Cheap Eats: Where to Find Bargain Meals in Westchester County

Meals to sample, all under $20.



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.

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).

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.

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