With today being Good Friday, I thought I would bring back one of my favorite posts, that being a pictorial tour of Arthur Avenue. The Belmont section of the Bronx comes alive during the Easter season, and you can still get your fill of Easter Pies and other great Italian-American foods there this weekend. Check it out on Saturday!
Related food post not to be missed: A Christobal Colom Arthur Avenue Mission
The Belmont section of the Bronx is by far one of my favorite eating and food shopping destinations — as I tell many people, if you’re looking for the real Little Italy, it’s not in Manhattan, but on Arthur Avenue between 184th and 187th street. It’s a neighborhood frozen in time, where you can get imported delicacies from the old country as well as fantastic Italian-American eats which prominently feature them.
The very core of Belmont’s Italian shopping are the stores within and surrounding the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, where Mike’s Deli, Pete’s Meat, and a number of green grocers are located.
Dave Grecco, the presiding capitan of Mike’s Deli.
And his dad, the legendary Mike Grecco, salumi purveyor to the rich, famous, the everyman, and everybody in-between.
If you catch Dave in the middle of the day, he might be doing his stretching exercises (2004).
Il Duce guards the cache of tuna cans.
You need salamis?
Arthur Avenue is the REAL Little Italy of New York City. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for some more mouth-watering Italian-American delicacies.
Or perhaps some sorpressata. Sweet or Spicy.
Prosciutto Di Parma perhaps.
or Cappicola and Mortadella?
Pizza Rustica, or San Felese Easter Pie, is a hugely popular item to take home from Mike’s, particularly during the Easter holidays. You can get it year round, though.
What I come for, however, are the sandwiches.
One of the several sandwiches on display at Mike’s.
It’s really hard to pick what sandwich you want, they all look mouth-watering.
The Yankee Stadium (2004) the signature sandwich of Mike’s Deli.
The “Albanian” (2004) Bresaola (Cured Filet Mignon) with Feta Cheese.
TC Fireman’s Special (2004) Sort of like the Yankee Stadium, but with hotter and spicier components.
Pasta Salad with an Eggplant Antipasto.
My lunch, Roast Pork with Hot Peppers.
A tuna sandwich Dave made up for my wife, with smoked mozzarella.
Another interesting tuna variation, with pesto pasta salad.
Or perhaps some antipasto salad suits your fancy.
A nice antipasto arrangement from Mike’s.
Just a small sampling of the fresh olives on display. The bright green ones, the Castelvetranos, which taste just like olive oil, are my favorites.
A close-up of one of the more interesting varieties.
Some nice fruit here at one of the vendors in the Retail Market.
The lovable crazy vegetable guy. I haven’t seen him in a while, but if you see him, be very afraid, as he likes to sing along with Lionel Ritchie songs on his radio.
This is what the Retail Market looks like on Good Friday.
This is the cigar shop in the Retail Market, where master rollers make many kinds of Cuban-style cigars from high grade tobacco. You can even smoke in there, believe it or not, it’s grandfathered with some kind of special permit.
You think the cigars are stinky? Try the salt-packed anchovies.
Torrone. Guaranteed to put a dent in your dental plan.
Pete’s Meat, also in the Retail Market, is where you get your bracciole.
And da sausage.
And entire peices of tasty animals.
And your crown roasts.
Or Pork Chops?
You dunno what you want? Pietro will put out a spread.
The guys at Pete’s love to pose.
Want some Mutton? Biancardis, just next door to the Retail Market, has those too.
They also can hook you up with some swine.
Addeo Bakery has some really good bread. Madonia’s, just down the block, is where I get my cannolis.
A view of the counter at Madonia.
Pan loaves at Madonia.
Cheese tastings during Good Friday.
Cosenza’s on Arthur Avenue will make you a nice plate of clams.
And you can get any kind of shellfish you need at Randazzo’s.
You want some nice fresh mussels for your marinara? No problem.
Make sure you head down 187th street to Borgatti’s for some nice fresh pasta to put it on.