ARDSLEY, N.Y. – Jesus Avelar is on a mission to bring quality, handmade Latin American food to Ardsley and with the opening of his new restaurant, Good to Go, he is doing just that.
The restaurant opened June 20 and features Latin American food with Mexican and American items, as well as daily specials.
Since opening, business has been steadily increasing and customers have influenced what is included on the menu, Avelar said.
“I added more Latin flavors and they seem to really like it,” he said. “But I also want to keep some American items on the menu.
The menu at Good to Go includes empanadas, or pastries stuffed with seasoned meat, and the most popular item, the Cubano sandwich. The secret to making a great Cubano is in the process, Avelar said. The recipe at Good to Go calls for pork shoulder slow-cooked for 24 hours, simmered for six hours and then combined with ham, pickles and mustard and pressed Panini-style.
Avelar said he wants to change the way people think of Latin food.
“The first thing that comes to mind is tacos and there’s a lot more to Latin American food than just tacos and rice and beans,” Avelar said. “The food here is authentic and similar to what you would get in a Latin American country.”
Jena D’Andrea, an Ardsley resident, said she likes that the Latin-style food is fresh, handmade and can be delivered.
“It’s a new business in town and I think it’s good to support that,” D’Andrea said.
Prior to opening Good to Go, Avelar worked in the restaurant business for 15 years as everything from a cook to a manager in French, Italian and Spanish restaurants. Working with different types of cuisine gave Avelar, owner and chef at Good to Go, an unconventional cooking style that blends flavors, techniques and ingredients from different countries.
“It actually helped me a lot because now I’m able to combine French techniques, Italian marinades and Spanish or Latin items,” Avelar said.
Soon Good to Go will offer homemade deserts, including crepes filled with dulce de leche and mixed fruit and served with ice cream, and key lime cheesecake, Avelar said. Once the restaurant is more established, Avelar said he plans to serve dinner, in addition to breakfast and lunch.
Good to Go is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.