Thursday, February 11, 2016

Update: Winners revealed in 18th Saratoga Chowderfest

Scenes from the 2015 Chowderfest.
UPDATE (2/11/16): An estimated  45,000 people attended the 18th annual Chowderfest, sampling 80 different chowders. The prize winners: People's Choice, Gaffney's Restaurant, Southwest shrimp and grilled corn chowder with crab popper wonton; Perople's Choice Under 1,0000 Bowls, Doc Brown's Lakeside Tavern, shimp corn chowder; Most Chowder Served, Druthers, Southwestchowder; Best On Broadway, Thirsty Owl; Best Off Broadway, West Side Stadium, seafood chowder with clams, crab, corn, potato, topped with fried cornbread stick; Best Non-Downtown, Dock Brown's shrimp corn chowder; Best Newcomer, Carson's Woodside Tavern, cheesy chicken quesadilla soup; Best Dessert Chowder, TC Paris, mini-tiramisu cupcake.

(Originally published 1/21/16)

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The city's 18th annual Chowderfest will take place at 50 venues this year, and not all of them are usually places that serve food.

For example, the Universal Preservation Hall performance space will be serving Mazzone Catering’s shrimp and corn chowder, and the Serendipity Arts Studio will be serving a gluten-free apple, bacon, and cauliflower chowder as a fundraiser for the Saratoga Springs Public Library.

The Saturday, February 6, event will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. as part of the city's Winterfest event that runs from February 5 through 14. Visitors will pay $1 for each three-ounce sample, and can pick up ballots to cast their votes for honors in various categories. They also will be able to vote online. An awards ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center, 297 Broadway. Some of the participants also will be offering drinks specials and other food specials to complement the chowders.

Two other food-and-beverage events also are part of Winter Fest -- the 12th annual Winterfest Wine & Beer Tasting on Friday, February 5, and the 19th annual Bartenders' Ball on February 6. Details on the full Winterfest schedule are available online.

There also is a "Dog Chow Down," with contestants creating chowders for dogs that will be judged by Sasha, Mayor Joanne Yepsen's dog.

Curiously, the local brew pub Druthers is currently absent from the list of participants. Last year it won the People’s Choice, Most Chowder Served, and Best On Broadway awards. (A list of winners from the past few years is available online.)

Unlike other Chowderfests, such as the popular warm weather Troy Chowderfest, that are held at a single venue, this is a decentralized event with attendees visiting the participating locations. To help manage the traffic, Upstate Transit Shuttles will run from the Wilton Mall at Saratoga at the park-and-ride near Dick’s Sporting Goods to the post office downtown, and from the Saratoga Casino & Raceway at the Crescent Avenue entrance at the CDTA/MegaBus parking area to Congress Park.

The confirmed list of participants so far:

62 Beekman
Bailey’s Cafe
The Barrelhouse
Ben & Jerry’s
Boca Bistro
Bookmakers at Holiday Inn
Bread Basket Bakery
The Brook Tavern
Chez Pierre
Chianti Il Ristorante
Circus Cafe
Crown Grill
Diamond Club Grill
Dock Brown’s Lakeside Tavern
Fifty South/Lily and the Rose (serving from City Center)
Forno Bistro
Gaffney’s Restaurant
Halfmoon Cellars Winery
Harvey’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
Hattie’s Restaurant
Ice House Bar & Grill
The Inn at Saratoga
Izumi Asian Bistro & Lounge
Jacob & Anthony’s American Grille
Legends Cafe
The Local Pub & Teahouse
Max London’s Restaurant & Bar
One Caroline Bistro
Panza’s Restaurant
Park Side Eatery
The Parting Glass
Peabody’s Sport’s Bar & Grill
Phila Fusion Noodle Bar
Prime at Saratoga National Golf Club
Saratoga 5 Points Market & Deli
Saratoga City Tavern
Serendipity Arts Studio
Seven Horse Pub
Sperry’s Restaurant
Stadium Cafe
Sushi Thai Garden Restaurant
Sweet Mimi’s Cafe
Thirsty Owl Bistro
Universal Preservation Hall
West Side Sports Bar & Grill

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