Street upon street of restaurants, bakeries, pastry shops, and markets cluster around Arthur Avenue, 187th Street and the area sometimes called Belmont, Fordham or Little Italy in the Bronx. There is still a small Italian-American enclave living locally but even more important, many of the stores are still owned and operated by the original families and their descendants. And the prices are good. Holiday time is especially fun as piles of panettone dressed up for Christmas giving line the shelves. Cheeses, dried meats and imported Italian specialties can be found up and down the streets and cross streets.
and in the special covered area called the Arthur Avenue Retail Market,
wild boar and hand-made cigars.
menus here, abound. I can only assume that the people who buy these delicacies are not only much better cooks than I am but much more willing to peel, shuck, soak and prepare their dinners at home in elaborate ways. And that’s just great, but if you are more inclined to take the easy way, like some of the rest of us, select a restaurant from the many that line the streets in every direction. You can’t really go wrong.
After you eat, prepare to buy. You can spend a long time arguing the merits of the 94-year old bread bakery, Madonia Bros,
where you can bring home very large rounds of crisp warm bread,
or perhaps the hard-as-rocks tarelli that my husband likes so much (there go the dental bills) and Addeo, a third generation bakery,
or look for one of my favorites–the fan shaped multi-layered sfogliatelli with ricotta filling inside.
Arthur Avenue is an easy walk from the New York (Bronx) Botanical Gardens where you have just seen the Holiday Train Show and the Bronx Zoo where you dropped in to see the polar bears, the reindeer
This will be a full day but a good one.