Jewish delis are a staple back home in Westchester serving up solid soups and sandwiches, a real comfort meal. We don’t have a whole bunch of them upstate, so they’re one of the places I make a point to visit when I take the two and half hour journey back down the thruway. Recently I was up in Saratoga Springs for a hike and found myself hungry, so into town I went. The Park Side Eatery [40 Phila Street Saratoga Springs, NY 12866] has everything you want from a Jewish deli, and more. Looks like I’ve found a home away from home.
Excellent matzo balls, pickles, coleslaw, rye bread, deli meat – which you should expect, and impeccable donuts, bakery items, and bbq – which are an added bonus. A wide open space with a comfortable atmosphere and cozy booths. Place your order at the counter and a server will bring it over when it’s ready.
Servings are big, so you can easily go soup and half sandwich and get your fill. I had to go with the matzo ball soup which was truly extraordinary. The ball crumbled perfectly and oozed up all of that delicious broth which was chock full of veggies. It won my heart.
There are five scratch soups offered daily, and Jeff went for the Saturday special, smoked turkey and black bean chili. He was crazy about his bowl and insisted I try a bite, possibly one of the best spoons of chili I have ever had. The sandwiches came over and my heart was aflutter once more. They sparkled in the sunlight which came in through the window.
Griddled sandwiches can go Reuben or Rachel, sauerkraut or coleslaw. We both went Rachel and that purple coleslaw was as tasty as it was beautiful. Corned beef, pastrami, and turkey are cured and made in house, as are the pickles. I sampled the turkey while Jeff went for the pastrami and corned beef so all bases were covered, we can vouch for three fantastic meats. The gloriously griddled bread is from nearby Rockhill Bakehouse. Just looking at those sandwiches you can imagine how scrumptious they are, but you might as well go sample one yourself. If you’re a fan, check out their corned beef and cabbage this March around St. Patrick’s Day. When you go in, don’t forget about the doughnuts! Actually it’s kind of hard to miss them. The baking rack is strategically placed in the middle of your path from the counter to the table. Well, if you did miss them you would certainly be missing out. The restaurant has a bakery on site so you can bet the doughnuts are fresh. We oogled at the possibilities and settled on four, only two survived to be photographed. Here you can glimpse the maple bacon and cookies and cream in their splendor.
These yeast doughnuts are thick and have a thin crackling glaze. They weren’t overly sweet which at first I was taken aback by, then I fully appreciated the fact. The bakery is an independently business, so hopefully we’ll be seeing these donuts all over the Capital Region one day. As you’re leaving, completely full and satisfied, you may notice the gorgeous imported antique windows and the large original sliding doors from the building to your right and left.
In front of you is Congress Park, a perfect spot to walk off your meal or throw a blanket down and nap it off. Sweet success.