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danbury to westchester move... quality falls off on good basic (or junk) eating

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rafi Dec 5, 2006 04:37 PM

After 7 years in Danbury CT I've moved back to my native state of NY - not to my old home of Brooklyn - but to my wife's native environs of lower Westchester.

You'd figure moving from way out in D-bury to closer to NYC the food situation would have improved all around but we've found that whereas in Danbury we were right near a great New York pizza place (John's on Rt 37) and an inventive quality wings place (T.K.'s) here in westchester your options for both pizza and wings seem to well... suck.

Sure you guys have better fancy eating but I miss my old wings and pizza.

Before you suggest it for pizza, yes, I've tried Sal's - it's fine but it's no John's. I've tried Nicky's in Larchmont which was pretty good during the summer but for some reason seems to have taken a big quality hit the past few times we've had it.

For wings.. well I dunno. I've tried Larchmont places and they're blah in my opinion. I've heard the candlelight is good but central ave is a long shlep from larchmont for some wings.

I think I've just been spoiled by my Danbury spots. Not to mention nearby Bethel for O'Neils sandwiches and those burgers at Sycamore!

Ok it's not all negative in westchester... here's what I've really enjoyed being right near or discovering since moving to Larchmont this year.

The dirty bagel store in new rochelle - it's not like being a kid in canarsie but it beats danbury, Ray's cafe for chinese, Walters hot dogs, the cheese shop, lupita's and the little mexican cafe (thanks chowhound). we did have a great hidden away guacamole spot in danbury but yeah definitely more mexican options in new rochelle and port chester. toyo is good sushi too....

Can someone educate me though on what nearby gems I should know for wings, burgers, delis, pizza and reasonably priced italian food. The basics!

I had a burger from American bistro when I was passing through Tuckahoe and it was quality but I'm talking your basic takeout needs. 20 minutes is too long for me to drive regularly for a burger.

Please hook me up with quality takeout suggestions around Larchmont and the immediately surrounding towns.

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  1. l
    laylag RE: rafi Dec 5, 2006 04:51 PM

    Rafi,

    We're in similar situation. Moved up here about a year ago having lived in Manhattan and also on LI and there are many fewer options. I'm in Mamaroneck and totally agree with you on Sal's and also, although previously a fan of Nicky's, I've noticed slippage. I also recently queried the boards about finding a good burger and it seems all the recommendations were twenty minutes or so - Eastchester. Take-out has been very limited for us. Oh one place I don't know if you've tried is Turkish Meze. It's not along the lines of wings/burgers but isn't high end either and it's very good.

    Which bagel place is the one you mention in NR? We've recently discovered Bagel Power in Scarsdale and they're very good. I spent my early life in Brooklyn and family is from there so I'm particular.

    As you can see, I'm not a help on this but I hope you get some good tips. However,I fear the best food just isn't in our immediate hood (Mamaroneck/Larchmont/Rye). My fingers are crossed though.

    4 Replies
    1. re: laylag
      r
      rafi RE: laylag Dec 5, 2006 05:33 PM

      the bagel store is on quaker ridge rd right next to a chase bank. i only know it as "the dirty bagel store"

      if you go make sure to try the lox spread.

      1. re: laylag
        Cheese Boy RE: laylag Dec 6, 2006 03:51 AM

        Kellys Sea Level
        413 Midland Ave
        Rye, NY 10580
        (914) 967-0868

        Kellys - good for pub grub. Get the fries with chili and cheese. Excellent burgers, etc. Nice menu overall.

        1. re: Cheese Boy
          adamclyde RE: Cheese Boy Dec 6, 2006 02:29 PM

          agree with the burgers there. I'm a fan. Never gotten anything else there.

          1. re: adamclyde
            r
            rafi RE: adamclyde Dec 6, 2006 06:55 PM

            cool. i'll try it out.

      2. r
        rafi RE: rafi Dec 5, 2006 05:29 PM

        Yeah I agree that Turkish Meze and also Turquoise in Larchmont are pretty good.

        Again I'm probably spoiled because they don't measure up to my memories of Sahara in Brooklyn for great Turkish food throughout the 1990s (I hear it's not as good these days).

        It's not just nostalgia, is it? That food was awesome!

        I haven't really done too much sampling of either Meze or Turqouise though. Any favorite dishes you recommend?

        6 Replies
        1. re: rafi
          l
          laylag RE: rafi Dec 5, 2006 07:43 PM

          That must be the bagel place referenced on the boards. No one seems to name it - just the Bagel place on Quaker Ridge Road. Is it really very dirty?

          At Meze (which I think is better than Turquoise), I love the Iskender kabob. It's doner kabob served over sauteed pita with tomato sauce and yogurt. The zucchini pankaces (Mucver) are also really good but we haven't had anything bad yet. I really wish they had Lamakjun (I think I have the spelling all wrong) but it is thin pita-like bread with ground lamb, tomato and spices in the middle. I used to get in on LI at a turkish place there.

