Another Stealth SA on Mamaroneck Ave
Over the past couple of years, Mamaroneck Ave has become a CH Hot Spot, including what Jim Leff calls its Stealth South Americans. But who knew Peri-Q would literally be in flames Saturday night (don't panic, just a hood fire, however Mamaroneck's Bravest had closed it and the block). So we headed up the Ave looking for something not Sal's, and happened upon Village Lunch. I've always considered it as a local hangout serving staple American diner fare. It's a landmark, been on the corner for 70 years, known for grilling the best eggs and hashbrowns in town. (When Norman Rockwell lived in Mamaroneck, he must have hung out out here.. maybe the place even inspired some of his Sat Eve Post covers.)
By day a diner. But ... as we discovered this Halloween eve ... when the sun goes down -- Village Lunch transforms into "El Peruano Cafe," an authentic Peruvian restaurant, replete w/ a singer/guitarist, serenading the room with plaintive SA songs. All because Mamaroneck's All American Luncheonette is actually owned by a Latino, Hector Vasquez, who's hired a staff to serve "gourmet Peruvian fare" .
Now my knowledge of Peruvian is limited to its incredible national drink Pisco Sour -- which I discovered in Chile a few years ago, so when I say "authentic" it's just a hunch. But we were sure transported by the tasty dishes we ordered. Marcie and I had two versions of bistec, each thin steak broiled and seasoned perfectly. Her pesto noodles didn't quite work (nor seem Peruvian), but my peppers and potatoes nicely complimented the beef. Steph loved her combo chicken, beef, and shrimp on what she described as "a beautifully sauced pasta." But everyone agreed Vic's moist and wonderful Pollo Saltado was best of show. A stir fry better than Mamaroneck's faux fusion places across the street.
We dined for almost two hours, and the guitarist sang without a break. We applauded his very beautiful rendetions. As we were leaving he asked Vic if he were John Fogarty (there is a resemblance) and we suddenly understood why he was singing and strumming his heart out. The poor guy thought he had been discovered!
The only disconcerting note -- no Pisco Sour. In fact, the two waitresses had never heard of them. But the wines and beer were great and the total bill was under 80 for four dinners and drinks.
When we left the fire engines were gone, and Piri-Q dark. Hopefully not for long.
158 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
Great review! You dont have to wait for the sun to set to get that food. I go for lunch all the time and ask for the Peruvian menu. My favorite is the Chuppa De Cammarones. A milk based shrimp chowder with lots of shrimp, carrots, rice and a poached egg in a wonderful thin broth.
Ask for the egg to be cooked soft and you will have a great lunch!