First Look: Alchemy Bagel Cafe

Alchemy Bagel Cafe popped onto the scene at the Glens Falls Farmer’s Market this summer and almost immediately became a favorite part of our Saturday morning routine. Walk the dogs - head to the market - fill our bag with fresh fruits and veggies - grab bagels, a baguette, and a blueberry muffin from Alchemy - head home and devour the aforementioned baked goods on the back porch. We are so excited that they are now up and running in their new space at The Shirt Factory so that we can grab their goodies pretty much any other day of the week, too!

 
 

It’s been fun getting to know owners Meg and Alex at the Market this summer and seeing their passion for what they do. We loved hearing the story about Meg receiving a cake decorating kit for her 11th birthday, whipping up a cake, and her grandfather being so impressed that he encouraged her go to college for baking. “Only the best,” as she remembers him saying, “Go to the CIA.” And go to the CIA she did - the Culinary Institute of America - where she met Alex in what she describes as a “love at first sight” scenario, graduated with a Baking and Pastry Degree, and the rest is history.

Meanwhile, Alex, who grew up in Queensbury, started his baking career at the age of 16 working summers in Nantucket at the widely known Something Natural Bakery. He worked his way up over five summer seasons, gained knowledge in the operation of a high volume bakery, and while he studied briefly at the Culinary Institute of America (and met Meg!), he ultimately found the best fit with the Sustainable Agriculture and Production Program at Green Mountain College, where he was able to combine his two loves - farming and cooking.

 
Alchemy Bagel Cafe Glens Falls NY
 

While they spent the last few years working on Nantucket, they came back to the Glens Falls area to be closer to family as their son gets ready to start preschool. “We knew from our connections to the area that Glens Falls was turning the corner for the better and new businesses were moving into the city, along with more young people,” they said. “This gave us the confidence that Glens Falls would be the right place for us to start up; as it was, in our minds, a way to break into a growing culinary scene. This, in combination with the access to a commercial kitchen [at The Shirt Factory], which was generously outfitted to our needs by Eric Unkauf, made it possible for us to get off the ground.”

And if you’re curious, like us, about how the name came to be - Meg noted that it’s because Alchemy “is the predecessor of modern chemistry, which is a large part of pastry and baking. Managing the interactions of ingredients, elements, and specific technique is essential to great baking, and is the premise of Alchemy.” Perfect choice!

 
 

So, the Cafe! The space is perfect for a morning pick-me-up, light and bright with a big wall of windows on the far wall, and a gorgeous counter that Alex built himself.

And of course, the food! They’ve got a plentiful variety of the most delicious bagels, but if we had to pick a favorite, it’d be the Parmesan. We loved it even more as a bookend to their traditional breakfast sandwich, served alongside a hot coffee at the cafe. Their blueberry muffins were a favorite of ours all summer (made with farm fresh berries from Hand Melon Farm in Greenwich), and of course we could not leave without a baguette (a hot commodity in our house, since Tom has been known to steal large portions of it when I’m not looking!). And don’t leave without grabbing a few of their amazing macarons - so many great flavors like carrot cake (our favorite!), salted caramel, pumpkin, espresso… we could go on! We also couldn’t help but notice the cupcakes that were featured on their Instagram the other day - chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing and crushed butterfingers on top. It just doesn’t get much better than that!

 
Alchemy Bagel Cafe Glens Falls NY
 

Have you been over to the Cafe yet? They’re open Wednesday - Sunday in Suite 111 of the Shirt Factory. See you there - but save us a couple of Parmesan bagels! ;)

 
Owners Meg and Alex at Alchemy Bagel Cafe

Owners Meg and Alex at Alchemy Bagel Cafe

 
Glens Falls Living

P.S. See more of our First Look series with local restaurants here.

Fresh Look: A Patio Brunch at Morgan & Co.

It’s hard to beat a summer night on the beautiful wrap around porch (and gorgeous expanded patio!) at Morgan and Company, but have you been to brunch?! As much as we love keeping Morgan in regular rotation for date night, there’s something about a sunny Sunday morning there that we might just love even more (which could have something to do with the coffee cake…and mimosas!). We caught a fresh look at Morgan and Co. from the patio last weekend, and looking through these photos now has us thinking about going again tomorrow morning, too!

Morgan and Company Restaurant Glens Falls, NY

While we’re total creatures of habit, we switched things up in a big way (ha!) by sitting on the patio instead of the porch this time. Such a treat! We loved relaxing in the sun amongst the flowers with the view of City Park just beyond. If you’ve ever been to Morgan, you know the ambiance is a big part of the draw, and it’s exciting that they’ve extended that feeling into this pretty space.

