And 20 Things to Eat

10 Summer Food Destinations

For a taste of American Graffiti, seek out L.& B. Spumoni Gardens (2725 86th Street, Brooklyn, 718-449-1230) on a weekend evening, when the action goes far into the night. Girls in polka-dot scarves sit at red picnic tables as boys cruise by in SUVs, and a traffic jam forms with this beloved institution as its focus. There's lots of dross on the three menus (pizza parlor, spumoni dispensary, sit-down joint), but you can't go wrong ordering the rectangular Sicilian pie, constructed in the upside-down style with the gooey cheese on the bottom and the bright tomato sauce mottled artistically on top. It's a beaut! 1/2 tray = 12 slices = $16. Chase it with a spumoni, of course.

Ice, ice, baby: Mama's Frozen Treats make mouths water.
photo: Cary Conover
Ice, ice, baby: Mama's Frozen Treats make mouths water.

Finally, pair a visit to the New York Botanical Garden (200th Street and Kazimiroff Boulevard, Bronx, 718-817-8779) with a southward trek to the Bronx's famous Albanian neighborhood, Arthur Avenue. I skip the amusement-park attractions at the former, and head right for the undeveloped parkland that adjoins the Bronx River, which features mini-cliffs with some charming river views, an antique snuff mill, and a chance to take a surreptitious wade, away from the prying eyes of park rangers. Leave by the south entrance, skirt Fordham University, and wander south on Arthur Avenue to Restorant Shqiptar (660 East 187th Street, Bronx, 718-562-4700), where you can cop a sidewalk table and enjoy qingj i pjekur (roasted lamb haunch), peshk zgare (grilled sea bream), or sallate turshie, a sharply flavored toss of cucumber, pickled red peppers, and Albanian feta. Wash it down with the beer of choice in this neighborhood—Bud.

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