Last week in our (delayed) haste to soak in the last of Summer 2013, two of my boys and I hopped aboard the scenic Saratoga-North Creek Railroad. Despite the late night I had thoroughly enjoyed the previous evening at a concert at SPAC, we left Albany a little after 9:00 a.m. to catch our train, which was scheduled for a 10:00 departure.
We pulled out of the station a little late but, hey, what’s the rush? We had all day to relax in the comfortable double-decker dining car perusing the breakfast menu which featured reasonably priced entrees ranging from $4 for pastry to $9 for the Adirondack omelet, French toast or waffles. My guys ordered and were served fairly quickly. Their plates were hot on arrival, nicely presented and portioned generously. The servers were, without exception, friendly and accommodating.
The train took us through some remote areas with beautiful views of the mountains and Hudson River. The tables invite conversation and the period music playing softly in the background added to the sense of being part of another, more gentle time. As we approached North Creek the sun broke through the clouds and help to remove the chill of the air-conditioned car – I forgot to bring a sweater.
North Creek is a friendly little town with a couple of cute shops and a handful of restaurants. Note: the helpful map distributed at the ticket office is NOT drawn to scale. If you need more clarification on that fact, please see my youngest son. He has probably still not forgotten the trek I led him on, which ultimately ended at our chosen destination for lunch. Which was closed. I’ve been wanting to try barVino forever but, unfortunately (and expectedly) they don’t serve lunch. We ended up at Izzie’s Deli and Market, where I enjoyed my chicken salad, served on a bed of greens as I requested. A few heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved, finished the plate.
Dinner is served on the return trip and, again, is fairly priced with entrees ranging between $10 for their Adirondack casserole (described as turkey and assorted root vegetables in a homemade cream sauce finished with a bread crumb, Parmesan and butter topping) and $16 for a 7 oz filet. We didn’t indulge on the way south but the domed car captured and circulated some pretty enticing aromas.
The leisurely pace of the train, coupled with the 3 hour layover, made for a long day, but it was really enjoyable. During the ride south I allowed the train to rock me to sleep and woke up fairly refreshed for the return drive down the Northway. I would definitely take this trip again and am interested in the Ski Train which takes passengers to North Creek where a bus is available to complete the journey to Gore Mountain. A day well spent.