I’m not a stranger to teatime growing up in a British household, but who has time at 4:00 in the afternoon to stop in this American society?!…..so… we… lunch! It was never more prevalent that we Yanks love to leisure over a nice midday meal than when I popped into the Whistling Kettle in Ballston Spa, NY today. The tables were filled with girlfriends, nuclear families and business lunchers who were enjoying steaming, well brewed pots of tea and tiered serving dishes filled with delectable courses of sandwiches, salads and scones.
I only had a little over an hour so I hoped that I could get in and out quickly, but when I came through the door, I saw the place was packed and wondered if it was possible. The hostess, already apologetic about the wait, directed me to a seating area in the back of the restaurant and handed me the menus so I could take a look. I waited, with a trip to the ladies’ room less than ten minutes and was escorted to my booth table. Since I had time to peruse the menu, I was ready to order.
Ah the teas in this tearoom!!! You can find one to fix whatever ails you or just to suit your mood. If you like it, they sell bulk dried teas to go. My waiter came over and took my order and went on his way after pouring me some water. Now, if you are waiting for your tea to arrive in split seconds, you are going to be disappointed…. a properly brewed tea takes at least three minutes and they are not going to bring it to you before it is ready. I opted for the Casablanca… a strawberry and raspberry herbal decaffeinated tea. It felt like summer and since it was 11 degrees this morning, I was up for that! It was worth the wait.
As you know my friends, I love fish and they had smoked salmon tea sandwiches with cucumbers on whole grain bread slathered with caper and dill aioli. Need I say more? Well, of course I will! I asked for a side salad with a very nice balsamic vinaigrette. My sandwiches and salad arrived and I dug in. I loved the aioli, giving the sandwiches a briny herbilicious taste with the dill and capers along with the crunch of the cucumbers and the soft smokiness of the fish. The salad had a load of shredded carrot on top that were fresh along with my favorite green, arugula (to my British friends, rocket) plenty of various veggies and a side of the vinaigrette. I always like having my salad dressing on the side but find I use it all anyway….
I saw the people at the next table eating scones and thought….BEHAVE SUSAN! So, I asked my waiter for the check, he brought it with a “no hurry” and a smile. Even with the ten minute wait, I was on my way in time to head back to work and I had a wonderful, relaxing lunch for under $20.00. I’ll get the scone next time!