Friday, October 31, 2014

A Walk in the Park and Beverly's in Ballston Spa

Days like this one are why I do so love being retired. We had a mundane chore to do, to take the Handsome Husband's car for an oil change and an inspection. I followed him in my car to Mangino's (we are both fans of this dealership, especially the service manager, Mike) and then we went on to Saratoga for a walk in Spa State Park.

Our region had a frost last night but despite that, there was still some cheery color, above, at the park's well-loved main entrance garden.
 The air was brisk this morning but bright sunshine was already warming things up. We chose to follow what we both refer to as "the long loop", a paved path that takes about an hour to walk the full circuit.
Nature is well on its way to shutting up shop for the winter, but here and there, you can still spot bright fruits and foliage.
It was nearing noon when we got back to my car. The HH has been raving about Beverly's Eatery, a luncheonette in Ballston Spa, and although I am sometimes skeptical about his restaurant recommendations, I agreed to give this one a try. I am glad I did.
 The modest exterior of Beverly's doesn't prepare you for the seasonal choices available inside. It is a small place, maybe six or eight tables and a lunch counter, but the food is really very good. A friendly and attentive waitress took our orders and checked back frequently to make sure we had what we needed. I started with a cup of their Autumn Bisque, which warmed me right up after our walk. I am guessing it was largely butternut squash based, but there was a hint of sweetness (apple?) and a slight tangy bite to the seasoning. Lovely and piping hot.
 Now, I am prepared to concede that the HH's lunch choice may not look photogenic, but it was very tasty. He is a real potato guy (I mean, really, as in, he starts to get twitchy if  I try to substitute pasta or rice too often in my meal planning.)  So anyway, Beverly's "Good ol' Taders", on the right above, are what keeps bringing him back there. Potatoes are cooked with onions, mushrooms, sausage, and then topped with cheese. He polished these off with gusto. On the left was his order of vegetarian hash, which also contained some potatoes. And although it may not make a pretty picture, it was really good. I dove in for a tiny taste, then snuck back for two more. Beverly's cooks this with assorted vegetables, mashes them, then mixes in black beans and seasonings, and finishes off with some time on the griddle, like you would for corned beef hash.
My first choice for a sandwich had been curried chicken and apple salad, but they were out of that today. So I chose turkey and brie on toasted wheat bread. The turkey was real turkey, thick slices of tender breast meat from an actual turkey breast, and a very nicely-flavored warmed brie. None of that slimy, deli kind of turkey here. This was real food. The bread, too, was lovely: bakery whole wheat, dense and flavorful. And because today is Halloween, our lunches were accented with tiny marshmallow ghosts. Cute touch.
 Beverly's is located at 256 Milton Avenue in Ballston Spa. You can reach them at 885-2848.

They are open for breakfast and lunch only, seven days a week, from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM. I can't wait to go back and try the pumpkin pancakes they had on the menu today. Or another of their soups, or...almost anything on their menu.

And this is why retirement is such fun: a routine chore becomes a morning out, a lovely late fall walk together in the park, and the discovery of a new-to-me spot for a cheerful and delicious lunch. Life is good and I am very grateful for these small blessings.
Hey, folks: Don't forget the Chronicle Book Fair this weekend. On Sunday, November 2, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., over 100 authors will be selling their books at the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls, NY. The hotel is located on the corner of Maple and Ridge Streets.

Best of all, the Handsome Husband will be there, selling and signing his biography of the Civil War general, Gordon Granger. It will be bargain-priced for holiday gift-giving at $15.00. If there is a history buff on your holiday gift list, come check it out! Admission to the book fair is free.