Cheat days can be good if used the right way. Periodically it is important to trick your body because if you’re constantly dieting you WILL adapt to the continued deficit of calories. Cheat days rev up your system and help keep your metabolism up.
This week was a great beginning. I wasn’t perfect but I gradually reined myself in from the indulgent lifestyle I’ve been leading the last couple of years. I can’t wait to share some high protein foods with you but today takes precedent. It may have been a little too soon for a cheat day but I REGRET NOTHING.
Today #SaratogaSprings hosted it’s annual #CHOWDERFEST. There were 86 vendors offering 3oz. samples of their chowder for only $1. We only managed to visit a few…turns out I can only eat so much (who knew)?
We began with a taste of clam chowder at Saratoga Arms. What I liked most was it didn’t have any crazy spin to it. It was the only sample we tried that didn’t offer any wild “new spin” and the classic was nice. It was also the only one with a nice helping of clams…full clams and not the minced ones. A great start to the day, especially since it was barely 30 degrees out.
Saratoga Stadium was our next stop and we were offered a southwest clam chowder. The top was garnished with tortilla strips. I expected the chowder to be spicy but it only gave a slight kick. It was nice to have spice and still taste was I was eating. The experience was dulled by an extremely poor layout; who decided it would be a good idea to put the table inside and at the very back? We had to push through the already crowded bar area just to get back there.
Druthers Brewing Company had a very long line and once we made it to the station we realized it was well earned. The brewery prepared a loaded baked potato chowder with tater tots and the works. You could get a cup of their brews with your sample right on their patio and enjoy. They were so well prepared having multiple stations and cranked the samples out. If they hadn’t been so well set up the line could have been backed up for a mile. Instead we we in and out…and the “chowder” was amazing!
We crossed the street and immediately jumped in line at the Boca Bistro owned by DZ Restaurants. They were offering hot lager ($2) with bacon corn chowder and cheddar biscuit. This was an indoor station but well thought out. We opted to grab a sample of the hot beer and quickly regretted it. Before we stepped back onto the street I had to chug my little cup and gagged a bit (to be fair I’m not a lager girl). The soup, on the other hand was good. Not my favorite but definitely something I’d enjoy any day.
I’m so bummed because I completely forgot a snapshot of our soup at Circus Cafe. This was another indoor table and the establishment was a bit crowded so we left as quickly as possible.
Anyone who knows me can tell you I was Latino in another life. I love Mexican and Spanish food, the Spanish language, cultures, music, etc. I have already visited Ecuador (including the Galapagos) and I dream of seeing other countries like Peru, Columbia, etc. Visiting the Cantina was a no-brainer. The soup was good. I’m not a fan of heavy cilantro but it was a welcome twist today.
As we stood in line for our next chowder sample I spotted Saratoga Gelato and they were offering 1 scoop for $1. Zac has never had gelato and was skeptical so I grabbed us a mint chocolate chip and cookies and cream. Better and smoother than ice cream!
As we snacked on our gelato we made it to BurgerFi for their Cheeseburger and Beer chowder. It was more of a soup with chunks of burger. It was totally appropriate for a burger joint but it just didn’t sit well with me. It felt like I was drinking burger grease.
We realized we never ventured off of Broadway the whole day so we walked down a few other streets. Sadly we didn’t have much more room for more. Our final stop was Ben and Jerry’s offering a “desert chowder” which with really just a scoop of Phish Food with some chocolate syrup and whipped cream. It was a great way to finish our tasting. By this point we were cold and ready to get out of the crowd and go home.
There are several other restaurants that I wanted to check out. To name a few I would have loved to stop by Putnam Den, Forno Bistro, Dango’s, Bread Basket Bakery, Longfellows, and the Parting Glass. When I think of Chowder I think of something you can stick your spoon into and it stands straight up. I didn’t come across any thick chowders today but it was a great day in all. Well worth the cheat meal!