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Pleasantville Chili Restaurant Warms Up Winter

The Manhattan Chili Company offers numerous styles of chili. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Bruce Sterman of the Manhattan Chili Company. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- A hot bowl of chili is the perfect antidote to the cold weather.

The Manhattan Chili Company at 501 Marble Ave. in Pleasantville has been warming people up as the winter seems to endlessly drag on.

The restaurant, which has another location in Grand Central Terminal, opened in the Village in May. Owner Bruce Sterman was tired of distributing his chili to supermarkets and was receiving a positive reception at farmer's markets in Westchester.

"People remembered our old location on Bleeker Street," Sterman said. "They told me how they had their first date there and had so many romantic memories."

Customers complained to Sterman that there wasn't anything like his chili restaurant in Westchester and so he eventually found a location in Pleasantville that worked.

"This place fit the bill," Sterman said. "It has enough space so I can manufacture chili in the back. I'm planning this to be my base of operations."

Sterman said he hopes to turn the Manhattan Chili Company into a small chain.

The restaurant has more varieties of chili than any other restaurant in America.

"We make our chili based on the traditions of America," Sterman said. "However we use that as a starting point to be inventive and have fun."

Varieties include the hot hot Texas Chain Gang with ground beef, kidney beans, tomatoes, jalapenos and chipotles, medium hot Cincinnati Lamb with lamb, hominy, green pepper, celery, cinnamon, allspice and ginger and Crimson Red Lentil with crimson red lentils, corn, celery, hominy, mushrooms, potato, parsnip, carrots, jalapenos and chipotles.

The "regular" chili is the mild Abilene Choral Society with ground beef, kidney beans, tomatoes, jalapenos and chipotles.

"That's as close as we come," Sterman said. "We're mostly in the irregular chili business."

Sherman said the restaurant aims to cater to vegetarians by letting them have spicy chili as well.

"We don't want vegetarians to feel like they are giving up anything," Sterman said. "It's as rich and thick as any poultry or meat."

Also worth noting: Sterman does not use oil, sugar, additives, preservatives or antibiotics in his chili.

"McDonalds uses 16 ingredients for their fries," Sterman said. "We have three. If there are more than six ingredients in any food, you should be concerned."

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