The Iron Tomato, White Plains

Yesterday morning Mister had an appointment in White Plains, so I made plans to meet him for lunch.  Looking online, there were a ton of options, so I consulted Yelp and found great reviews for The Iron Tomato.

It fit all of the criteria: (1) walking distance from Mister’s appointment (2) quick/not too fancy (3) good reviews


Walking in can be a little over whelming, with the shop set up more like a market or cafeteria than a standard restaurant or deli.  The shop has a great flow to it, just make sure you go to the right when you first enter to prevent fighting the procedure.

To the right of the entrance is a bakery, continuing straight there is a salad station, cold prepared foods, and some refrigerated desserts. Once you make your next right (the layout is a rectangle, more or less), there is a smoothie counter.  The next section has the deli counter, lastly a pizza counter and you’ll then return to the register area across from the front doors.

We ordered a sandwich to share, neither of us being too hungry.  You grab a number from the dispenser, and wait to order.  It was organized and efficient, even with the crowds waiting for food.  Menus are clearly displayed in several spots, so there wasn’t that moment of dread waiting to be able to see the menu and hoping that happened before it was your turn to order.


Splitting the Iron Tomato Special was the perfect amount of food.  Crusty bread with a fluffy, oil drenched interior.  Cold chicken cutlet, savory roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella.  You can see the line of balsamic soaking into the bread on the lower half.  It wasn’t the best sandwich in the world, but it hit all the good flavor and texture points for sure.  I would definitely try an italian mix next time.

There is a seating area in the front corner, and we were given a plate at the register to help us share more neatly.  Its clearly a place that’s popular for lunch, with quick turnover.


After the sandwich, we couldn’t resist the glowing bakery case.

We walked for a bit and ate our dessert outside, an eclair for Mister and a nutella tart for me.  It was like a melty hershey bar atop a crumbly crust, but in a way that’s way better than that awkward description.


While a lot of people are gearing up for Thanksgiving, I started indulging a little earlier.

This past weekend Mister came down to Westchester so of course there were the requisite downstate bagels and pizza; there was also cheese, cupcakes, cake, and a list of snacks.

Saturday morning, we went to Mount Kisco Bagel Co. pretty early.  The last time we went closer to the afternoon, the line was out the door and lets just say Mister and I aren’t exactly patient people.

We are huge fans of black and white cookies, so when we saw a black and white cupcake on display, I eagerly added that to our order.


Oh yea, we ate that thing of beauty in the car within minutes of leaving the parking lot.  Moist, buttery cake topped with thick icing.  [then we went home and ate bagels, no regrets]

Saturday afternoon, we ran some errands and found ourselves hungry enough to navigate Stew Leonard’s for some food to take home.  Thankfully, this wasn’t Mister’s first trip to Stew’s, because seriously that place is overwhelming on my fiftieth time going there; there is a lot going on.

We picked up some really good food from their hot bar, and a bowl of fruit for good measure.

Saturday night, we headed to Stamford for a birthday party.  Mister’s brother had ordered Dinosaur BBQ, and we were responsible for providing the cake.

I’ll admit, I panicked a bit; I wasn’t familiar with any bakeries in the northern Westchester or CT area.  The last thing anyone wants to do is bring a bad cake to a party.  Everyone remembers bad cake.

Thankfully, I read a ton of yelp reviews and settled on The Pastry Corner in Mt. Kisco.


Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. It was really great, and the staff of the Pastry Corner were all genuinely nice to deal with.  Highly recommend.

Sunday, I was a sleepy monster.  All the carbs, and lots of barking dogs running around made me feel like a bloated sweat pants monster.  But we pushed through that for some pizza before Mister headed back to Albany.

We went to Pelham Pizzeria, which is my favorite for slices near Mom’s house.  This was the first time, however, that I ordered something other than pizza [well I mean, I addition to the pizza I scarfed down, don’t worry. ]


I got Escarole and Bean soup to go, and ate it for a late dinner last night.  They packed it with some Italian brea, and I added some Parmesan on top.  This was really good stuff, with little chunks of pancetta and a surprisingly complex broth.

I could have easily eaten the entire quart, but thankfully I forced myself to save half for lunch today.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to focus a little more on healthy eating before the gluttony of Thanksgiving.

