Tag Archives: Port Chester

What’s in a name…a review of Salsa Picante – Port Chester, NY

2 Sep

…that which we call a Mexican restaurant by any other name would taste just as amazing. Right?

See, we heard about Salsa Picante in Port Chester well before it opened a little over a month ago, but we didn’t really give it any thought because the name made it sound like the same ‘ole, same ‘ole quick service Mexican joint. But then, like magic, we were walking down the street in Port Chester and the new spot caught the corner of our eyes. We peeked in and saw that it seemed to be more than what we thought it was, so Danny ran in to snatch a menu and Kristien immediately whipped out her phone to see what the word was on the street. Both searches turned out to be fruitful as the menu looked ah-mazing and people were RAVING about the food online. So, naturally you know what we had to do next…

The very next day (Sunday to be exact) we headed on over early, around 6PM…which we’re glad we did because by 6:30 there were people lining up outside to get in.  To be fair, the restaurant itself is pretty small fitting about 30 people. It has a simple, casual, cafe type feel with Mexican art work all around the darkly painted walls.  The sounds and sizzles of the grill are heard through the open kitchen and the chachacha of drinks being mixed are like music to diners’ ears.

Alright, let’s get into the drinks.

Before we did much of anything, we ordered some drinks. Lucky for us they got their liquor license just about two weeks before we visited.  That means they had margaritas, sangria, basic cocktails, wine, and beer available!  We went with margaritas for Kristien, sangria for Dan.  The margarita is made with house tequila (though we upgraded to Patron), Cointreau, and freshly squeezed lime and orange juices (we watched the bartender squeeze them by hand). It was a very simple, but well-balanced, fresh tasting margarita. Dan’s White Sangria was light, refreshing, and just sweet enough with a nice peachy undertone from the Schnapps.  Dan later got the Red Sangria (because you HAVE to try both, duh) which, again, was nicely balanced and not too sweet.  We later talked with owner David Dolores who shared that the sangria is made with at lest five different kinds of liquors, making them very complex.

Onto La Comida!

There was definitely lots of options to choose from on the menu like appetizers, tortas (sandwiches), burritos, and lots of classically authentic Mexican dishes.  We decided to start off with their Ceviche Misto, which was good, but we had two major issues:  they were pretty heavy on the lime so it was very acidic and, perhaps because of that, the fish had a bit of a mushy consistency. The shrimp and calamari, though, had a good consistency. Here, too (like the Margarita) it was very simple and traditional.  We also tried one of the specials for that day:  a lobster quesadilla.  The lobster, actually, wasn’t overcooked and had a nice consistency.  While we know lots of people say it’s a horrible sin to pair cheese with seafood, we have to say that it worked nicely here with the crispy tortilla and melty cheese playing off the lobster quite nicely.

Elote at Salsa Picante in Port Chester, NY

Next up is one of our favorite dishes from Latin spots, Elote.  They served two corn on the cobs with mayo, Cotija cheese, and chili powder.  David was accommodating with Dan’s loathing of mayo and kept it off of his ear.  The corn was spicy sweet, and rich from the cheese and mayo, just like we like it. The only issue was it was just warm rather than hot.  We would have preferred it to be hot, if not steaming. We also love those charred grilled marks on the corn, which we didn’t see.

For our entrée we decided to share the Taco Platter.  You got your choice of any 3 tacos meats plus onion, cilantro, lime, rice and beans, tortillas, and guacamole.  When the dish arrived, we were so excited:  it’s essentially “Do it Yourself Tacos”!  David explained to us that this is how they do things in Puebla, Mexica where he’s from:  family style, just like us Italians!  We had decided to go with the fish (tilapia), Carne Asada, and Al Pastor tacos because, well, those are some of our favorite flavor combos.

Fish (tilapia) taco at Salsa Picante in Port Chester, NY

First up was the tilapia that came out red (from paprika), moist, and delicate.  We made ours with cilantro, onion, radish, lime, and a touch of their orange sauce.  Then we both made our own Carne Asada tacos!  The beef had nice grill marks, giving off even more flavor.  We threw everything on this taco, using the smoky red sauce on one and the orange sauce on our seconds.  And, finally, we made our Al Pastor tacos. Unlike most variations we’ve had, you can actually taste (and see) the pineapple along with the pork…which we loved!  We decided to make ours with cilantro, onions, lime, and the orange sauce, though the red sauce did help to highlight the pork even more, too. We had enough meat and toppings to make 6 tacos each and even asked for more tortillas so we could make two more tacos at home. All in all a tasty (and again, simple and traditional) dish!

And last, but never least, dessert.

We couldn’t decide which to go with, the Quatro Leches (ooo that’s one more leche than normal) or the Churros. So guess what? Yeah, we did both…don’t judge!

The Quatro Leches was ridiculously moist, and only a little sweet unlike most we have that hurt our teeth. The chocolate syrup on top gave it a nice little warmth/depth. Honestly, this was one of the best we’ve ever had.

The Churros were stuffed with cream and Cotija…OMG. They were super crispy on the outside and oh so ooey gooey on the inside.  Man, that cheese really sent this dessert over the top. Yum!

