Brunch at Salsa con Fuego or, That Time I Ate So Much I Thought I was Going to Die

Ten years ago my husband and I decided to see where our new relationship would lead. Our actual anniversary was on Friday, but we were both so tired from work and life in general, we ended up knocking out. (#lifeafter25?) To make up for such misbehavior, we decided to celebrate on Sunday by going to Salsa con Fuego, whose brunch my sister recommended months ago.

To preface this, I had made my return to the gym after missing my Sunday class three weeks in a row (two of which were due to my trip to Shediac, the third was due to a mild hangover :/) so when I came back home I was not only drained, but starving.

Salsa con Fuego’s brunch is served buffet style with a free drink included (mimosas, bellinis, soda, or juice). We opted for bellinis, which were waiting for us on our table after we served ourselves.

I’m usually not a fan of all you can eat buffets because all I can eat in one sitting is really not a lot. But, like I said, I was famished. I piled my plate up with almost everything I saw – shrimp, pernil, rice, pasta – you name it.

After stuffing my face, I went up to partake in the fresh fruit and flan.   I had two servings of fruit and flan. “Why not?!” I said. “I’ll be fine!” I said.  I was not fine. I had definitely eaten away too much and moved at the pace of a sloth trying to make the under 30 min trip back home. Smh.

Besides an admission of my boundless gluttony, this is also a testament to how good the food was. Because it’s a buffet, you don’t have a lot of interaction with the staff, but our waitress made sure our water glasses were full and was generally very polite and friendly.

Salsa con Fuego itself is an expansive venue with lively portraits of Tito Puente and Celia Cruz adorning the walls. There were people of all ages there and several people celebrating birthdays and other special occasions. I didn’t take enough pictures, I was too busy stuffing my face.

Admittedly, I was a little nervous because of the mixed reviews on Yelp, but I am so happy we decided to go here for brunch. So worth it!

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New Year’s Eve Brunch at Acri Cafe

New Year’s Eve has always been a very important day for me. For longer than I’d like to admit, I thought that New Year’s Eve was an indication of how your year would go, so, if you had really crappy or blah NYE your upcoming year would follow suit. Thankfully, I’ve grown out of that for the most part (that’s a lot of pressure to put on one day!) but it’s still one of my favorite holidays to celebrate (maybe it’s all that food and drink I love so much…)

Because I knew I’d be spending the night with my friends, I made sure to schedule time to hang out with my mother and sister for brunch. I’ve been dying to try out the brunch at Acri Cafe for the longest, so we drove over and were so pleasantly surprised.

Acri Cafe is THE definition of a hidden gem. Located on Commerce Ave. in an unassuming building by the UFT and DMV, inside lies a vast, welcoming space to gather with friends and family. As soon as you enter, you can’t miss the large wood fire oven, which adds a cozy vibe to the restaurant.

The staff was friendly and attentive. Though our food came out quickly, we got to munch on some delicious fresh bread with olive oil while we waited, to hold us over while waiting for our orders.

The brunch menu featured items including eggs benedict, the Acri burger (topped with goat cheese and mushrooms), and churrasco steak and eggs. One of the best features of Acri Cafe’s brunch is the $10  2 hour unlimited drinks, which include brunch staples such as mimosas. I, unfortunately, could not partake because I was nursing a mild hangover and of course had to prepare for NYE festivities. This just means I’ll have to return soon…for research purposes, of course.

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Brunch at Bronx Ale House

It was crazy hot today, you guys. My friends and I played our 5th annual kickball game in Van Cortlandt Park and I thought I was going to melt. 😦 Luckily, I knew that Bronx Ale House was not too far and we headed there to recharge. I had no concept of time, so I didn’t realize it was still brunch time – much to my delight.

My friend and I shared the smoked brisket hash and the braised pork. The brisket came with eggs and was shredded with potatoes and vegetables. The braised pork also came with eggs, cheddar toast and potatoes.

