Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bailey's Cafe

Sometimes it's hard for me not to see Bailey's as just a bar, probably because when I walk past it on weekend nights it sounds like a club from halfway down the block. But I'm all for trying new things, and I don't want to judge a book by its cover or a bar by it's cover band (pun intended). So when a friend and I made a lunch date, I suggested we try something new and check out Bailey's Cafe.

We walked in and went straight to the patio, it's way to beautiful out to be inside! Sitting outside were a bunch of families and young professionals out to lunch...certainly toning down the crazy bar preconception I had. It seemed like a couple of young families had come straight from the library, which is pretty adorable though at times we could hear some angry honks from the library parking lot that was right up against our table. Despite that, it was a relatively calm setting and I was ready to check out their menu to see what they had to offer.

I went for a lobster roll that our waiter said "was everyone's favorite" and a cup of their corn chowder.

The lobster roll wasn't necessarily anything exciting, but it was a classic tribute to summer. The paprika and lemon really brought out the lobster that can sometimes get lost in the sea of white bread. Add the crinkle cut potato chips and you've got summer on a plate. And since fall is soon approaching, I went straight from the lobster roll to my cup of corn chowder. I appreciated that the corn chowder was on the lighter side, any heavier and I would have been over-full with my meal. The chowder wasn't very thick and had a definite spicy kick to it...there also wasn't any bacon in it (which I know can be a deal breaker for some) but was still made with chicken broth so it wasn't completely vegetarian.

My friend ended up ordering The Annandale panini and a cup of lobster bisque. The panini came with roasted red pepper hummus, artichoke hearts, spinach, red onion, and provolone. What a perfect combination!

This was her first experience with lobster and she was so excited and took her first spoonful...and it was cold. And lobster bisque is definitely not one of those soups that can pull off both hot and cold. A few minutes later our waiter ran over and said that he didn't realize that he was supposed to heat it up and took her cup back to the kitchen. It was nice that he came back after he realized his mistake...but no one likes to think about their soup just sitting around in the kitchen getting cold...luckily her sandwich was pretty amazing and the bisque tasted pretty decent after being reheated. 

I can see why Bailey's is a good place for families, it's got a bunch of steadfast favorites that even the pickiest of eaters can find something on the menu as well as a casual atmosphere and spill/food throwing proof patio. And as the day goes on they've got some great looking happy hour specials as well as nightly deals that I featured on my week of specials post. I'm not sure if Bailey's the kind of place that I would go to if I wanted to try adventurous and creative food, but it is able to serve as a Saratoga staple, both for little kids during the day and big kids at night. Do you have a favorite meal there?

Don't forget, there's one more day to enter your name for the Eat Good Food $20 giveaway! And I'm also eventually hoping to update my week of specials post, so let me know if there's anything that I left out. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Eat Good Food Giveaway

Exciting news! The folks over at the Eat Good Food truck and I were getting to talking, and we thought we would start a giveaway. The lucky winner will receive a $20 gift certificate to the Eat Good Food truck which means $20 worth of incredibly delicious food. Here's how it works - from now until Friday night if you Like Savoring Saratoga you will be entered for a chance at the gift certificate AND if you already Like the page then all you have to do is write a comment on the giveaway status telling me why you like to eat good food. Good Luck!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Hour Saratoga

Hey - I wanted to share with you my new favorite site...these guys over at Happy Hour Saratoga have got a whole website dedicated to happy hour in Saratoga! Click on the day and you see all of the happy hour locations, including details on what the deal includes. Basically it's just an amazing website that you need to check out and then go enjoy happy hour.

