I’ve decided to start using Google Maps much more to visually lay out the best food around. I’ll probably do this by topic and by location. So, first on the docket is charting all the good Latin restaurants in Port Chester. Here’s a start. This map will grow as I get around to loading it up with all the places I’ve been to. Right now, this represents about half of the places I’ve been to in PC.
After a failed attempt to scout out a new empanada place in Briarcliff Manor, we set our sights on Pony Express in Pleasantville. The restaurant is a tiny burger joint run by the chef of Iron Horse Grill. Having come as a recommendation from George, by no means a carnivore, I figured it would be a good bet.
Their specialty is the slider – small snack sized burgers. And while those looked tasty (they come two to an order), I set my sights on the larger 6 oz burger. After all, there’s nothing worse than leaving a burger joint hungry. So, I ordered the El Charro burger, a big burger with onions, pickles, tomato and lettuce topped with jalapeño pepper cheese and chipotle sauce. I must confess, was an excellent burger. The beef was appropriately beefy, but not overly salted to compensate for inferior meat. The brioche bun was absolutely perfect and the accompaniments did their job to accent the burger without taking away from the main star.
My only disappointment was that the burger, ordered medium, was cooked to well done without a hint of pink. Now, generally, that’s an unforgivable sin for a good burger joint. Luckily, their good quality beef saved them preserving the burger’s flavor and juiciness. But next time I go, I will expect a medium burger to be just that.
I wouldn’t consider this a destination burger, but if you are nearby, it’s well worth the visit.
So, over time I’ve tried a lot (certainly not all) of the Jamaican places in lower FF county (Norwalk to Greenwich) and a few in Westchester as well (mostly around the White Plains area).
I’ll list them below, but here’s my question… are there any truly good beef patties out there? I liked the ones at le petit pattisserie (sp?) in WP before it closed, though I still didn’t think they were tremendous. But even at places that have good jamaican otherwise, I have found all their patties to be average. What’s worse is that a lot of the places are selling pre-made patties. Where can you get a great beef patty around here north of the city? (or in manhattan for that matter… but I’ll repost there)
Anyhow, here’s my list of places.
Ruth’s (White Plains)
I was tipped off on this place 3 or 4 years ago on this board. Thanks to whoever that was. They have really great jerk chicken and pork (when they have it). Shockingly, their chicken isn’t dried out… very flavorful, with some kick (could be more). Patties are OK (see above). I need to try more there though. I’m a creature of habit.
Top of the Hill (Stamford)
Best Jerk in Stamford… maybe the best in FF county. Ever since they redid the place a few years ago, their food has improved. It’s probably been 8 months since I last went there, so I’m hoping that it remains unchanged. Their jerk has great flavor and great kick. Long live the scotch bonnet.
Caribbean Market (Stamford)
This used to be the best jerk anywhere around… until about 4 years ago. Not sure what happened, but it never recovered. I still wish I could get the jerk pork like they used to serve… it was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten in CT in the 8 years I’ve been here. Now their jerk is just OK (only chicken and fish, I believe). However, I do still really like their goat curry. Highlighy recommended. Plus, I’ve liked their patties better than Top of the Hill… and you can get them with coco bread.
Jeff’s Southern Cuisine (Norwalk)
This is a actually a southern BBQ place. But I don’t like their BBQ there much at all. However, he does a really good jerk chicken. It’s cooked in their smoker (I’m presuming since it has a nice smokiness to it) and the jerk rub is very good. It’s a dry rub and it makes the chicken.
So, that’s my list. I’ve tried a few others too (e.g., Scotty’s in Stamford), but these are my places. But what about yours? What am I missing? Where else should I try? And… if course… where can I get a GREAT beef patty?
