Ok, start the abuse now. I"m just listing my favorite spots in Westchester, and you can either agree or disagree. What I'm hoping to get out of this is people's reaction and their places, so I might enjoy and possibly change my mind.
Burger - Kilt. It's my home away from home. Love the people that work there, and before I became a regular, I always thought they had the ebst burgers around. MY Burger of choice is the blue burger (medium rare). I also like the nachos, wings (well done sauce on the side), and potato skins. Chili and French onion soup are winners too.
Deli - Mona Lisa. The best bang for your buck and amazing food. Service is appaling so I suggest you call your order in, or learn to speak Italian.
Steak - Morton's. Been there four times in the past two years and have always had a great meal. I prefer Luger's, but hey, it's not in Westchester. Shrimp Alexander and the Porterhouse is the way too go.
Chinese takeout - East Bamboo. Surprisingly I find this food tastes the freshest of all the takeout places. If you want soup, go to Golden Duck on Garth Road.
Chinese sit down - Pagoda on Central Ave. Very different menu than takeout. Great fish, that is in front of you swimming 20 minutes before you eat. A little rushed on the service, but great meal every time.
Italian (Don't laugh) - Pizza & Brew. I've been going there for years and think that if it was served in a quanit setting with violins softly playing in the background, people would talk about this place the way they do a lot of great restaurants. And when four people get their bill and it's only $100 w/ drinks, how can you beat that?
Pizza - my favorite slice is the chicken parm at Amore in Scarsdale. Scarsdale Pizza Station is also very good. Crestwood is a staple, and Chubby's Deli has turned into a pizzaria/sandwich shop that is great. May I suggest the Thanksgving wedge. Their personal pizzas and paninis are also good. For a non-pizza dish, I like the Gyros at Pizza PIzza in Fleetwood.
Mexican - I used to love Burrito Poblano, the hole in the wall in Tuckahoe. The food is alwasy good, and how can you not like a place that you walk in with a song on the radio, order and walk out and the same song is still playing! Great service and fun place to relax. Thye had an electrical fire and haven't reopened. I have been going to Casa Maya for years, but a much better place is Maryann's in Port Chester. Great Salsa, amazing Margaritas (get the Royal not the Cuervo one). I am not here to bash, but stay away from Blue Moon. Been there 3 times and never once had a good meal.
Bagels - Garth Road. Hands down! Don't even bring you bagel thoughts, haha.
Thai - I like Garlic and Pepper in Tuckahoe, but it appears it's losing it's battle to stay open. Last time I walked in, someone was sleeping on the floor in the middle of the restaurant and they told me they were closed.
Best Beer place - I still like Lazy Boy in White Plains for a beer and some snacks. it's lostsome of it's luster from the 90's, but still enjoyable.
Best Sushi - Sushi by Jay in Scarsdale. I know I know, you can get it in Supermarkets, but go there for the fresh stuff.
Best BBQ - haven't been to Q's yet. I love Ribs on the Run though.
Best comfort meal - Thanksgiving dinner (always on the menu) at Joe's Quarry Inn. Also order the Hopper's Poppers. Why, because they are named after me! A surprise item that is delicious, are the chicken flautas - better than Mexican restaurants.
Best place for a romantic dinner - home! Cook you lazy bums! Plus, you're closer to the bedroom at home. Too much can happen on the ride home!
Best place to watch a game - Anywhere with a tv. Come on people. It's the people you're with, not the bar. I go to the Kilt. Some like MIckey's. Who cares!
Before you start criticizing me, here is what I look for in a meal. I want the food to be good. I don't really care about service, because the difference between great service and good service is so minute. I want my food to be warm when its' supposed to, or cold when its supposed to. I want decent portions, and I want some value. Why go to a hoity toity place lIke Mulino and pay $60 a person and leave hungry, when you can go to Pizza and Brew and pay $20 and have a better meal. Sure the ambience is lost, but is ambience worht $40 extra dollars? I want fresh. I know there are burger places all over th place that have good burgers, but I don't want them overcooked to hide the grey meat. I want to see pink! And hey, if you don't have fresh ripe tomatoes, then don't put old mushy ones on my plate, tell me you don't have tomatoes. I also did this without a lot of thinking about it, so I'm sure I forgot a lot of places. Give me your ideas.
Some honorable mentions;
Gina Marie's in Eastchester - it's lost something in the move from Fleetwood, but stillgood and the portions are enormous. Unfortunately if you are a service snob, you wll hate this place.
Maple Street Deli - a little spanish flare. Also right near my job.
Kelly's in Rye - great burger, nice homey atmosphere.