And remember a while ago when I wrote about a week of specials, a bunch of deals organized by the day of the week? I'm looking to update that soon, so if there are any on there that I've missed let me know! You can either leave a comment here or on my Facebook page, looking forward to hearing from you!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Revisiting Wheatfields

This past weekend we had a couple friends visiting and when we were thinking of a restaurant to go to, I thought about a review of Wheatfields I wrote a little while ago for another local blogger. What made me think of Wheatfields, besides the fact that they have amazing food, is that they have an extensive gluten free menu and one of our friends is on a strict gluten free diet. I feel that it's so important for restaurants to take food allergies and restrictions seriously, especially with the prevalence of these allergies rising. It's certainly frustrating for me when restaurants drizzle chocolate all over my dessert (one of my more unfortunate allergies) but I can't imagine going to a restaurant and feeling like it wasn't safe to eat anything, like what happened to my friend when we went to Pacific Grill. But enough with my speech on restaurant responsibilities, let's get back to Wheatfields. Since this is a "revisiting review" I won't go into a full blown review but I'll recap our meal there and some of the highlights...enjoy!

When we strolled in around 7:30 on a Thursday night (during track season) we were told there would be a half hour wait, so we chose to wait at the bar. We ended up ordering our drinks and two appetizers off of their $5 bar menu, calamari and arancini. And I can't forget to mention the HUGE block of cheese at the bar that is pretty irresistible.

These were teeny tiny portions, but then again only five dollars so you get what you pay for. But before we even got these our table was ready...after only 15 minutes of waiting! Way to go Wheatfields! So we brought our drinks and met our appetizers at the table while we looked over the menu for some entrees. 

My date ended up going with the Three Course Thursday option and ordering the market salad, chicken caponata, and the macaroon and amaretto ice cream sandwich courtesy of the ice cream sandwich throw down

I loved the ice cream only issue was that it must have been waiting out for a while because the ice cream was almost completely melted. It looks only slightly melty in the picture, but that first bite sent ice cream dripping everywhere and it ended up being just macaroons soaked in amaretto ice cream. Still delicious, but they are definitely going to have to step up their game a little bit for the throw down with Albany. 

Our friends ended up ordering the beet and goat cheese salad, mussels, and buffalo chicken pizza - all from the gluten free menu!

I thought it was a nice touch that after we asked for a gluten free menu, our waitress brought over some gluten free bread as well. A little gesture that means a lot when it comes to your restaurant experience. Unfortunately another little gesture that became a theme was she kept trying to take our plates away when there was still food left! Granted, it was an extremely busy night, but I hate feeling rushed or silly for holding back the plate for a couple more mussels or calamari.

I ended up going with the pan seared scallops that came over the risotto of the day - a mushroom spinach risotto - also on the gluten free menu.

This dish was incredibly delicious. I had leftover risotto for lunch the next day and it was just as good the day after. I was so impressed with the amount of gluten free options they had, and I realized too that they actually have an allergy chart on their website that goes over the main ingredients on their menu...pretty great. All in all, another great experience at was packed but this is one of the restaurants that handles busy pretty well. For those of you who have food allergies or know someone who is on a strict diet, what is your favorite place to eat in Saratoga? Have you found that certain places are more accommodating than others? 

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I've been so excited about Druthers lately, and so has the entire community. I feel like even it's presence on Broadway has given Saratoga a little confidence boost. I went there for lunch the other day with a friend who was visiting from out of town and she was certainly impressed (as was I) with Saratoga's newest brewery and restaurant. We chose to sit outside and enjoy their patio, a quiet little haven from downtown's hustle and bustle. Our waitress beautifully described the beers on tap (I'm always impressed when people can describe beer and wine, I'm such an amateur) and I ended up choosing the summer ale while my friend went with the blonde.

Next time I'll have to do a tasting, all of their beers sounded delicious! And I also liked how even their water glasses were "given your druthers". Classy.

While we were deciding what to eat, we asked our waitress about the space. It honestly seemed like Druthers popped out of nowhere...what had been there before? How was it possible that there was that much unused space on Broadway? Our waitress said she wasn't sure, she had just moved to the area, but to her credit she came back five minutes later with the story - turns out it was an empty alley/courtyard barely used by a neighboring building. The history was pretty cool, but I think the way our waitress went to ask for us really epitomizes the Druthers staff - everyone is extremely friendly and willing to talk to you and ensure that you have a great experience. What more could you want?

My friend and I had a really difficult time deciding between two dishes, so we just got both to split. Let's start with the Something Vegan Barely Burger.