- K & S Top of the Hill
114 W Broad St Stamford CT
- Brown’s Caribbean Market
135 W Main St Stamford CT
- Ruth’s Jamaican Hot & Cold Deli
255 Battle Ave White Plains NY
- Jeff’s Cuisine
54 N Main St Norwalk CT
[Originally posted on Chowhound]
I was heading to lunch elsewhere in Port Chester today, but when I saw that the old Los Paisanos place was now gone and in its place was a new, bright little brazilian place, I slammed on my brakes, made an illegal u-turn and headed there for lunch (thank me later for sacrificing my life on a rainy afternoon for the sake of my chowhound friends…).
The place does a good little lunch buffet for $3.99 a pound. The buffet is about 10 feet long, with about 4 or 5 different salads, about 4 entree type dishes, and the standard, rice, beans and soups.
I got some good roast pork, a nice herb-y cabbage salad, rice, beans (pinto, not black), pork, some pasta, chicken, etc. I tried to sample as much as I could. The best way I’d describe this is brazilian comfort food. It was nice, homey food that was very satisfying for lunch. Plus, my dinner, plus a can of guarana was less than $6.
The pork had great flavor, if a bit overcooked. The chicken was very good. The beans, sprinkled with farofa, was earthy and comforting – perfect for the cold, rainy day.
They didn’t have feijoada, but they said that they make it on Saturdays.
Anyhow, it’s a nice little place. I wouldn’t call it a destination place, by any means, but nice brazilian comfort food akin to what you find at Brasil Cafe on Main. I haven’t been there in quite some time, but it would be worthwhile to do a side by side compare…
Hmm. That’s a good idea. I think I have my marching orders for the coming week…
Brazileirinho Cafe Restaurant
118 Westchester Ave., Port Chester, NY 10573
[originally published on Chowhound]
Sunshine Deli is just amazing. I know I’ve talked about them a lot already, but each time I go, I find new surprises.
This time, it was Oaxacan tamales (oaxaqueños). While these are not the best Oaxacan tamales I’ve ever had, just the fact that Sunshine Deli in White Plains sells them puts them in a different category altogether. I can’t remember what other tamales they have, I haven’t tried them yet, but I believe they also had rajas con queso, chicken and pork.
Anyhow, for anyone willing to venture there, here’s my summary of what to order:
- Cochinita Pibil. (achiote paste rubbed pork shoulder, roasted in banana leaves). I’ve only seen them there twice in the 10 or so times I’ve been there, but if they have them, DEFINITELY get them. Awesome.
- Al pastor. It’s thin, deep-red chile/adobo marinated pork that is roasted on a vertical spit. It’s accompanied with pineapple. Very good.
- Asada. Tasty beef, accompanied either by guacamole or sliced avocado, depending on the day. Good.
- Carnitas. Quite good, though not as good as Los Gemelos in Port Chester or Michoacano in New Rochelle.
- Chorizo. This was just OK in my opinion. Could be better.
- Pollo. Also just OK, but it depends on what kind of chicken they’ve made that day.
- Quesadilla con huitlacoche. Quesadilla made with corn masa, filled with oaxacan cheese (i think at least) and that wonderful inky black huitlacoche. I don’t know of another place around that sells anything with huitlacoche (the black truffle-like fungus that grows on corn).
- Albondigas. Mexican meatballs in a rich chipotle-based broth. Excellent. These are the traditional mexican meatballs – with rice and hard boiled egg. Very satisfying on a cold day.
- Oaxacan tamales. See above, but these are a treat. They aren’t superb, but they are the only ones to be found anywhere outside of brooklyn and queens.
- Huaraches. Their huaraches are good, but not as great as some of the other foods there.
- Tortas. These too are good. I like their carnitas torta, but, like the carnitas tacos, I think you can find better tortas around. But still very good.
This comes with anything you buy, but their house salsa is a great smoky chipotle salsa. Awesome stuff with deep flavor. Got some kick, but not overwhelming and lots of complexity. Great with everything they sell.
Here’s the address:
31 Lake St, White Plains, NY 10603, USA
[Originally posted on Chowhound]