crowded since many of the shops are teeny tiny. Some had lines out the door starting as early as 10:30am (and probably earlier) when I arrived.

None of these businesses sold turkey (except maybe the two butchers on the street), but many Italians who live nearby were stocking up on other ingredients like cheese, salami, olives, and cookies.

And as I brought my group from one shop to another, I got a knowing smile from some of the other customers in line who recognized us from the previous stop. We ran into one guy from New Jersey at Egidio Pastry who jokingly accused us of following him. He then assured the four people I was leading around that I was bringing them to all the best spots.

Well, that’s certainly true of Egidio. Dating from 1912, it’s the oldest pastry shop in Arthur Avenue (one of the oldest in the city, in fact). The current owner is using the original recipes and oven. And she makes the absolute best pignoli cookies I have ever tasted.  (more…)


My search for the best beer in New York continues….

Maybe you’ve heard of this little Broadway show Hamilton. And maybe you’ve heard it’s impossible to get tickets. Well maybe the second best thing is to drink a beer made by Gun Hill Brewing with help from the cast of the musical.

It makes sense that the local brewery that would actually brew the beer is Gun Hill Brewing Company. Of all our local breweries, they are the ones most connected to our Revolutionary past. Their name even takes itself from a nearby street that was a site of a Revolutionary Battle.

Rise Up Rye is a reference to a recurring song in the musical. And as you can imagine, it is a rye, which might be similar to the beer consumed in New York during Hamilton’s lifetime.

(more…)


Category: Beer

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

Before this year I had been to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx a couple of times. But since we launched the Arthur Avenue food tour, it’s like I have moved in. And maybe I should because rent is much cheaper up here.

The tour was designed by a couple who are very familiar with the neighborhood, but now as research, I have to broaden my knowledge and eat at as many spots as possible. And there are a lot of them. Poor me.

Many of these sit-down restaurants have an old-world feel with a faux fine dining ambiance – white table cloths, coat racks, etc. But when you come in and look at the prices on the menu (especially at lunch), you’re shocked at the affordability. This is definitely not Manhattan.

If any restaurant has justification for hiking the prices it’s the Michelin-rated restaurant in the neighborhood. Tra Di Noi is owned by acclaimed Roman chef Marco Coletta who is newer to the area than some of the third-generation businesses, but has been hugely embraced by lovers of fine food.  (more…)


Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

There are seven different businesses around Arthur Avenue in the Bronx that make their own mozzarella daily. That’s an insane number of places committed to quality cheese in a small block radius.

For those that don’t realize it, Arthur Avenue is the real Little Italy of New York – with more third generation owned businesses than any other neighborhood. This is the place to come for quality Italian sausage, cheese, sandwiches, and dinners. And it’s all ridiculously cheap.

At Urban Adventures, we just launched a new Arthur Avenue Food Tour (it’s run by a couple who grew up there and have strong connections to the neighborhood). I was fortunate enough to train on the tour so I can give it when they are out of town. And it might have been my favorite training for any tour ever.

(more…)


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