Burger - the Kilt is our go-to place for burgers, although I think I may be getting 'Kilted-out'
and need to find a new burger joint.
Deli - Langes in B'xville. Been going there for decades and they make some great sandwiches (albeit pricey). Their salads are also very good. I also like the fact that they have a platoon of workers behind the counter so even when crowded, you never have to wait long before receiving your order.
Chinese take-out - I'm going to have to agree with East Bamboo. I was recently turned on to this place by a friend who took me there for the lunch special and I'm now hooked.
Italian - Buena Sera in Fleetwood (where Gina Marie's used to be). Perhaps not THE best Italian, but it's my favorite. The Modern in NewRo and Il Bacio in B'xville are also big favs of mine
Pizza- I'm a Mount Vernon guy and think Johnny's is the best, but I grew tired of the people that work there and no longer visit. Joe's Fleetwood and the Modern in NewRo would have to be my fav for pizza.
Mexican - wow, Blue Moon in B'xville is my fav, but after reading how others feel about it, I may have to expand my horizons when it comes to Mexican.
Bagels - Yes, I'm gonna go there and challenge your Garth Rd choice with my fav bagel shop, Gramatan Hot Bagels in Fleetwood. Big, airy and delicious. Yum Yum :)
Sushi - Haiku in B'xville, besides the sushi they make this awesome spicy crispy shredded beef dish that I can't get enough of.
Asian - Spring Asian in Fleetwood. Again, not THE best food but pretty good. Since this thread is titled Westchester Favorites, I have to mention.
West Indian - Ripe in Mount Vernon. Great food and a lot of fun.
looks like we may be from the same area. I forgot to mention Ripe, that place is awesome and so very reasonable!
Also, good comment on Lange's...I went there at 10a.m. after having some blood taken. Even worse for me than not having breakfast yet, was the fact that I couldn't have juice or coffee/tea this a.m. I was in and out in 5 min. even though the line was almost out the door. I was a happy girl!
Other honerable mentions that I thought of after posting...
favorite Asian market and Bubble Tea - New Golden Village (scarsdale) - they have really good frozen dumplings and spring rolls, can you all telI I love Asian food? :-)
Best frozen yogurt - restaurant at Bloomindale's
Best Lunch/casual dinner - Village cafe in Bronxville, I love their salads! menu is very eccelctic and I can honestly say I've never had a bad meal there. Service can be slow, but not obnoxiously so, just enough that you can relax and enjoy your meal, you may have to hunt someone down for the check though.
I'm sure we are nearby. I'm in Mount Vernon, so Fleetwood, Bronxville, Tuckahoe and Eastchester are where I usually dine.
About Ripe - I remember when I first started hearing people talk about it and it's location on Sandford Blvd. I usually drive by there a few times a week and would always look for it and could never figure out where exactly it was, until a friend took me there. It looks like they have a sign in the window now, although not a very conspicuous one.
Village Cafe - was that formerly known as The Cup and Saucer? If it is, that is also a fav of mine... although we still call it by it's former name for some reason lol. You're right, service can be slow but the salads are very good.
No, they don't have falafel on the menu anymore.
I have tried pretty much all aspects of the menu (brunch, lunch and dinner), and while nothing completely "blows me away" everything I've ever had has been at least "very good" Plus they have outdoor seating (living in a co-op this is a major plus for me) and I feel their prices are very reasonable.
When I've brought my car over to Frank DiBona's for inspection, I've gone around the corner and sat outside with my dog. Food's not great (my husband claims that they can't even make decent scrambled eggs), but I agree it's pleasant to sit out on a nice day. So what's "very good?" since it became The Village Cafe?
I finally got to Herradura last night. Speckled Door is next door, anyone been? Supposed good Irish food, right?
Anyway, on Herradura. Got the seat I wanted, service was prompt. Didn't go for the fancy margarita, mine was fine. Chips and salsa were fine, and guess what? No charge for them.
Hubby had deluxe fajitas, I had steak. Didn't see the fish tacos mentioned on this board.
Funny thing, they asked if we wanted tortillas. Huh? Fajitas without tortillas? The guacamole was very, very good, I gave over the steak and loaded mine up with guacamole, sour cream, and onions. The dish was gringo prepared, I guess, not too spicy, and the hot sauce on the table wasn't hot.
That's okay, the meal was very enjoyable. When I asked for another tortilla, it was forthcoming without an extra charge.
I would defnitely go back. I overheard someone talking about the 4:56, so I assume the mobile NYC crowd eats there. Good for Herradura. Now, if they would only do something about downtown, I might stop complaining.
This place was as good as Little Mexican Cafe, I highly recommend both.
