Saratoga, summertime and the countless quality eating options ... what more could a person want?
If the food is delicious, I couldn’t care where it’s from, I am just as happy eating off a food cart as a top 5-star restaurant. Here are some of my favorite bites and must-go-to places when dining in the summer place to be, Saratoga.
Mrs. London’s Bakery and Café (www.mrslondons.com): If one can only eat a solitary breakfast item then you must have an Almond Croissant from Mrs. London’s. I just recently found out that you could order them online and have them shipped to your house – holy awesomeness! This is also a great place to sit & people watch on Saratoga's main street, Broadway, and have a good ole’ fashion spot of tea before heading over to the track./p>
Image via: http://www.mrslondons.com/
Putman Market (www.putnammarket.com): Perfect for a Tuesday lunch meal while strolling along Broadway (The "dark day" at the track, when no races are run). The Governor (cracked pepper turkey, provolone, avocado spread and herb mayo) on sourdough is my personal pick!
A wide variety of gourmet food items are also available here.
PJ’S Bar-B-Q (www.pjsbarbq.com): Finger lickin’ chicken and ribs with baked beans and hush puppies. It’s a perfect ON THE MONEY BBQ meal for lunch. Or you can grab some for dinner to-go and then head over to the classic Malta Drive-In Theater (www.maltadrivein.com) to enjoy "dinner and a movie" from the comfort of your car.
Siros’ (www.sirosny.nyt1.com/saratoga): This is the place to go right after a day of racing for a pre-dinner cocktail from the tented outside bar. Enjoy live music and an absolute sure winner their succulent crab tortillas! It's located right across from the Clubhouse entrance to the track and definitely the place to see and be seen.
Hattie’s (www.hattiesrestaurant.com): Operating since 1938, Hattie's is a force to be reckoned with. Unless you’re a vegetarian, you have to try the famous Southern fried chicken – cooked to crispy perfection; this recipe hasn’t changed since inception. It’s served with your choice of two sides (I would go with the collards and corn).
Winslow’s (www.winslowsofsaratoga.com): This is such a homey, friendly place; it’s like eating at Grandma’s. "Winner Winner, turkey dinner" I’ve never ordered anything else, nor do I ever plan to. Tessie’s Famous Oven Roasted Turkey with cranberry and stuffing is most certainly a winner. It’s served with a salad, bread, potato and a veggie (or pasta). A must have taste of Thanks-Giving happiness during the summer!
Augie’s Family Style Italian Restaurant (www.augiesrestaurant.com): I think it’s safe to say that over the years I’ve probably tried most of the food on their menu. Start with an appetizer, my suggestion: Mussells Fra Diavolo with Garlic Toast. My favorite entrée is a dead-heat between the ever so popular Chicken Cutlet Parmigiana and “The Kitchen Sin” (penne with shrimp, sausage, prosciutto, chicken and a tomato cream sauce). The best part about enjoying so many items on the menu is that it’s family style, your group can be adventurous and try a little of everything.
Wishing Well (www.wishingwellrestaurant.com): Local Sweet corn and tomatoes – yes, those are the first two things that come to mind when I think of the 1823 Victorian house, formally known as the Wishing Well, because they bring them out to you, family style. I like to start off my meal with the steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels and then enjoy the center cut filet mignon. Located at the foothills of the Adirondacks, this award-winning restaurant is the perfect place to go to celebrate a winning day at the races! Sit back with some friends, take your time and enjoy a delectable meal, plus you never know whom you’ll run into (racing royalty and celebrities are commonly spotted).
Uncommon Grounds (www.uncommongrounds.com): After dinner I like to walk down Broadway while the crowds are still out and about and energy is buzzing in the air. This is epic people watching time. Grab yourself an Uncommon Grounds Italian soda (raspberry, my personal favorite), a cup of Joe or your favorite flavor mocha. Snag a seat outside on patio; enjoy the rest of your night SPA city people watching. If you prefer to drink your coffee at breakfast time be sure to get yourself a bagel, they’re baked from scratch every day!
The Parting Glass Pub (partingglasspub.com): How can you go to an Irish pub and not eat Irish Faire? That’s right, you can’t. Try The O'Reilly Sandwich (hot corned beef, Swiss and mustard sauce) or the Fish & Chips. And if you're super hungry go ahead and get some Guinness Black Bean soup or their Irish Nachos as an appetizer to hold you off. Play darts, enjoy live music and knock back a few pints.
Image via The Parting Glass Pub's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Parting-Glass-Pub/133279003388382)
Olde Bryan Inn (www.oldebryaninn.com): Eat at a real revolutionary war home with wooden tables, cozy fireplaces and stone walls. You can't go wrong with the Stuffed Hot Turkey Sandwich served with smashed potatoes & gravy, fresh vegetable de jour and cranberry sauce, or the Prime Rib with potatoes and fresh vegetable medley for your main course. An Irish coffee with Saratoga Cheesecake always makes for the perfect dessert combo.
Extra: Many people will argue with me on this, but I am a huge fan of the natural spring water -- you either absolutely hate it or love it, there is no in between. After all, Saratoga Springs was named for the presence of the natural mineral springs; which are located all around town. The springs are believed to have healing and medicinal powers. They range in taste, some springs are salty, some are fresh and others just smell like straight up sulfur. My favorite spring is the Big Red Spring, located in the backyard area of Saratoga Race Course.
These are just a few of the amazing places to eat. For more suggestions check out Saratoga.com’s dining guide (http://www.saratoga.com/guide/saratoga_dining.cfm). Bon Appetit!