Thursday, 17 July 2008

Postcard from Saratoga Springs

I always think about food, but never more than when I'm on vacation.  

When I'm traveling, life is all about my next meal -- and sometimes the activity between just seems like the needs-must required to work up an appetite.   I have three more days in Saratoga Springs -- famous spa and horse racing town -- and this morning I realized that my dearest friend Laurita and I were planning the next few days of eating with all of the seriousness and precision of a military campaign!  Saratoga is such a great food town, and part of the problem is that I want to re-eat at all of the places we've already eaten at . . . not to mention the hot spots we haven't yet managed to visit!  There just aren't enough meals in a day.

Yesterday we managed to fit in most of Laurita's  sentimental favorites:  cider doughnuts at Sutton's, ice cream at Martha's, and ribs at PJ's.   (Laura is a harpist, and she has been visiting Saratoga for the last twenty years to "gig" at the Lake George Opera Festival.)  We also managed to visit The Sagamore -- a beautiful old hotel on Lake George that makes you feel like you are one of the privileged few from the gilded age.  We wanted to have lobster rolls on the deck, or tea on the terrace, or cocktails on the lawn . . . but we were too stuffed to take in anything but the breathtaking view of boats bobbing in the blue, blue water.

Everything in this Adirondack region feels slightly retro -- and even the tacky tourist bits are cute kitsch.  It is like the best of Americana, preserved in the aspic of fresh air and pristine piney woods.   

Last night I wanted to swoon with happiness.  We were sitting outside, and the air was balmy.  The moon was nearly full, and I swear it was the color of a tangerine.  We were eating yummy, messy ribs, corn on the cob, and fried green beans.  PJ was spinning old 50s tunes from the Everly Brothers and Elvis Presley.   (Apparently you can find him on 880 AM radio, but Laurita swears that you lose WBBQ as soon as you leave the parking lot.)  I felt as bubbly as Gidget -- minus the surfboard and Moondoggie.  I could have stayed there forever, or at least a lot longer, but the junebugs started divebombing us and the kiddiewinkles started complaining.  

I want to go again tonight, but we are supposed to be eating fried chicken at The Rock.  Like I said, too much great food . . . not enough time.


Alyson said...

It all sounds so lovely. I love your description of the place. I've yet to go. I must one of these days.

I'm exactly the same. Vacation is all about eating!!

Anne said...

Bee, you're making me hungry! All of that food sounds SO good! Cider doughnuts... ribs... fried chicken... and all of it enjoyed by a lake in the mountains! I think I would feel like swooning with happiness, too.

Cindy said...

I find you really get to experience a place by eating the local fare. You make me want to rush off to Saratoga Springs just for the food - esp. the cider doughnuts!

Bitty said...

Happy vacation! Enjoy, enjoy!

JaneyV said...

Sarratoga Springs sounds fantastic. I think the perfect holiday involves a beautiful setting and excellent food - you've hit the jackpot! Any photos?

Enjoy the rest of your travels.

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Eating *is* an important part of vacations. Especially eating local treats :-) I've never had cider doughnuts. Yummy!

Sounds like you're having a wonderful time. Are your kiddos happy to be on US turf?

su said...

Hatties Chicken Shack ya gotta go!
I also love Sutton's in Queensbury, they only do breakfast and lunch, but it is a neat place.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Mmmmm Lobster roll!!!

You must have a Moxie for me.

Nimble said...

I haven't been to the Adirondacks before. What is a cider donut? Is the cider part of the batter or adornment?

I'm glad you're feeling elated on your trip!

debski beat said...

Have a lovely time Bee, please for us Brits could you explain some of the food so we can visualise ie:lobster roll and BRS mentioned a moxie, what is that and the cider doughnuts as well please. Most of all relax and enjoy.

Sig said...


We had lots of John Smiths scrummy tinned beer at Auntie Nick's last night with game pie. Crap weather. Cat's moping about. The chikcen's don't seem to give a sh** - well they do seem still to be doling that out !

I am at Mum's getting ready to go and buy some goos all nuke-em food from Waitrose.

Can you call or send the numbers you gave me - I have lost them somewhere on my travels and now can't get in touch.

Must go need to have another cup of good old English tea - and you cann't get that made to perfection in New England.

Sarah Laurence said...

Good to hear you're enjoying your vacation. My family has planned vacations just around eating. In Maine we are enjoying the foods we missed in England. Tastes and smells evoke home.

debski beat said...

Bee, expecting a report on the fried chicken and a comparison to the 4th July chicken recipe you cooked as i am going to attempt same here.

Kate said...

Good eats with a good friend under a tangerine moon ... ah, heaven on Earth.
Your descriptions are delectable!

Audrey said...

OMG that is hilarious that your husband thought to contact you on your blog! See, he IS interested in your inner life after all! It sounds as if he is missing you and obviously the food discussion is making him just a wee bit bitter and jealous!
I know the area you are talking about well as both my sisters went to Union College in Schnectady. It is very retro. Another fun thing to do is the Horse Racing at Saratoga which again makes you feel like you are in another era. In fact, you can have breakfast at the 'track and watch them excercising the horses. They serve the most fantastic brunch. And you'll feel like you're back in England!

Bee said...

Dear friends,

After responding individually to each of you, Blogger ate my comment. How he managed to swallow it, I do not know!

Hopefully, more good food reports will follow.

Bitty said...

Never you mind about us, Bee. Just enjoy and catch up with us when it's all over.

debski beat said...

I agree with Bitty.

One thing tho' Bee,I would think its a good idea to answer one person ... Sig !