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Stew Leonards...an ongoing debate

Hi Adamclyde. We moved from Westchester to New Mexico. Yes, climate here is way better and Mex/New Mex food is beyond super-fantastic! Do miss Stew's but what we really pine for is Johnny's Pizza!

Jul 23, 2014
budinado in Southern New England

Indian in lower Westchester

My only criticism of Calcutta Wrap is that they use too much cream in many of their dishes. Chicken Tika and Vegetable Korma have way too much. Fortunately they will tone it down if asked.

Gem Cuisines of China: Closed for the last two months. What's going on?

Terrible restaurant!!! Audaciously overpriced, skimpy hobbit sized portions, and surprising lack of taste. Any neighborhood takeout place can beat it on even the most ordinary dishes.

Saigonese-Vietnamese-Central Ave-Hartsdale-Has Opened!

To be honest, I expect prices commensurate with Manhattan, Long Island or Rockland County. That's not what we see here. A typical Manhattan Vietnamese restaurant on 9th Ave. is about 25% less expensive than Saigonese. The owners have the right to charge what they like, but at this price point they are unlikely to draw a large following for lunch.

Saigonese-Vietnamese-Central Ave-Hartsdale-Has Opened!

I believe their "Special Sauce" is free of fish sauce since it is listed only with vegetarian dishes . Those dishes with fish Sauce are clearly labeled. There is also Vegetable Hot Pot that comes with a clear vegetable broth which I plan to sample next time. Under the "Vegetables" Menu there are the following additional dishes: Mixed Vegetable Saigon Style (with or without tofu), Asparagus w Garlic in Special Sauce and String Bean w Garlic in Special Sauce. For me, enough to choose from.

Saigonese-Vietnamese-Central Ave-Hartsdale-Has Opened!

Driving north on Central Ave. we almost missed the place. It is about half a mile south of Four Corners and comes up just after passing a Gulf station on your left. The restaurant is on the East side of Central Ave. with a small but adequately sized parking lot.
Being Vegans, my wife and I ordered Vegetarian Spring Rolls, Mixed Vegetarian Noodle, Vegetarian in Clay Pot and Rainbow Ice. Everything served was delicious and this restaurant may well be the best Asian spot in Westchester right now, although I must admit being partial to Vietnamese cooking. There is no lunch menu and I did not see Bahn Mai sandwiches listed. Two large Casablanca fans, and some nice artwork give the interior a nice exotic, languid flavor.
We were incorrectly served Summer Rolls instead of Spring Rolls but I didn't complain since they were large, with a generous portion of deep brown peanut sauce. The sauce turned out to be a little gloppy and needed a bit more peanut flavor and zing but the rolls were quite tasty. Next were Vermicelli noodles with mixed vegetables on top. Excellent dish! We also enjoyed the Clay Pot although it mistakenly contained fried tofu instead of the "fish like" soy protein listed on the menu. This tofu had an unusually chewy consistency and was served with onions in a unique and flavorful sauce reminiscent of Thai fish sauce. A portion of Rainbow Ice was the perfect dessert. Cocanut milk, cashews, red bean and jelly, fortunately not too sweet. We tried to order lychee drink, longan drink and a smoothie, all on the menu but not available just yet.
Saigonese had a few glitches, but overall this was a pleasantly successful meal. We are lucky to finally have the option of competently prepared Vietnamese cuisine in our area and I can enthusiastically recommend this restaurant.

Vietnamese - Central Ave Scarsdale

OK., So Tues Feb 5 is at 5 pm at 158 S Central Ave. Hartsdale is the opening I gather. Anyone know what the normal business hours will be? I would like to go for lunch on Wednesday.

Worst restaurants in Westchester

Can anyone else comment on Gem Cuisines of China on Central Ave? I found it to be one of the biggest clip joints I have ever experienced. They just had the audacity to send out elegant invitations for their New Year Banquet. No prices listed of course. You can find better food at any neighborhood take out. Way better, regardless of their phony baloney Times review.

Vietnamese - Central Ave Scarsdale

Strange that vegetarian noodle soup is not commonly on Vietnamese menus. Seems like it should be an easy addition. The mushroom based sauces are a good sign that owners recognize the potential for vegetarian/Vegan business in Westchester.
I'm hoping for a side menu featuring a variety of Banh Mi sandwiches. Banh Mi would get a LOT of attention.

