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Family friendly good food in Saratoga and Niagra Falls?

silverstarfish Jul 1, 2011 05:58 PM

I'm taking my wife and kids (7 and 10 years old) to Saratoga and then to Niagra Falls at the end of August. I've never been before. Any restaurant suggestions or "must stop" places along the way? We are starting from lower Westchester.

  1. financialdistrictresident Jul 5, 2011 04:00 AM

    Just remembered Saratoga is the home of the potato chip. If you go to the track you can get fresh potato chips, still warm. There is also a Hattie's at the track (expect long lines).

    1. e
      Elisa515 Jul 3, 2011 08:34 PM

      Try the Hattie's Chicken Shack that is near Exit 15. It's a branch of the famous and terrific downtown fried chicken place that is wildly busy in August. Definitely family friendly and local.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Elisa515
        financialdistrictresident Jul 5, 2011 03:55 AM

        Second Hattie's chicken (have not been to the Exit 15 or SS locations). Like Hattie's over PJ's. One is fried and one has a rub.


        1. re: financialdistrictresident
          sunflwrsdh Jul 6, 2011 05:54 PM

          +1 for the exit 15 Hatties. My mom and I had lunch there a couple of weeks ago and it was excellent. We had the shrimp po' boys, which were absolutely perfectly cooked. I haven't been to the downtown Hattie's in years, but menu at exit 15 looks much the same as the old Hattie's menu. I was very happy to see something (anything!) at Exit 15 that is not a chain.

      2. r
        rkaene Jul 3, 2011 01:42 PM

        PJ's is run by people from buffalo!! it's great. try the logenberry. Anchor bar is not the greatest, and it is downtown buffalo, not niagra falls. For wings in the buffalo area ( its on the way to the falls) try duffs. Plenty of other stuff for the kids.

        1. financialdistrictresident Jul 3, 2011 11:49 AM

          Price range? Are your kids into food or just looking for chicken fingers, mac n cheese?

          A long thread on Saratoga restaurants:


          Search is your friend :)

          1 Reply
          1. re: financialdistrictresident
            silverstarfish Jul 3, 2011 06:49 PM

            I'm looking for inexpensive local food. My kids are mostly interested in trying new things if I can assure them it wont be overly spicy. Thanks for all the info.

          2. porker Jul 2, 2011 06:50 AM

            I've never been, but PJs BBQ on Route 9 south of town (Saratoga) looks good
            They're seasonal and the 3 times I passed through, they weren't open. It appears they have real pits behind the restaurant. Maybe someone can chime in on the quality?

            Anchor Bar in Buffalo to experience the birthplace of the "buffalo wing". Despite the name, it is a family restaurant (they have a children's menu).

            8 Replies
            1. re: porker
              gerchak198 Jul 2, 2011 09:39 AM

              I liked PJ's and, yes, they got 2 new smokers this year and so are now genuine "Q" with a smoke ring on the meat. Lots of stuff for kids, too. And interestingly for silverstarfish, it's the only place you can get a genuine "beef on weck" until you hit Niagara Falls!

              1. re: gerchak198
                financialdistrictresident Jul 3, 2011 05:41 PM

                gerchak198, have you been this summer?

                PS Maybe PJ's is better for meat eaters. I only eat poultry and fish . . .

                1. re: financialdistrictresident
                  gerchak198 Jul 4, 2011 06:04 AM

                  Yes, I go frequently and enjoy it. I usually get the chicken which is definitely better now than it used to be.

                2. re: gerchak198
                  trakman Jul 6, 2011 09:16 PM

                  Last time I had a beef on weck at PJ's, it wasn't anywhere up to the quality that you would get in Buffalo. Horseradish was on the side, top roll wasnt dipped in juice, as it is done traditionally in Buffalo. I've also had their BBQ ribs, and I didn't see nothing to write home about. Haven't tried them since they got the new smokers, but I'm still very skeptical.

                  1. re: trakman
                    gerchak198 Jul 7, 2011 06:17 AM

                    I had a beef on weck yesterday, and the roll was dipped, and the horseradish was sinus-clearing. The point is that it's HERE, and not in Buffalo, and I think that's great.

                    1. re: trakman
                      financialdistrictresident Jul 7, 2011 09:09 AM

                      trakman, have not been to PJ's yet this year but looking forward to trying the chicken (especially based on gerchak198's comments) and NEW salmon.

                      IMHO some foods are better consumed in their regions (bagels/bialys in NYC, Mexican food in San Diego/Texas, etc.).

                  2. re: porker
                    financialdistrictresident Jul 3, 2011 11:50 AM

                    The chicken I had from PJ's was okay. Heard it used to be better . . .It is family friendly.

                    1. re: financialdistrictresident
                      gerchak198 Jul 5, 2011 09:57 AM

                      Forgot to mention, PJ's has added salmon this year to their list of BBQ entrees, and it's delicious.

                  3. g
                    gerchak198 Jul 2, 2011 06:16 AM

                    Well, it depends on how adventurous your kids are when it comes to food. Sushi Thai is popular with families in Saratoga, as is Circus Cafe and Olde Brian Inn. On the way to Niagara Falls, Dinosaur Barbecue in Syracuse is a good bet.

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