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Empanadas Are The New Best Brunch Dish in the Bronx

sweet potato cakes with short ribs, fried eggs and crispy brussels sprouts

You’ll know you’re in the right place when you hear music spilling onto the street of an industrial area in the South Bronx. The Bronx Brewery, which has been brewing beer in Port Morris for a decade now, is your brunch destination for suds and, somewhat surprisingly, empanadas. BXB and Bronx born food lab Empanology are serving up a menu that makes the trek more than worth it.

Though brunch is new for summer 2021, the partnership between the two Bronx brands began with a pop-up in 2017 and was cemented with a new, on-site kitchen in the brewery’s backyard –– and a five year collaboration pact in fall 2020. Both companies put giving back at the forefront of their mission and helped out last year by sponsoring a local student whose family was impacted by COVID and donating over 10,000 beers to frontline workers through the “Cheers to Heros” campaign.

empanology and bronx brewery partners

Empanology is inspired by the fritter kiosks of Pinones, Puerto Rico and puts a modern spin on Latin American street food. They’ve been able to incorporate some of BXB’s beers into their dishes including the OG Chopped Cheese Empanada, barbecue sauce and other limited-edition menu items. Now that they’re serving brunch, there are even more opportunities to work suds into the street eats.

So what should you expect? Empanadas of course. The stars are the vegan version, which changes based on the season and is currently filled with a zucchini and plantain mix that tastes astonishingly meaty, and the red velvet tres leches-stuffed desert offering. You can’t go wrong if you order sweet (bourbon salted caramel pancakes or blueberry waffles) or savory (Hangover Fries topped with pulled pork and a fried egg, or the Aponte, which pairs braised short ribs, sweet potato cakes and a fried egg, plus super crispy fried brussel sprouts even a sprout hater will love). There’s the necessary BEC, an upgraded chicken and truffle mac and cheese waffles, a vegan chopped cheese and even a salad. The last star of the menu is the Boymalo burger: a Dominican salami and beef blend patty topped with pickled onions, gouda and a fried egg, packed into a mangu fritter bun.

boymalo burger

While you’re munching on these flavor-packed dishes, you’ll definitely need a drink to wash them down. Try one of the year round drafts like American Pale Ale or World Gone Hazy IPA, followed by a summer special like the tropical World Gone Rose IPA or spicy Que Fuego Saison. Let the eye-catching labels that wrap around every BXB can steer you to your new favorite brew.

Of the new brunch offering, Mark Drew, Director of Food and Beverage at The Bronx Brewery said, “For a venue synonymous with driving local music and art programming, Brunch at the Brewery marks the team’s first departure from our regular menu and is focused on pulling culinary influence from the South Bronx.” Jason Alicea, chef and founder of Empanology, added, “Our team and I are thrilled for this next chapter in our partnership with The Bronx Brewery.”

Brunch is available on Sundays from 11 AM to 2 PM in the backyard and taproom of The Bronx Brewery. Empanology also serves late lunch and dinner throughout the week and you can order beer for pickup or statewide delivery.


Sarah Strong

Sarah Strong is a New York City based writer who holds a master’s degree in food studies and is obsessed with television. You can follow her on Instagram at @feedsstrong to see where she eats, what she cooks and what sneakers she’s wearing.


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