As promised, here are my fave's, I've enjoyed reading everyone's answers and have added a few spots to my list of places to try thanks to the recs! Admittedly, my list is going to be very neighborhood centric, I'm still learning my way around Westchester!
Deli - Lange's...They have great sandwiches and take out food, they have saved me from having to cook dinner often! Two faves are the Penne a la vodka and the mac and cheese. Also Hickey's on Palmer is great (across from Lawrence hospital)
Steak - I have to admit I hate steak houses, went to Morton's last week and it was so terribly overpriced and mediocre. I'd rather go to whole foods or Stews, get a dry aged steak and grill it myself! Or will order the occasionaI Steak Fritte from French restaurants.
Asian takeout - Calvin's (Chinese/Bronxville), Tanto (Japanese/Scarsdale), Kang Suh (Scarsdale/Korean) Kang Suh is also good for eating in, but my dh isn't very into Korean, so I tend to pick up lunch on occasion to feed my Bi Bim Bop cravings
6 months ago I would have added East Harbor to the top of the list, but the last few times I ordered from them the quality had gone waaayyy downhill.
Asian sit down - Haiku for Ecclectic Japanese, Japan Inn for authentic sushi/sashimi and Wild Ginger for intersting cooked Malasian/Thai/pan-Asian.
Italian - Rosie's in Bronxville or Cafe Sylvium in Stamford, CT for real Italian cuisine.
Emilia's on Arthur Ave for "red sauce". Sorry I'm straying from Wstchester on these!
Pizza - We usually order from A' Mangiare, they are the best from my experience, but still not my favorite (which would be Pintaile's in the city) I'm on the search for a really good thin crust that will deliver!
Mexican - Portchester has the best mexican, though I can't remember the names of the places we've gone too. There is one place on main Street South of the LifeSaver building we used to go to often.
Bagels - Hickey's deli and a place on the service road to I87 near exit 3 or 4. I can't remember the name
Thai - I tend to go to Kit's Thai kitchen in Stamford, need to check out some of the more local places, though most don't get very good reviews here.
Best Beer place - The Tap House
Best Sushi - Japan Inn, Sushi Mike's
Best BBQ - Dinosaur
Best comfort meal - Miso soup, dumplings and an egg roll, or mac and cheese
Best place for a romantic dinner - anywhere over-looking the water in Newport, RI :-)
Best place to watch a game - Fogarty's, which is also my favorite pub/Irish food
Best Indian - Patang
I want the food to be better than I could make at home. I do want at least average and atentive service. I also want some atmosphere and not feel like I'm eating in a take-out place.
From the Tuckahoe Area:
Sushi -You can not go wrong with Kuzaku in Tuckahoe. No, it is not the best but is reliable time after time. Service tends to be good.
Italian - Mama Assunta - I dare anyone to say something bad about the food. Service is another matter all together on some nights. Lets keep this just about the food.
Deli - Bon Appettite - Sandwhiches for the price are not bad. Service we will say is.... interesting.
Pizza - Villagio - Seems close to what one would get from Bravo or Pronto in the city if you are just after a quick slice. Angelina's is not that great and most of the surrounding places are not worth the 10-15 drive.
Chinese Take Out - High Dragon in Bronxville. This is based on the consistency of the wonton soup and eggrolls. If any place can do this the same each time, it is a winner in my book for everything else.
Dinner - Central Park Ave Dinner. Hole in the wall but not bad. Cash only.
Mexican - Blue Moon takes over as our go to place since Burrito Poblano closed down. I dont know why this is knocked on this board.
Burgers: Everything seems to burn down around here. Station House of Bronxville was not bad.
Breakfast: Central Park Avenue Dinner.
Indian: Bengal Tiger. It is so worth the drive every time
Bagels: Eastchester Bagel Cafe. Its not close to Bageltown of Levittown, but not bad for the area.
Tap House, Old Stone Mill, Eastshester Fish Gourmet, Azuma, Kittle House,
Runner Up's: Pipers Kilt, Crestwood Pizza, Patang, Mont Olympus, Opus 465
Not knocking, just proof tha taste buds are not universal. Mama Assunta is such a hit or miss place. I've had absolutely terrible food there. Then again I've had good food there. Never great though.
Why anyone would go to Vilaggio's when in 30 seconds you could be at Crestwood or Chubby's makes no sense. Not that Vilaggio is horrible (it used to be), but why settle?
Burrito Poblano is back, although I have yet to get over there since the re-opening. Blue Moon is an enigma. How can you have Mexican food that is bland. It's nearly impossible, but Blue Moon manages to do it. I've been there 3 times and just don't get the place. Nothing is seasoned, nothing is spicy, and nothing tastes good. Wen to the Station house when it first opened and was very unimpressed. And why go anywhere in Tuck/East/Bronx when you can go to the Kilt for a burger?
