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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Bronx Hurricane Sandy Efforts

The Bronx seems like the borough the suffered the least amount of damage due to Hurricane Sandy and we should be thankful for that, but also use that to our advantage and help out our fellow New Yorkers. I’ll try to keep this post as up to date as possible as I come across different places for people to donate, volunteer, or generally help out. Please try to call beforehand just in case the information changes before I get a chance to update it!

  • The Bruckner Bar & Grill  was completely flooded during the hurricane (check out the video posted alongside this DNAInfo article). They are trying to raise money to make the necessary repairs to open up again.
  • Brew Coffeehouse  is collecting donations in the forms of baby items, brooms, work gloves, flashlights, and toiletries.
  • Councilman James Vacca’s office will also be a drop-off location, 3040 E Tremont Ave. (718) 931-1721. (via post on Westchester Square-Zerega Improvement Organization’s fb page.)
  • Donations are being accepted at Yankee Stadium, Gate 2 at 164th and Jerome. Check here for their list of suggested items.
  • The Bronx Underground is collecting nonperishable food items at their show this Friday, Nov. 9th.
  • The Bartow-Pell Mansion is hosting a Volunteer Garden Clean-Up Day on Nov. 17 from 10 am – 1 pm to clean up the grounds after Hurricane Sandy and the recent snowstorm. Call 718.885.1461 or email info@bpmm.org to register. (via Bronx Mama)
  • December 15, 2012 – Park Clean-up at Joyce Kilmer Park (via New York Cares) “Joyce Kilmer Park needs your help with debris removal and overall park clean-up. If you plan to attend this project and have questions, please contact Jennifer Beaugrand at 917.378.4242 or TheBronxisBlooming@gmail.com.”
  • You can also visit NYC Service for a full database of different opportunities to volunteer.

The Spotlight: Ray Felix

I’m really excited to present a new feature on the blog called The Spotlight. Here’s where I’ll shine the digital spotlight on a Bronxite who’s doing awesome things in the borough. For the inaugural edition, I interviewed the Director of Bronx Comic Con, Ray Felix!

What part of the Bronx are you from?

I grew up on Carpenter Ave and 226th street in a private house. My dad was from Puerto Rico and lived in Spanish Harlem, then moved to University Ave with my mom who was Colombian. When I was born he moved to the North Bronx.

 How did the idea for Bronx Comic Con come about? What was the planning and launching process like?

The idea for heroes based in the Bronx borough came through my growing up reading white heroes that didn’t represent me as an individual and frustration with trying to break into the comic book industry after high school and through college, which led me to self publishing my own comics. The Bronx Heroes Comic Con came about through an art show in which I curated called, “Dream Sequence”. It was composed of both fine art and comics. Bronx Heroes followed the opening of that show as an extension of the exhibit featuring exclusively comic artists.

How was this year’s Comic Con different from last year’s?

This Year’s Bronx Heroes Comic Convention was more focused on careers in the comic industry even more so, because we just didn’t do workshops on drawing or technique, but we  included panels such as “Women in Comics” hosted by Regine Sawyer and “Making it Happen: How to get into the comic industry” hosted by Rob Taylor with guest Eric Battle and N.Steven Harris.
My assistant Vanessa also spearheaded a blood drive which was something we had talked about doing for about a year, since I had returned from Africa with Alex Simmons and Eugene Addams of Kids Comic Con.

 What are your top 3 favorite places in the Bronx?

My three favorite places to go in the Bronx are 1) Bedford Diner, 2) Bruckner Bar and Grill, 3)Home. Because home is where the Heart is. I also like hanging at the Longwood Art Gallery and the Bronx Museum.

 Any upcoming projects or events we should look out for?

I plan to be showcasing the Bronx Heroes at this years “Latin Mixx Conference” in Manhattan this July.(www.latinmixx.com) New York Comic Con in October and hopefully we’ll be cooking up with something for the fall, but I can’t say. It’s Top Secret. Stay tuned to our site for updates www.bxhcc.com

 

Know someone who should be in The Spotlight? Shoot me an email at Lisa@thebronxsocialite.com!

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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Finally! Bronx Restaurant Week Announced

After being the only borough without an official restaurant week, Savor the Bronx, the first annual Bronx restaurant week has been announced.

Produced by the Bronx Tourism Council and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp., it’s set to take place from November 1–13 and features 15 different restaurants.

This is a really great opportunity to showcase the borough’s culinary awesomeness, however, I am surprised that more restaurants aren’t participating. [I really would’ve loved two of my favorite Bronx eateries, Bruckner Bar and Grill and Taqueria Tlaxicalli offer up some specials]. Plus, Applebee’s is NOT a Bronx restaurant. Geographically, sure, but you can’t tell me that there weren’t any other restaurants originally from the Bronx that wanted to jump in and participate in this. The lunch special they’re offering is the lunch special they offer everywhere. Come on, now. [end rant]

Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to checking out Z’Novia, Ice House Cafe & Restaurant, and the Bronx Ale House. I’ve been mulling over going to Tosca. I passed by it everyday on my way to school, but never went in. And five years later, I still haven’t visited. I feel like I’d rather give these lesser known (well maybe not the Bronx Ale House, they’ve got a solid following) restaurants a shot.

What restaurants are you looking forward to visiting OR what Bronx restaurants do you think should’ve made the cut?