Image courtesy of urticas photostream on

Image courtesy of urtica’s photostream on

13 Cedar Street
Dobbs Ferry, New York

5 Second Summary:

Price Range- Dinner entrees $10-16, Lunch special $5.95 (at time of posting)
Ambiance- Casual neighborhood bistro
Cuisine- Light Mexican made with local produce and all-natural chicken and pork
Hits- Quick service, organic ingredients, fresh and delicious  
Misses- Can be crowded with cool (i.e., not super-friendly) service
It’s been awhile since I had Tomatillo, and I decided to give this Cedar Street institution another visit when colleagues expressed their interest in a very reasonable $6 lunch special.  This incredible deal includes a burrito, taco, quesadilla, or enchilada of your choice along with unlimited tortilla chips and salsa.  Um.  Can you say “wow”?
My friends and I started with slightly warm, crisp tortilla chips with strong visual appeal given the variety of yellow, white, red, and purple chips.  My absolute favorite chips (and I took great pains to deliberately pick them out) had sprinkles of salt visible on the chip.  When placed salt-side-down on the tongue, the oils from the chip and salt hitting your tongue are akin to ecstasy.  The fresh salsa is thick with chunks of tomato, red onion, and cilantro with a little bit of spice.  The predominant flavor is tomato rather than jalapeno, which I find refreshing and clean.  If you prefer a spicier salsa, this might not be your favorite, but Tomatillo’s other sauces (mole, chipotle barbeque, and its namesake tomatillo sauce, for example) definitely have heat.  Other available sauces are an incredible cilantro pesto and a ho-hum roasted pepper sauce with flecks of pepper and a sweet honey flavor in the background.

I ordered a vegetable burrito that, when delivered, had more rice and beans than actual vegetables.  It was delicious, largely due to the sweet and spicy green tomatillo sauce drizzled on top.  I warn you: this sauce is addictive.  Inside the wrap, there were fork-tender yellow squash, red onion, mixed greens, tomato, red rice, and black beans.
In keeping with Tomatillo’s dedication to local produce, there was also locally produced artwork on the exposed brick wall.  At the time of my visit, visually striking Todd Shapera photography (prints for sale), particularly one shot of a young girl in Honduras, captured my eye many times during the meal.  Shapera’s work, like Chef Starkey’s food, captures the human essence, reaches for what is common and true in the human spirit, and is utterly arresting.


Image courtesy of urticas photostream on

Image courtesy of urtica's photostream on


[In a follow-up visit on 19 June 2009, I had a delicious, naturally-raised rotisserie chicken quarter.  I opted for white meat, which was juicy and moist.  Served with red rice and thick, meaty pinto beans, the dish was deeply satisfying.  For a very reasonable price of $5.95, I left with a full belly, which was even more satisfying.]

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