Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saratoga's Chowderfest 2010

The Handsome Husband and I, ever the ne plus ultra of hipness, were on the scene at Saratoga Spring's Chowderfest 2010 Saturday afternoon.

At our first stop, we enjoyed a C-food chowder (it was allegedly celiac-friendly: vegetarian and no gluten) made by the folks at Caffe Lena. Upstairs, this hearty group was offering a free concert of (wait for it) sea chanteys.
Caffe Lena warmed us up and we soon pushed off to sample more chowder.
Below, the HH waited in a short line for some deep southern catfish chowder, which was delicious. Nice flavor with a little heat to it.
Short lines became our main criteria for deciding which chowders to sample.
Despite temperatures hovering around 22 degrees Fahrenheit with a slight breeze making it feel even colder, Saratoga was mobbed.
After a bit, we headed to The Parting Glass for a Guinness and a Davidson Brothers IPA to help us warm up. The band Celtic Session was keeping things cheerful ...
but The Parting Glass, too, was mobbed. We got our pints and sampled their chowder: a shrimp and crab chowder with Jameson candied lobster and Irish cream corn bread. For $1.00. Honest to God. Amazing.
Click on the photo if you don't believe me.

Saratoga's Chowderfest also offers doggy chowders so there were a good many furry friends along Broadway...

which was even busier than Phila Street.

Lillian's was offering an andouille chowder, which turned out to be our final sample of the day.

Alas, there were dozens we never got to, but seriously, how many chowders can one person eat in an afternoon?
We cast our ballots: I voted for that wonderful Parting Glass chowder while the HH picked Peabody's, also a seafood chowder.

We bought two souvenir long-sleeved tee shirts, the profits of which go to several local good causes.
I think this is the 12th year of Saratoga's Chowderfest and the folks who arrange it must certainly be pleased by its popularity. Despite the winter cold, throngs of people of all ages, families with babies, couples with dogs, were all happily trekking about the city. And best of all, we all went home with roses in our cheeks.