Hot scene in Saratoga’s Nashville, food almost out of place

It’s not often you’ll find me fending off Fireball and Southern Comfort shots or screaming to loud country music at 5 p.m., but in Nashville from Saratoga, they’re on a fast track to Countryville, and you’re all in or out of luck. A shot could give you the Dutch courage to sing Shania Twain tunes at a country karaoke night, or help the wallflowers slip through the crowd of line dancers with their hands in their jeans pockets. torn. Another hit and you could ride the permanent mechanical bull in a heated outdoor tent and become the unlikely star of their live music shows in the summer.

Saratoga’s Nashville is the vision of Michael and Carolyn Crowley, who reworked the classic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign into a massive, if slightly confusing, “Welcome to Fabulous Nashville” logo, driven by a goal to have ” the anniversary, the capitals of the world of singles and singles merge into one unforgettable place.” But “NashVegas” has long been a humorous nickname for the Tennessee town, and inspired by trips to Nashville, the Crowleys wanted to give this Nashville style a Saratoga Springs twist.

As a “bar, restaurant, and live country music venue,” that twist comes in the form of Saratoga chips smothered in bacon-infused moonshine cheese sauce — a gritty, pump beer cheese sprinkled with diced red onion as the starting point for Irish Nachos. Saratoga’s Nashville identity as a restaurant is overblown, given that most food is deep fried and tastes like frying oil or the licked sides of a cast iron skillet.

But Elvis lived most of his life in Tennessee, so a gooey grilled cheese with macaroni and cheese spilling out of a bumper of toasted white bread might pay homage to the king. This is food drunk late at night, designed to mop up a drinker’s excess. Have you ever stumbled along Bourbon Street full of hurricanes and cravings for greasy food? Well, the Nashville kitchen is open every night until 10 p.m., so if you’re not picky about what you put in there, something is going to happen to you.

It takes guts to serve Nashville hot chicken two doors down from the beloved hot chicken at Hattie’s, but Saratoga’s Nashville does it, even doubling down on an extra-long fry. I assume it’s par-fried, then re-fried to order, permanently binding the hot sauce and breadcrumbs together in a stone-like coating as effective as sand and glue. The heat of Cayenne is there, however, enough for me to reach the five bottles of a fruit juice mimosa flight served on a wooden paddle and covering sweet, sweeter, sweeter flavors like apple cider and raspberry cranberry. Growing bar crowds don’t care, singing along with Walker Hayes and peeling off F-ck Biden sweatshirts as staff clear mugs in “Smashed at the Nash” t-shirts – products available for purchase, though sure.

Given the wall-mounted flat screens, it’s a sports bar; from the playlist of Tim McGraw, Little Big Town and Blake Shelton, it’s a country saloon; but the dim lights and the fresh scent of mop sanitizer suggest a dive bar, a little country, a little rock ‘n’ roll. While the runway crowd gathers at The Adelphi and 15 Church, it’s the realm of sweatpants and backwards caps, student discounts and Dollar Wing Wednesdays with a DJ who spins the country to the delight of the beer-drinking crowd. Somehow, at an expensive Phila Street address, with Solevo Kitchen + Social on the right and a new Champagne bar a block away on the left, Nashville of Saratoga unashamedly holds its own.

It should be noted that the service is really good. The nicest bartenders know all the sides and what’s out. And those dollar wings are good too – extra crispy, tossed with garlic parm, Nashville Stupid Hot (which isn’t really shocking) or a bourbon-bacon that wasn’t available when we were there. They also ran out of the essential donut to an Ultimate Cider Donut Margarita, which itself is a wine-based drink while the company waits for a full liquor license.

This last fact means that all “specialty cocktail” drink promotions, from the Alabama Slammer to Long Island iced tea, are made with malt liquor or grape-based spirits, which many bars do. nowadays, but that really should be clarified. Don’t worry, there’s Twisted Tea and watered down popsicles, White Claws in all flavors, Truly bowls resembling beta fish houses and All-American Coors, Bud and Canadian Labatt, by the pint, pitcher or in the bucket.

The available menu turns out to be about half as long as the one online. No chicken and waffles, chicken on a biscuit, or battered onion ring lassos, though the Crowleys plan to rebuild it by summer. If you’re determined to dine there, take an antacid before you go; this way you will have a fighting chance. Toddlers will be familiar with keeping a freezer stash; the pulled pork is sweetened with cinnamon and heavily in sauce, like the ready-to-heat version of Jack Daniel’s in Target; and a corn-poblano salad looks sure to be Green Giant Mexicorn in a box. Fried green tomatoes baked on bronze discs could be legal tender in Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, with the secret of its chewy middle known only to a few wizards.

The coleslaw has an admirable flavor. I can’t say why the carrots served with the chicken wings taste like soap. A medium ordered burger arrives as a well-done, juicy, bacon-topped ball. But the brioche buns are stone cold, the bacon strips waxy with chilled grease, and the moonshine cheese on Saratoga chips is lukewarm, depending on which end you pull off.

I will say the concept is interesting – the whole idea of ​​Nashville in Saratoga, a country bar, live bands, line dancing and Southern fried food, if done right. But it’s smash ‘n’ grab. So order a dozen wings, put on your cowboy boots, and if you get run over at the Nash, try not to fall off the mechanical bull.

Nashville from Saratoga

Address: 39-41 Phila St, Saratoga
Hours: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday to Friday, 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, noon to midnight Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday. The brunch menu returns in the spring.
Price: Appetizers, $9 to $13; sandwiches/burgers, $15 to $18; $1 wings on Wednesdays (on site only). Beer and wine license right now.
information: 518-909-6274 (NASH) and nashvilleofsaratoga.com


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