Aberdeen Seafood & Dim Sum

3 Barker Ave. White Plains, NY 10601 • (914) 288-0188 • aberdeenwhiteplains.com/index.html

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This place is the real deal. Down and dirty (emphasis on dirty). Locals only. And by that I mean we were the only honkies in the joint. Which is usually a good sign that you’re in for a nice plate of authenticity.

What isn’t such a good sign, however, is that it’s located in a Marriott hotel and the fish tanks that line the entrance are all brightly lit- kinda cruel for your more nocturnal sea creatures, such as lobsters, but then again, they are about to be eaten, so who really cares I suppose.

On the plus side, the fish tanks make for a highly engaging distraction with the kids while you wait for the food to come. But just wait until you have to pry them away to eat. It’s as if they learned a thing or two from the octopus and grew suction cups on their face to keep it stuck to the glass.

As for the food, there are only two ways to go here, dim sum (only served for lunch), because their dumplings are killer (if we had stuck with these, I might go 4 knives). Or seafood, as the wall of fish tanks might imply. And if you look around at what all the regulars are ordering, it’s pretty much fish across the board.

If, however, you choose to stray off of the recommended path, I think you will come to regret it (I speak from experience), because the chicken lo mein and orange beef were both oily as hell, like any number of other Chinese restaurants you’ve probably tried, with the exception of a scant few such as Rice in Armonk (RIP), Chin Chin, Shun Lee, China Grill and from what I hear, Han Dynasty. Still on my wish list if anyone wants to take me. Hint, hint.

Lastly, the service it’s definitely friendly, but not very thorough, which I found pretty unforgivable considering we were only one of two tables in the entire place for at least the first half of our meal.

2 teeth

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Five Guys

240 Main St. White Plains, NY 10601 • (914) 422-3483 • fiveguys.com

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Dear 5 Guys,

Lose the peanuts and spend the money on shakes. What kind of burger joint doesn’t have shakes? It’d be like a raw bar serving up shrimp cocktail without cocktail sauce!

That MAJOR gripe aside, the burgers themselves are pretty good. In fact, a lot of East Coasters even claim them to be the In n’ Out Burger of the East. Granted most of those East Coasters are either delusional or simply mind-fucking themselves into believing it, but even with all the wishful thinking in the world, comparing them to the likes of In n’ Out is a VERY generous bridge too far. I mean sure, it’s great that the burgers are better than Burger King, and I’m even happy to give 5 guys the upper hand when it comes to their fries (light years better than the cardboard crap at In n’ Out), but I’d take a Double Double Animal Style any day over 5 Guys. Which brings me to my second major gripe, I don’t like burger places without a point of view. As Ego would say in the movie Ratatouille, “give me some perspective.” I hate “make your own burger” places. If I wanted to make my own burger I would’ve done it AT HOME! I came to you because I just wanted to pick out something interesting off of a menu. Ideally a combination of things that I wouldn’t have thought of.

So, with these two major dings going against it, 5 Guys is definitely not getting 5 Knives.

3 teeth

Noodle+

245 Main St. White Plains, NY 10601(914) 948-4950 • noodle-plus.com
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While not a destination unto itself, Noodles+ is a definitely a nice change of pace option for a pre-movie dinner solve. Unfortunately the dining room is tiny and they don’t take reservations, so don’t count on getting a table. But if you’re lucky, it’s reasonably adequate Thai if that’s what you’re craving.

We had the crab/pork/veggie dumplings, which were just okay. I had the drunken noodles with shrimp, which was good, not great. The bubble tea was also just okay. The other two dishes we had were the shrimp wonton noodle soup, which was, again, good not great, and last but not least, the duck noodle soup, which was also good… but you guessed it, not great.

Service was fine, however, so they must have improved. So that’s a plus. Get it… the name of the place is… oh, never mind.

2 teeth

Westchester Burger Co.

106 Westchester Ave. White Plains, NY 10601 •  (914) 358-9398westchesterburger.com
353 N Bedford Rd. Mount Kisco, NY 10549 •  (914) 218-3200

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Please don’t take these three knives lightly. I mean these guys custom season every burger to match its accoutrements. And as a result, there are burgers on the menu that easily make their way into the four knife realm. The problem, is that there are a lot of two knife burgers as well. And the sweet potato fries that everybody raves about are just “eh.” If you really want sweet potato fries to rock your world, go to Blue Smoke in Manhattan. Also, the shakes, while good, get by more on the guilty add-ins as opposed to the ice cream base.

But back to some of those four knife burgers… Numero uno would be the Napa Burger- WOW! Almost every time I don’t get this, I regret it. Fortunately it’s too big for my wife to finish, so I usually get a few bites anyways. So what makes this burger so good it guaranteed a return visit all on its own? Well, first, they marinate the patty in a Zinfandel sauce and top it with goat cheese and watercress- all aboard a sweet brioche bun. It’s somethin’ special.

Another high would be the Ba Da Bing, made with spicy Italian sausage, as opposed to ground beef, broccoli rabe, provolone, balsamic glaze all atop a focaccia bun. It’s quite inventive and quite good.

And coming in third for me would be the lamb burger served with squash and zucchini, a yogurt sauce and once again, focaccia. They can go a little crazy with the sauce on this one, so I’d recommend asking them to go light or to put it on the side.

In the middle of the road would be their namesake, the TWC – their classic with a twist, or as I like to call it, a high end Whopper. Good, but nothing I would ever order again.

Same goes for the Graziella, The Balboa and The Firehouse. Just nothing about any of them makes a big enough impression to make it worth ordering again. Especially the Firehouse. I mean with a name like that, you’re expecting some heat. C’mon, break out the habaneros or jalapenos or chili peppers- hell, break out something other than just chili.

Service was friendly and fast and they are always great with the kids. Decor is nothing THAT special, however. Not sure why so many people rave about how cool it is. Guess they don’t spend much time in the city… or at Chipotle. It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong, but it’s pretty normal by my standards. Like a Chipotle.

3 teeth

Sapori Italian Restaurant

324 Central Ave. White Plains, NY 10606

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And now for a dose of reality…

It is PAINFULLY clear after eating here that the Yelpers who reviewed this place must not have been what one would call “foodies.” That said, at least they picked up on the poor service. But here’s everything else they missed, from someone who actually has discerning tastes:

First, the bread. Right out of the gate, we knew we were in trouble with stale breadsticks and dry, crumbly focaccia . Served with an olive oil that was probably Berio. And to think people actually touted this!

Then there’s the wine list, which may have some nice bottles on it, but to be out of not one, but two different choices on it is absurd. This was especially bad because they let us order the bottles both times, disappearing to fetch them, before eventually telling us that they were out of them, killing the first hour without anything to drink and our orders yet to be taken.

And then there’s the highly praised burrata. You people obviously know squat about food, because the tomatoes were served ice cold. What chef refrigerates tomatoes?!?! As a result, they were mealy and tasteless.

Then the entrees came and while mine, the osso bucco, was passable- meaning edible, my wife’s fish was as bland as balsa wood and not even served according to the preparation that was described.

And for dessert, the ice cream tasted more like redi-whip and the molten chocolate was very lacking in the molten department.

But at least the service- oh wait, that sucked royally too.

But at least the decor- nope. Nothing to speak of there either. It’s just okay.

Sad to say, but I struggle to find anything nice to say about this place other than the fact that it was good to spend time with friends- oh, and that the valet didn’t lose my car.

1 tooth