ChowderFest is an annual event held in Saratoga Springs, New York. This years event included over 80 participating restaurants and over 100,000 cups of chowder served. ChowderFest is exactly what you might imagine, a bunch of restaurants coming together to serve, you guessed it, chowder!
Heading up the Northway to Saratoga I was expecting a crowd of people, as I had seen so many on my Facebook timeline planning to attend or already there. What I did not expect was the long lines of people just waiting for a small sampling of chowder on a chilly 20 degree February day. I also did not expect the party that was ChowderFest. Of course Saratoga is known for it’s nightlife, but it was still surprising to see so many young people out partying on a Saturday afternoon.
Between the lines and the cold weather, it would take a dedicated soup taster with the capacity to try 80 soups to try it all. I only accomplished about 6 or 7 (including the Ben & Jerry’s dessert chowder) but in those few that I tried, there was not one bad thing to say about any of them. There were the traditional clam chowders, the seafood chowders, the corn chowders, and the chowders with chicken.
My personal favorite came from Hattie’s Restaurant which included a piece of hot fried chicken (YUM!!) but following close behind was a crab chowder from Cantina, and a classic clam chowder from Fish at 30 Lake.
Now that I know what ChowderFest truly entails, I’ll be better prepared for next years festivities. I’ll be ready for more chowder, and more fun!