New restaurant, American Grill, offers top cuisine from all regions

New restaurant, American Grill, offers top cuisine from all regions
Cruz (l) and Vando stand behind the counter at American Grill
Schneps Media / Steven Goodstein

A newly opened eatery in the west Bronx has a national plan – to offer an array of food options from across the country.

Last week, American Grill, located at 2987 Third Avenue just off 154th Street, officially opened with a broad selection of American cuisine.

Some of the restaurant’s best selections include American grill and signature burgers, California fish and shrimp tacos, Memphis-style BBQ chicken and Philly cheese steaks. The fish and shrimp tacos are enhanced with an in-house coleslaw.

The menu also includes a Bob Marley/Rasta burger, a green veggie-burger option.

The restaurant had a soft opening in April and was remodeled in preparation for the official opening earlier this month, after receiving positive feedback from the community, which inspired many of the menu options.

“This experience is going to be personally and financially challenging, but it will also be very rewarding,” said Hector Cruz, co-owner of American Grill who grew up just a few blocks north on 156th Street and 3rd Avenue, and still lives in the Bronx. “I have a terrific staff – and we are all working toward the same goal, which is to have a go-to, high-quality restaurant with variety in this neighborhood.”.

Cruz added that the ‘American Grill’ name has been the subject of some controversy, as some Bronx residents have concluded that the restaurant’s name supports the country’s right-wing political views.

“We named the restaurant American Grill because of our patriotism and our love for all the cultures and ethnic backgrounds that make up this country,” Cruz said.

Cruz, whose parents were immigrants from Mexico, is a veteran, having served in the Marines for a total of eight years. He did three tours – two in Iraq and one in Japan and the Philippines.

“We did this because of our love for food – but we also love challenges and taking chances,” said Victor Vando, who co-owns American Grill with Cruz.

Vando, who received accolades from Cruz regarding his experience and impact on the restaurant since he joined a few months ago, was born in Puerto Rico and owned five-star restaurants in PR before they were destroyed by Hurricane Maria in September 2017.

The grand opening for American Grill is set to take place sometime in late August.

American Grill is opened Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The restaurant is looking to extend its hours to serve a breakfast buffet, starting September 1, and open on Sundays starting in September for the upcoming NFL season.

The breakfast buffet includes eggs, bacon, strawberry waffles and banana pancakes, to name a few choice options.

Aside from their daily restaurant chores, Cruz works as an electrical engineer and Vando is a veterinarian. Their ultimate goal is to eventually create a brand they can expand into the other boroughs.

American Grill recently participated in the popular Bronx Night Market event at Fordham Plaza, where they sold over 100 food items from burgers to fish tacos.

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