          By the way, have you tried the wraps place on Palmer in Larchmont. We really like it although sadly they close early and thus no good for dinner.

          As for nostalgia, I don't think it is but it could be. I still think the best chinese takeout (americanized chinese of course) was near where I spent my very early years - in Canarsie and the best bagels were on Kings Highway in Sheepshead Bay near my grandmother's apartment and almost every slice of pizza there was great.

          1. re: laylag
            r
            rafi RE: laylag Dec 6, 2006 07:07 PM

            My in-laws call it the dirty bagel store. It's not particularly dirty. It's just dirty enough. ;-)

            I havent tried the one in Scarsdale that you mentioned but Quaker Ridge is a pretty close drive for me. I'll keep an eye out for the Scarsdale one.

            I'm a big fan of Iskender though I never had it at turkish meze.

            Yeah I've hit the wraps place on Palmer a few times. Good stuff but like you said not a dinner option. By the way there's a bakery on boston post rd in pelham by the cvs that also does some great wraps. Their tuna and jalapeno wrap is a favorite of mine.

            Where in Canarsie did you live? I'm from E 78th St and Flatlands. My parents are still in Brooklyn but they just moved out of the old Canarsie home like two years ago.

            1. re: rafi
              l
              laylag RE: rafi Dec 6, 2006 07:49 PM

              I was only seven when we moved out (but I'm always proud to say I was originally from there). Our address was 1369 E. 84th Street but I can't give the cross streets. You can probably figure it out from the street number. I went to PS 115 for K and 1st grade.

              1. re: laylag
                r
                rafi RE: laylag Dec 6, 2006 08:40 PM

                It's a small world after all.

                You were between Ave M and N... I had some friends on blocks right near there.

                Funny that you were always proud to say you were from there - I've always felt a little bit of shame about it.

                1. re: rafi
                  l
                  laylag RE: rafi Dec 6, 2006 09:38 PM

                  We moved out to L.I. so I was mostly raised in the 'burbs and maybe that's why the different perspective. Brooklyn is very nostalgic for me. Parents, grandparents, etc. are mostly from different parts of Brooklyn.

                  And these days especially, with the exception of Manhattan, Brooklyn has a cool/hip/funky factor the other boroughs don't. Apologies to anyone from the other three.

                  By the way, although never before, in the last couple years I've met several from Canarsie including my new dentist who is in Larchmont. Canarsie keeps popping up. Kind of odd. What could it mean? : )

            2. re: laylag
              j
              jasoncohen RE: laylag Oct 9, 2008 10:05 AM

              We just had dinner in Turquoise and i think is way better then Turkish Meze,We loved the people , Everybody knew each other, which is you don't see this in every Restaurant.Food and service was also good.

          2. d
            dolores RE: rafi Dec 5, 2006 06:13 PM

            Hmmm....I guess different foods are a schlepp.

            Wings? Gordo's or Candlelight Inn, imo.

            Sal is...oh the humanity...renovating and expanding. You know what happens when THAT happens, right? Nicky's is okay, I guess.

            Really good pizza? Francesca's in White Plains and Michael's in Port Chester. Neither rival Pepe's, though.

            Many love Johnny's in Mount Vernon, I'm not in that camp.

            As to burgers, I'd have to say Blazer over American Bistro. Or Gordo's. Or Candlelight.

            But, as I said originally, a schlepp.

            Then again, you have La Renaissance bakery in your nice little downtown with quality stores. AND I bet you don't have to pay for on street parking after 6:00pm, now do you?

            So right there, you have it all over New Rochelle and White Plains.

            4 Replies
            1. re: dolores
              r
              rafi RE: dolores Dec 5, 2006 07:05 PM

              I dig Blazer. When we were still in Danbury my wife did her Lamaze-type class in Bedford. We used to take 22 home sometimes just to stop for a Blazer burger.

              Where's Gordo's?

              Don't get me wrong - I think Larchmont is great. I just want some good cheap eats.

              But I'll try out Candlelight one of these days and also your pizza suggestions. Thanks.

              1. re: rafi
                d
                dolores RE: rafi Dec 5, 2006 07:43 PM

                It's on Commerce St. in Hawthorne, NY, but I honestly can't say how to get there. Here's a website:

                http://www.gordosrestaurant.com/

                Oh and heck, I like expensive too, if it's good, but at the same time, I like cheap eats as well.

              2. re: dolores
                l
                laylag RE: dolores Dec 5, 2006 07:49 PM

                You know Dolores, on the pizza thing, I have to think that now that we have trekked to Pepes (Fairfield) several times, I'm even more particular than I was before and maybe that's why nothing else is working for me. It's hard to beat Pepe. But I still don't get the Sal-fanatics. We do go sometimes though and the place is such a dump that I hope the expansion will be a good thing.

                We're is this Candlelight place again?

                1. re: laylag
                  d
                  dolores RE: laylag Dec 5, 2006 08:03 PM

                  Same here, I'm losing patience with places that are overpriced or lacking in service. I haven't been to Pepe's in Fairfield, but the pizza in New Haven was outstanding, although you can keep the wait and the service.

