Eat LOCAL (no…that’s the name of the place)

This is a place we went to when it first opened and we hadn’t been back…until now! This spot opened primarily as a ice cream place but now it’s known mostly as a lunch stop. The vibe now is TOTALLY different than when it first opened, so if you also haven’t been in a while, you may want to go check it out.

I took my youngest son here for lunch while the “big boys” were in preschool. He’s my…shall we say…”fun” child to take out to eat. He keeps us on our toes…we’re talking likes to throw food, eats in ten seconds and then wants to tear everything in the place apart, flirts with the staff until they melt into the floor, tries to get out of his high chair by himself when he gets bored (which is every time you stop giving him 110% of your attention), grabs at everything on the table, and kicks his shoes off eighteen times during the meal. It’s super fun. Especially when going out one-on-one with him.

This shop–LOCAL–is located in Chappaqua…which is a “Gasp! He did WHAT?! (dramatic hand to the chest while clutching your Hermes bag)” kind of town. I was expecting not good food…GREAT food. I was also expecting my “colorful” son to turn some heads, and my sweatpants (don’t judge me–it was a busy morning and I was determined to get out to lunch!) to get some looks. I’ll report to you that two of those three things DID happen. But let’s start from the beginning….

The front of the shop is cute. I liked their signage and the feel of the place as soon as I walked in. I got some sideways glances when I started taking photos, which I found a little absurd in this digital age. There were a couple other mommies in the place with their toddlers, which I enjoyed seeing. There were a few “ladies who lunch” and a business man, plus some folks picking up to-go orders at the counter. So…a nice mix of folks. I found nothing special about the decor–no theme or anything. The tables are a little snug…of course The Food Snob notices this right away since I have a food thrower with me! And of course we were seated next to the business man in his lovely dress shirt–eek! As soon as we sat, I was experiencing anxiety about the proximity of the tables.

But onto the menu! I enjoyed going over the menu. The choices were unique and fresh and the descriptions sounded delicious. I decided to go with the falafel plate and a mini quiche for me and my little monster. The quantity of food that we require is always hit and miss with all of my boys. Sometimes I order two dishes and one of them doesn’t get touched. Sometimes I order two dishes and I end up ordering a third…if all three boys are with me, it’s a total craps shoot! Today I decided to make sure we had enough food by ordering two dishes, even though it was just me and my 19 month old. This way I get to try two different things and report back to you 😉

So, as I said, the descriptions on the menu sounded great. I was expecting some really delicious and flavorful stuff. Waiting for food to come out when sitting across from an antsy 19-month-old makes every moment seem like an eternity. Having said that…I was pleased with how fast they got the plates out. It wasn’t record time, but it certainly wasn’t unreasonable either. And the place was busy. So, props for that. When I first saw the falafel plate, I was disappointed. I didn’t expect green olives from a jar and some plain, chopped up tomato and cucumber on the side. I thought to myself, “Oh. Ew. Well, this hummus and this falafel must be amazing.” I figured, the stars of the plate must be so delicious that these sad little afterthoughts are quickly forgiven. Unfortunately, that was not the case :/ First of all, the pita bread was below average. IMG_2228Kind of rubbery and no taste. There was one stuffed grape leaf (which seems to be hiding under the pita bread in my photo). It was the most flavorful item on the plate. A little too sour for my liking, but at least I could appreciate the burst of flavor compared to the rest of the plate. The falafel was ok. It wasn’t top five falafel I’ve ever had but it wasn’t terrible. The flavor was actually decent but it was dry.  You falafel eaters know what I’m talking about…when it feels like you’re swallowing a handful of dirt and you need to drink half a glass of water every two bites. Not ideal. The hummus…was eh. Not much flavor at all. I am a hummus connoissoir, by the way. I eat beat hummus and lima bean hummus and white bean hummus. I love me some roasted red pepper hummus, garlic, chive, lemon, avocado, black bean, plain…you name it. I mean seriously, I have hummus as part of my lunch almost every. single. day. So…believe me when I say this hummus wasn’t much to talk about. My 19-month-old loved it very much. He ate most of it. So at least it didn’t go to waste. But the rest of the plate did. Honestly, a very disappointing plate altogether.

IMG_2231Onto the next! I also ordered the mini quiche because I make quiche at home a lot and I thought my son would gobble it up. The quiche came out looking like a leftover that was reheated in the microwave. I immediately felt disappointed but I wanted to give it a fair chance. First bite…not happy. It tasted like a leftover heated up in the microwave. Rubbery…not heated evenly…and the flavor was blah. The little “salad” on the side is pathetic and I couldn’t figure out this tiny dish of goop. It looked like salad dressing but was far too thick for that. I found a few sizable chunks in it with my fork–which I presumed to be fruit–and then thought it was a sweet, thick sauce (almost like a preserve) to accompany the quiche but when I took a bite of it, it was a very gross, salty and unidentifiable flavor. I just left it untouched. And I couldn’t get past this microwave thing. I can’t confirm whether or not they heated the quiche up in a microwave but I’ll let you be the judge based on the below photo. The crust was rubbery and had that microwaved essence to it, too. My son wouldn’t eat this dish either. So it went to waste.IMG_2230I think you can now tell which of the two mentioned experiences actually happened in this shop…let me give you a hint: Great food was not one of them! While my son did kick his shoes off numerous times and throw some food and make the waitresses drool, we didn’t have any major casualties in that department. I wouldn’t come back here, honestly. But you should check it out and decide for yourself. Sometimes it’s just a bad day…or maybe I ordered the two single items on the menu that are dull…but we personally won’t be back here.

Here’s the official breakdown with an overall rating of 2:

Quality and variety of food: Have to give a 1 here. Just didn’t see what I was expecting and both dishes we ordered fell far under the expectations.

Kid-friendliness: I’ll issue a 3 since wait staff was friendly and others had toddlers there for lunch. However, because of the tightness of the tables and the small space, I can’t go above a three. It’s not really designed with kids in mind but it works.

Cleanliness and comfort: This place was very clean. The bathroom was clean and nice, which is something I always notice. If I had been with my husband or a girlfriend having lunch, I’d report that the comfort level was great but, again, having a baby with me and being so close to the next table, I didn’t exactly feel at ease. Three here.

Parking: This category gets a 4. We got a nice spot out front on the street but there is also a parking lot behind the row of shops, so there seems to be ample parking here.

Desserts: They have a large selection of ice cream, but we didn’t try any. Baby was ready to go and with the way the food went, I wasn’t sticking around for dessert. I’ll give a neutral 3. 

Cost: I believe the dishes were overpriced considering their quality. Two in this category.

Staff friendliness/helpfulness: We didn’t get much attention from the staff. It was somewhat busy and I happen to enjoy when the staff gives you space to eat without hovering or checking in an abnormal amount of times. So I’ll give a 4 here.

HAPPY EATING, FRIENDS!

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