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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.

  1. phDuh Nov 4, 2011 04:22 PM

    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
      PSZaas Nov 4, 2011 04:24 PM

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

    2. jcmods Nov 4, 2011 07:33 AM

      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
        financialdistrictresident Nov 4, 2011 07:42 AM

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

        1. re: financialdistrictresident
          jcmods Nov 5, 2011 09:24 PM

          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
          PSZaas Nov 4, 2011 07:45 AM

          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
            cloverose Nov 4, 2011 10:26 PM

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

            1. re: PSZaas
              jcmods Nov 6, 2011 06:22 AM

              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. sixelagogo Nov 4, 2011 04:05 AM

            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
              Roger K Nov 4, 2011 07:05 AM

              @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
                financialdistrictresident Nov 4, 2011 07:41 AM

                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
                  sixelagogo Nov 5, 2011 03:59 PM

                  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
                    gerchak198 Nov 5, 2011 04:29 PM

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

                    1. re: sixelagogo
                      financialdistrictresident Nov 8, 2011 06:34 AM

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

              2. r
                Roger K Nov 2, 2011 09:17 PM

                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.

                45 Phila St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

                3 Replies
                1. re: Roger K
                  financialdistrictresident Nov 3, 2011 03:05 AM

                  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
                    TonyO Nov 3, 2011 03:08 PM

                    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
                      financialdistrictresident Nov 4, 2011 02:51 AM

                      A recent thread:


                2. m
                  magnolia Nov 2, 2011 06:52 PM

                  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. TonyO Nov 2, 2011 03:59 PM

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

                    Parting Glass
                    40 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: TonyO
                      trakman Nov 2, 2011 08:25 PM

                      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. y
                      yellowlablover Nov 1, 2011 03:27 PM

                      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
                        financialdistrictresident Nov 2, 2011 05:50 AM

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


                      2. f
                        foodie1017 Nov 1, 2011 11:51 AM

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

                        1. g
                          gerchak198 Nov 1, 2011 05:42 AM

                          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. financialdistrictresident Nov 1, 2011 03:23 AM

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

                            S. Springs has a diner, Compton's:


                            3 Replies
                            1. re: financialdistrictresident
                              PSZaas Nov 1, 2011 04:05 PM

                              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
                                financialdistrictresident Nov 2, 2011 05:48 AM

                                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
                                  PSZaas Nov 2, 2011 03:53 PM

                                  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. d
                              debmom Oct 31, 2011 03:17 PM


                              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
                                financialdistrictresident Oct 31, 2011 03:58 PM

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


                                1. re: debmom
                                  PSZaas Nov 1, 2011 03:59 PM

                                  PJ's is closed for the season.

                                2. financialdistrictresident Oct 31, 2011 03:00 PM

                                  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:


                                  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:


                                  Happy eating!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                    financialdistrictresident Nov 1, 2011 03:10 AM

                                    If you're into cupcakes:


                                    The Yelp perspective on Bettie's:


                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                      jcmods Nov 1, 2011 06:17 AM

                                      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.

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