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Dec 4, 2008 08:03 PM

Aqui Es Santa Fe Cafe, new Colombian place in Port Chester

After my wonderful pupusa meal at Rinconcito Migueleno, I drove down Broad street and noticed this new place. At least I'm pretty sure it's new. I stopped in to check out the inside. This place seems really, really promising. It's a cute, clean, homey little cafe with a definite Colombian spin. Frankly, its the kind of coffee and breakfast place you'd find on the Upper West Side, but with a latin influence.

This is on the corner of Broad and Irving, directly across from the train station. Any PC commuter would see this every day as they leave the main parking lot.

It seems this place is mostly geared for breakfast and lunch, but they are open for dinners too. I had just eaten so didn't try anything, but they seem to have a lot of American style breakfasts, mixed with a lot of traditional Colombian food too - arepas, etc. This place definitely warrants a return visit.

Has anyone been? I'd recommend someone check it out - the owners seemed very nice and the place couldn't have been more inviting...

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  1. My family tried Aqui Es Santa Fe Cafe, in Port Chester, NY for the first time last night. It was WONDERFUL! Each of us had a perfect dinner.

    The arepa menu offers different types of toppings. All begin with the white cornmeal arepas, grilled to order. They were flavorful and light (not fried) and finished with dusting of quesa white cheese melted on top. We tried the steak arepa, and chicken & mushroom arepa.

    The arepa dish with steak, called Bethania, was a tender flank steak, beautifully grilled and sliced, served next to a mound of delicious freshly made guacamole. It came with a nice salad of tender mixed greens on the side. A good portion for $10, that left you nicely satisfied.

    The Jerusalem arepa with chicken and mushroom, also $10, was generous and equally delicious. The sliced chicken was so tender sauted with mushrooms, glazed with a very iight touch of cream. It was also served with salad.

    To drink, we had tasty tropical fruit blends. $3 buys you a drink you could share.

    I wish that I had asked the owner her name. She was genuinely warm and pleasant, but without being intrusive. She and her niece decorated the restaurant in a charming way. Kind of like a Nantucket cafe with a latin flair. She puts a lot of extra effort to make a nice it a nice dining experience. The food is served on decorative dishes, not disposables. And her muffins are homemade, not from Costco.

    Among all of the terrific little latin restaurants in Port Chester, this place is unique. Her restaurant should succeed for a lot of reasons. She is giving you delicious well made food, prepared fresh, at a great value - especially when we are all watching our pennies. And, the atmosphere couldn't be more inviting.

    This is my first time writing on chowhound. I have no connection to this restaurant. But I am a serious foodie, always on the hunt for the best cheap eats in the area. I'll be going back to this place soon.

    For those of you ready to try:
    Aqui es Santa Fe Cafe
    32 Broad Street
    Port Chester, NY 10573
    (914) 305 1060

    Aqui es Santa Fe Cafe
    32 Broad St, Port Chester, NY 10573

    5 Replies
    1. re: Unda

      Sounds great. Sadly, I just about found the other places Adamclyde talks about, now I have to figure out where Broad St. is. A left at Westchester Ave., I imagine?

      1. re: dolores

        Here is a map of the place. Its located exactly across the street from the Port Chester train stationhouse. have a good time!

        1. re: Unda

          I can't agree with the sentiments above any more, but I really wish more people new about this wonderful place. I worry that business is slow, but only if the word got out more. I have shown up on several occasions when the door was locked, lights off, kitchen cleaned and put away. I peaked in waved and walked away, figuring I would stop by later that week.

          But the kind proprietor would have none of it. She runs out, forces me in. Opens the kitchen, jumps behind the stove herself and prepares me dinner. I constantly urge her not to do so, but in the back of my mind know how much they can use the extra order. She never for once makes it feel like a chore... just a genuinely great person. There is a certain warmth inside of this place that makes me want to do more for them. On nights like the one above, I leave a 10 dollar tip for her efforts... and feel like I still cheated the place.

