Continuing with my "Greatest Hits" reposts, I am updating and reposting an entry I wrote in 2009 about breakfast in Saratoga Springs.
If you read some of the books on Saratoga history, breakfasts in Saratoga during its heyday in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were gluttonous feasts. These weren't simply large breakfasts using today's standards, but huge buffets with steaks, fried chicken, ham and every other kind of meat you can imagine, plus of course all of the other accompaniments including "Saratoga melons", creamed potatoes, and corn bread. I love food, but when I read what they had for breakfast back then I reach for the Tums.
The trouble with Saratoga breakfasts today is that they tend to be overlooked, and all the restaurant buzz seems to be about the dinners. Well I say breakfast should regain its status as a great event in the Spa City! Let's return to the gluttonous feasts as a cure for the hangover!
Until that happens, here are my top picks for breakfast (by today's standards) in Saratoga Springs:
- To me Beverly's on Phila Street is by far the best place for breakfast. Michael and his staff are so creative with the specials and my only complaint is that they all sound so good that I have trouble choosing. Their breakfast wraps are a personal favorite of mine - there's one on the menu named after the owner Michael and then usually one available on the special board. If the weather is good, ask for an outside table in the shaded outdoor dining area. I hope you won at the track at the day before, because while the breakfasts at Beverly's are great, they are also expensive. UPDATED: Michael's Mother Beverly has opened The Turf Club Restaurant in the Springwater Inn on Union Avenue at Nelson Avenue and she is serving breakfast also - I haven't tried it yet but I bet it is very good.
- Compton's on Broadway near Church is an institution in town and it's really the complete opposite of Beverly's. Both the menu and the, shall we say, ambience and comfort level, are very basic, but Compton's does basic right. Whereas Beverly's is a sophisticated place with unusual ingredients and innovative dishes, Compton's has trucker special type breakfasts that are hearty, cheap ($5.75), and very good. Beverly's may have breakfasts with avocado, fresh in season fruit, and perhaps savory spices like rosemary and curry, Compton's on the other hand offers eggs, breakfast meat, spuds and toast. Both are great, it simply depends what you want.
3. Country Corner Cafe is on Church Street behind the post office. They have some inspired choices like Beverly's and they're a little less expensive than their Phila Street competition. I have always had good breakfasts there.
4. The Lab - formerly "The Cupcake Lab/Isabel's Bistro" has great food made from scratch and the dining room is large and comfortable. You can locate The Lab off Long Alley (which runs behind the post office toward Forno Bistro) or off Broadway by entering in the Roohan Building.
5. Some honorable mentions include the Bread Basket Bakery on Spring Street, which does not have full breakfasts but does have great baked goods and egg sandwiches, the Spring Street Deli which has the best egg sandwich in town, Ravenous, which has excellent crepes and the best pommes frites (french fries) in town, The Horseshoe Inn on Nelson, the Saratoga Diner/Restaurant on South Broadway, and of course you can have breakfast at the track.
Well there are my thoughts on breakast in Saratoga, both in the past and the present. Let me know what you think. I hope you are winning at the track. Lord knows I'm not.
Read reviews of Saratoga Springs restaurants on The Saratoga Life web site.