3 PLACES TO OFF RADAR TO EAT-WESTCHESTER

So to all the people living in the Westchester area–lower that is, here are a few finds that can satiate your hunger for some inexpensive food, decent portions and a real authentic feel.

One day we were in Yonkers and after going to Longhorn Steak House and Red Lobster we opted to YELP it and see what the people were saying.  So we ended up in the back of Mount Vernon at a Brazilian place called Chalanas that operated partly like a churrascaria. There was a little area where the guy was cooking meat on spits and also grilling.  It was the size of a bathroom and that was all the space he needed.  Then they had a buffet area: plantains, beans, roast pork, roasted chicken, potato salad, two kinds of rice, and the list goes on.  So we had some of both (the cooking meat and buffet) and we only spent 19$-my husband and daughter were with me.  We were filled and satisfied.  It was not fancy but the place was small and felt like 95% local people, which is great as there were no pretensions.

The second place is in Hartsdale at 10 Cross Street.  It is a small Mexican Restaurant. (Laguana Gourmet) Its so small, it is inside a house practically and partly.  There is no grand parking scheme, so only a few people at a time and probably a lot of people walk as it is close to major apartment complexes. (guessing?) It is off of Central Avenue almost hidden away.  The first time we went, we were not sure where it was.  The food counter area is like a small parlor with only a few tables to sit -2 really.  Then up a  1/3 set of stairs to the right is a small room that has tables around the perimeter-maybe 8 and that is where we sat. The few times we have been there it has only ever had one other set of people there and sometimes none. (sitting down but people going going to the counter to pickup)  The food is good however.

The third is in Port Chester and it on the main drag, Main street towards the Greenwich line to be exact.  This one is our go to for Peruvian–Pollo A La Brasa.  (right next door is a bbq place and that is good to but we are doing South American  (plus Mexican) restaurants in this blog)  It is like a large cafeteria but with a mirrored wall.  Whenever we went it was always 75% plus full.  Our favorite dish is Lomo Saltado.  We had the chicken  (Pollo Saltado) but the beef (Lomo) is the best.  They also have their own drinks. That is fun as well.  Street parking is paid parking so just get prepared.

So give them a try and if you visit or know someone who has visited, please feel free to comment.

 

 

Chocolate Bread et. Al

So as to continue my post from the week before, we will start with it and end in a different place. I mentioned to someone about my chocolate bread and sharp cheddar cheese combination, which was stellar. Forget regular grilled cheese.  Try chocolate bread with cheese grilled on a flat top.  YUMMY.  So the person equated that to BUN and CHEESE which is from Jamaica.  Similar idea as in not using traditional bread. Bun and Cheese  I had no idea about the Bun and Cheese thing, what is behind it.  I just knew of it in passing.

So in my ode to bread I point out that fresh bread daily is like water daily-gotta have it.  So when in  Lisbon, Portugal, I stay with a local so I am able to observe normal daily life and not the super tidy streets or directed traffic pattern etc of a modern, hotel driven possibly multinational behemoth industrial park with manicured lawns and fountains, super clean everything and possibly only chain stores familiar to expats.  I hope I set or rather unset the scene!

So every morning from about 6 (or earlier) till about 10 the bakeries sell fresh bread.  It is like a carrot dangling and you blindly walk into the light.  The smell is wonderful.  It is habit and culture.  Can you imagine if we did that here and we also changed it up from time to time to keep people excited about the product-what do we call that, OH YES BUZZZ!.  At these bakeries there are lines and once the bread is done :(.  You are basically out of luck by 10 am as it is the start of early lunch preparations though not the serving of it or its the mid morning coffee break and you head to a cafe close to work or close to home.  I missed the boat.  I chose to sleep past 9 and was hauling a… to get there before they closed up.

Another such bread experience was in the Philippines.  There is something called Pan de Sal, and it is great. It is a small roll that has a little sweetness but in a different way and they are sold warm and people get them by the dozens.  Forget the carb diet–does not exist.  I remember we were taking a road trip–6 of us and my daughter-toddler.  I think we got 2 or 3 dozen, that is basically 4 per person.  It was so good and the place is like a little kiosk–think Melissa’s Cupcakes and they can just turn it out hour after hour.  There is a limit as well so you have to go during certain times. pan de sal

A long winded idea, were I to have a windfall of cash, is to open a bakery/cafe but only selling fresh bread in the morning and selling desserts of my choosing in the night.  Why the F… not.  I mean in other countries bread is really integral in the culture and why not satiate that need or feeling.  HMMM.  My wheels are spinning.

So what have we learned–Bread is good and Fresh Bread is great.

 

 

Oh Chocolate Bread-How I love thee!!

20170328_134005
Before Baking
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After Baking

So you may be wondering why is chocolate bread getting serious TLC right now.

So my love of chocolate bread really grew when I worked for a high end food retailer and wholesaler.  Part of the business was a commissary that made various breads, those were sold to the company’s other businesses and also to local country clubs and restaurants, as well as through the retail store.  Being the keeper of the inventory and also the logistics and billing person early on, I was involved in the bread process.  At the end of its life, I was privy to supplying myself with some and I liked that perk.  Chocolate bread, also with a few others were best sellers and I always remained fond of that and I never see it anywhere, so either it is expensive, time intensive, only popular with certain lots or just mistaken for chocolate cake.  Seriously, some people who I know call anything that is a bread other than white bread or whole wheat that happens to have sugar–a cake.  So it just takes a little education but that is not my thing today.

So I comment on the chocolate bread because I really thought that one day I might make bread for a living or at least as part of a larger food oriented venture.  Why do I say this?  Well for one, I make more regular bread than my mom ever did.  She makes something called Bake which is a flat bread, somewhat dense and can be flaky if ghee or Cookeen shortening is used.  I do not make bake often and can count the amount of times I have made it. I chose to make things I was exposed to outside of my normal life.  So in addition to other breads, I wanted chocolate bread and I found a recipe.  I saw a few and I felt that 2 cups of sugar was a bit much so I opted for the recipe with half that.  I made the bread and it was great. I added chocolate chips to the top and well lets just say that when toasted it is amazing.

The point of this whole matter is that bread is good, especially when you pair it with something cool, then its status is elevated.

Stay tuned as I dive into bread in another way.

What is that wonderful smell coming from the kitchen on Saturday morning?–Oh yes, a loaf of Chocolate bread!!  Enough said!

Millennial Pink

I seemed to have missed this train.  I was reading New York magazine recently and I came across this article about Millennial Pink.  It was actually about its refusal to go away, so to speak.  I did not even know it was a thing officially.  Millennial Pink Article

I read through the article and it clicked, and then I was like, yeah I saw some of these things in passing. I love one of the names–Scandi Pink.

I also liked the reconfigurable sofa by Lim + Lu.  It does look fun in pink, they are correct.

Lastly,   the movie that had pink was THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.  The pictures in the article show the fictitious (to some extent) place.  I did some research (followed a link) and here is something interesting. grand Budapest like hotel

This millennial pink is nice and can make a nice touch to a room–I was thinking against a gray.  I guess that can go for clothes as well.  I have orange against grey walls currently, but pink would be cool.  In the long term, who knows.

 

I hope you found something in the article that you could relate to. I looked for some more articles on AOL, EliteDaily, Vogue, QZ, etc but most rehashed and added commentary which is cool but the article I mentioned actually does it by year and provides many pictures.  It goes in for pages.

Pink will live on.

 

Pink food–hmmm, jury is still out.