Boogie Down Bites: American Grill

Posted: Updated:
MELROSE -

When he came back to the Bronx after years in the Marines, Hector Cruz says he couldn't find quality, fresh food, so he opened his own restaurant.

American Grill, on busy Third Avenue, is a new spot in Melrose.                                                            

It has not even been open for six months, and the name is already causing controversy.

"People have been saying, 'It sounds very white, are you a Trump supporter? You don't fit in the South Bronx.' We're a nation of many cultures, many colors, many races. I'm just trying to serve good food,” says Cruz.

Cruz served in the Marines for eight years, and his uniform hangs in the restaurant.

When the veteran came back home to the Bronx, he says it was hard to find non-processed food in the borough.

"It's not all about the seasoning, it's not all about the culinary arts. It's just about using fresh food,” says Cruz.

What's hot on the menu are the burgers. The patty is never frozen and seasoned and rolled by hand in-house. Add American cheese, some bacon, drizzle ketchup and mayo, top it off with lettuce and tomato and it's good to go on a toasted brioche bun.

Cruz says he just wants to continue serving the community as he did serving the country.

"The American dream is still possible,” says Cruz.

  • Boogie Down BitesMore>>

  • Boogie Down Bites Photos

    Boogie Down Bites Photos

    Here are some of the dishes featured on Boogie Down Bites. 

    Here are some of the dishes featured on Boogie Down Bites. 

  • Boogie Down Bites: Jaida's Sweet Stop

    Boogie Down Bites: Jaida's Sweet Stop

    Monday, August 19 2019 8:53 AM EDT2019-08-19 12:53:22 GMT
    A Bronx couple is thanking their daughter for helping to make their dream come true.
    A Bronx couple is thanking their daughter for helping to make their dream come true.
  • Boogie Down Bites: Bronx Soul Food

    Boogie Down Bites: Bronx Soul Food

    Monday, August 12 2019 7:14 AM EDT2019-08-12 11:14:28 GMT
    A new restaurant in Allerton is giving Bronx residents the chance to enjoy soul food without having to travel outside the borough.
    A new restaurant in Allerton is giving Bronx residents the chance to enjoy soul food without having to travel outside the borough.
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."