The B train stop at 167th St./Grand Concourse is the first along this century-old four-mile thoroughfare, which was originally modeled after Paris’ Champs-Elysées. If you’re nearby — perhaps for The Bronx Museum of the Arts, free to the public — these three spots offer fine neighborhood snacking.
One of just a handful of restaurants in the area with a proper dining room, Punto & Coma — the name means period and comma, in Spanish — lets you settle down for a hot meal of homestyle Dominican food.
In addition to always-available menu standards like mashed fried green plantains called mofongo or Cuban sandwiches ($6.95) — the pressed heros with ham, roast pork and, here, an extra thick layer of melty cheese — there are also dozens of daily specials.These specials, all served with your choice of stewed pink or black beans and three kinds of rice, are the standouts here. Roast or baked chicken is still-moist and slicked with spices, served for the cost of a deli sandwich ($6.95) at lunch. Another in the rotation is Dominican goat stew with lick-the-plate-clean gravy and green peppers ($7.50, for lunch) — it’s listed as just “goat” on the menu.
Punto & Coma: 239 E. 165th St., near Grant Ave., Bronx; (347) 590-1872
There are a handful of Mexican pantry products at the tiny bodega called Los Rodriguez Productos Mexicanos, but the real reason to visit is the kitchen in the back. It does so much business in takeout tacos, quesadillas, burritos and other quickie dishes that the drink coolers that line one side of the shop are mainly filled with fresh ingredients for the cooks.
It’s a small menu, wisely focused on a few tried and true options where you can choose your fillings. In addition to the items listed above, Los Rodriguez specializes in fantastically messy Mexican sandwiches; gorditas de chicharron $6.50, or puffy fried corn cakes, stuffed with chopped fried pork skin and your choice of meat, $6.50; and a short list of soups like chilate de res, a chili-rich beef soup filled out with vegetables and chickpeas. It’s $12 with hot tortillas and chopped cilantro and sweet white onion.
There are also weekday specials like soupy cups of $13 ceviche with crunchy corn tostadas, and a handful of platters with rice and beans.
Los Rodriguez Productos Mexicanos: 190 E. 166th St., near Carroll Pl., Bronx; (347) 726-6258
Bizcocho is the best
The awning of Cassandra’s Cake Studio proudly reads “Dominican cakes for any occasion,” and the shop lives up to its motto. It sells bizcocho Dominicano — or tender Dominican-style yellow cake frosted with pretty white meringue frosting like lusciously thick melted marshmallows — in almost any size or shape you want.
Its most often stacked in layers stuffed with fruit fillings, sold by the slice or by the cake. A whole 8-inch round version stacked tall and loaded with guava or pineapple jam can be yours for $25, decorated to your specifications in multiple colors in less than 15 minutes.
Many regulars stop by the three-year-old bakery — named after the owner’s daughter — for breakfast sandwiches or eggs and toast. There are many other treats for around a dollar or two as well, including sugar-topped doughnuts, shredded coconut cookies, sticky rectangles of pineapple cake, flan and sweet yellow cornbread, plus savory snacks like pastelitos, frilly-crusted savory fried turnovers.
Cassandra’s Cake Studio: 215 E. 167th St., at Sherman Ave., Bronx; (718) 992-2055