So, would we say Salsa Picante lived up to our expectations of its name, or did it far exceed those expectations? Well, if you’re looking for a traditional, simple, affordable, authentic Mexican experience that is a major step up from quick service Mexican spots, then this is most definitely a great place to go. If you’re looking for modern twists, fancy cocktails, a hopping ambiance, and complex flavors, you can stick to one of our other fave trendy Mexican spots, like Bodega.

Noms: 3.25

Cost: $$-$$$

Address: 110 Adee Street.

Port Chester, NY 10573

Phone:  (914) 481-5488

Salsa Picante on Urbanspoon

Our new go-to spot + probably yours too: Port Chester Hall + Beer Garden

5 Jun

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Update:  we have been back a few times since our review and we have had mixed results. At times we have good service, at other times service is spotty and slow. During our last visit, the food wasn’t as good as it used to be. The burger, in particular, was bland, mushy, and disappointing while the chicken sandwich was also bland and uninteresting. 

Last year when we heard that Heartland Brewery was opening up a new brewery in Port Chester, we darn near jumped for joy. First off, we live just a few minutes away. Secondly, we think that Port Chester is the most underrated place in our area and were psyched for people to show it some love. And thirdly, mmmm, beeeeeeer.

Now, a few months back we got a little worried and upset when we learned that it wasn’t actually going to be a brewery, but our frown got turned upside down when we learned that it would become a beer hall and a beer garden with beer pumped in from Heartland Brewery.  So, when the weather this past Saturday turned out to be beautiful, we knew what we had to do…

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Inaugural Zeppoleme Wine Dinner a Wicked Good Time – Port Chester, NY

31 Jan

Lots of Friends at Zeppoleme Dinner

Things don’t get much better in life than having good friends, good food, and good wine all together in one perfect spot.  And that’s exactly how it went down yesterday, 1/30, at Zeppoleme in Port Chester, NY.  This was, perhaps, one of the most fun events that we’ve been to in a long time, so we were very happy and proud to be a part of it.  Let’s take you through each course.  Oh, and if you were one of the bums who missed this event, Zeppoleme plans to have more, so don’t worry!

Hearty Tuscan Tomato Soup at Zeppoleme in Port Chester, NY

The Hearty Tuscan Tomato Soup was excellent, thawing us out nicely.  It was tangy, a tad bit sweet, and had nice chunks of veggies.  Marc and Robert of Zeppoleme paired this with a nicely balanced “Truth or Consequences” Riesling which was so easy going down.

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Holiday Gifts and Giveaway w/ Path Coffee and Cathy’s Biscotti and Sweet Treats

18 Nov

biscotti-coffee-pairing-fall%5b116%5d

You’ve probably passed by it a hundred times.   It’s just a big brick building in Port Chester.   But, as you get closer the amazing aroma of roasted coffee beans assaults you.   This is where Empire Coffee and Path Coffee roasters (a division of Empire)  roasts and packs up different varieties of coffee.   Head brewers Johnny Steverson and Jason Richter are roasting up small artisan batches of coffee there at a seemingly endless pace.

Where the magic happens at Path!

Where the magic happens at Path!

And, just a few miles down 95 in White Plains is Cathy’s Biscotti and Sweet Treats.  Owned by Cathy Schauber, Cathy’s Biscotti and Sweet Treats has been creating yummy biscotti cookies and more since 2006.  And, guess what?   They’ve come together in a perfect pairing and marriage with Path Coffee for the holidays.  Yes, you can get 6 biscotti and a 12 oz bag of Path Coffee for just 22.58.  

But, our readers have a chance to get this package for free!   Continue reading

Half Full Tap Takeover Tonight at Coals in Port Chester!

12 Nov

Just a quick nudge from your food blogger friends, there’s a tap takeover tonight at one of our favorite restaurants ever:  Coals in Port Chester, NY.  The takeover is going on tonight (11/12) from 5-7 pm, right before the Elvis Costello concert.  Not only will the brews of Half Full be featured, but the man himself, Conor Horrigan, will be on hand to talk about his brews.  We kinda want to go just to see what his Half Full beard looks like.  <Chuckles>

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Move over Cronut™, Meet the Oreo Zeppole

1 Oct

Oreo Zeppole at Zeppoleme in Port Chester, NY

We knew that when we first saw Zeppoleme getting ready to open that we were in for trouble.  After having eaten there many times, we just can’t get enough of their paninis…and their zeppole of course.  Normally, we won’t post about a restaurant’s food again after already writing a review, but our visit to Zeppoleme on Sunday is worthy, oh so worthy!

As if their zeppole and dipping sauces weren’t crack enough, they recently created special Oreo Zeppole.  We’re talking about freshly made zeppole mixed in with chunks of delicate Oreo (think similar flavor and texture to deep-fried Oreos).  To pull the whole dish together they serve them with a thick buttercream dipping sauce on the side.  So, as you dip the zeppole, make sure to cover only half.  That gives you 24 bites, rather than just 12.  Each zeppola is amazing, so warm, so fluffy, so moist, and so amazingly like an Oreo.  But, it’s more like Heisenberg level Oreo flavor.  The pure stuff, the real deal.  A dozen of the Oreo Zeppole is $15 (you can only buy a dozen at this point) or a regular dozen is $10 and comes with three dipping sauces of your choice.  But, are you really going to have the regular zeppole when you have the option to devour Oreo Zeppole?  

