Broadway is coming alive more and more each day as it does this time of year. As we head towards the opening of ‘da track’ I can see an uptick in activity both on the street, and by city maintenance crews primping the visible parts of the town so it’s ready for visitors. Time to get the flowers right, fix the streets, and make sure the homeless population is fully aware that Broadway is off-limits.
When I take break at work I like to look out on Broadway. I can see the many changes that have occurred over the years as I lament for the days when Cecil Myrie would strum his banjo in on a bench in front of the parking lot that is now The Washington building. This is before street musicians needed a permit. I wonder if the Jehovah’s witnesses need a sidewalk permit to set up in their various spots on Broadway.
Speaking of The Washington Building, my long-time friend and former sous chef at both The Wine Bar and The Merry Monk Dan Chessare will be opening a Jewish-style Deli called Saratoga’s Broadway Deli sometime in July. It’s always difficult to give a specific starting date due to the number of moving parts involved with opening a food service establishment.
I can certainly vouch for his dedication and experience. Before working with me at The Wine Bar he did 9 years at Scallions, so you can trust he knows how to make a sandwich. He’s been working hard on perfecting his breads, and I am confident this will be a much-needed place Downtown. A good quality sandwich is hard to come by.
Look for his place behind Kilwin’s in the Washington building at 420 Broadway. Also enter through Northshire Bookstore. See you there.
How does Godzilla win every time? Fixed?
While walking around Broadway recently with Stella and Tate I was coerced into one of those over-priced dog places because the kids wanted to go in and see the $27 Red Sox tee-shirt for a dog. You know the place, the one with its sidewalk sign further from the building than the city ordinance allows. Anyway, the children wanted to buy some dog treats that are $12.95 per pound which is more than I paid for Prime NY strip loins for the last menu. I decided on the half-pound minimum and watched as the clerk added the selected peanut butter flavor into a bowl sitting upon a scale not approved and certified by the Saratoga County Bureau of Weights and Measures. As a chef I’m pretty good at weights (not lifting). After she poured the scant number of treats into a bag I knew it was light, so I observed as she replaced the bowl to the scale and noticed that it was not on zero. I mentioned it to her and she removed the bowl and showed me that it was. I let her know that I was not buying the bowl and I like the scale set with the bowl on it. After she doubled the quantity of tasty dog biscuits I wondered how many times she had sold that bowl.
I do love dogs.
Well, another change to Broadway on the way is the arrival of Pig and Whistle. Looking at menu from their Burnt Hills location on-line on can see an attempt to inject an Irish theme by having a having a couple of Irish standbys and putting Guinness in their French onion soup and BBQ sauces. I understand they plan on employing 40-50 people. I could not imagine the task of trying to hire that many cooks, servers, barkeeps, and dishwashers in Saratoga that time of the year. Finding one or two is problematic enough. I would worry that all the good ones are taken by then. The “complete cosmetic makeover” should take only two to three weeks, unlike the several month makeover for the new Cantina done by Bonaccio, the largest construction outfit in Saratoga. I suppose we all have a different concept of complete makeover.
The Saratoga restaurant scene is crowded, it’s competitive, and it’s a gang-rush from the opening of the racing season until the Saturday of the Travers. Preparation is key, without it the season can be a real learning experience.
I like spending time on Broadway. I like people watching from a bench where I can ask myself many questions in my head about the many kinds of people I see. I like watching people try to parallel park their cars into spots big enough for a bus then realize they don’t have the ability and bail on the spot.
Jenn and I got engaged on Broadway.
Remember when Andrew Brindisi would be outside his place like a carnival barker trying to get people to come in?
The greatest thing I have ever seen is a gut parallel park a forty-foot US Foods truck in front of 392 Broadway in order to make a delivery to the Circus Cafe, soon to be Pig and Whistle.
If you’re heading to Broadway this summer look in the mirror before you leave the house as I may be sitting on a bench making fun of your outfit in my head.
Also, remember to be kind to all of the hospitality workers during your visit. we’re sometimes overwhelmed and giving up a lot of summer activities for your benefit.