The burger itself was pretty substantial and impressive for a homemade vegan burger, but it was the toppings that made this burger shine. Roasted garlic, peppers and onions topped off with pickled shallots...yum! I could have gone for a little more of a kick, maybe some chopped up jalapenos in the burger or something, but overall it was a very filling and delicious vegan burger. 

Next up is the Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos that came with salsa and roasted corn with some queso fresco drizzled on top.

These burritos stole the show. They are not your typical burritos, so you can't go into it thinking it's going to be a Chipotle experience or anything. They are served over a smoked tomato sauce that brings out the smooth sweetness of the potatoes and black bean salsa. And let's not forget those crispy little fries that come with it, so good. When I first saw the burritos in their cast iron skillet I thought maybe it would be too heavy for a hot summer day, but it was perfect. Filling, healthy and flavorful. You should probably try one next time you're there. And since it comes with three burritos, it's already perfectly set up for sharing! 

After we finished up our meals we wandered inside to get a better look. The first floor has even more seating (this place is huge!) and the second floor is dedicated to the brewery itself. We were informed that they are going to start tours after track season, which is understandable, it seems like almost every restaurant is waiting until after track season to take a moment to breathe. I can't wait to take a tour and learn more about the brewery and the guys behind the business.
Way to go, Druthers! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Guest Post on Harvest and Hearth

Jenn from Bite Me wrote a wonderful review of Harvest and Hearth...definitely a Saratoga classic. Sounds like she had a great experience there, definitely makes me want to go there while it's still warm enough to eat outside! 

Thanks to Aliza for letting me post on her blog! Love when food addicted people like myself can collaborate

I’m embarrassed to say that I have only recently heard about this great restaurant located right on Saratoga Lake.  Immediately upon walking in, you see the big wood fired oven that they use set amongst natural and simple decor.  

The place was bumpin’ and I thought for sure we would have to wait to sit outside since it was the perfect day during prime dinnertime but we didn’t!  Harvest and Hearth specializes in wood fired pizzas using only local, natural or organic ingredients and they are passionate about supporting local and organic farmers right here in New York state.  Their passion comes through because the pizza makes me want to go Whoop Whoop! 

We started off with the Mammie’s Poppy salad which consisted of poached organic pears, fire roasted pecans, fresh local goat cheese and a homemade poppy seed dressing atop organic mesculin greens.  What I loved about the salad was that it was very lightly dressed.  

I hate when a salad is swimming in dressing.  It went so nicely with the pears and crunchy pecans and all of the flavors really came through.  The portion size was very generous too!  Three of us shared with a little to spare! 

For the main attraction, we ordered the Olivia’s Organic which had whole milk mozzarella, asiago, fresh organic herbs and garlic infused extra virgin olive oil.  

Next up was The Natural which had sun dried tomato pesto, caramelized onions, organic mushrooms, nitrate free maple fennel sausage, whole milk mozzarella and herbs.  

Rounding third we decided on a Your Creation which we topped off with roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, fresh basil, chicken, goat cheese and garlic infused extra virgin olive oil.  

This was definitely the hat trick because all three pizzas were great and the fact that you can enjoy them while overlooking Saratoga Lake makes it that much better.  The ingredients used were so fresh tasting that it’s obvious they’re in season and local.  The other nice thing is that they offer a great draft beer selection choosing to serve beers made right here in the Northeast.  Some of the brews they offer are Bear Naked Ale from Adirondack Brewing, UFO Hefewiesen from Harpoon and Peak IPA from Peak Organic Brewing.   

The one downside to Harvest and Hearth is that the service is extremely slow.  Working with only one wood fired oven, they can only crank out the pizzas so fast which resulted in us being at the restaurant for a total of 2 hours.  We didn’t mind because the view was great and we weren’t in a rush but if you have someplace to be, you may want to try Harvest and Hearth on a night when you are looking to lounge.  Heck, even if you do have someplace to be, make the time to get here because the pizza is great! Have you been to Harvest and Hearth?? What did you think?

