There is no shortage of excellent food in Saratoga Springs, NY. But there is a shortage of parking spots. When we didn’t feel like driving around the downtown area for 30 minutes hoping someone would pull out of a spot, my aunt, a Saratoga resident, recommended The Local. Several blocks off the main drag, this eatery calls itself a “pub and teahouse.” I was intrigued.
Location and Service
Located on the corner of Grand Ave. and Beekman St. in the Beekman Arts District, The Local is a cozy spot with a small outdoor seating area and a nice bar. Seating inside ranges from high-top tables to bench seating that accommodates larger parties. The service was adequate – nothing to complain about, but not memorable either. I give it a three. (You can read about my Service Scale here!)
Because it’s several blocks from Saratoga’s downtown, The Local might not get as crowded as other restaurants. On a Saturday night during race season, we didn’t have to wait for a table (they don’t take reservations), but the place was full by the time we left at 8pm. Be aware that parking is an issue everywhere in Saratoga – we still had to drive around for a few minutes and parked two blocks away.
For appetizers, we ordered the blackened green beans and the “bubble & squeek.” The beans were zesty and cooked perfectly, served with srirachi mayo (not too spicy) and honey mustard ranch dipping sauces. The bubble & squeek – which I ordered partially because I love cabbage and partially because it has a really fun name – is a mix of smashed potatoes and cabbage, topped with melted cheddar cheese and scallions. It was scruptious.
For dinner, I ordered braised short ribs – a special that was actually an appetizer. I had to have it, so I ordered a side of fries to make it more of a meal. Turns out I didn’t need the fries because this was the size…
These short ribs were served in a red wine sauce on top of jalapeno corn bread. The best corn bread I’ve ever eaten – two thin rounds of crispy corn bread instead of the “cake-like” piece you’d normally find. They were just crunchy enough on the outside to delicately soak up some of the short rib sauce without becoming soggy. And the jalapenos? Actual jalapeno chunks in the bread. My mouth was on fire. Thank goodness for the impressive selecion of beers they had on tap.
My husband had the beer sausage served with sauerkraut, German potato salad, thick marble rye bread, and stone-ground mustard.
That’s a lot of food. He was sweet enough to save the German potato salad for me (one of my favorite side dishes) and I had it the next morning for breakfast with my eggs. Outstanding.
I wasn’t sure how the “teahouse” fit in at The Local. We thought about having tea after dinner, but it just didn’t seem to fit with the pub fare. So I took a look their brunch and lunch menus online, and saw that they have a solid selection of tea sandwiches. I guess I’ll need to go back for some Parisian Red Tea and an avocado, tomato, and roasted red pepper hummus sandwich on crustless wheat berry bread. Mmmm…