Mon-Sat, 7am-5:30pm; Sun, closed
4 at Fordham Rd.; B, D at Fordham Rd.
187th St. to Arthur Ave., Southern Blvd. to Valentine Ave.
Visitors to the Arthur Avenue retail market, overcome by the sights and smells of so much glorious food, often want to eat on the spot. While other vendors sell sandwiches, Café al Mercato is the only place here to get a sit-down meal. At this little lunch counter, enormous heroes, made to order, tempting most assertively. While many are listed, the knowledgeable create their own, adding glistening grilled eggplant or zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated string beans and the like to sliced sopressata, capicollo, prosciutto, salami, provolone and mozzarella, piled high onto bakery-fresh rolls. The thick-crust, pan-baked Sicilian pizzas, sometimes as many as 15 different versions, are well crafted, but the best may be Mercato’s salad pies, with artichoke hearts, broccoli, arugula and other cooked/fresh vegetables. The classic is the lasagne slice: a crisp-bottomed slab topped with fresh ricotta covered in a zesty and meaty Bolognese sauce. It looksóand eatsólike a Sloppy Joe, a soul-satisfying deviation from pizza correctness.Recommended Dishes
Sicilian lasagne pizza slice, $4; salad slice, $3.50