I'll have to try your Tuckahoe suggestion for Sushi though. And maybe even High Dragon, as it's closer to my girlfriend's house than East Bamboo.
It's actually pretty scary. I've lived within 5 minutes of Eastchester Fish Gourmet for 23 years and never been.
I have to totally agree on Villagio's and Bue Moon. Villagio's is not bad, and was our Sunday lunch pizza (since Crestwood was closed for lunch). But now with Chubby's, it's no longer a problem. Blue Moon is just dirty and gross. And the margarita is horrible.
Have not been to Fish Gourmet either, but I buy fish at their market all the time and it is consistently reliable and fresh. I can only imagine that the restaurant would be wonderful.
One last work about Angelina's, since I seem to be the only advocate here... They make a very good minestrone and their bolognese is out of this world. And their assortments of Tiramisus are super fresh and decadent. Their bread is freshly baked on the premises. Again, not worth the restaurant seating, but in the pizza joint up front, it's totally worth it.
Since Angelina's has changed owners the service has been very poor. I went to the pizzeria side ordered a dinner, bread and a glass of wine. Since I was a little hungry I asked for the bread right away. I sat at my table and the glass of wine was brought over to me right away. I asked about the bread and was told it was coming. Fifteen minutes later, I got up and went to the counter to ask about the bread. First I had to interrupt the staff as they chatted amongst themselves and ignored the customers at the counter. When I got their attention, they told me the bread was coming. He then goes over and gets some bread to put in the oven. I am truly surprised the bread was not already being heated up. To which the response was 'don't worry you'll get it before your meal'. Needless to say, the bread came to the table about one minute before the meal. After a few months, I thought I would go back and give them another try. Same issue, when I got to the counter, the staff was talking amongst themselves, ignoring me and another customer waiting to have our orders taken. After a few minutes of waiting, I asked if 'anyone was waiting on the customers'. Finally got their attention. I won't go back until I know they have improved their service. They are a few other pizzerias in the area that are just as good! No need to put up with the poor service.
>>Italian - Mama Assunta - I dare anyone to say something bad about the food. Service is another matter all together on some nights. Lets keep this just about the food.
But wouldn't service figure into your experience at the place? Eating out is about more than the food.
If I were given the best food on the planet and the service was abysmal, I would not give it more than a few tries. And vice versa.
The best "sandwich" in Westchester (as of today) has to be the balboa at Larchmont tavern. hands down. enough said. Also the best dish under $10 has to be (again as of today) the "bitoque"--slivers of steak on top of a slice of brioche with a poached egg on top all in a small casserole dish...frpm Peniche in WP, simply heaven!
here's a few more suggestions "uncovered"over the years in westchester: bagels - golden horseshoe scarsdale pizza (whole pie only)johnnys mt.vernon pizza slice on 22 north white plains next to subway(blech),sofias in harrison or cassanos in hartsdale-good bakery across the street .or go the distance frank pepe in fairfield-worth the drive(pies only) and a wait to get in . burgers burgers shakes and fries byram or so dam hot in valhalla for hot dogs hamburgers and wings . bbq-q port chester, bread bakery-kneaded bread same owner as q and also in pt.chester bakery-la tulipe mt.kisco , special mention nessa in port chester,iron horse grill, and for mexican ~truck by city park by new rochelle,larchmont border.
I have to diagree with a lot of the selections here:
Bagels - Sunshine Bagels in Ardsley
Thai - The Thai House in Ardsley is the best I've found in Westchester
Steak - I've had a damn good steak at Blue in White Plains also Meritage in Scarsdale
Chinese Takeout - Golden Wok in Ardsley
Sushi - Sushi Mikes in Dobbs Ferry
Wings - Candlelight Inn Hartsdale
Mexican - Sante Fe in Tarrytown
Greek - Lefteris Gyron in Tarrytown
Best Fine Dining Meal - X2O in Yonkers
French - Buffet de La Gare
Jewish Deli - Epstein's in Hartsdale
Pizza - Ardsley Pizzeria (but it's not always great)
Italian - anything but pizza and brew (scaramella's, giuseppes, genaro's, etc.)
American - Harvest on Hudson, X2O, Blu, Blue, and Meritage
Beer Bar - Lazy Boy
Bakery - Rivera Bakery hands down
Diner - oddly enough City Limits
Good call with Thai House. Haven't been in years but the food was always excellent there. Definitely better than Garlic & Pepper.
