My first post on kid friendly dining had to be based in Port Chester. The food scene in Port Chester is immeasurably tastier AND far more conducive to dining with minors than in neighboring towns. We visit often with our kids for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Expect to see a lot of PC on this blog.
To start, here’s a really great way to spend a summer night with your kids.
Lomo Saltado Needs Better PR
We’ve been going to Misti Restaurant (aka Pollo A La Brasa Misti Restaurant) since we first landed in these parts. It’s delicious, it’s reasonably priced and it’s casual. Now that we have kids, there’s even more reason to be there - our girls go crazy for rice and beans. Misti is a Peruvian restaurant and arguably one of the most popular spots in Port Chester. Particularly on Sundays, Misti is jam packed with customers, many of whom have children in tow. Their clientele leans heavily Latinx and I’m always tempted to work on my high school Spanish when I’m there.
As for the menu, my husband raves about the namesake Pollo a la Brasa - a Peruvian dish that amounts to rotisserie chicken. For kids, beyond an order of simple rice and beans, salchipapas (sliced hot dog bits sitting in a pile of french fries) is a very popular Latin American kid-friendly dish. But Misti’s shining star is their Lomo Saltado (and sister dish, Pollo Saltado). I cannot believe that this Peruvian knock out is not as popular in the US as fajitas or chicken parmesan. Lomo saltado is an absolutely delicious dish consisting of stir fried beef (or chicken if you opt for the pollo version), onions, tomato, french fries (!!), white vinegar and soy sauce all stir-fried together over white rice. The soy sauce and french fries just send this dish over the edge. And Misti’s version is supreme. It holds up pretty well as take out, too.
Because it is so delicious and so well priced, Misti ends up in our family’s rotation on a near weekly basis. We feel very lucky to live so close to Port Chester and Misti is one major reason why.
Heavenly Fruit Bars
Just down the street from Misti sits Paleteria Fernandez. A long and narrow space, Fernandez is happening in the summer. Its main feature is its roughly fifteen foot long display case containing virtually every flavor of fruit bar (known as “paletas” in Mexico) you could think of - offered in either an ice (non-dairy) or milk based form. From simple vanilla to avocado, coffee or mango, these fruit bars are delightfully refreshing, full of real fruit chunks and maybe even a tad healthy? I’ve tried a bunch over the years but my personal favorite is the milk-based strawberry coconut. It’s just so creamy and the shredded coconut adds great texture. Pro tip: if you’re really in the mood to party, get your fruit bar chocolate dipped.
Beyond their signature fruit bars, Fernandez also has a selection of American style hard ice creams with toppings (that my kids often foolishly pick over the fruit bars), chocolate covered bananas and a lovely selection of aguas frescas. If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, Fernandez also makes elote (Mexican street corn) and duros (a puffy wheat cracker with vegetable, meat and cheese toppings).
Fernandez is often hopping but the lines move quickly and the servers are always warm and friendly. It feels like you’re part of something fun while you’re there. And it’s a great way to spend a summer night with the family. Paleteria Fernandez has a second, sister location in Mamaroneck.
Stay tuned for more kid friendly eats in Port Chester. Spoiler alert: It’s also home to our favorite local bakery.