Monday, April 19, 2010
Mr. Dave Does Saratoga
My wife, because she is awesome, organized a mini-trip to Saratoga for an evening to celebrate my annual age progression festival (b-day). We (along with a small gaggle of local ruffians and malcontents) decided to make the trek up the Northway and over the Thadeus Kosciuszko. Our plan was to stay a night, have dinner, some drinks, monkey shines, etc... Sometimes a little change of scenery from the normal haunts and hollows is good.
We didn't make any dinner reservations, so our choice was decided by walking from restaurant to restaurant asking which one could seat 10 with a minimal wait. We happened upon the Circuis Cafe on Broadway, and they seemed happy and willing to deal with our rabble. It looked like a solid family/burger joint, and I wasn't in the mood for any sort of fine dining. I was in more of a fortify my stomach with grease for impending oat soda-fest mood.
We ordered your standard panoply of bar food appetizers, including one of our own regional specials, mozzarella sticks with rasberry sauce (Melba Sauce at the Circuis Cafe). I like this combination, always have. These particular sticks do not outshine Ralph's, but I thought the sauce was delicious.
Apparently, the place is known for its burgers (or so it says on the menu),and almost all of us ordered one. I got mine with blue cheese and bacon. Solid burger, not much more to say about it.
Now, just bask in the glory of this next image.
If it is your birthday they bring you a giant mountain of blue cotton candy. I grinned like an idiot at 30, I am pretty sure if I was a kid I would have lost it with excitement. After snapping this photo, I immediately grabbed a hunk the size of a basketball and shoved it in my gob. I thought this was a nice gimmick for a family restaurant and I wished my trusty Giblet was there to devour some.
Another one of the Circus Cafe's gimmicks is old timey type drinks. I had a lime rickey.
Some of my friends ordered the 18 dollar "Scorpion Bowl."
The Scorpion Bowl tasted like your standard Chinese restaurant, pineapple-y thing. There was a volcano in the middle of the chalice in which it was served, but alas, no decorative fire.
Moving on with the evening, we drank at some bar on Caroline street for quite a while. I forget the name, but it was right across the street from a Hot Dog Charlie's.
Despite my pleading, I could not convince anyone else to go with me to satiate my beer induced hunger for mini dogs.
To cap off the evening we wandered back towards our hotel and stopped at the Parting Glass. Handily, the place was right across the street from where we were staying. The Parting Glass is your standard "Irish" type "pub." As we all decided you only live once, everyone had second dinner. I whined a little about nobody being hungry when I wanted hot dogs, but then began to peruse the menu. I saw a sandwich called "The Rasher" and decided that sounded pretty awesome. Here it is.
Maybe I didn't read the whole description of the sandwich, but due to the use of the word "Rasher" I was expecting a sandwich full of some sort of bacon (be it English, Irish, or American style). What I got was a sandwich with one slice of English/Irish style back or loin bacon, on top of a large pile of thick sliced, extruded, deli ham. I took all the ham off and ate a 1 bacon slice and cheese sandwich, then I dared my friend to eat up all the ham (like 6 fat slices). He did it for 20 bucks.
Aforementioned ham consuming friend had previously been working on an order of "Bangers and Mash."
This was a solid meal. I tasted both the bangers and the mash it wasn't a bad version Another friend got some sort of weird Irish quesadilla thing that I didn't take a picture of. It was mashed tatties, cheese, sauerkraut, and god knows what else. My wife said it smelled bad. I don't get all these weird, bastard "Irish" products floating around. Awhile ago, I saw Irish spring rolls on the menu at Swifty's in Delmar.
To attempt to recapture our wild youths we ordered some giant beer contraption to cap off the evening.
After passing into food/beer comas for a few hours, we arose and walked over to Gaffney's for brunch. I had some sort of "Italian Baked Eggs" kind of thing.
As you may notice in the upper corner are a couple poached eggs. Whenever I eat a place that is "known for breakfast/brunch," I always order poached eggs. I am firmly convinced you will be able to judge the quality of everything on the menu by how well they do poached eggs. I don't care if this doesn't make sense. I was unimpressed with the poaching in this case, the yolks were frightfully set. The baked egg dish's yolks were completely set as well which is not what I expect from baked eggs. Everyone else seemed satisfied with their choices, so maybe I was just hungover and moody.
After breakfast we ambled over to Betty's Cakes in the Market Place Mall.
I was excited to see some red velvet cupcakes in the case, this is my favorite (very faddish, I know, but I can't help it).
We got a dozen mini-cupcakes (for the wife, Giblet, and I) and a half dozen full size (as a present for the in-laws for watching the mighty Giblet overnight). The total was about 28 bucks, but whatever, they were very pretty and I was satisfied completely with the quality of the cake and frosting.
Well, that is pretty much it. Like I said before, it is fun to go hangout in another town once in a while. Even if it is not too far away. I was deeply appreciative of both my wife planning for the whole thing, and happy that so many friends took the time to come with. Lots of good food and beer were consumed, a perfect way to close out my third decade.