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Venturing Out To New Places

by Courtney on April 22, 2012

I just love venturing out and trying new places to eat…especially when you’re in good company with friends!

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Last night, Jay and I joined our friends Brian and Mal for a new-to-all-of-us dinner spot in downtown Saratoga known as Hattie’s Restaurant. All four of us have heard about Hattie’s but never made the trip there, so we decided to give it a go.

Hattie’s is a small place, but its dining room is definitely filled with lots of Southern charm…almost as if you’re “at home.”

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Hattie’s, which has historically been in operation since 1938, serves a variety of Louisiana and Southern dishes, but it’s probably best known for its famous Southern fried chicken.

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So famous, in fact, that it was actually one of the featured restaurants on the Food Network’s “Throwdown with Bobbly Flay” – and Hattie’s won!

source

That little factoid alone made me excited to try out Hattie’s despite the fact that fried chicken isn’t usually my dish of choice.

We were lucky to not have to wait for a table, and shortly after we placed our orders, we were given a basket of homemade biscuits and cornbread.

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I enjoyed one of each and I loved the fact that they were not only delicious, but also fairly mini.

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I also ended up having a glass of pinot grigio with dinner, and Jay kept it classy with some PBR. Hey, for $2.00, I guess you can’t pass it up (or so he says…)?

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There were a few items on the menu that sounded intriguing, but I ultimately decided I should go with the fried chicken. When in Rome, right?

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Holy pile of food, batman!

I got to choose two sides with my chicken, so I got the mashed potatoes and succotash. I had actually never tried succotash (and had no idea what it even was until I asked our waitress) but I loved it…lima beans and all.

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The fried chicken itself was actually very tasty. I honestly had never ordered fried chicken up until last night, and I really don’t even know if and when the last time was that I tried it, but I was impressed. I’m not typically a fan of the skin on chicken, so I picked most of that off which, I’m sure, probably defeats the purpose of fried chicken?

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But even without eating most of the skin, the chicken itself had great flavor.

The portions they served were enormous, so I ended up picking through about two of the four pieces that I was served. This meant leftovers for Jay, making him a happy camper.

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Since we were already up in Saratoga, we decided to swing by Plum Dandy for a little dessert pit stop. Any guesses which one is mine…?

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Ding, ding, ding!

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This cup was good, but not the best, and we all decided that we’re bigger fans of TCBY’s fro yo flavors, but we like the variety of toppings at 16 Handles the best. However, Plum Dandy did offer Funfetti cake mix as a topping choice, which I thought was pretty amazing. Either way, it’s still fro yo, and we all left happy…and stuffed. Smile

*****

Got a few things on the agenda for today…time to go get crackin’ on ‘em!

Question for the Morning:

Are you a fan of Southern cuisine? What’s your favorite dish(es)?

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Caroline @ After Dinner Dance April 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

I’ve always wanted to go to a restaurant that was on Throwdown – so fun! I’m from the south but I’m not a huge fan of the typical southern foods like fried chicken and grits. I do love beignets and kolaches though!
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2 Khushboo April 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

I don’t think I have ever had proper Southern food but I have a feeling I would love grits! Like you, skin on chicken/fried chicken has never appealed to me! Your fro yos always do me proud- go big or go home…as I intend to do so for dessert tonight :)!
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3 Julie April 22, 2012 at 10:57 am

The cornbread and biscuits look AMAZING. I could have probably just eaten those and been happy. :-) We have an awesome restaurant in LA (Los Angeles, not Louisiana :-) called Roscoe’s, and they serve fried chicken – with waffles! I thought it was so weird, but my goodness is it delicious!!!
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4 Lisa April 22, 2012 at 11:24 am

I’ve actually never tried Southern food before. That’s kind of weird now that I think of it. Fro yo looks good too. Sounds like you guys had a great Saturday night out.
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5 Debbie (Accidently Delish) April 22, 2012 at 11:27 am

a few things that made me giggle about this post.

funny ironic side story. Matt and I went to Austin to visit a friend. When we arrived she was still working so we hit up a small local bar. And drank PBRs because they were $1 can. I’m actually usually a beer snob and will only drink micro brews, but there is something about drinking trashy PBR out of a can that i LOVE.

Also I guessed your yogurt right and got a little too excited. I literally said YES out loud.