Worthy Weekend

Some weekends are spent with a jam packed itinerary of events; some are lazy.  And some are filled with unplanned adventure, which is usually the best.

After running some quick errands Saturday morning, we were both a little hungry but not starving.  We wanted to grab something at the Honest Weight Food CoOp since we were in that neighborhood, but then just as we were driving there I remembered reading about Chester’s Smokehouse, which is just down the road.

Chester's Smokehouse

Chester’s Smokehouse

We were a bit awestruck at first.  Is that the right word? We sort of stared at everything, unable to formulate a plan at all. Mister and I eventually decided to split a smoked turkey sandwich, with bacon of course, on rye bread.  We also picked up two bags of their own jerkey ($5/bag), a hunk of in house smoked sharp cheddar ($2.50), and a quarter of a pound of bacon (equaled five slices) for Sunday breakfast.

We took the sandwich to Washington Park, and enjoyed a chilly (but dog free) moment of fall sunshine.

Chester's Smokehouse

Chester’s Smokehouse

They do not mess around with wimpy sandwiches.  When we unwrapped this mountainous sandwich, Mister and I were both surprised by how much turkey there was.  This is half of the sandwich, the smaller half I might add, and my tiny hand is stretched to the max trying to hold it all.

While they weren’t stingy with the turkey, it was on the bland side so there wasn’t anything magnificent about it.  It wasn’t bad, but between the turkey and the lettuce, I felt like all the flavor was being sucked out of the rest of the ingredients.  The bacon was crispy, burnt greatness; combined with a little horseradish dressing it was the better part of the sandwich for sure.  If nothing else, I’m intrigued to try out their other offerings.

After this “snack,” we were hungry for an early dinner, and decided to head up to Ala Shanghai.  Since we were there at around early-bird special hour, the place was nearly empty and we were in and out much faster than we anticipated.  Maybe because it was Halloween night and everyone was out doing more interesting things?

Pork Soup Dumplings & Scallion Pancake

Pork Soup Dumplings & Scallion Pancake

Scallion Beef, House Half Duck, Chicken Lo Mein

Scallion Beef, House Half Duck, Chicken Lo Mein

I wasn’t a huge fan of the duck (there was no part that was crispy, and no sauce or seasoning; maybe I just ordered wrong)  The lo mien was pretty standard takeout fare, but the beef was really great.  There were leftovers of course, but that’s usually the best part.

As if we weren’t gluttonous enough that day, we stopped at Bella Napoli on the way home.

Requisite Bella Napoli

Requisite Bella Napoli

Mister got his standard cannoli, we got a piece of peanut butter cheesecake to share, and a black and white (half moon) cookie for Sunday.  How have I never had their cheesecake before? It was so incredibly creamy, I could have easily eaten the whole piece myself.

Sunday morning we shared chocolate chip pancakes, scrambled eggs, and the Chester’s bacon.  The bacon was really good, and it cooked much faster than store bought bacon.  Is this a chemical preservative type thing thats missing from their bacon…or is it just a weird thing that happened? [If it matters at all, I normally cook bacon on a tinfoil lined sheet pan in the oven.]

After all of that food and eating, we ventured out to the Indian Ladder Trail at Thacher Park.  This is my favorite time of year to do this trail, its not as crowded, the weather is just cool enough, and the views are amazing.


Weekly Tradition

Like a Shabbat dinner, the Mister and I have adapted a weekly tradition of a nice meal; we prepare, we expect, we enjoy.

It’s never a full meal, nor is it eaten at the table. It’s almost always involves Brie.


Every Sunday, we prepare an appetizer-like assortment of finger foods. Cheese and crackers, vegetables and hummus, pastries have all made appearances.

This weekend we seemed to have perfected our newly installed tradition. Creamy Brie was layers on baguette slices, topped with juicy pears. These delectable bites were alternated with sips of wine and forkfuls of cake from Crisan bakery.

There wasn’t an overflowing gluttony, it was a few bites between sentences while watching our favorite show. It has no deep seated meaning and is usually served on a paper plate, this week we even shared a fork.

But it’s our tradition, something to expect and look forward to; our moment to treat ourselves in a small edible luxury before another week arrives.