Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Saratoga Chowderfest 2013

This weekend, I made an all-too-short trip to Albany to hang out with Shelby.  I arrived around 11:30am, and was promptly whisked off to Saratoga, a town I've never been to, despite how close and awesome it is.  I'd love to come back and visit in the summer, to check out the spas and the horse races.


We were in Saratoga to celebrate Chowderfest.  You may not know this about me, but every summer when I was growing up, we'd rent a house in Rhode Island, and do very little but bike to the beach, sit on the beach, and eat delicious food.  I'm pretty sure this is where my taste for chowder started, and it's never abated since.  Chowderfest showcases chowders from all sorts of vendors around Saratoga.  It costs $1 for each sample (about three ounces) and we tried seven of them (one doesn't count because it was a cupcake!).  My absolute favorite was from the American Red Cross.  Serving out of an ambulance, they gave us a little cup of Adirondack Big Game Chowder, which was made with elk.  Made by the head chef at Six Flags, Terry McCallum, it was thick, creamy, and incredibly flavorful.  It rivaled some of the best chowders I've had in New England.  In second place was Maestro's bourbon smoked chicken corn chowder with a cheddar poblano biscuit.  I love corn chowder, and this one was great.  Plus, they get bonus points for great presentation with the biscuit.  After trying five places, you could go back to the main station and cast your vote, as well as pick up a long-sleeved t-shirt for $10.  (It featured the logo above, and Shelby and Mike now have matching ones. Aww!)

After Chowderfest, we enjoyed drinks at the Olde English Pub (how could you not love a place that has two fireplaces and a portrait of Winston Churchill on the wall?) and dinner at Bombers (a burrito joint that I really love).  It was a short trip, but I really had a blast trying some new foods and some old favorites!

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