Harvest and Hearth opened in October of 2008 and is owned by Peter and Gina Michelin.  Their focus in on supporting local and organic farming communities through out New York and New England. Their dough is made with water from Saratoga Springs and most of their ingredients are local and organic.  Their motto is “In sharing a meal at Harvest & Hearth, you are choosing sustainability, conservation, simplicity, integrity, loyalty, and the importance of family and home.” All I know is that when I choose to dine here, I will get a great pizza!

Harvest and Hearth is located at 251-B County Route 67 (Stafford Bridge Rd.) Saratoga Springs, NY. To discover great local food businesses, visit and "like" me on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you!

The Living Room

Local blogger Jenn Savino and I did a restaurant review swap - check out my review of The Living Room on her blog and let me know what you think. And soon we'll hear about her experiences at Harvest and Hearth, I can't wait!

Also - don't forget to find (and like) Savoring Saratoga on Facebook to get updates on reviews and foodie things going on in town!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Stadium Cafe

The other night my friends and I were walking down Broadway and got caught in one of those intense summer rain storms that come out of nowhere. Luckily we were right in front of The Stadium Cafe and ran inside for a late dinner. The Stadium Cafe is not a place I normally go to, I'm not particularly a fan of sports bars and this one boasts a whopping 25 TVs, but I thought we could give it a try. Even though the place was packed for a Wednesday night we were seated almost immediately after pushing together two of the high tables.

I wasn't really in the mood for something fried, but I was still really hungry and wasn't sure what I wanted. Luckily, Stadium has a pretty extensive menu that offers more than your average bar food selection. I ended up going with the Greek Salad that came with roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, feta cheese, tomatoes and grilled chicken. Since I don't eat chicken I asked if they could substitute grilled shrimp instead. Almost an HOUR later our food finally got to us...

It's a pretty beautiful salad but I was disappointed that it only came with three shrimp. Not to mention the fact that even though it was a substitution and not an addition, I still got charged $5! For three shrimp! Despite that, it was a classic Greek salad that satisfied my craving. Yet, I was still hungry after eating most of the salad and ended up doing what I had told myself I would be able to resist: eating a gross amount of french fries. 

Once you start, you can't stop. Beer battered french fries are pretty much always addictive and these were no exception. I just couldn't stop, they were so good. The worst part is that they weren't even mine...sorry Dan for eating all your fries.

Two of my friends ended up getting the salmon dish that came with rice, vegetables, and either a soup or salad.

Pretty good deal if you ask me. The salmon was decent, I think I could have gone for a little more sauce, but I was still impressed that a sports bar was able to offer such a healthy meal, the broccoli was steamed and everything. It was a little bland though, and I think maybe they haven't gotten the memo that just because it's healthy doesn't mean it can't be exciting. Throw some garlic and lemon on that broccoli, jazz up the rice a little bit...the possibilities are endless. All in all though it was a very filling meal which made me think that maybe I should have gotten this dish instead of the salad, but now I know for next time.

The last meal ordered was the Saratoga Special that came with a cheeseburger, saratoga chips and a bottle of saratoga lager.

Look at all that cheese. This was definitely what I expected when I imagined the menu at Stadium, and my friend who ordered it was not disappointed.

After we were all done with our meals and snacking on fries and beers until our check came, the power flickered on an off from the storm. It's strange, I realized that I had never been in a restaurant before that lost power. Turns out the momentary black out messed up the computers and so we had to wait for our check. And wait. And wait. Our waitress brought us over a round of beers on the house, but it's still pretty frustrating to have to wait so long when you're done eating and pretty much just sitting around...though I feel like it wouldn't have been so bad if it was a weekend and we didn't have to wake up early for work the next morning. Our waitress finally ended up just writing out our check for us (thank you) and we just had to make sure that we had enough cash since the credit card machine was also down.

After a long night at Stadium, I'm not sure if I would go back if it were my choice. Maybe it was the atmosphere - I'm not too into excessive sports memorabilia or TVs. Maybe it was the service - when I'm really hungry I'm not in the mood to wait almost an hour for food. Either way, it was nice to have a place to shelter us from the rain and provide us with food, beer, and a view of the Olympics on the big screen.