They also are planning Pumpkin Zeppole and even more special flavors that will go along with the seasons and holidays.  For more info on Zeppoleme, check out our review and their site.

Zeppoleme

Noms: 3.75

Cost:  $$

Address:  321 North Main Street

Port Chester, NY

Phone: (914) 481-5900

Zeppoleme on Urbanspoon

Brewing Awesome Coffee @ Home with Path Coffee Roasters in Port Chester

20 Jun
Path Coffee Roasters Brewing Awesome Coffee Educational Series
The beauty of a single cup of coffee, for us, is beyond compare.  There’s really nothing like a morning with that perfectly bold and robust cup of java.  And, there’s also nothing like a morning when you’re in serious withdrawl.  Maybe you need that caffeine and coffee so bad that you transfuse it through an IV right into your blood system.  Yeah, we can sympathize.
And, as rabid bean lovers, we’re always in search of a good cup of coffee and we’re always looking for ways to make our coffee better.
This is where Path Coffee Roasters in Port Chester steps in.  They are a division of The Empire Coffee Company and have an artisan approach to coffee.  Many coffee companies will gather beans from many different areas, then put them together in a blend, oftentimes sacrificing quality.  Path believes in the power of single origin beans, so when they say you
are having Columbian Finca Potosi or an Ethiopian Sidamo, it’s actually from Columbia or Ethiopia and not a mish-mosh of areas.  It’s with this respect for the bean and the growers of coffee that Johnny Steverson (Director of Speciality Coffee) and Jason Richter (Director of Marketing and Online Sales) come together to make Path.

Oh Dio Mio, Zeppoleme! Killer Coffee, Sandwiches, Zeppole + More in Port Chester, NY

18 Jun

Aye, paisanos, have we got a new spot for you to check out! We’re talking ’bout Zeppoleme, right on Main Street in Port Chester, walking distance from our part of Greenwich (uh oh, we’re in trouble). Ever since we saw the sign a few months ago, we’ve been dreaming about the zeppoles we’d enjoy on, oh, say EVERY Sunday morning, starting with this past Sunday when they opened up shop!

Lucky for Kristien’s parents, they just so happened to be in town when they opened…which was the perfect way to round out our weekend of gorging. See just two nights before we had taken the rents out for dinner at Bar Sugo and feasted like the good Italians we are.  But back to Zeppoleme

Immediately, we were happy to see how cute and cozy the interior is. Lots of dark wood tables and rustic tones make Zeppoleme chill, relaxing, and comfortable. Plus, if you’re feeling like it would be nice to eat outside, check out their pretty outdoor garden dining that they share with sister restaurant Nessa next door. Eh, you gonna get to the food? Psshhhh, here are the basics:

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Meet Your Neighbor: A Taste of Port Chester w/ 34 Restaurants!

21 May

taste of port chester 2013

Awesome grilled wings at Coals

Awesome grilled wings at Coals

When we lived in Rye Brook, we’d often travel into Port Chester and check out some great restaurants like Q, Sonora, or try the countless restaurants that were serving up ceviche.  Now that we’re in Greenwich, we’re even closer to Port Chester, so we travel in quite often and have discovered one of our favorite places:  Coals.  Well, we’re excited to share the third annual A Taste of Port Chester, 2013.  This event is taking over nearly the entire downtown area of Port Chester on June 2 from noon to 3:30 pm with registration beginning at 11:30 am.

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Zeppoleme Brings Coffee, Panini, and Zeppole to Port Chester, NY

19 Mar

 Modern zeppole at Zeppoleme in Port Chester, NY

Update:  Zeppoleme is now open.  Please check out our review! 

Zeppole are perhaps one of the greatest gifts given to humanity, just one rung below fire and internet memes. Dough balls, deep fried, then sprinkled with sugar. They bring back memories of Dan sitting around his grandma’s table, devouring zeppola (the singular form of course) after zeppola, making sure to rub in more powdered sugar all over.   Or, it’s hard to forget the countless Italian feasts that we’ve been to with the scent of zeppole and sausage in the air.  Yeah, it’s awesome to be Italian…or to be married to one, or to be dating one, or to know one, or to pretend to be one.

The bar and kitchen at Zeppoleme in Port Chester, NYAll this talk of zeppole is killing us…you hungry yet? Don’t worry! Getting zeppole will be a whole helluva lot easier starting in a few weeks at Zeppoleme (same owners of Nessa next door) in Port Chester, just over the border of Greenwich. First off, you will be able to get some sweet fried dough in two forms:

  1. Classic:  the original, sprinkled with your choice of powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and/or cinnamon
  2. Modern:  they take the original, then fold in ricotta, making it light and fluffy

Then you’ll want to dip these in one of their four sauces:

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