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elita's deli, ossining

I've always been intrigued by elita's. It bills itself as an ecuadorian deli and sits in a little strip mall on the east side of route 9 between croton and ossining. Walking in for the first time I realized It's bigger than it looks from the outside with 4-5 tables all full of blue collar workers on lunch break eating big bowls of stew and hearty looking sandwiches. They have a steam table behind the counter with 5-6 great looking dishes including a chicken stew, liver and tripe. I decided to play it safe and ordered chicken:

Rice and lentils?
sure
Home made macaroni salad?
why not?
hot sauce?
you bet!

I stepped over to the register, saw a stack of tamales and couldn't resist:

are those homemade?
si!
chicken?
si
Ok, I'll take one please. How much do I owe you?
$6.50

A quick ride home, shared the food with my wife and what we could finish was delicious. The tamale was moist and dense, the chicken, rice and lentils perfect comfort food on a brisk fall day. And if you go, don't miss the macaroni salad, they use ziti blended with peas and fresh spice.

Can't wait to head back to try some of the other dishes...and was that a fried tamale at one of the tables?

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  1. Is that the deli in the same strip mall as Pizza Corner? Thanks for the info, sounds like a must to try soon!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Marge

      Sound delish - thanks for peeking into this, and we'll give them a try too. I adore tamales.

    2. Do you know the address? Did a search on Google and nothing came up. Would love to give it a try,sounds delicious.

      3 Replies
      1. re: kjon117

        Haven't checked it out yet, but if it's in the (tiny) strip mall I'm thinking of, the address of Pizza Corner (appropriately on the corner of the strip) is 238 North Highland Ave, Ossining.

        1. re: Marge

          yes, I wanted to post the address but I couldn't google it either. it's in the same strip mail as pizza corner.

          1. re: vinouspleasure

            Thank you. Might go and check out this weekend.

      2. was back here the other day for some roast pork. Nice big chunks of roast pork, crisp skin and a little unctions fat attached to the skin on a heap of rice. Make sure you get the homemade hot sauce, it was surprisingly aggressive and good enough to eat on it's own over rice.

        1. Speaking of Ecuadorian in Ossining, has anyone tried Tierras Tropicales on Croton Avenue? They're on restaurant.com so you can get a $10 voucher ($15 required spend) for $4 or less. Here's the link, they have a menu posted (and a photo, it looks like a hole in the wall).

          http://www.restaurant.com/tierras-tro...

            1. re: Nancy C

              no, they recently closed for renovations, I think they're under new mgmt but food/prices/people are the same.

              my daughter discovered the ripe avocado halves they sell for $1, we buy one to share and it's delicious with the rice, beans, hot sauce and meat. So the standard order is:

              one of us gets chicken in sauce (not fried), one of us gets pork, both over yellow rice and beans with plantains, half an avocado and the hot sauce. cost is around $6.50/plate.

            2. Stopped by Elita's on my way home from an appointment in Ossining today. Got rice and beans, a dish described as "skinny pork" (yeah, right--but a yummy stew with potatoes), and roasted pork. This will easily be two meals for me. $6.

              Need to remember to go here more often.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Elisa515

                If I don't eat pork, will I have problems eating their stuff? Is there pork in the rice and beans? Are the dishes labelled?

                1. re: MisterBill2

                  I have no idea how the rice or beans are cooked, but I doubt there is pork in the rice (the beans are separate). There is a bit of egg in the rice.

                  There are chicken dishes, too. And plantains. I think there might have been a beef dish, too. Also a chicken soup that looked promising for cooler weather.

                  There are sandwiches and also breakfast specials on the board.

                  No labeling on what's in the steam table, but it's also not help yourself. The people who work there speak English and will, I'm sure, be glad to discuss your concerns. I asked what the different dishes were, which is how I made my choices.

                  1. re: Elisa515

                    Finally made it here for lunch takeout--what a chow-find! The woman who helped me did not speak English, and there were so many unknown choices to me I just got a platter of whatever the guy before me got. The only disappointment for me was that one of the choices was a tripe stew and I don't like tripe (although the sauce was delicious)...also had rice with black beans, pigeon peas in sauce and roast pork. With their homemade hot sauce, which was more like a salsa. Very tasty, plentiful and reasonable, but not diet food! Looking forward to trying their chicken, it looked really good.

                    1. re: Marge

                      Did you go today? I did, too, around 11:45 a.m. (on way home from a meeting at the Arcadian--how could I resist?)! Skipped the pigeon peas because I was going to share with my son, but then I ended up getting two full containers of food since, well, I was sharing with my son.

                      Need to find their homemade hot sauce.

                      I do wonder where the woman who speaks English well was when you went. She was there for me.

                      1. re: Elisa515

                        I did go today, about 12:30 :)...The English speaking woman may have been on a break, another woman came out from the back as I was leaving. Did you try anything new today? There were a few stew-like concoctions that looked so good.

                        1. re: Marge

                          The beans and rice mixture was new for me, and I had eggs and a stew the woman described as "like potatoes, but not potatoes." Small pieces, and I think big white beans. Skipped the pigeon peas because my son won't eat peas.

                          Next time, I'll get chicken. Or maybe tripe. Whatever is in a sauce.

                          Total comfort food!

              2. Glad to see fellow CHers here, we're in about once every two weeks. The hot sauce is surprisingly assertive, I could just pour it on the rice/beans and be happy. It's definitely worth grabbing an avocado half, it blends beautifully with the pork, chicken and rice. We love the stewed chicken but we're not fans of the fried chicken. Also, it's definitely worth trying the soup at some point. Finally, last time I was there two guys ordered soft tacos and they looked pretty good...I might give them a try next time.

                btw, I think those big white beans are actually hominy:
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hominy

                1 Reply
                1. re: vinouspleasure

                  I had hominy later yesterday, with cerviche at Acuaria in Portchester (really should start a new thread on that). Those look like giant corn kernals. The thing I had at Elita's was different.

                  If I hadn't been such a glutton in scarfing it down, I might have been smarter and taken a photo for all of you to see. :)

                  Thanks again for giving us all the shove we needed to check this place out.

                2. Someone created an Urbanspoon page for them and uploaded a copy of their menu (also posted a great review). The prices are higher than you mentioned but I guess that's to eat in vs. take out. I'm planning to check it out on Wednesday, I have an appointment for my car and can head down Route 9 towards work after that.

                  http://www.urbanspoon.com/cities/327-...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MisterBill2

                    That menu bears no resemblance to anything I've actually seen at Elita's.

                    I don't think eat in prices would be different from take out. But then, I've only gotten food from the steam tables.

                    1. re: MisterBill2

                      virtually no one orders from the menu, though last time I was there one table was eating tacos. Our favorites are the stewed (not fried) chicken, pork, rice, plaintains and thee fresh avocado. Don't forget to ask for hot sauce!

                      Interestingly, we passed by on the way home sunday night and the place was packed with families. I wonder if they serve special food for sunday night dinner. Will have to check it out.