Saturday, February 1, 2014

Saratoga's own "souper" bowl: a thumbs up for Chowderfest!

The British were getting ready to invade Congress Park in Saratoga this afternoon as the Handsome Husband and I cut through there on our way to Chowderfest. The soldiers said that they had returned to free us from this new tyranny. (I didn't ask which new tyranny they had in mind.)

 I don't know who originally dreamed up the idea for this event but it was a stroke of tourism genius.
This was Saratoga's sixteenth annual Chowderfest and the city was packed. 

I asked a staffer at The Irish Times how their bar business was today compared to other winter Saturdays.  Did they do more business? Or less? Or about the same?

"Are you kidding me?" he asked. "More, much more. We've got both bars open all day."

Their chowder (not pictured) had Jameson's Irish whiskey as an ingredient. Nice chunky vegetables, too.

The Handsome Husband and I liked the Hot and Sour soup at Phila Fusion, shown above. I'm not certain it qualifies as chowder, but the Chowder Police were not in evidence today. The soup was tasty and full of good stuff, with just the right zing to warm up a winter afternoon.

Across the street, Sweet Mimi's was offering a tasty chicken and white bean chowder, with  a wonderful bonus of a cheddar scone. Really good.

Truly, there were thousands of people in Saratoga sampling chowder this afternoon. The weather felt mild after all of that deep cold and everyone was enjoying being out of doors. Some lines were long but they moved quickly and folks were in good spirits.

Saratoga prides itself on being a dog-friendly city, so chowders just for dogs were also on offer at a half-dozen or so places. This fellow was getting ready to check those out.

In all, over 80 restaurants, pubs, and other food-related businesses participated in today's event. There was free music, contests, you name it. Check it out when Chowderfest rolls around next year.