I’d been to Duck Inn in Mamaroneck before, but only for beer, and to gawk at the duck décor covering every inch of the place. Among the taps, there’d always been something slightly unusual; that evening, it was Leinenkugel Harvest Patch Shandy—it had to be sampled.
I plopped down at the bar, where a bunch of local guys were hanging out, including one anomalous scholarly type working on a laptop. (During none of my visits have I seen anyone sitting anywhere other than the bar, but that dining room must fill up—they have live bands and karaoke.) “Are you from Leinie country?” someone asked. I had to admit I’d never even heard of Leinenkugel. I liked it and ordered a pint, along with the cheesesteak.
“Someone told me you have a good cheesesteak,” I told Paul behind the bar, who owns the place with “Mrs. Duck.” He agreed, and said they also have the best burger in all of Westchester and Rockland. The scholar chimed in, recommending the chicken and vegetable soup. I was brought a duck salt and pepper shaker.
The Duck Inn’s décor is famously topical; house-made jalapeño poppers with marinara sauce.
It is hard to overstate the duckiness of the place. People have brought back many of these duck items from vacations and such. The exterior has been branching out into other birds, such as swans and flamingoes. It has the great advantage of being on a corner across from the Mamaroneck harbor and the entrance to Harbor Island Park. If one’s bar companions are to be believed, it was indeed an inn in a previous life, and Al Capone smuggled whiskey there during Prohibition through an underground tunnel from the harbor. James Fenimore Cooper himself, who was married in a house (now also a restaurant) a few doors down, undoubtedly trod the same ground.
The Philly cheesesteak arrived, with fries. I forgot to mention that I don’t like Philly cheesesteak. But this one, on perfectly crusty bread that had already absorbed butter, packed with a delicious, well-seasoned mix of nicely done steak bits, red and green peppers, cheddar, and who knows what else, was a cheesesteak for skeptics. The fries were skinny and crisp.
Next time: chicken and vegetable soup.
Duck Inn Bar & Grill
128 Boston Post Rd