                  I honestly am still enjoying the pizza at Via Appia (yes, a dump). I don't like the buddy buddy atmosphere at Francesco's but their pizza is very good.

                  Candlelight...hah, good question. You know D'Errico's log cabin jeweler place? It's near there, a little red shack that is hard to see. There is also the horrendous puppy mill posing as a yuppy pet store near it, can't think of the name of the place. It's very near D'Errico so go slow and you will see the sign for Candlelight. Very much a dive, but reallllly good stuff.

              3. l
                laylag RE: rafi Dec 5, 2006 07:56 PM

                Oh Rafi also...Good, inexpensive Italian, a bit of a schlep but there's a place on Central Ave (Scarsdale/Hartsdale) in a strip mall called Pastina's. Really good marinara, good pastas, good braciole. Always crowded and with a wait but it's been consistent. It's just a neighborhood joint. Also, a little more upscale but very good on our one visit is Trattoria Vivolo - across from the train station in Harrison on Halstead.

                1 Reply
                1. re: laylag
                  r
                  rafi RE: laylag Dec 6, 2006 07:09 PM

                  Cool. I'll try them out.

                  Thanks

                2. d
                  dolores RE: rafi Dec 5, 2006 08:07 PM

                  Again, not fancy but I also enjoy Silvio's in Valhalla for Italian food.

                  Oh, rafi, almost forgot....Valentino's is closer to Larchmont than many of these other places I'm talking about, and I found their Italian food to be very good indeed. Not great on atmosphere, but you may enjoy the food.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dolores
                    r
                    rafi RE: dolores Dec 6, 2006 07:10 PM

                    I usually get takeout, so good food but crappy atmosphere sounds like my kind of place. :-)

                    Thanks

                  2. JMF RE: rafi Dec 8, 2006 11:33 PM

                    For pizza Johnny's on Lincoln Ave in Mt Vernon

                    Totonnos at Ramada Inn on Tuckahoe Rd in Yonkers. Coal fired, thin crispy crust, almost the same flavor as the Coney Island branch

                    1. s
                      seniorgriggle RE: rafi Dec 9, 2006 09:50 PM

                      Bagels - Sammy's in New Rochelle
                      Heislers - old style Jewish bakery on North Avenue
                      A shifting array of Mexican places in New Rochelle -- El Chino is our favorite
                      Modern in NR for pizza....or Rigatoni in Pelham if the owner is in a good mood
                      Sandwiches, cakes and cobblers at Provisions in Pelham

                      1. c
                        celebrate18 RE: rafi Dec 11, 2006 06:40 PM

                        GOlden Rod in New Rochelle (next to Larchmont) is the best Chinese takeout...!

                        1. o
                          OEUFSKI RE: rafi Dec 20, 2006 09:34 PM

                          Try four corners pizza in Pelham...

                          and, greasy nick's on pelhamville road... i think it's now known as leno's clam shack. i've heard gooood things about their burgers.

                          i misss the east coast so much.

                          danbury's food was garbage for the most part, though. i do miss What About A Bagel... and Nico's Pizza a lot. I need to take a vacation...

                          1. vvvindaloo RE: rafi Oct 9, 2008 06:34 PM

                            The Beechmont in New Rochelle is very popular for wings. IMO, the best slice of pizza can be had at Catania's on Central Ave. in Yonkers, but, in the interest of recommending somewhere closer to you, the Sicilian pizza slices at Four Corners Pizza in Pelham are good.
                            For affordable, authentic Italian, you can give Spadaro's in New Rochelle a try... I mention this with some trepidation, as my family and friends have given mixed reports of this place as of late. I ate there twice, with excellent food both times, though the service was dreadful on my second visit. I haven't been in months, however. For Indian, Coromandel and Rangol in NR are good.
                            Try the burgers at The Piper's Kilt in Eastchester.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: vvvindaloo
                              Marge RE: vvvindaloo Oct 9, 2008 06:38 PM

                              Sorry, but do you really find Spadaro's "affordable"?? The one dinner I had there (reviewed here) was prior to them having a liquor license, and without wine, one shared appetizer, one pasta and one fish (with no side dishes), no dessert or coffee, was over $100 with tip!

                              1. re: Marge
                                vvvindaloo RE: Marge Oct 9, 2008 06:53 PM

                                which appetizer?

                                1. re: vvvindaloo
                                  Marge RE: vvvindaloo Oct 9, 2008 07:18 PM

                                  We had the antipasto, sans any seafood, which, during the course of their frenetic service was not, well, served to us (although after reading subsequent reports of "off" shellfish being served, perhaps we were better off). We did enjoy most of the food, but quite frankly, for that money, I could eat at any number of amazing Italian restaurants in NYC. I think the popularity of Spadaro's is due to the fact that it is different than most offerings in the culinary challenged county of Westchester .

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