No more guinea pigs on a stick in Cos Cob

It tastes like Chicken Joe's

It tastes like Chicken Joe's

Fondle My Paloma, Cos Cob’s mysteriously popular approximation of a Mexican restaurant, is listed for sale today on the Greenwich MLS (a strange listing forum, but never mind). Asking price is $3.195 to which I say, this is not Belle Haven. But if your Bear Sterns severance pay’s running out and you’re wondering what to do with your time, maybe there’s opportunity here. I had one bad meal at the place in 1971, made worse by bad pseudo-Mexican strolling musicians, and never went back. It’s possible it improved with time, I suppose.

28 Comments

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28 responses to “No more guinea pigs on a stick in Cos Cob

  1. AnthonyFountain

    Somebody hurled a stone at the sign for the place while I was at GHS in the early 70s. By the dawn of the 80s the sign was still smashed. I thought then that didn’t speak well for the joint and never ate there.

  2. Stump

    My wife was treated rudely when the restaurant screwed up a take-out order and we never went back.

    • christopherfountain

      My daughter sarah called from California and I mentioned the restaurant was closing. “You mean that over-priced Mexican place in Cos Cob?” she asked. I guess nothing much changed since I was there 39 years ago.

  3. anonymous

    3rd World grub is rarely healthy or hygienic…but usually nominally cheap (if one ignores future incremental healthcare costs of heart dz/colon cancer/various infectious dzs, etc)…kinda like US fast food

  4. Cobra

    Those weren’t guinea pigs served at Fondle My Paloma, they were Norway rats harvested from the outside dining area at the Showboat when the Keatings, Sr. and Jr., used to run the joint.

    They felt that culling the herd of their “nature’s own cleaning crew” was actually a nifty profit center adding to revenue gained by the Eastern European ladies they served up as “VIP room service” back in the ’60’s.

  5. Stanwich

    Fondle My Bologna is closing!!! I hated that place, but then again I hate Mexican food. Gross, dirty, rundown, stinky…….I never understood why my friends liked this place. Maybe it was so kitsch it was cool. I remember seeing Diana Ross there one night, still wearing her sunglesses.

    Back to the price, not sure what kind of rent a dilapidated old restaurant space would get on a monthly basis but their asking price looks ridiculous. Maybe there is a redevelopment play here although it has a small foot print and may be overbuilt by current zoning. Add to that very challenged parking and you have one big overpriced eyesore.

  6. ogrcc

    how about turning that place into a bank?

  7. Helsa Poppin

    I’ve been there a few times. Actually I thought the food was pretty good. In that vicinity, I’d rather eat there than Bella Nona or Chicken Joe’s.

    • christopherfountain

      Well if you’re in the area, why don’t you stop by my pal Fudrucker’s home on Mead Ave? Cathy will whip you up something tasty and Frankie wouldn’t dream of charging for it – he’ll always running for some position or other and needs the vote.

  8. Wally

    I think it’s too bad – I like going there once every five years or so for the past 35 years. It hasn’t changed a bit since I first went – maybe that’s a problem?!

  9. dogwalker

    They only survived because of Spanish class outings from around town. If you like Latin American food, Port Chester has been the place to go for many years. Kind of surprised they hung on this long.

    Is the 3.1 mill just for the property, or are they attempting to sell the business, too?

    • christopherfountain

      I think that price is for the land, the stale nachos and the crappy furniture. Still seems high.

  10. Buddy

    The food there was terrible. I’ve never had such horrible, overpriced slop in my life. It was a fetid dump with surly waitstaff. I am certainly glad it closed down.

  11. Walt

    Dude –
    Was this on the menu?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7BE31sQmw0
    YUMMY!!!
    Your Pal,
    Walt

  12. Net Worth Declining

    Awwwww. I kind of liked it. The margaritas were generous and the staff was freindly. It was a dive, but kind of a friendly dive. We had quite a few nice low key freindly dinners there whne we finally tried it (after 10 plus years driving by). You guys are food snobs. I bet every restaurant you go to has to serve goat cheese and heirloom tomatos.

    • christopherfountain

      hah! Net Worth, some of the best meals I ever had were in little beach cafes in Aghai Ghallini 9totally spelled wrong) in Crete, and, much later, the roadside cafes in New mexico between Sante Fe and Taos. But I’ll admit to eating a lot of goat (and sheep) cheese in Crete, and I love heirloom tomahtoes.

  13. Net Worth Declining

    Im just saying good ole Fonda La Paloma made it from 1971 ish to 2009 ish and must have been doing something right. It was like those funky bedroom slippers or an old pair of jeans. Ugly but comfy. Not for everyone, but good and honest. I take it any day over some of the revolving door restaurant concepts we have in town.

    Agreed on road side cafes in New Mexico! I’m getting hungry……

  14. pulled up in OG

    Maybe Patio.com can stage some overstock there.

  15. Anonymous

    Can anyone recommend a good mexican restaurant in the area ?

  16. Jane

    Maybe they’ll bring the Clambox!

  17. ogrcc

    mary ann’s in portchester

  18. Greenwich Gal

    My husband from the Southwest – who MUST have his Mexican at least once a week – insists on going to Portchester for authentic Mexican. Try Coyote Flaco – but has been discovered by the Gringos and have upped their prices considerably – or El Tio’s which is amazingly cheap and tasty. But yes, Fondle My Palomino – was bad.

  19. Net Worth Declining

    best mexican in the area is Cayote Flaco in Portchester across and nortth of Home Depot

  20. Cos Cobber

    I like to head up over Palmer Hill to High Ridge in Stamford (via Stillwater and Wire Mill) for Ole Mole. Its a bit of a trek, but worth it. I beg Ole Mole to open in Greenwich everytime I go. This town desperately needs a good mexican joint. I am hoping that the currently empty Ku site (next too Greenwich Toyota in Cos Cob) becomes just that.

    Coyote Flacco was fun years ago. Maybe I’m just getting fussier, but recently I decided its too dirty.

    Oh, btw. I ate at Fondle My Bologna about 5 years ago. The food was okay. The atmosphere was straight from the 70s. The night was made memorable when someone in this crowded place parted with their musky and long lingering flatulence. The odor hung in the room for a solid 10 mins. My friends thought it was the mariachi band…but we’ll never no for sure. And needless to say, our meals were tainted after that.

    One other thought, how is that place on the ave where Blu used to be? Avendia or something like that?

  21. Cobra

    Time to bring back Taco Joe’s, formerly at the current site of Chicken Joe’s.

    In the late ’70’s/early ’80’s, before they moved to Norwalk, great Mexican fare there.

  22. Hahahaha… You haven’t tried fetid dangerous eats till you’ve had street food in Pangkalan Bun, Borneo.

    I’m however rather fond of toasted crickets from the food carts near the Cho Phraya River

  23. Anonymous

    guinea pig cooking should be agenst the law

  24. Kasey

    you people DISGUST me. how can you eat a poor little guinea pig? i eat meat, but a guinea pig is so small its a waste to kill it just for the meat! a cow or pig is sooo much bigger and you’ll bet way more meat! i have pet guinea pigs that i love!! come on people.