You can eat well and cheaply in our county. Really.
In the mood for comfort food with a Peruvian twist? At Cholo’s Kitchen (4 Lawton St, New Rochelle 914-235-0094; cholos kitchen.com), you’ll think your long-lost abuela was in the kitchen preparing a chicken soup just for you. The soup is a rich, slow-simmered chicken stock loaded with veggies and pieces of plump meat ($8). Also order the grits or humitas verdes ($6): fresh ground Peruvian corn and spices cooked in a corn husk with vegetable stock, served piping hot and as soft as pudding.
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Lefteris Gyro’s souvlaki platter piles on the food, but doesn’t pad the price.
|Find your inner Greek at Lefteris Gyro (1 N Broadway, Tarrytown 914-524-9687; 190 E Main St, Mount Kisco 914-242-8965; lefterisgyro.com) with a souvlaki platter. Choose chicken, lamb, pork, or beef, seasoned with garlic and oregano. It’s served with a hearty side salad of romaine, stuffed grape leaves, veggies, kalamata olives, and tons of feta, with abundant sides of warm pita, plus rice or french fries—for just $13.50!|
At Karamba Tropical Restaurant (185 Main St, White Plains 914-946-5550; karambacafe.com), a Cuban-fare hotspot a couple doors down from the Ritz, get a real bang-for-your-buck meal with daily specials such as braised oxtail or codfish ($7), or the roasted pork or chicken stew ($6.50), all served with rice, beans, and fried plantains. It’s just straight-up comfort food done well—and inexpensively.
Memphis Mae’s oyster po’ boy (left) and fried green tomatoes (righ) are inexpensive, but leave you with stick-to-your-ribs satisfaction.
Midwest-born CIA grad Chef Andreas Nowara of Memphis Mae’s BBQ Bistro (173 S Riverside Ave, Croton-on-Hudson 914-271-0125; memphismaes.com) offers a variety of cost-cutting, authentic Southern barbecue, like a fried oyster po’ boy ($8.95) served with creamy slaw. Combine this with drunken yams with orange-bourbon sauce, and fried pickles ($2.95 each) to satisfy your bigger-than-Texas appetite. Or choose a half barbecued chicken (14.95), served with corn bread and two sides, like the Georgian fried green tomatoes with Vidalia gravy or traditional hush puppies.
|Not into spiced, ethnic food? Rather spend your buck on familiar flavors? Go to On The Way Café (34 Ridgeland Terrace, Rye 914-921-2233; onthewaycaferye.com), a breakfast-and-lunch stop where they’re serving up American classics like an open-faced grilled cheese with tomato and bacon, served with fries ($9.50) and 8-oz burgers with crispy fries ($10). Chef Joseph Mortelliti puts a spin on crab salad—making it with jalapeño, red peppers and celery, and served on Boston lettuce and crostini ($15). Want something light and fresh? Try the ever-classic beef carpaccio of thinly sliced filet mignon, mixed greens, shaved Grana Padano cheese, truffle oil, and fleur de sel ($15).||
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On The Way Café’s beef carpaccio is only $15.
Small plates like the Peking duck quesadilla with crème fraîche and hoisin ($8.50) joined with Thai-style veggie spring rolls ($6.50) make for a luxurious yet inexpensive meal at Ümami Café (325 S Riverside Ave, Croton-on-Hudson 914-271-5555; umamicafe.com). Or try the Vietnamese beef pho noodle bowl with ginger and star-anise-laced beef stock ($12.95), and splurge on the banana Miranda—fresh banana glazed with sugar, vanilla ice cream, and house-made caramel sauce ($5).
The lusciously decorated dining area at Zitoune (1127 W. Boston Post Rd, Mamaroneck 914-835-8350; zitounerestaurant.com), a nouveau Moroccan restaurant, sets the scene for an enticing yet inexpensive repast. Starters like vegetable cigars—rolled, crispy filo dough stuffed with marinated carrot, zucchini, red and green peppers ($6)—and the grilled merguez spiced lamb sausage served on a bed of cherry tomatos ($8.75) are savory bites filling enough to stand in for entrées. For a traditional Moroccan experience try the vegetable tagine, a cone-shaped clay pot encapsulating steaming saffron-vegetable broth, loaded with seasonal vegetables ($9). The steamed couscous ($4.50) makes an excellent accompaniment for a complete North African feast.