I feel so lucky to live where I do during the summer months (November through April is another story). Having access to the Adirondacks and Saratoga is such a wonderful benefit of living here. It was opening weekend of the track and the forecast was 85 and sunny with a light breeze. My first thought was let's pack up the cooler and head up. We got to the track around 3 and found a shady spot to set up our chairs. After a couple of bets (Corona’s and Pork Slap Ale), we walked around to find all of the new food and drink spots we’ve read about. The first place we stumbled upon was “Mac Truck” which is a food truck that specializes in macaroni items like fried mac and cheese balls. Next stop- the new beer garden.
It’s nice to have some options for draft beer but it wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped. They offer an okay selection of stuff but you can get a lot of those beers at other places around the track so I don’t really see what all of the buzz is about. Plus, if you bring a cooler, just go to The Beverage Mart in Clifton Park where they have a huge selection of craft brew canned and ready to go! After drooling over the homemade ice cream cookie sandwich they offer at Bettie’s cupcakes, we strolled on over to the always low calorie French fries, gravy and cheese curd stand called Shirley’s which serves up the Montreal-style poutine. This is located where Nathan’s hot dogs used to be in the Carousel area. Looks like the cheese-covered fries from Nathan’s wasn’t cutting it anymore and this place is definitely an upgrade. We were planning on going downtown afterwards so we chose to skip all of the delicious looking items but made mental notes of where we will eating on our next trip back. It was about 5:30 so we decided to skip the mass exodus and leave the track a little early to go downtown. With no plan in mind, we ended up at the bar at Boca Bistro because I can’t get enough of their bacon wrapped dates. It was still happy hour so in addition to those, we got the grilled farm bread rubbed with tomato, garlic and olive oil and the chef selection of cheese’s both off of the $5 menu. Although the portions were small, we didn’t mind because it allowed us to try a few different things. We decided to stroll around on Broadway and ended up at the rug store next to Forno Bistro of all places. They had live music, and were giving away free drinks along with a huge spread of cheese, crackers and fruits! Wow we just hit the jackpot! I’m not in the market for a new throw rug but if you’re trying to get a new customer, this is definitely the way into my heart. After a few songs (and grapes, both solid and liquid) we went on over to Cantina which had the best vibe going. Bob Marley was playing in the background and all of the floor to ceiling windows were wide open. We weren’t sure if we were hungry or not but we ended up with chips and salsa which hit the spot. All in all, the “Hats off to Saratoga” Saturday was a great day and I look forward to heading back very soon!