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Saratoga Springs November 2-5

  • jcmods Oct 31, 2011 07:58 AM

We are going to Saratoga Springs Wednesday through Saturday afternoon for a conference. I realize this is probably off season so I do not know how this will affect restaurants being open for business.

Anyway, we are generally not looking for 5 Star formal dining. Our tastes run more toward hole in the wall ethnic joints or fun dive bars. We are into any can't miss local things (like unique sandwiches or hot dog joints like you see on the "diners and dives" TV show).

We like Thai, Vietnamese, (real) mexican, Indian, cajun etc. Basically anything that is not a chain.

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  1. Libraries rock!

    Will you have a car? Price range? There are a couple of restaurants that are only open during Track Season.

    You might want to do a search of this Board. Lots of posts re: Saratoga Springs. A long thread to get you started:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/509653

    Not a lot of hole in the wall ethnic joints/dive bars in upscale Saratoga Springs. No Vietnamese, no (real) Mexican. There is Thai and Karavelli (Indian) gets good recs on this Board. The Local might be fun:

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-local-pub...

    Happy eating!

    2 Replies
    1. re: financialdistrictresident

      If you're into cupcakes:

      http://bettiescakes.com/

      The Yelp perspective on Bettie's:

      http://www.yelp.com/biz/betties-cakes...

      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        Yes, we will have a car. We are staying fairly close to the center of town though not in the Hilton where the conference is.....we muffed it and most places were booked.

      2. http://www.pjsbarbq.com/

        I don't know if it's seasonal but check out PJs BBQ. It's an old fashioned drive up place. The food was fine. We thought it was fun.

        2 Replies
        1. re: debmom

          More on PJ's and other local barbecue spots here:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/806450

          1. re: debmom

            PJ's is closed for the season.

          2. If you have a car, Miss Albany Diner in Albany.

            S. Springs has a diner, Compton's:

            http://www.yelp.com/biz/comptons-rest...

            3 Replies
            1. re: financialdistrictresident

              Miss Albany Diner is a weird recommendation for conference-goers in Saratoga Springs, considering it's only open for breakfast and lunch and is 45 minutes away (and no lunch on Saturday, I think). Compton's is a reliable old-school spot for breakfast, although there are a number of better breakfast places, including Shirley's, Corner Cafe (back to one location, on Church St.), Virgil's, Uncommon Grounds, Mrs. London's, and probably some others. The Local, mentioned elsewhere in this thread, probably serves a good breakfast; Parting Glass has an Irish breakfast that some people like.

              -----
              Miss Albany Diner
              893 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207

              Parting Glass
              40 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

              Church St Cafe
              8 Church St, White Plains, NY 10601

              1. re: PSZaas

                PSZaas, OP wanted unique diners, dives, etc.

                Breakfast at MAD might work if conference hounds are skipping a morning session :)

                I've never attended every session at a conference . . .

                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  I'm very fond of Miss Albany Diner, but I'd never recommend it based on the criteria in the OP.

                  -----
                  Miss Albany Diner
                  893 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207

            2. Saratoga has 7 or 8 great restaurants, mostly fine dining. What we don't have is the D.D, and D sorts of places. For unique sandwiches, try Sangwych on Putnam one block from Broadway. Great Belgian frites can be had at Ravenous. Passable Korean and Vietnamese at Phila Fusion. Great fish and chips and burgers at "the local."

              1. Another librarian here, that's great. I'm going too and curious to see the responses.

                1. I recommend the fish and chips at The Local also. Neat place but does have limited seating, good draft beer selections also. For Indian we enjoy going to Little India, have not yet been to Karavalli. If you have transportation available I would recommend Harvest and Hearth for wood fired gourmet pizza, one of my favorite places to eat, expensive for pizza, but has high quality organic ingredients. Great salads there too-love the Mamie's poppy salad.

                  -----
                  Little India
                  60 Court St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: yellowlablover

                    Second Harvest and Hearth if you like brick oven, thin crust pizza. Also, Capriccio Saratoga's pizza.

                    http://www.harvestandhearth.com/

                  2. Go to The Parting Glass and get hammered.....

                    -----
                    Parting Glass
                    40 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: TonyO

                      Can't carp at the idea of getting hammered at the Parting Glass. Enough beers in their catalog to cover almost every need. However, I am not a fan of their food. Pedestrian at best. Irish Times, within walking distance around the corner, also has a fair collection of exotic beers, and a decent Irish inclined menu Since I am within walking distance of both of them, I recommend the Irish Times.

                      -----
                      Parting Glass
                      40 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

                    2. There's a hot dog joint in Glens Falls called New Way Lunch. Have their own chili sauce and fresh chopped onion--unlike NYC.

                      1. I'm a little surprised that no one mentioned Hattie's on Phila Street after winning a throw-down against Bobby Flay.

                        Otherwise, I concur with the excellent beer selection at The Parting Glass.

                        -----
                        Hattie's
                        45 Phila St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Roger K

                          Roger K, Hattie's can be inconsistent. I preferred the fried chicken at 51 Front in Ballston Spa over Hattie's. That said, Hattie's is a local gem.

                          Second Ravenous and Mrs. Londons which were already mentioned. Two of my favorites and unique to Saratoga.