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Savor the Bronx: Cabo

For this year’s Savor the Bronx, my friends and I headed east to try out Cabo, a new Mexican restaurant in Throggs Neck. (but we missed the fact that Cabo was only participating for lunch. Oops!)  A sleek, modern exterior coupled with vibrant colors greets you giving off more of a lounge vibe than of what you’d expect of a Mexican restaurant, but this it not necessarily a bad thing. I think it’s part of the larger movement of new bars and eateries opening up in Throggs Neck trying to attract the growing thirty-something crowd that wants to go out and have a good time without traveling too far from home.  However, for the record,  I do prefer the decor of places like Taqueria Tlaxicalli in Castle Hill.

When we arrived, we were still waiting for the rest of our party, so we opted to try some of the drinks during happy hour at the bar (which was packed!). I decided to try what I believe was called a Cabo margarita (should’ve written it down!) which was nice, the tequila didn’t overpower it whatsoever, so it had a sweet, pleasant taste, but was still potent enough. I also tried a pina colada, which I liked more than the margarita. It leaned more toward the coconut-y side, which I’m usually not a fan of, but they pulled it off.

For dinner, I decided to try a chicken burrito, while my friends ordered the special of the night – a seafood dish with mole sauce. I’m “allergic” to shellfish (long story), so I couldn’t try it, but the chicken burrito was good. Not great, but a solid burrito nonetheless. I would have preferred a stronger cilantro flavor or something to make the flavors really stand out.

I will say though, that the salsa verde and chips that are given to the table gratis, was really good. The chips were fresh and the flavors in the salsa verde really blended together well.

Our waitress was very friendly, attentive without being overbearing, and was knowledgeable about the menu, which we appreciated. They’re supposed to have a really great brunch menu, so I’d definitely be curious to check it out and try some other menu offerings.

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Debt Free Brunch at Bruckner Bar & Grill

I have exciting news! Well, it’s a couple weeks overdue, but exciting nonetheless. In January, I paid off the very last bit of my student loan. I’ve been busting my ass since I was 18 to pay off these loans which totaled $30,000, so it was like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I always said that I was going to have a huge party, almost like a Sweet 16, to celebrate being debt free, but when the time came, I just wanted to do something low key.

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned a few times, Bruckner Bar and Grill is one of my favorite places in the Bronx. When I started to get into exploring the Bronx, it was one of the first places that really wowed me and showed me what an awesome community we have here. So of course it was the place I turned to to have my official Debt-Free Brunch with TWELVE of my friends.

I ordered the Eggs Benedict, which came with potatoes and a side salad. We ordered  the unlimited mimosas and I topped it all off with an apple tart. Everything was absolutely delicious and the staff was amazing. I was glad to be able to show some of my non-Bronxite friends one of our hidden gems and even some of my friends who do live here were impressed, too.

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Happy Birthday

So my birthday (and coincidentally the 1 year anniversary of The Bronx Socialite) was late May on a Wednesday of all days. And for the record, Wednesday birthdays kinda suck because you can’t really do it justice, so I had two birthday celebrations. One on my actual birthday, which was spent at EL Habanero (43 Bruckner Blvd.) Mexican is my favorite cuisine, so it was only fitting that I have some on my birthday. Now, instead of going to my favorite Taqueria Tlaxicali or even Estrellita Poblana, I decided to try somewhere new.

I went for an early dinner, a.k.a we just missed the lunch special 😦 . The place is medium-sized and our waitress was very nice and attentive. When you order the guacamole, they actually come out next to your table and make it in front of you.  I ordered the quesadillas, which come with a side of rice and beans. I could barely finish it, I was so full.

That Sunday, I invited my friends (there were 15 of us!) to The Clock Bar for brunch. I’d been to this space before back when it was an art gallery and I was practically drooling over how awesome the pictures looked on the bar’s website. If I were to ever own my own bar, it would look just like The Clock Bar. Our host Roger (I forgot to ask if he was the owner or manager) was AWESOME. By far, one of, if the, best service experiences I’ve ever had at a restaurant. He put together a prix fixe menu for us featuring the breakfast pizza, poached eggs with hollandaise sauce (photo below), and a belini or mimosa and was just generally a very cool dude. The place totally captured my heart and quite possibly can give the Bruckner Bar and Grill a run for its money as my favorite Bronx bar. We’ll see.

Check out the photos from my birthdays at El Habanero and The Clock Bar:

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