*This dining experience took place in August 2013.
|Busy ordering area in Artist’s Palette|
Nestled far in the back of Saratoga Springs lies Artist’s Palette, the quick service location for this resort. Inspired by the actual Saratoga Springs, this location offers a lot of “standard” old New York State flair. You’ll of course find Saratoga Chips (or just regular potato chips essentially) with all of the meals. As a quick service location, I was interested in trying many of their sandwiches which sounded both delicious and easily made GF/DF.
If you have never been to this resort, Artist’s Palette seems like a weird location. It’s sort of in the back, as is Turf Club Bar & Grill (which I love as a GF/DF dinner option). I always feel like I’m parking out of the way and find it very hidden. If you know where the boat docks are at this location, then you are fairly familiar with the restuarant locations. The first thing you’ll notice about Artist’s Palette is that it’s small. I mean small. Tiny compared to most other quick service locations. There is limited seating inside & some outside. There’s also an alcove by Turf Club that can be used as additional seating which is where I ended up. Lovely actually but kind of out of the way (we’ll get to why in a minute).
|Formal, yet informal eating area|
When I got to the ordering station, I noticed there is one main line. Yikes! That means it’s hard to navigate for starters and also a big difficult with a special diet. I basically waited in long line, so I could wait some more for a chef. But, that’s something good to know if you are dining there. Off-hours are probably less difficult. There are a lot of different types of sandwiches here and I was sort of eyeing:
Italian Hoagie – Salami, Mortadella, Ham, Provolone, Mixed Greens, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Red Onions, Pepperoncini, and Black Olives on a grilled Ciabatta Roll with House-made Chips or Vegetable Slaw
Lobster Club Sandwich – Lobster Salad, Smoked Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Lemon Mayonnaise with House-made Chips or Vegetable Slaw
I figured that either one might be able to be easily modified GF/DF. I was leaning towards the Lobster Club because I’d been craving one since I went to Columbia Harbour House and they mentioned that the lobster salad there was safe (just no bun options!). When the chef came out, she seemed a bit ambivalent. She was like, “We can make you flatbreads.” Really, I was not in the mood for a flatbread and let her know the sandwiches I was looking at. I told her that the lobster club sounded really good. She said they had Udi’s on hand and that they could give me potato chips but not house-made ones. She really wanted to push me along, so I didn’t get much out of her in terms of other options. But, I can imagine with the right kind of chef here, you could get a fair amount of interesting choices.
Once I ordered, I was given a pager, which all guests are. You also get a number placard, this way servers can bring the food to you. I thought this was a very interesting route. I thought it was especially interesting because I couldn’t find a seat in the main room and had to go way down the hall to Turf Club. I was like, “um how are they going to find me?” and a cast member assured me it would be fine. However, I ended up coming back up to the front because I was nervous they wouldn’t find me. Thankfully, this worked out ok because the cast member brought my food out fairly quickly. I was glad to see it marked “Allergy” on the box so that cast members were aware this was a special diets meal.
Once I got settled, I opened up my box. And I was surprised to see not one but two sandwiches. That was a surprise! Holy smokes! I also have a really big bag of pre-packaged chips, as they house-made chips were not safe. This was definitely going to be a lot of food.
|Not what I was expecting!|
I have to say that this sandwich…or should I say sandwiches were not was I was expecting. I expected something a little lighter and a little more lobstery (in taste not necessarily portion). What I found was that the flavor you tasted the most was Old Bay Seasoning. Don’t get me wrong, I like Old Bay (and it’s GF!) but it really overpowers and this was almost a little too much. I found that had they just used a little it would have gone a long way. I mean, I really couldn’t taste lemon mayonnaise. Overall, though I did like it. And two sandwiches was a lot. I def. was full. The one disappointment was that they couldn’t make the chips GF/DF. Or at least some fries. It may be that they can do the fries but I wasn’t able to get them because of the chef interaction. Either way, the chip option was just OK.
Overall, I wasn’t wowed by my lobster club sandwich, but I didn’t hate it either. I think if I were to visit this location again that I would probably go during an off time. I’d give this a 6 out of 10. Lackluster food & so-so service and accommodation.