I know this is near blapshemy, but I love wings and I hate the Candlelights wings. They were so much betteer about 10 years ago. We had a superbowl party a few years back and twp people brought trays of wings, one person got them from the Candlelight and the other got them from Rockwell's in Tuckahoe. Everyone was all excited about the Candlight and everyone was pretty much disappointed we didn't have two from there isntead of the one from the Rockwell's. To everyone's surprise we ended up throwing out about 40-50 of the 100 wings that were bought at the Candlelight and the Rockwell's ones were gone!
Where is Rivera Bakery?
Something I've noticed with Candlelight is that when you order a huge bunch they are not as good. I don't know if they get lazy, or if they leave the smaller ones in thinking you wont notice. Usually I eat there and get a small or medium order.
Rivera Bakery is in Ardsley on 9A near the bridge to Dobbs Ferry. It's next to Carvel. Believe it was named best bakery in westchester a few years.
Sounds like you live in Tuckahoe... Here's my take for some good fun.
Burger - Kilt. I can't say bad things about the kilt. The burger is just the right size, but it's not really anything to rave about. It's been inconsistent in my experience, and the fries are not very good.
Deli - Mona Lisa. Where's Mona Lisa?
Steak - I have not had steak in a while, but I like a good old-fashioned 'steak-frites'. I have had great success at Red Hat, and a good version at Encore in Larchmont (a lot cheaper).
Chinese takeout - My husband loves East Bamboo. It's tru it's pretty fresh, but the real test for freshness is the dumpling. My fave is actually Golden Rod in New Rochelle. I also like Gourmet Noodle on Quaker Ridge. If I don't want to travel, East Bamboo is a good weekday option.
Chinese sit down - Never been to Pagoda. Will have to try. Again, Golden Rod, and the two spots in Bronxville are my best for sit down.
Italian (Don't laugh) - We do go to Pizza and Brew with the kids, but for grown ups??? Angelina serves almost the same menu as in the back for a lot less $$. I recommend the Chicken Francese and the Bolognese. My in-laws are Italian, so I eat good Italian all the time. I rarely spend on an Italian meal. La Viletta in Larchmont is pretty good if I remember (but that was 8 years ago).
Pizza - I am glad you are not saying Sal's. What a dump. For an everyday slice, I love Angelina's. The new Chubby's Express on Fisher Ave is also worth a try. The Margherita pizza is delicious. Also love the pie from that place in Bronxville, across from Wild Ginger (it's a good excuse to have their gelato).
Mexican - Agreed that Blue Moon is a disaster. Mexican is so easy to make, there's no reason to have bad food. I'll have to try some of your suggestions here.
Bagels - Garth Road. I kepp telling myself to go, but I still have not been there. I get mine from the bagel cafe, nice and hot, but it sounds like I am missing out on something.
Thai - I am not sure about that one. The plce is a bit dumpy. The food is ok, but nothing to rave about. Just like the rest of the thai places in Westchester.
Best Beer place - Lazy Boy is a fine place. Enjoy the vibe and the brew. Also like the Tap House. Gives beer a little class.
Best Sushi - I am a snob here. No sushi in Westchester for me. Unless someone works really hard at convincing me otherwise.
Best BBQ - Have not done BBQ in Westchester. Will have to try Q.
Best comfort meal - Ahhh! Joe's! I ate there once and it was mediocre at best. Perhaps the Thanksgiving meal is better. I would go for City Limits instead, for absolutely anything on their menu.
Best place for a romantic dinner - You are probably right with home. But our last 2 romantic dinners were at morgan's Fish House and it was amazing.
Best place to watch a game - Need a big TV. I would go to McLean Ave instead!
Good call with the Tuckahoe mention. Right on the Tuckahoe?Eastchester border. Very surprised about the Angelina's mention though. I have eaten their food twice and thought it was awful. Blander than bland, no seasoning, and the pizza was terrible. That was a few years ago, maybe it improved.
Hmmm, favorites. I'd say:
Italian: A'Mangiare in Pleasantville; Pastina's in Hartsdale; Agostino's in New Rochelle
Indian: Coromandel in New Rochelle; Mughal Palace in Valhalla
Burgers: Squires in Briarcliff; Pony Express in Pleasantville
French/Belgian: Encore in Larchmont; Jardin du Roi in Chappaqua; Jean Jacques in Pleasantville
Turkish: Turquoise in Larchmont
American: Harvest-on-Hudson in Hastings; Chat 19 in Larchmont; Pete's in Elmsford
Japanese: Yama Fuji in Briarcliff; Kirari in Scarsdale
Chinese: Aberdeen in White Plains (Dim Sum only); David Chen in Armonk
Latin: Sonora in Port Chester; El Tio in Port Chester
Deli: Sundance in Pleasantville; Frank and Joe's in Pleasantville; Bon Appetit in Eastchester; Dante's in Hartsdale
Breakfast/Brunch: Stanz in Larchmont; Jean Jacques in Pleasantville
I'm enjoying folks' lists. Keep 'em coming!
