A full serving of the borough’s diversity will be dished out by local eateries during Savor the Bronx Restaurant Week, which runs from Nov. 6 to 17.
The eleven-day event will give local restaurants the chance to showcase assorted Bronx flavors while continuing its decades long quest to extinguish the “Bronx is burning,” stereotype of the 1970s. The term was coined exactly 40 years ago when the Yankees played the Dodgers in the World Series in the Bronx.
“Unfortunately, that was when the world saw the Bronx burning, in fact some of the fires were just around the corner,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., speaking at Porto Salvo at 424 E. 161st St., one of the participating eateries for restaurant week. “What I wanted the world to see had the Yankees been in the World Series [this year] is who we are and where we are today. And where we are today is a place where we celebrate our diversity, where we celebrate all of the great developments; we celebrate the job creation. But we have always been the borough of flavor.”
From the south to the north Bronx, more than 30 different flavors will be available for tasting during the yearly event. It will feature Latin American restaurants, including Mamajuana Café, which serves Latin Caribbean food, and Habanero Mexican Cuisine. American restaurants like the Bronx Alehouse, which serves chicken wings dipped in “Bronx is Burning” hot sauce. Asian fusion restaurants like and Siam Square Thai Cuisine. Bistro SK will serve the only French food in the borough. And Italian restaurants like Porto Salvo, which specializes in seafood.
“We are the new kids on the block, but we aren’t new to the restaurant business,” said Mark Lu, co-owner of Porto Salvo. “We know that it is very important to be engaged with the community.”
Assemblyman Michael Blake, of the 79th Assembly district in the South Bronx, was also present at Porto Salvo to discuss the changing environment of the borough. “For people born and raised here, we know that people didn’t think about the Bronx the way they do now. They would always talk about it negatively as if there was always something wrong, but now people are talking about what’s happening here,” said Blake.
Blake noted that the South Bronx was included in New York Times’ annual 52 Places to Visit in the World, saying that, “it’s showing that things are happening and changing the game.”
Many eateries near Norwood will be a part of Savor the Bronx. One of them is Madden’s Uptown Bar & Grill located in Kingsbridge. It has been in the same location for over 50 years as a bar, but recently it was renovated to a bar and grill that cooks American cuisine with an Irish twist. It has unique food tasting challenges like the four pound burger, which can be eaten alone or with a group of friends. It also has cocktails like “The Hair of the Dog,” which is a traditional Bloody Mary filled with bacon strips, olives, chicken wings, and onion rings.
“I love the Bronx, I’m born and bred in the Bronx. I was born in 1978 and there’s nothing better than the Bronx,” said Patricia Murray, owner of Madden’s Uptown Bar & Grill. “I love anything positive for the Bronx, and this right here [Restaurant Week] I’ve been waiting for this.”
Editor’s Note: For a look at deals offered by restaurants, like Madden’s $16.39 fixed price lunch menu, go to savorthebronx.com or ilovethebronx.com