One of those days huh?
I love trying new places! Glad you guys had a good night out!
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6 chelcie @ chelcie's food files April 22, 2012 at 11:40 am

funfetti cake MIX as a topping choice?! that is so cool! I love trying new restaurants..especially ones that were featured on the food network!
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7 Natasha April 22, 2012 at 11:45 am

I think a lot of Southern food scares me (so much buttah!) I did love fried chicken when I was a kid though!
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8 Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers April 22, 2012 at 11:52 am

Yum! The restaurant looks fantastic! I saw that episode of Throw Down! I never order fried chicken myself, I know I’ll want the skin, but it’s so bad for you! Plus if I had it, I would eat the skin because thats the best part! :)
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9 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl April 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I love me some succotash with the addition of kielbasa sausage. And I don’t make it as saucy. Like to give it more of a roasted flavor. Nom Nom.
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10 Courtney April 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Ooooo, that sounds REALLY good!!

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11 Nicole April 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I LOVE Hattie’s! Their mac and cheese is awesome, too! They have the Chicken Shack at the track – last year, I had their chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries – so good!

This post made me so nostalgic and miss Saratoga! I lived and worked
Downtown for 3 years after college, and still miss that lifestyle so much!

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12 Courtney April 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Yes! We’ve seen the Chicken Shack there, but had never tried anything from them. I think we probably will now this year ;)

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13 Stephanie @ StephSnacks April 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I never have fried chicken! It’s not really a popular dish here in NYC.. however, I would definitely be open to trying it :)
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14 Vanessa G April 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm

How cool you got to eat at a place where Throwndown was taped. It must be pretty awesome if Bobby lost! I remember watching that episode. I wish that show still was on. I loved it! Anyways, I am fan of southern cuisine. I live in southern VA. I grew up eating southern foods as a kid….fried chicken being often. However, even though I still live in VA and like southern food, I hardly eat it. I can’t remember the last time I had fried chicken either. My favorite southern dish growing up was biscuits and gravy by my mom. Nobody can make it like her!!! My favorite dishes now are sweet potato casserole, banana pudding, and/or soupbeans and homemade cornbread.

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15 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake April 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Looks like a delicious evening! I’m not a huge fan of southern food, but a piece of fried chicken can be nice every once in a while!
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16 krystal @coffeecardiogoddess April 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Omg who doesnt love fro yo? All of those look delish. Funfetti is definately a cool topping choice. Yum.
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17 Angela @ Health, Happiness & Harmony April 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Just like you, when I tasted fried chicken, all of the breading and skin came off! When I was able to have it, cornbread was definitely my favorite southern food of choice! :)
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18 Kalyn April 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Yum! Those biscuits & cornbread look delicious! And I actually have never been sure what succotash is either, but it looks delicious, also!

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19 Jessamy @ The Rambling Asian April 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Sweet tea!!!

Wait, is that a food??

Okay, well mac&cheese (homemade) or fried chicken or sweet potato pie or buttermilk biscuits and smoked cured ham… hmmm, well maybe not a favorite!!
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20 Courtney April 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Haha, I’d say it still counts!

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21 Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Looks like an awesome night!! Now that we’re living in Atlanta, I definitely want to try out some of their well-known Southern restaurants!! I can’t believe you picked off the fried skin haha … that’s too funny! ;)
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22 Shannon April 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm

That chicken looks mighty good- and I would probably peel off the skin like you did. I prefer chicken without sking, thank you very much! :)

I don’t think I’ve ever had real Southern food before. I should probably be more adventurous and try some at some point in my life.

I actually have heard of Hattie’s before. Is it by the track?
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23 Courtney April 22, 2012 at 6:32 pm

It’s in downtown Saratoga, so sort of. Very close to the Ben & Jerry’s that’s up there.

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24 Michelle (Better with Berries) April 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I’m not a huge fan of fried chicken (although I love fried fish!) but I’d definitely go for it if I was somewhere that specialized in it! The new restaurant you went to looks fun and charming – I love trying new places like that :-)
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25 Amanda @ Let Me Be What's Underneath April 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I will eat fried chicken once in a while, but I’m not a huge fan of authentic Southern food!
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26 Katy April 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm

That chicken looks amazing! I love trying new restaurants and ordering food outside of my comfort zone.
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27 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions April 22, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Oh man, biscuits AND cornbread?? Yes please! Sounds like my kind of restaurant!
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28 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey April 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I can put back a lot of mac n cheese, but unfortunately, my body hates mac n cheese. My mouth? not so much!
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29 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More April 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm

I like cornbread! Otherwise, I’m not sure I’m a big southern food fan. I don’t really like fried food or butter…
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