So, the food! First things first, do yourself a favor and order the coffee cake. It’s a must for us each time we visit for brunch and it feels a little bit like eating dessert first (which is always a bonus in our book). The addition of the whipped honey butter is perfection and overall it’s just dangerously good - highly recommend!

French toast and funnel cake are two things that Tom can never resist, which made his choice of Funnel Cake French Toast a no-brainer. A little maple syrup on top and you have comfort food at it’s very finest. So good.

As for me, I’m no stranger to the Eggs Benedict here (a go-to!), and always love their willingness to sub meat for veggies - in this case, summer squash! The light summer salad is the perfect compliment, and our favorite sea salt frites are a welcome addition any time of day.

Morgan and Company Glens Falls, NY

Heading to brunch on Sunday? Just save us some coffee cake :)

Brunch is served on Sundays from 10am - 3pm.

Steve Butters and Rebecca Newell-Butters

Steve Butters and Rebecca Newell-Butters

Glens Falls Living NY

P.S. In case you missed it, a first look at another downtown patio here.

First Look: New Menu at Park 26

Now that summer weather has arrived (finally!), we can’t get enough of patio dining downtown. Lucky for us, Park 26 at The Queensbury Hotel has a great spot overlooking City Park. When we heard about the new menu put together by Chef Colin Miner, who recently joined the team at Park 26, we were even more excited for an evening on their pretty patio.

 
Park Patio - Park 26 - The Queensbury Hotel
 

We settled into a table overlooking the gazebo in the park across the street, one of our favorite Glens Falls views. In addition to the tables, Park 26 also has a couple of cozy couches (with fire pits!), which we made a mental note to snatch up the second that they came available :)

 
 

The service at The Q is always fantastic, and this night was no exception. Everyone was so sweet, especially our waitress, who cheered on our every menu choice and had us even more excited for our meals to arrive.

We loved all of the special touches Park 26 offers while dining with them - a little snack to start the meal, warm rolls with an assortment of butter - made in house (traditional, herb, and mushroom), and an intermezzo between courses (Rosé and lime sorbet!). All of these rotate weekly to keep things fresh and seasonal.

 
 

It’s tough to play favorites, especially when everything was amazing, but it’s hard to beat (no pun intended) how gorgeous and delicious the Beets and Citrus was. First, the colors! It was almost too pretty to eat. The ricotta and the orange supremes were so light and perfect for a summer meal. And, we’re still thinking about their twist on a traditional Bruschetta - the Burrata and Tomato. The crumbles on top instead of it being served on a crostini were a total game-changer, and we can’t wait to go back for more.

 
 

Did we already declare favorites? We take that back, because the entrées were fabulous. Their vegetarian option, the Cavatelli, was amazing - the perfect light summer pasta, and Tom couldn’t say enough good things about the Scallop and Dill (and again, look at the beautiful presentation and colors!).

 
 

Once the sun started to set, the fireplace was flipped on and we started thinking dessert. Their take on Crème Brulée was a trip down memory lane, with the Cap’n Crunch creme (that tasted like cereal milk!), the fruity pebbles, and the dehydrated strawberries that tasted like the fruit roll-up your mom packed in your lunch box when you were a kid. Perfection! And we couldn’t leave without trying the Baked Alaska, with the house made graham cracker and coconut snow - each element delicious on it’s own and an amazing mix when put together.

 
Colin Miner, Chef de Cuisine

Colin Miner, Chef de Cuisine

 

Until next time, Park 26! Save us a seat on the sofa! :)

 
Glens Falls NY - Glens Falls Living
 

P.S. In case you missed it, a first look at another new outdoor dining option downtown here.

First Look: The Patio at Doc's

Have you been to Doc’s? It’s just downstairs at The Park Theater, and the cozy atmosphere and great food had us there often this winter. And well, who can resist the pub mix they have at the bar?!

That said, our visits there are about to get even more frequent as their patio just opened for the season! Once we saw the umbrellas peeking out from behind the hedges on Park Street, we could barely wait to pop in to check it out.

 
Doc's Restaurant Glens Falls NY
 

The moment we sat down, we felt like we were in a little oasis in the heart of downtown. Surrounded by greenery and planters overflowing with flowers (with lights strung up overhead for summer nights!), we immediately knew this was going to be amongst our summer favorites.

 
 

What really sold us, though, was the food. Okay, and the drinks! While we started with our usuals - an IPA for Tom and a glass of rosé for Bri, we couldn’t resist sampling this beautiful (and delicious!) gin sour cocktail.

