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Nov 13, 2008 11:04 AM

Some updates and quick notes on Port Chester

I was tromping through Port Chester today in the rain on my empanada mission ( and found a bunch of new little tidbits that I wrote down. Wondering if anyone has noticed these places?

Rancho Grande. 8 Poningo St., Port Chester, NY 914-939-8125
I know this place isn't new, but it's just never registered before, despite passing it countless times. Maybe because it basically has no sign out front. Or in the window. But it's a restaurant nonetheless. It's a small place around the corner from Tortilla Los Gemelos and the rest of the stuff there on Westchester Ave.

Walk in and there's a big mirror on the left with about 5 items written on a sign with marker. Presumably those are the specials since they have a regular menu too. Clearly they aren't used to gringos in there because the woman looked at me quizzically and said, "this is a mexican place." Duly noted. Since I had already eaten 6 empanadas and an ice cream pop from Paleteria Fernandez, I decided to forgo any food there this time and make a mental note to return.

Westchester Grocery. 179 Westchester Ave. Port Chester, NY
This place has always been a little grocery store (at least I think it has been). But now they are peddling tacos too. I'm sort of a sucker for little bodega tacos. This is a tiny little operation - a little cart toward the front of the grocery. I don't even know what kind of tacos they were offering (I think a sign said lengua). Again, I'd already downed far too much food at this point, so I just made a mental note to return. I'm suspect that this place will be turning out greatness, but who knows. It deserves a try.

Riconcito MigueleƱo - 118 Westchester Ave., Port Chester, NY
(at least I think that's the name. I didn't get a great look because I just about crashed as I slammed on my breaks in the rain when I saw the place while speeding along Westchester Ave).
This place must be brand new, because it's in the exact same location as Los Paisano and Brazileirinho Cafe. It has a nice shiny new blue awning declaring it's Centro Americano origins. After some great pupusas in California last week, I'm hoping this place serves great salvadoran goodies. Definitely worth a return visit. If nothing else, I guess it will be interesting to eat at the same location three times within a year, but each time in a different restaurant from a different country. Mexican to Brazilian to Salvadoran. At least it hasn't gone Taco Bell on us.

Paleteria Fernandez.
OK, nothing new here. But a quick note. On a great business trip to San Francisco last week I had some amazing cantaloupe agua fresca (agua fresca de melon). I've been craving that flavor ever since, so I figured Paleteria Fernandez would have it in frozen form. Sure enough, they did. (melon flavor). Gotta say, it's about the best tasting thing on earth. Even in cold weather. It's my new favorite flavor there. Go try it. Today.

That's it. Back to work. But now I'm hungry again.

Rancho Grande
8 Poningo St, Port Chester, NY 10573

Westchester Grocery
179 Westchester Avenue, Port Chester, NY

Rinconcito MigueleƱo
118 Westchester Avenue, Port Chester, NY

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  1. 6 empanadas and ice cream? You are a trooper! :) If you find out any more info about the Salvadoran place, do report back. Pupusas, yummm

    1. All good and compelling information as always Adam. Looking forward to reading the empanada update and trying some of these places. I'm guessing first thing I'll try is the Agua fesca de melon...with some champurrado. It's getting cold out there!

      1. I lived on Poningo Street for 6 months back in 1999. $450/month rent and great Mexican food around the corner! Those were the good old days.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rafi

          did you ever go to Rancho Grande? I'd love to know what mexican food you preferred.

        2. pretty funny.......i too, have been on a small port chester empanada crusade for the past couple of weeks.......
          tonight i hit up (the name of the place escapes me) a small bodega directly across from sosa's pizza (formerly railroad pizza) on the corner of pearl and irving.......they were offering two types of empanadas........chicken and spinach filled......i gotta say......they were the largest ones i've found thus far in p. chester........dough was nice.....egg washed yellow......kind of had a sweetness to it though.....which i found a little unusual.......both fillings were mediocre......spinach was just that.......and the chicken was just spices....diced vegetables.......nada......
          tomorrow i'm gonna hit up that little corner misti cafe......heard they've got the authentic ones......

          12 Replies
          1. re: southlake

            Thanks for the tip. I'll have to catch that bodega...

            los chilenos in ossining has huge empanadas too. One is practically a meal...

            1. re: adamclyde

              Thanks, adam. This time, I'm printing out your advice and will carry it with me.

              The food from Cholo's in New Rochelle didn't reheat as well as I hoped, so I'm still on the search for outstanding ethnic food.

              What was the place that had good food on Sunday mornings, was it one of these?

              1. re: dolores

                I'm not really sure, unfortunately! I've never gone out to eat on sundays, so I don't know. But is there anything in particular you are looking for in Port Chester? Or just whatever is good?

                1. re: adamclyde

                  Just different and good, adam. I had actually made a note on places that are open on Sunday morning and their specialties:

                  Paleteria Fernandez -- ice cream
                  Tesoro 2 -- pupusa
                  Asi es Columbia -- arepas
                  Tortilleria -- tacos

                  I'm not sure those places, with the exception of Paleteria, are still there.

                  1. re: dolores

                    they are all there. I'd say hold out on the pupusas for the new place - el migeuleno (or whatever it's called) since it may have better pupusas. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm being optimistic...

                2. re: dolores

                  Dolores - those are all there in P.C. Not sure if you are referring to my posting about very good tamales on Sunday mornings in a little deli on Mamaroneck Ave. in Mamaroneck. Deli is Juarez and it's on the same side of the street as Miller's. The dulce tamales are to die for and I also really like their chicken mole and chicken chile verde. Different tamales are available on different Sundays. You never know what they will have.

                  They run out early but you can call and they will hold them for you.

                  1. re: laylag

                    That's the one, laylag. I tried one that is near Piccolo Mulino. I don't remember what I had, but it was very good and the people there couldn't be nicer.

                    I'll have to write down Juarez, thanks.

                3. re: adamclyde


                  Where in Ossining is Los Chilenos?


                  1. re: ltlevy

                    oops, I meant los andes. Looks like it's technically in Sleepy Hollow:

                    Los Andes Bakery
                    180 Valley St, Sleepy Hollow, NY

                4. re: southlake

                  Don't know if you've tried them yet but I find Misti's empanadas to be extremely dry and flavorless. Interested to hear your thoughts.

                  1. re: laylag

                    I haven't tried them yet. But hope to soon... Are they baked or fried?

                    1. re: adamclyde

                      Baked which I usually prefer but not these. I had them twice - both times from the separate take-out area and both times on impulse seeing them in the pastry case when picking up a called-in take-out order. Second time I had forgotten that I had been disappointed in them the first time. Note: Both times these empanadas were out in the case, may not have been fresh enough and that may be part of the problem. However, the filling was very loosely packed, the ground beef very dry and not well seasoned.