Rolise, I was giddy when I saw that sign. I amost popped in and had a chorizo burrito on the spot, buut I had just finsihed my lunch, and they are huge. I hope the food stays the same. I still think, as do many of my friends, they have the best Mexican food around. Some people don't like it, but it's more of an ambience thing.
I may have posted this story once, but I was listening to a song on the radio and it had just started, I walked into BP and ordered a buritto. Got my food, got in my car, and the song was still on. Great service and fast!
We went Saturday night because when my son and I saw the sign we had just eaten lunch although he wanted to go right away too. Food is the same, but super crowded with large party of teens celebrating a bday and we had to wait a long time for food so our 7 year old got antsy and basically we wound up packing the food and leaving quickly once we received it. However, they don't get large parties often. We are going for lunch next weekend when it is less crowded.
Finally made it to "new" Burrito Poblano. Happy to see the same people running it. Decided not to get anything crazy, and I'm going to defend this place to the end. I went at a strange time (4:30) and ordered a chorizo burrito and a side of rice and refried beans. They gave me the usual red & green sauces (forgive my ignorance, but I believe it's a chili and tomatilla, or salsa verde sauce) and the sour cream. I didn't get to eat it til about 4:50. The rice was a little hard, but the beans were great. The burrito was it's usual nice big size and the crispy chorizo inside was scrumptious. My nly complaint, and this might be the delay in my eating it, was that the cheese wasn't melted and creamy. That being said, it was gone before you know it.
If there is one gripe with the place it's that the bill rarely matches the menu prices. The menu said $6.50 for the burrito and $2.50 for the rice and beans, but the bill came to $11.00. I think they had the old menus out, because the last time I was there, the burritos were $8.
If anyone else is heading over there for lunch or dinner, let me suggest (aside from teh Chorizo Burrito)Chicken w/Mole Poblano, Chile Relleno, or the Camrones a la Diablo.
What I love about this place is that one night I walked in about 10 minutes before closing and needed a little boost from a day of cervesas. I made my order, asked why they don't do a breakfast or brunch. They told me "you bring two eggs on a Saturday or Sunday at 11:30, knock on the door and we'll make you huevos rancheros!" I never took them up on it, because the electrical fire happened about a week later. I may ask if the offer is still open.
For Mexican much, much closer to the real flavors of Mexico, there are three hotbeds in Westchester. In New Rochelle, try La Herradura, El Michoacano, Mexican Corner Restaurant and Little Mexican Cafe. In Port Chester, try Tortilleria Los Gemelos, El Kiosko and Paleteria Fernandez (for ice cream). In White Plains, try Sunshine Deli, Mexico Lindo, Roberto's or Cancun Delights.
With the exception of La Herradura, Mexican Corner Restaurant or Little Mexican Cafe, don't look for ambiance. But if you are in it for the food, you'll be FAR better served going to those places than MaryAnn's or similar ilk.
I won't laugh about Pizza and Brew. 15-20 years ago I lived in Croton-on-Hudson and they had a Pizza & Brew - it was quite good! There used to be one in Larchmont, good for cheap italian but I did not think it was particuarly good. Maybe I didn't have as sophisticated a palate back then?
I like the Piper Kilt burgers, too, but ate at Blazer's for the first time last week and I thought they were better - still flavorful and greasy, but meatier. Plus better bun.
I have different favorites depending on what I am going for - quick, cheap bite to eat, you can't beat Sherwood's in Larchmont. Other times I'm willing to drive for something special, especially ethnic food.
I am on a very short list of people who hate Sherwood's. The ribs are like two bites of meat per rib, and their wings the last three times I've been there have been very undercooked or very overcooked. I had hands down one of the worst burgers I've ever eaten there. it's also a little too congested during the dinner hour. I felt very rushed the last time I was there too. The waiter actually tried to take the plate of someone who was using a restroom before they had even really touched their food. Bizarre place in my opinion.
Well, I haven't had a burger there in quite a while, I seem to always have the fried chicken, which I enjoy. Mr. Pobo loves the ribs, usually has to take half of it home (as I do with the chicken). It is busy, it's the local hang-out, but it's cheap. I think the food generally is better than the LT, which is comparable in terms of quality and price. Sorry it was a bad experience for you. Maybe I'm blinded since I've been going there since I could first drink (at 18).