Vietnamese - Central Ave Scarsdale

Thanks. The vermicelli stir fry sounds very good. I guess nothing can compare with Saigon Shack on McDougal Street in the Village for vegetarian options. It's my "goto" spot whenever I am in lower Manhattan:
http://saigonshacknyc.com/menu.aspx

Vietnamese - Central Ave Scarsdale

Thanks for the hours. Do you remember if there were any mock (soy) chicken or mock beef dishes on the menu? Vegetarian Pho?

Vietnamese - Central Ave Scarsdale

Waiting for a good Vietnamese option in Westchester for some time. Just hope they provide good vegetarian/vegan options other than, "please substitute tofu with that."

Upper Westchester/Putnam Vegan options?

Veggie Heaven is the bomb! I usually go for lunch but skip the lunch specials which are a little small in portion size. If you do order the lunch special, try the Paradise Chicken or Beef. For appetizers, definitely Noodle Peking Style or Scallion Pancake. Main entrees I particularly like include House Special Vege Chicken, Glorious Sensation, Sesame Chicken, Fresh Garden Walnuts, Taro Chicken A La King and Little Bit of Everything Big Bowl Soup. Skip the soup on the lunch special because it is tasteless. The staff at Veggie Heaven is very professional and accommodating. I wish all restaurants had this level of service. Atmosphere is quiet and specious.
I re-tried Tomatillo in my home town of Dobbs Ferry yesterday and was pleasantly surprised. Much improved over what I remember a few years back. Entrees include lots of vegan dishes including enchiladas and fajitas that can be prepared with vegan cheese and large chunks of marinated seitan. Vegetarian fajitas (you can choose any three vegetables) with seitan was particularly delicious. This may become my goto local spot.

Upper Westchester/Putnam Vegan options?

Westchester is a total disaster for vegan food. There is really only one Vegan restaurant, Jolo's Kitchen in New Rochelle, and I have found the food there mediocre at best. My advice is to cross the Tappen Zee bridge and head for:

First Choice: Veggie Heaven, New City (100%
Vegan Chinese menu). Superb restaurant in every respect.
Second Choice: Main Essentials, Nyack (100% Ital-Jamaican Vegan menu). Very tasty but somewhat skimpy portions.
Third Choice: Bombay Grill, New City. Unusually large assortment of vegetarian dishes on lunch buffet. House made humos made daily. Large salad bar.
Fourth Choice: Thai Garden, Orangeburg. Special vegetarian menu section. Excellent dishes, but no mock duck.
Fifth Choice: Fiesta Mexico, Orangeburg. Ask for vegetarian fajitas or enchiladas without cheese. Not listed on menu but chef makes these super good. Frozen margaritas can't be beat.
Enjoy!

Indian in lower Westchester

This is one Indian restaurant I was not aware of so thanks for the heads up. I will try definitely try it.
My favorite to date is Bombay Grill across the Tappen Zee in New City. Wonderful buffet, especially for vegetarian food. For a longer trip, Jaipore up in Brewster.

Worst restaurants in Westchester

OK, may it rest in peace.
Let's replace Zafran with Gem Cuisines of China on Central Ave. in Yonkers. Petri sized portions, poor quality food and outrageous prices combine to make Gem Cuisines one of Westchester's biggest ripoffs.

Gem Cuisines of China, former Hunan Village in Yonkers... Paul is Back!

This restaurant is an abomination. We went for lunch and ordered two soups and four appetizers. The portions were the smallest I have ever had (for appetizers) at any restaurant anywhere in the world.
Dan dan noodles were greasy and bitter tasting. Cold noodles in sesame sauce were cloyingly sweet. Two swallows and each of these apps disappeared. Thimble sized would be a good description. Crispy tofu skin vegetable rolls turned out to be a single small roll cut into four dainty pieces. Scallion pancakes were good and crisp but about half the size I am used to.
Amazingly, the hot and sour soup was adequately sized but the soup was rather tasteless, even with the unique addition of straw mushrooms which did not enhance the taste.
High prices, sub-par taste, and tiny portions add up to massive ripoff. You have to pay for tea! Mr. Paul, you a rip-off artist of the first degree.
Any neighborhood Chinese joint can easily best these dishes at a fraction of the price.

Rockland County chow?

My Favorites (in order):
1. Bombay Grill
2. Ivy Cafe
3. Veggie Heaven
4. Agnello's Pizza
5. Fiesta Mexican

Worst restaurants in Westchester

My 5 Worst List:
1. Los Abuelos Mexican, Ossining
2. Masala Kraft, Hartsdale
3. Zafran, Yonkers
4. Lefteris Gyro, Tarrytown
5. Mont Olympus Restaurant, Yonkers

Tarry Lodge - any recent experiences?

