Pony Express

Pony Express
30 Wheeler Avenue
Pleasantville NY 10570

5-second summary:

Price Range- Dinner entrees $2.75-$11.95 (at time of posting)
Ambiance- Clean-cut burger joint
Cuisine- Organic, hormone-free, “good-for-you” fast food
Hits- Feel-good food you can serve your family without feeling guilty
Misses- It truly is a take-out place, so in-house seating is limited.

My dad, brother, sister, and I stopped at Pony Express as an afterthought… a quick bite on our way to see a movie at Jacob Burns.  I was intrigued by the concept: Iron Horse Grill chef and owner Phil McGrath’s organic fast-food eatery.

The bright red and yellow plastic (reminiscent of one of Pony Express’ famed competitors) was populated by local teenagers, and we had to squeeze to find a place to sit.  The menu choices, all preservative-free, were listed in chalk on a big blackboard.  I special-ordered a plain burger and was offered a choice of side: salad or fries.  Refreshed by the choice, I opted for the salad: a generous portion of lettuce with some scattered tomatoes and a very tasty, homemade, low-fat yogurt-based dressing served on the side.  I genuinely appreciated the healthy choice and the opportunity to dole out for myself the unique dressing, which tasted ranch-like but with a hint of parmesan.

Long story short: The counter folks were friendly and quick.  The grain-fed beef was juicy and served on a a crisp-on-the-outside, soft-in-the-inside, shiny-topped round roll.  The Dines Farms organic hot dog my Dad ordered was crisp and juicy as well.  The french fries, fried in trans-fat free oil, were the skinny, crisp variety.  Beverage choices included ice-cold Izze sparkling juice drinks (sans refined sugar, caffeine, preservatives, and artificial colors/flavors) and vintage-bottled Boylan’s sodas, sweetened with pure cane sugar.  (The diet versions -cream soda, black cherry, and root beer- are made with sucralose.) As we cleared our places, a thoughtful sign near the trash urged patrons to recycle bottles in order to maintain the Earth for future generations.

All in all, it isn’t fine dining by any stretch of the imagination; the food wasn’t exceptional, but Pony Express’ innovative and healthy philosophy is one other restaurants in Westchester would do well to emulate.

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