                          jcmods, Saratoga is the home of the potato chip so you might want to bring a box back for your colleagues at the library. For peppermint fans, SS is also home to the peppermint pig, available as we head into the holidays.

                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                            We ate at Mouzon House in September and enjoyed the food especially when coupled with excellent service.

                            -----
                            Mouzon House
                            1 York Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

                            1. re: TonyO

                              A recent thread:

                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/792704

                        2. Beekman Street Bistro is one of the restaurants my dude and I hit up every time we go to Saratoga. They've got an amazing tasting menu, uber-local meat/produce, and a hip atmosphere.

                          Also- surprised that there's been no mention of the Wine Bar. I kinda adore this place & wish it was in my hometown.

                          -----
                          Beekman Street Bistro
                          62 Beekman St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: sixelagogo

                            @sixelagogo, I would suspect that the Wine Bar didn't meet the OP's request for " hole in the wall ethnic joints or fun dive bars... can't miss local things (like unique sandwiches or hot dog joints...)."

                            1. re: Roger K

                              Ditto for Beekman Street Bistro. Not OP's criteria. Funny, I don't think of Beekman Street Bistro as "hip" . . .

                              Also the Wine Bar has a new chef.

                              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                ok, so maybe a bit $$, but I sorta love these places (And I do think Beekman's pretty hip- cool vibe, neat local art, good local products....)

                                How's the food at the wine bar now with a new chef...we'll be coming into town this weekend ourselves & planning a visit

                                1. re: sixelagogo

                                  Dominic Colose, chef at the Wine Bar since August, is terrific and creative. One of my 2 or 3 local favorites.

                                  1. re: sixelagogo

                                    Have not been to The Wine Bar since Chef Colose started. Went to Grappa '72 (Albany) when he was chef and enjoyed it.

                            2. Funny we were thinking of Hatties because we love Cajun. We live around the corner from a cajun place, but the food is very mediocre. So far we have been to Phila Fusion and "The Local". And yes, we did get "hammered" at the Parting Glass. (We also went to a nice Jazz bar called Maple 9 and ended the night at the Circus Bar). As for the food at Phila Fusion, while I might not recommend it to someone who lives in Flushing, the Bimbap was really good as well as the Pho. Will try some more things later today.

                              -----
                              Parting Glass
                              40 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: jcmods

                                Thanks for reporting back, jcmods. What did you eat at The Local? How was it?

                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                  Back home and still enjoying leftover jambalaya from Hattie's. But let's back track.
                                  At "The Local" we split an order of fish & chips and it was great. The funny part was that once our dish came out, we saw 4-5 other people order it as well. We were sitting at he bar and the guy next to us was saying that the Local used to have the best fish & chips but the Groggery down the block had become the new favorite. Once he saw our plate, he ordered it for himself and declared that the Local was back to #1. He was also the person who told us to check out Maple 9. Then it was Parting Glass for a library fund-raiser and then Circus for some live noisy rock.
                                  Friday, we went to lunch at Sangwych for pork bbq and we were pleased. Then for dinner it was Hattie's where we were most impressed with the fried okra and gumbo. Jambalaya and fried chicken were good, but not transcendent. Not wanting to bloat out with more beer we had gin & tonics at Gaffney's (it was the only place we could find with open seats at the bar). A long walk later we settled in Max London's for sangria (what an odd assortment of crazy-looking liquor at that bar).
                                  Last day and we decided to go for Ravenous for an early lunch. I had the Napoleon with mushrooms and Mr. Mod had the Croque Madam special. We also ordered mimosas to toast our excellent adventure. Both crepes were fabulous and the frites with aioli rocked. Sitting again at the bar/counter (as we do) we had yet another great experience talking with the staff and customers around us. Everywhere we went we met friendly locals who seemed genuinely happy to have the conference in town and talk to us on any number of topics.
                                  Thanks for all the advice. We never would have found the Local (or the Historic Beekman Arts area) without your help.

                                  -----
                                  Max London's Restaurant
                                  Saratoga Springs, NY, Saratoga Springs, NY

                                  Parting Glass
                                  40 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

                                2. re: jcmods

                                  There're good versions of jambalaya all over town, a serendipitous Saratoga specialty due to the racing industry. Best right now is at Sperry's, I think, but One Caroline and Hatties both have pretty good versions.

                                  1. re: PSZaas

                                    I second Sperry's for dinner! But I guess tomorrow is the last nite in town ....

                                    1. re: PSZaas

                                      Re Hatties. Whatever inconsistencies it may have, I can honestly say the food is MUCH better than our local Cajun place because nothing is from a jar or a can. We liked everything we ordered. Our mistake was ordering the gumbo as an appetizer because it was huge (and it was REALLY SPICY which is a good thing in my book). I would normally order that size for my entire meal. That is why it is now Sunday, and we are still finishing off the Jambalaya....LOL.

                                  2. For a throwback German experience, Spa Brauhaus in Ballston Spa. Not far from SS....I enjoyed the food, and the kitchy, local ambiance. I would think they are opened year round, but check first.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: phDuh

                                      Open year round, closed Mondays and Tuesdays except during racing season, then open 7 days.