What comes to mind when you think of Saratoga? Horses, shopping, mineral springs perhaps?
Betcha didn’t think New England seafood. But there’s Eddie F’s, on Clinton Street, bringing a little Cape Cod to the Spa City.
Eddie F’s is in the first floor of a historic house just a few turns off Broadway, and you can’t miss it because it’s painted pink. It’s the old Pink Store, a landmark on the west side of the city that’s been home to several businesses.
One of those businesses was a grocery, and today Eddie F’s continues to carry fresh milk, eggs and other convenience items.
Eddie Fazzone and his wife, Lisa, are originally from Schenectady. They relocated for 15 years to Florida, where they operated a restaurant in Venice, specializing in seafood, and returned to the area a few years ago.
It’s not fancy but it’s friendly, with party lights outside and in. Walk up onto the porch and step into the dining room, an open space with tile floor and wood ceiling. It’s tidy, tables for two or four can be reconfigured for larger groups, and they have comfy padded banquet-style chairs.
The chalkboard directs you to the counter in the back if you’re taking out; if you’re dining in, it advises you to take a seat. There are coolers with drinks opposite the counter. We took a seat.
Eddie F’s gets points right off the bat for friendly service. For the first time, I didn’t have a pen with me to take notes and had to borrow one from the server, who acted like I was doing her the favor.
The lunch special for the day was a clam strip roll or meatball parm. Tuesday is shrimp roll or Filly (get it?) cheesesteak, Wednesday a fish fry or burger, and Thursday is a shrimp roll. Each for eight bucks, including fries or onion rings and homemade coleslaw. Not bad.
Eddie’s doesn’t draw the line at seafood. He’s got pizza, mac and cheese, burgers and dogs, salads, hot and cold sandwiches made with fresh-cooked turkey and roast beef, and pasta. Something for everyone.
Check out the lobster rolls, served warm with drawn butter or cold with celery and mayo. Both come with fries or onion rings and coleslaw. They’re $21, a luxury item to be sure, but you can get two (hot or cold, your choice) for $38; even better, stop in Wednesday when they’re $16 all day.
Sheryl chose clam strips ($11) for us to share as a starter, and they were unlike any I’ve had before: The meat was pale and very tender, and they were lightly battered, fried until just done. They tasted better than the usual, too. Fazzone said they use fresh clams and make their own batter.
“Really good,” Sheryl said, adding that the cocktail sauce in the squirt bottle was above average as well. Eddie F’s makes the cocktail sauce and the tarter sauce in those squirt bottles.
The kitchen was moving fast. Our clam strips took no more than five minutes from our ordering them. It didn’t take long for our meals to follow.
Sheryl had the fish and chips ($15), a long, lightly battered filet of whitefish. “Look at it flake,” she said, as she poked it with her fork. “This is really hitting the spot,” she said happily.
We both liked the fries, which are all business. Just potato, no coating, no fuss, cooked right.
Trying to be healthy, I ordered a romaine salad ($8) and added a piece of blackened fish for $4 more. The romaine was fresh and crisp, topped with shredded cheese, which melted a bit under the hot fillet. Not a combination I’ve had before, but tasty. Sliced cucumbers and tomatoes rounded out the veggies, with a sprinkling of seasoned croutons on top.
The fish was pan-fried, seasoned with hot spices and salt, blackened, tasty, and light. It was a good choice, and a healthy one. The only quibble was with the croutons, which were fresh but a little too big for one bite. But the fish? Eddie nailed it.
Purely for research purposes, I ordered a small side of onion rings ($4). They were skinny rings, with a coating that held on, the onion sweet and in places where the batter didn’t cover it was crisp. Eddie F’s cuts fresh onions every morning and uses the same light batter on the clam strips. “Mmm, they’re good,” Sheryl said.
We passed on homemade cannoli, as we were full of fish and other wonderful things, and got the tab.
Our server couldn’t have been nicer, more helpful or attentive. We liked her a lot.
The tab came to $51.34 total for food and two fancy Saratoga waters, and before tip. “Seafood is expensive,” I told Sheryl. And we’d ordered a lot of food.
Don’t let that stop you. It’s still cheaper than driving to the beach.
So you have many reasons to go visit Eddie F’s. It’s locally owned, they’re nice and not least because the seafood is so good.
Eddie F’s New England Seafood
WHERE: 119 Clinton St.,
Saratoga Springs; 518-450-7830
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
HOW MUCH: $51.34, before tax and tip
MORE INFO: Credit cards: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover. Not ADA compliant. Small parking lot on side, or park on street.