I'll Have S'more

Bailey's Cafe on UrbanspoonIn Saratoga Spring a couple weeks back, we did more than just high end dining and fried chicken worship. For lunch one day, we sought out a place my Mom found in her trusty, old school AAA guide: Bailey's Cafe.

This restaurant, housed in an old stained glass shop that was built in 1903, sports tin ceilings and lots of exposed brick. It's small, but charming.

Even more charming is the beautiful Caprese salad, made with yellow and red tomatoes, fresh, snowy white mozarella, and fresh basil. The balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top was predictably sweet, but what made this salad special was the fact that though it's only April, these tomatoes had the sweet burst of summer already contained in their fragile skins. This was my lunch, and it was good.

Much of the menu is pretty standard fare - sandwiches and salads, a lobster bisque that's nice but not extraordinary. Do yourself a favor and order Saratoga chips. Most restaurants in town serve some iteration of them, but since this is the land where potato chips were born, and the real deal are chewy, crunchy, and salty but not complete saline dumps like most bagged chips, you should avail yourself of them as much as possible. Mom got them at Bailey's and we all partook - they were delectable.

But the real reason to come to Bailey's is the novel, nostalgic addition of s'mores on the dessert menu. This isn't some deconstructed, tortured-into-gourmet, flamed vanilla bourbon marshmallow and fair trade 70% cocoa mousse with graham cracker ice cream deceit, either. At Bailey's you get a stack of commercial graham cracker squares, a pile of standard, mass-produced campfire marshmallows, some wooden skewers, and two Hershey bars. Plus a genius contraption for your table:

That is a small gel-fueled burner that will serve as your personal campfire, right at your table. Is there a more communal dessert than s'mores? I don't think so. We laughed as some of us set our marshmallows right on fire, and helped one another prep the graham and chocolate. These were simple, classic, and perfect on a very rainy day in Saratoga Springs. Somehow, my Dad had never had a s'more before, and I loved his reaction when he took his first bite of hot marshmallow, crumbling graham cracker, and just-about-to-melt milk chocolate. 

You won't get the best fried chicken ever or haute cuisine at Bailey's Cafe, but if you're enjoying a weekend with your family in beautiful Saratoga, what a fun experience! This is simple, good food with one hell of a gimmick - go there! My personality is big; my hunger is bigger!

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