>>>Unfortunately if you are a service snob, you wll hate this place.
jhopp, I was with you until this sentence. You mean you like being rushed out the door, and treated to rude servers and managers when you object to being rushed out the door?
All your other choices are fine with me. My deal breakers are different than yours, but hey, that's why there's vanilla and chocolate ice cream.
I have completely different choices than you do. Probably because of a different philosophy, I prefer smaller portions of great food with complex flavors. I like great service. I want to linger at a restaurant, I don't want each course served within 2 minutes of each other!
Here's my short list, not in any particular order:
Red Hat, Irvington
Jardin du Roi, Chappaqua
Iron Horse, Pleasantville
and slip in to Greenwich for wonderful Pan Asian:
Menton - someone I know is a part owner of One. Unfortunately I still have not made my way up there. I hear very good things about it. Sadly, I don't have too many friends who looked at the mednu and werre as wowed as me. Underhill's is a little pricey for an average meal in my opinion. I'll hav eto try some of the other places when I'm in the area.
Oh, at Gina Marie's, I meant service as in actually being a waiter. I sat outside during the summer for my girlfriends birthday and when the waiter took our drink order we just asked for water w/lemon. 15 minutes later we got the water. About 40 minutes later, after our appetizers came out, another waiter brought lemon. I did somewhat enjoy the lack of pestering, but when we wanted drinks our waiter was nowhere to be found. The ironic thing is my gf knows the owner. I did love the food though. There was no rush whatsoever, we were there for almost 2 1/2 hours.
So you'll actually pay $40-50 an entree for imitation crab and lobster?
I went to Gina Marie's once and it was the only restaurant I have ever walked out of before being served the entree. Similar to your situation, we waited almost 2 hours before finally being so disgusted we asked for the check for our hideous apps and left before dinner arrived.
Here is a link to the lengthy "review" I posted last July, I think I'm the 7th poster down. I truly don't know how that place stays in business and since it does, I have to assume that people's poor taste in Westchester is why there are so few truly outstanding restaurants :-(
You lost me on the imitation crab and lobster comment. Did I mention somewhere that's what I had? I doubt it, as I think buying lobster is the single biggest waste of money there is. If someone could tell me what is better than a fresh, out of the water Maine lobster is, I want to know. That being said, I've had that fresh out of the water lobster a dozen times and still don't like lobster. As for Imitation crab meat - I've had my mother's imitation crab meat sald on a roll and it rivals any fresh crab or lobster roll I've eaten in Mass, NH, Me, or NY.
Anyway, I'm assuming you're saying that Gina Marie's doesn't use fresh products. You may be right, I have no way to know, but I've been to the one in Fleetwood once. My entree was 2 filet mignons, 12 shrimp scampi, and 12 scallops. It was fantastic, It was the dinner for two and I ate all but 3 of the scallops myself. The one time in Eastchester I had a cajun catfish with scallops and shrimp (about 4 each) and despite the cajun rub being extremely hot the flavors stood up. The service was terrible, but it was a romantic evening outside, so I let is slide.
I think saying everyone in Westchester has poor taste is a bit of a stretch. Pretty much everywhere I've been for every ten restaurants there are five bad ones, two passible ones, two good ones and one great one. I think Westchester today has a lot more to offer than Westchester 5 years ago. God knows a lot of great restaurants have left the five boroughs, and been replaced with twice as many dumps.
Never been to Gina Marie's, probably won't ever go. However, I have to comment on the statement that Westchester has few quality restaurants. Growing up in Westchester and going back quite frequently I've done my share of dining out. My experiences have of course been a mix of fantastic, good, ok and poor, but I would never say Westchester has a small amount of great restaurants. To name a few, Meritage, Harvest on the Hudson, Crabtree's Kittle House, Blue, X2O, Buffet de la Gare, La Panetiere, Blue Hill, Plates, Red Hat....
No, it's not Per Se, Masa, Daniel or Jean-Georges, but they are very good to excellent and better than many restaurants in the city (trust me I live here and dine here quite frequently). That's just an assortment of the best in the county so I find it difficult to believe (and understand) SweetPea's statement of the limited great restaurants in Westchester.
Ginsbera, I can't speak for SweetPea but what I've found since I've lived here the past few years is that there are a few wonderful high end restaurants, a lot of overhyped mediocre high priced restaurants, some very good inexpensive (for Westchester) mostly Latin restaurants, some of which are dives or take-outs and that there is a drastic dearth of quality inexpensive-mid-priced really, really good places that many can afford and would like to eat at on a regular basis.
