NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Jorge Monroy hopes that soon, the North Avenue Cafe will become a destination for families in the New Rochelle area looking for quality food at a reasonable price.
"The one thing I want more than anything else is for this to be a place for families to go. I don't want it to have a bar atmosphere," he said.
The 27-year-old New Rochelle resident manages the restaurant along with his brother Elder Monroy and uncle Joel Argueta who own the restaurant.
Argueta is also the owner of El Sabor De Mi Tierra in New Rochelle, a Mexican restaurant popular with the booming local Latino population.
The North Avenue Cafe was founded as a venture into American and Italian cuisine.
The restaurant is still very much in its infancy, having only opened in November. However, much to Monroy's chagrin, most of their clientele have come in asking for the Latin food their family is known for.
The restaurant has even scheduled its first Quinceñera for August on its spacious outside patio.
Eventually, they began adding a daily rotation of Latin specialty dishes, which have been a big success.
It might have something to do with Gabriela Garcia, who prepares all the Latin cuisine for the cafe using old family recipes.
"She was taught by her aunt," Monroy said, "Everything she makes is homestyle - like you would have it in Mexico."
You won't find these specials on the menu, but local favorites are the pork ribs with spicy red sauce and the beef stew, according to Monroy.
Don't let the hype fool you though, North Avenue Cafe's Italian-style dishes and diner-style breakfast are forces to be reckoned with.
If you're looking for comfort food, the Fettucine Alfredo bursts with creamy, cheesy flavor and is topped with juicy grilled chicken ($12.95).
Breakfast lovers will want to stop in for the Blueberry Bagel French Toast, which is prepared using plain bagels and served with fresh whipped cream ($7.75).
Top it off with a bottle of Snapple or a canned soda, and you have casual dining at its simplest.
Though business may not be booming up to his standards yet, Monroy was happy to say they've gained some regulars, including the families he hopes to attract.
"A little girl comes with her family every Saturday or Sunday because she loves to eat at the bar. We also have some locals who come in several times a week," he said.
The North Ave Cafe is located at 601 North Ave. and is open Monday - Saturday from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Street parking only. All major credit cards accepted.
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