I'm a Batali fan, yet I found the food here quite unremarkable. There are better places in the area for pizza. So many equate higher prices and hype with higher quality. Not here.

I think I give up on Pizza in Westchester

Agnello's in New City (across Tappan Zee bridge) has absolutely superb pizza.

Bombay Grill: Terrific Buffet in New City

Yes, I was at Carabreeze a few weeks ago and it is still open. Pure vegan dishes and huge menu, but Main Essentials is much, much tastier.
The problem with Main Essentials is that the portion size is often skimpy and varies considerably with server. I sometimes leave hungry, especially if Reality is out and one of the helpers does the serving.

Bombay Grill: Terrific Buffet in New City

If you haven't tried Bombay Grill in New City (Rockland County) you are in for a treat. I have sampled scores of Indian buffets over the years and can categorically claim this one as The Best. A restaurant has to be more than good to draw me over the Tappen Zee bridge from Dobbs Ferry for lunch, but Bombay Grill has been doing that weekly. The T-Fri buffet ($9.95) has a terrific salad bar with trimmings that include house made humas (I really love their humas). There are about half a dozen chicken dishes and many, many vegetarian curries plus two desserts. Freshly made nan and dosas are brought to table. All top quality, but the most memorable is the Butter Chicken which is unusually delicious. On weekends I'm told there is a $12.95 buffet that includes wine and beef dishes.
Rockland is becoming quite a vegetarian draw these days. Veggie Heaven, Chick Peace, Main Essentials and now Bombay Grill. All are terrific but I must say that Bombay Grill gets the nod for sheer variety and value. A big winner!

Veggie Heaven in New City Wows Me!

I agree, the chicken patty I had was delicious and I remember them preparing about a half dozen varieties. Main Essentials patty was different but just as good.
Recently read that Bill Clinton has gone vegan. Can you imagine Bill and Hillary having a night/lunch out at either restaurant? These are probably the closest vegan spots to their Chappaqua home so bring on the Reggae music, a few splifs...oops, forgot...he doesn´t inhale.

Veggie Heaven in New City Wows Me!

We tried Jolos a few days ago and liked it a lot. Its located about 5 minutes east of the E Lincoln Ave exit of the Hutch. Similar Jamaican style vegan recipes as Main Essentials and almost the same setup. Select a plate of "meats" and sides at the counter and eat at a table or take out. Both of us felt Main Essentials has the edge.
Try the smoothies and pattys at either restaurant but avoid the noodle dishes. They don´t stand up well to the steam table.

Veggie Heaven in New City Wows Me!

menton1 you are absolutely right about Main Essentials! It is a wonderful restaurant...funky, delicious vegan food, friendly engaging owner. Everything we had there was right on target including the vegetarian Jamaican patties. This is now my "go to" restaurant for healthy eating. Worth the Tappen Zee toll.

Tasty Indian in Ardsley

One word describes this place: WOW! Wife and I had two thalis and a roll today and everything was impressively excellent and inexpensive. Chicken Tikka Masala was about the best I have ever eaten. Huge sized order of nan accompanies the thali. Nice mango lassi for $2.50. Looks like I will be making far fewer trips to Jaipore (in Brewster) or Rani Mahal because this place rocks! Quiet off street location and quite a few tables for eating in.

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Rani Mahal
327 Mamaroneck Ave # 320-322, Mamaroneck, NY 10543

Decent Mexican Food in Westchester [split from "LA transplant craving fish tacos"]

Yes. I also found the chicken at Los Abuelos to be inedible. Processed, pellets with a weird over-seasoned taste, like it was infused with some strange tasting powder. I just don´t understand some of the positive reviews on this place. I have sampled just about every Mex in Westchester and like you, found them all substandard. When I crave Mex its a 45 minute trip to the El Charrito truck in Stanford. That makes my day!

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Los Abuelos
38 N Highland Ave, Ossining, NY 10562

Frank Pepe's or Anthony's Coal Fired?

Pepe´s wins. Anthony´s Pizza is way too SALTY! Sauce does not have a hint of sweetness. Cheese is not fresh mozzarella. Wife could not finish one slice due to extreme saltiness. Anthony´s ¨large¨pie is also quite small. Can´t see this restaurant surviving.

Myong restaurant in Mount Kisco, NY

Wish a reasonably priced Vietnamese restaurant would open somewhere in Westchester.
There are lots of Myong type Asian spots here, but few if any offer value or originality. I´ll pass on this one.