First Stop- Farmer’s Market
If you’re new to a city or visiting for the first time a
walking tour is a great way to get acquainted with shops, locals and
history. The Saratoga Food Tour
hosted by Joe Haedrich gives you an added bonus…not only do you meet shop
keepers, local farmers and restaurateurs but you also get to sample their
foods. While walking the streets
of Saratoga you’ll learn about it’s glorious past as a major resort town for
the rich and famous of the day.
You’ll get insight into some of the magnificent buildings that are still
standing and their history. You’ll
learn that Saratoga was built not only on springs and historic battles
but also by entrepreneurs.
Joe Haedrich who runs the tour will not only take you to
some of the best of Saratoga food but will also regale you with the history
of Broadway, Skidmore College and
Stops include Saratoga Farmer’s Market — Solively Tapenade
owned by Kim Klopstock, who also runs 50 South, a restaurant just outside of
Saratoga in Ballston Spa.
Argyle Cheese Farm – 4th generation farm where they know the
cows by name. Saratoga Peanut
Butter that makes nutritious, preservative free peanut and almond butter right
here in Saratoga. From here we went to another cheese farmer, Sweet Spring
Farms where they make delicious goat cheese but first we made a stop at Anna
Mae’s Homemade Jam booth. Anna Mae
makes 100 different jellies and jams all from her homegrown fruit except for
the citrus. She has been at the
farmer’s market since the beginning in 1978. Her jams and jellies sell for $4.50 a jar, homemade, no
preservatives and all natural.
Anna Mae rings the bell signaling the end of the farmer’s market.
From here we walked to the
one of the many springs. The
spring water of Saratoga Springs was one of the first internationally sold
products and was prescribed by doctors for their healing properties. The one we sampled was full of iron and
wasn’t the tastiest. But I guess it would be good for someone with an iron deficiency.
After a brief
history lesson about the springs and their uses we made our way up some stairs
and across the street to The Olde Bryan Inn for a steak bruschetta. This appetizer was served on grilled
bread topped with grilled steak, peppers and small salad on the side. While we were enjoying this delicious
treat we were told the history of The Olde Bryan Inn and the role that it
played in the American Revolution.
One of the group asked if the inn was haunted. Apparently the answer isn’t yes or no, but there have been
sightings by employees and patrons.
The female apparition’s name is either Eleanor, Beatrice or Ida, just in
case you see her.
As we walked to the first of the shops along Broadway that
we were to stop at Joe told us the story
of Lucy Skidmore Scribner, for whom Skidmore College is named. Apparently Lucy and her mother came to
live in Saratoga and found out that when horse racing season was over the women
who worked in the hotels didn’t have jobs since the hotels closed for the
season. So she decided to start a
school to educate those women.
Once they graduated they were able to type 60 words a minute and take
shorthand at 120 words per minute.
The Shops of Broadway
The first store we stopped at was The Saratoga Olive Oil
Company a store that specializes in olive oils and balsamic vinegars. The next
shop was The Salsa and Spice Company. As the name implies the store is filled
with shelves of hot sauces, salsas and other spices. The tour then finishes at Bettie’s cupcakes for a sweet
treat, two of their size “a” cupcakes in a variety of flavors to choose from.
The tours are held on Saturdays and cost $40 a person,
which includes everything except for anything you’d like to purchase at any of
the stops. The appetizer at The
Olde Bryan in is also included in the price however if you’d like an alcoholic
beverage that’s extra. The
Saratoga Food Tour will take you on a leisurely walk through Saratoga where you’ll
learn some history, taste some food and make some friends, a pretty great way
to spend a Saturday afternoon.