          I urge everyone to stop by and enjoy... its great food, but even better people

      2. re: Unda

        I just got back from South Florida and had a taste of my husband's arepa and have now been craving one of my own and turned to chowhound. How fortuitous that you guys JUST reviewed this place - and even better that I will be drivign right past there later today. hopefully the kids (who have a snow day today) will be kind enough to let me stop and sample! any recommendations on which arepa to get?

        1. re: KarenNYC

          A characteristic Mrs. Sean question: Don't suppose they have a liquor license of any kind?? I do like a beer with my arepas...

      3. Once again, thank you Adam for bringing this place to light - and Unda for your review. We went to Aqui last night for dinner, it was around 8pm and we were literally the only customers there. The place was, as you've all noted, very clean, very bright - all the colorful hand drawings on the menu and wall plaques, came across as happy and cheery.

        I had the Bethania, which was excellent - the steak was flavorful, tender, cooked medium as I'd requested, the guacamole was great alongside the arepa which I was trying for the first time. My wife had the Lot - grilled chicken, a salad, guacamole, and fried plantains with queso sprinkled on top, and loved it as well.

        To answer Mrs. Sean, I didn't see any alcohol on the menu - and judging by the bible verses written in Spanish all over the place, it's probably not because they are waiting on a license. The fruit drinks, though, made up entirely for the beer I'd normally accompany such a meal with. We had the papaya and mango "juice", which were prepared with milk and tasted just like milkshakes.

        So, definitely recommend the place, we can't wait to try it out for breakfast or lunch!

        1. GF and I had our V-Day dinner there last night. Run into a CH lurker as well ;>D
          Very good as reported elswhere here.
          A few things not reported:
          Ask about specials-NOT everything is on menu.
          Check out wall menu.
          One can "make-up" /"build" /customize own dishes.
          Save room the her home made desserts-Choc. cupcake muffin out of this world. Jello dish was good and lite-even with some heavy cream in it. Flan looked very good.
          Yes-just about everything we asked about is made right there.
          And yes, owner is a very nice lady. Even introduced us to her son when he walked in.
          Did not ask about liquor license but I do have to agree with prior poster: Does not seem to be type of place for one, owner may not be looking for one and the fuit drinks are very good. As is the coffee.

          Did ask about business: Owner told us that it can be a toss-up between breakfast and lunch. Dinner maybe slow time for her. Did not take good look a hours but I think she is only open until 8:00PM or so most nights and closes early on Weds.

          When we left took a look around the block and saw few other places to check out at some time including a rather small (it maybe smaller than this place) chicken joint around the corner.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Jon1856

            Do they take reservations? Do you need reservations? sounds like a great place!

            1. re: PJPasta

              Not a very big place and as posted here, dinner does not seem to be all that busy at the monent. I guess it would never hurt to call and ask her. Exp if a larger party.

              1. re: PJPasta

                yeah, this definitely doesn't seem like a reservation kind of place. Very small, very local.

                1. re: adamclyde

                  We are trying this place on Friday...will get back to you and let you know how it goes!!!

            2. Went back again today for an early dinner - had the special, steak with tomato and onions and an egg, with rice and a salad. The food was good, my wife's arepas were great. My steak was well done instead of medium, though.

              Any chance adam you stopped by here today, around 5pm or so? We were the only ones in there, and a guy walked in that seemed to know everything that was happening with every port chester food joint, speaking with the owner's son who was manning the register.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ninnikuramen

                nope., not me. I haven't gone back to this place but need to. Maybe some day for lunch soon.

                glad to hear the food is good.

              2. GR and I went back tonight for dinner. Both the owner and her 15 year old son (presents himself as if he is at least 5 years older/wiser) greeted us both as famlily-remembered us from 1st visit.
                We had the specials-Steak w/egg and fish. Both were very good.
                Minor improvement to their choc muffin-now serve it warm in1/4's with ice cream. GF just about would not let me touch it, let alone look at it. ;>D
                P.S.: Ran into two CH lurkers there.