The Iron Tomato Serves Variety of Food Genres

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The Iron Tomato in White Plains.

By Sam Barron

One of Westchester’s more unique food concepts is located right in the heart of White Plains.

The Iron Tomato, located on Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains, is a gourmet mini-market by day and a full-service restaurant from Thursday to Sunday nights. Michael and Stephen Berg, brothers aged 33 and 27 respectively, run the market/restaurant.

“We’re basically a very big deli with everything,” Michael Berg, who grew up in Valhalla but currently lives in Long Island, said. “We have great pizza, gourmet meats, a hot food station, and a beautiful big salad bar with over 60 toppings.”

The Iron Tomato makes all its dressings on premises, and serves fresh sushi, also made on premises, seven days a week. The eatery also has a large selection of imported cheeses.

Recently the Bergs partnered with Maui Wowi Smoothies and the eatery now serves smoothies. They also have a cappuccino and coffee bar, and serve cookies and cakes, along with pastries

“We’re family-owned,” Berg said. “Everything is made fresh on premises.”

The Bergs purchased The Iron Tomato on May 17, 2010. Prior to that, they ran a similar business in Long Island for 12 years.

“We wanted to broaden our horizon and do something on our own,” Berg said.

After purchasing the 5,400-square-foot establishment, the Bergs added the salad and sushi bar, and upgraded the deli and meat departments.

“We basically changed the whole store,” Berg said. “I’ve been in the retail business for 15 years. I like making people happy and feeding them. Me and my brother love the same thing: People and food.”

The restaurant serves mostly Italian food, but also serves steaks, burgers and fish. Berg is not just a chef but also a food inventor. He invented the spaghetti muffin. It’s spaghetti with ground meat, mozzarella, provolone, eggs, and breadcrumbs that looks like a muffin. It is offered as an appetizer and served at the deli counter.

“It’s an amazing dish,” Berg said.

Berg said salads, grilled chicken and their vodka sauce have been some of the eatery’s top sellers. Berg, who uses family recipes, said their pesto is fabulous and clams are amazing. He said fried calamari and shrimp scampi are other popular sellers, while he loves the shrimp Luciano, which is shrimp with tomato sauce, cream and a dash of wine served over pasta with onions.

“We’re all about fresh,” Berg said. “Nothing is ever old here. I always stress that we have to keep everything fresh.”

Berg feels he is starting a trend with his grocery/restaurant combination, and that it works perfectly, with dinner service picking up as the grocery store slows down. Dinner service begins at 6 p.m.

“We cater to everybody,” Berg said. “Everybody comes in, from the old to the young. We make our place easy and accessible for moms with carriages. That’s very important to us.”

Working in downtown White Plains has its advantages, and Berg said the place fills up at lunchtime, packed with the White Plains workforce.

“It’s a spectacular site to come see it happen,” Berg said. “The store is packed. You can’t find a seat most of the days at lunchtime.”

Berg said he was concerned about taking over an eatery during an economic recession, but it said it is important to take chances in life. While he concedes his food is a little more expensive than your corner deli, he said patrons get what they pay for.

“We’re a high-end place,” Berg said. “If you get cold cuts from us, the bread comes from the Bronx and we have a professional person serving you. We give you a great product and great atmosphere. That’s most important. We give customers a reason to keep coming back.”

Berg said they get a lot of their bread from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx and also import food from Mount Vernon.

The Iron Tomato is located at 57 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains. For more information, contact (914) 328-9400.

 

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