When I lived in Manhattan it wasn't necessarily the vast amount of high end expensive restaurants that was so remarkable, it was that I could find a lot of really excellent super inexpensive meals in an incredible variety of cuisines quite easily.
Not really sure if you are agreeing with me, disagreeing with me or simply adding two cents. However, I do support the notion that Westchester lacks a selection of moderate - inexpensive quality places to eat. On the same note, it is impossible to even compare it to Manhattan. Westchester is no Manhattan. It's a suburb, my comparison was only reinforcing that. In a big city, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, etc. you are bound to have wonderful taco stands, pizza places, diners, chinese takeout, etc. due to the massive amount of people AND demand for these places.
Quite true, laylag. I don't know if it is lack of interest or fear of flying, but it seems there are no entrepreneurs willing to start up a Vietnamese or even more than one decent Chinese restaurant in (lower) Westchester. It's mostly red sauce, overpriced, and Latin. Period.
Perhaps when the mini-NYs are complete, and the clientele is demanding variation, then we'll see more diversity here.
That has completely been my finding as well.
I don't always want or need (or can afford!) a Blue Hill type experience. Most nights we go out I just want a moderately priced restaurant with decent food and maybe a little atmosphere. I've found a couple local places that I like, but for the most part I've ended up disappointed since moving to Westchester.
No, you did not "miss" anything, except for the fact that I posted the link to MY review so you could see where I was coming from.
You yourself stated "start the abuse now. I"m just listing my favorite spots in Westchester, and you can either agree or disagree. What I'm hoping to get out of this is people's reaction and their places, so I might enjoy and possibly change my mind."
So, I thought you were open to an honest opinion, and therefore did not carefully temper my comments.
I actually do no believe that *everyone* in Westchester has bad taste, however, when I get that Clipper magazine, with Gina Marie's stating that they are voted the "Best Italian in Westchester" I literally cringe and wonder who could have possibly voted for them!
Since you didn't read my review, let me summarize...$50 for an appetizer that was imitation crab meat, but was listed on the menu as being actual crab.
BTW, I competely understand that you may have had a good experience based on the company you were with. That however, does not make a restaurant good.
Just to play fair I will list my own faves below!
In response to the "I don't believe everyone has bad taste in westchester" I have one thing to say, Westchester is full of families, families with young kids. A majority of mediocre moderately priced restaurants thrive on these families because of large portions, decent service and approachable, moderately priced food. These places are all over, on Central Ave., in White Plains, in Yonkers, etc. It's not that they have bad taste, its that this is what they are looking for and this is what fits the demographic well.
On the other hand, I agree with you that it is tough to see these places get named "the best" of anything. Sometimes best purely means most popular, not actually best quality.
I appreciate your comments, and in some ways I fit the demographic of a family with young kid(s). I sometimes consider trying one of the many places I've seen on Central Ave. the newish Mexican place looks interesting. However, these restaurants pandering to the demographic is what concerns me. As soon as I see those large portions I pretty much know the food will be tasteless or of low quality about 95% of the time.
It's hard to tell if any of those restaurants you alluded to are worth trying. I never see anyone reccomending them here on CH and obviously I can't trust the "Best of Westchester", so, for better or worse, I avoid them all together.
>>Meritage, Harvest on the Hudson, Crabtree's Kittle House, Blue, X2O, Buffet de la Gare, La Panetiere, Blue Hill, Plates, Red Hat....
Sweet Pea, outside of X20, they're not places that are affordable on a weekly basis (are there any REALLY good places in Westchester that are?) and most I won't go to or won't go to again.
I found La Panetiere insufferable (La Crémaillère and of course Le Provencal give the same food without the 'tude).
Based on all I've read about Blue Hill and their small bits of food, I am not anxious to give them my money.
Plates was very good, but also very expensive and more of a special occasion place.
Crabtree's Kittle House is okay.
X20 is reasonable for brunch and would be my choice for an occasional dinner.
I have not been to the others.
Other than Global Gatherings, I can't think of another place on Central Avenue that I've tried that I would seek out on a regular basis.
I do enjoy Global Gatherings. Reasonably priced and fun menu. Try Sushi Mikes or Tomatillo's in Dobbs, reasonable fun places with good food.
There is stuff out there you just need to look better. Unfortunately I can't remember too many off the top of my head as I don't live there anymore.
I think of the Spiga's, Casa Maya's, Pastina's and City Limits of Central Ave. OK food, big portions with coupons in the pennysaver frequently. With that said, there are other places in more obscure locations. El Porto in Hartsdale is very good, same with a few places in Dobbs Ferry, I enjoy Global Gatherings on Central Ave and Eastchester Fish Market as well.