Flan, from top left, from Keylee's, Mary Ann's Mexican Restaurant and Salsa Picante Mexican Restaurant.
Flan, from top left, from Keylee's, Mary Ann's Mexican Restaurant and Salsa Picante Mexican Restaurant.
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After two fun tasting experiences last winter-rating chili and dumplings-and a lull in the opening of new restaurants in town, this month our staff went out in search of the perfect flan.

According to Wikipedia, flan is an open pastry or sponge cake containing a sweet or savory filling. The Wikipedia listing adds that "British savory flans may have diverged from the Spanish and French custard flans (also known as crème caramel) in the Middle Ages."

I don't believe any restaurants in town serve savory flans. Anyway, we had in mind delicate dessert flans and stuck to those.

We discovered 11 places that serve flan and experienced them all on a takeout basis, a few at a time. Probably they would all taste better and look better if they were eaten in the actual restaurant, but we sampled them all on even grounds in the Westmore News office.

After tasting them all, we generally rated some as more eggy and others as more creamy. Some were a combination of the two. A few were soupy. The prices ranged from $3 to $7.95. We tried to stick with the traditional flan with caramel sauce but found that there were also coconut, chocolate and passion fruit varieties, and even one with red Jello on top.

Flan came in small round shapes, thick slices cut out of a larger cake, a flat piece cut out of a sheet cake and one was served in a plastic cup.
As we expected, many of the Mexican restaurants serve flan but also one Peruvian, one Guatemalan, two Brazilian and one Nuevo Latino eatery. A few places listed flan on their menu but didn't actually have it when we went and ordered the dessert.

Although we can't be sure, it seemed that all of the flans we sampled were made in-house.

BEST OVERALL
1. Churrascaria Copacabana
29-31 North Main Street
Port Chester
939-6894
At this Brazilian steakhouse, you get a thick slice of flan cut out of a larger one that is both creamy and eggy, the perfect combination, with traditional thin caramel sauce drizzled on top. Cost: $7.50. Beautiful coconut and chocolate flans also appeared in the display case at Copacabana.

2. Kiosko
220 Westchester Avenue
Port Chester
933-0155
One of my favorite things to eat in town which I've written about before, Kiosko Mexican restaurant's flan is deliciously creamy. Only a certain number of these individual round delicacies--I don't know how many--are made each day. The sauce on top has a maplish taste or maybe it's burnt caramel. The flan is decorated with two stars of whipped cream. Cost: $4.

3. Mary Ann's Mexican Restaurant
23½ North Main Street
Port Chester
939-8700
At Mary Ann's you get an individual round portion with sloping sides. This flan is more creamy than eggy. It comes in a light-colored, thin caramel sauce with chocolate in a separate container for optional drizzling on top. Cost: $5.95.

BEST VALUE
Keylee's
11 Pearl Street
Port Chester
481-1650
It isn't the cheapest flan in town, but, aside from Kiosko's, which we rated as one of the top three, the flan at Keylee's Guatemalan restaurant was the best for the price. Very traditional and perfect looking, individual servings are round covered with a thin caramel sauce. Not too eggy or creamy, it is firm and has a good flavor. Our Mexican judge voted this one the best. Cost: $4.

BEST VARIATIONS ON THE TRADITIONAL
Salsa Picante Mexican Restaurant
110 Adee Street
Port Chester
481-5488
At least currently, Salsa Picante is serving coconut flan which has a nice texture on top and is dense with coconut on the bottom. This one is round like many of the others with a darker-colored caramel sauce poured over the top. It is beautifully presented decorated with three whipped cream stars which get lost in the takeout process. Cost: $5.95.

Sonora Nuevo Latino Cuisine
179 Rectory Street
Port Chester
933-0200
Sonora's passion fruit flan came thinly spread in an aluminum container with pieces of chopped strawberry and other fresh fruit on the side and decorated with a sprig of mint. It was soupy but creamy and still tasted heavenly. Cost: $5 although it is listed for $9 on their menu, perhaps because it was a smaller portion than you would get if you ate in.

WEIRDEST
La Gladys Restaurant
453 Ellendale Avenue
Port Chester
481-1365
This Peruvian restaurant, located in a largely residential neighborhood, is the place where they serve yellow-colored, watery, tasteless flan topped with red Jello, a weird combination, in a clear plastic cup. Cost: $3.

OTHER PLACES WHERE YOU CAN GET FLAN
Cafe Brazil USA
37-39 North Main Street
Port Chester
939-1139
Cost: $3.50

El Tio Restaurant
143 Westchester Avenue
Port Chester
939-1494
Cost: $4.50

Taqueria La Picardia
118 Westchester Avenue
Port Chester
937-2003
Cost: $3

Coyote Flaco
115 Midland Avenue
Port Chester
937-6969
Cost: $5

*All flans photographed on Westmore News plates after being removed from takeout containers.