 
 

Back to the food! We started with calamari, which is always a win, and avocado fries. Not sure how we didn’t know that avocado fries were a thing, but after devouring them (and that delish cajun ranch dipping sauce) within minutes, it’s clear we’ll be starting with these from now on, too.

 
 

We loved the veggie cauliflower crust pizza (with chimichurri, spinach, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, etc.), and we were so psyched to hear that there are plans in the works for a rooftop garden above The Park - it doesn’t get much more local than that for fresh herbs and veggies! The pesto grilled chicken sandwich looked amazing as well, and you just can’t beat their hand cut fries. A couple other favorites? We love the Impossible Burger (fellow vegetarians, you must try it!), and the Doc’s Grilled Cheese with mushrooms, red peppers, and avocado is always high on our list.

 
 

Finally, there’s always room for dessert, and it turns out their ice cream sandwiches are a work of art. The flavor of the day was raspberry white chocolate between shortbread cookies, and it was the perfect end to a sunny afternoon.

 
Chef Jessica Hoy and Doc’s Restaurant Manager Alexandra Fracchia

Chef Jessica Hoy and Doc’s Restaurant Manager Alexandra Fracchia

 

Will we see you there this summer? We’ll be the ones hogging all of the ice cream sandwiches ;)

 
Glens Falls NY Living
 

P.S. In case you missed it, a first look at another new downtown restaurant here.

First Look: The Exchange

We know we weren’t the only ones who were bummed when we heard the news that Rock Hill Bakehouse Cafe downtown would be closing, and we definitely weren’t the only ones who were all the more excited when we learned that the cafe would live on under new ownership as The Exchange! After seeing the (super cute) new logo go up on the windows a couple weeks back, we couldn’t wait to pop in and see what was new.

 
The Exchange Cafe Glens Falls NY
 

We got to chat with the new owners, Sara and Chris Patten, and learned that Rock Hill had always been a favorite lunch spot for them. In fact, Sara had always wanted to open a cafe, but found it hard to justify since she would have just rather gone to Rock Hill to eat! :) We love that they kept the menu choices (and staff!) that made everyone love Rock Hill, while adding their own special touch. Sara’s love for cooking was easy to see, and she’s proud to offer a menu with a focus on fresh, quality food that makes you feel good (case in point: so many great salads and new dressings!).

 
 

The space is still cozy and welcoming, with new windows, updated decor, and fresh flowers adding a light and bright feel. And while the stage is gone (making room for some more seating!), it was fun to see that they kept the floor boards as decor for the wall! We hear they have even more renovations in store next year, and we can’t wait to see the changes they continue to make to the space.

 
 

So - the food! We grabbed a sunny table next to the window and quickly ordered the yogurt parfait (with honey, fruit, and local granola - so good!). I had to get the Rise and Shine Toast after seeing a photo of it on their Instagram (a drizzle of olive oil, hummus, avocado, tomato and an over easy egg on toast) - and it was everything I hoped for and more. Tom got the Veggie Breakfast Panini, and we spent the next 5 minutes passing it back and forth, fighting over who got the last bite (you can’t beat that perfectly toasted bread!). We couldn’t leave without sampling the soups (with a soup sampler, of course!), and the rumors are true - they are the best. Our favorite was the Broccoli Cheddar Tomato (we went back for more the next day!), but the Curried Cauliflower was amazing and for the meat eaters out there, the Buffalo Chicken smelled awesome. Also, they do catering and takeout. Backyard picnic anyone? Yes, please!

 
 

See you at The Exchange! We’ll be the ones eating all the soup. Oh! And they’re going to be open on Saturdays starting April 29 (in addition to Monday - Friday) - a new weekend brunch spot!

 
Sara Patten outside    The Exchange Cafe

Sara Patten outside The Exchange Cafe

 
 
Glens Falls Living
 

First Look: [farmacy]

We were so happy to see that [farmacy] opened its doors downtown this week! You might recognize those brackets around the name from sister restaurant, [forged] in Hudson Falls. While we’ve not yet made it to [forged], we’ve heard such great things and couldn’t wait to see AJ and Christina Richards’ newest venture.

farmacy glens falls ny

Located in the Lapham and Parks building on Ridge, the owners are big fans of history and charm, and we love that they took the time to both preserve and restore the character in the space (which was an old feed store!). Double doors open to the alley on the side, where horse drawn wagons used to pull up to load feed, and we’ve got our fingers crossed that the outdoor seating that’s been proposed for the alley will be approved - would be so much fun this summer!

Back inside, the original hardwood floors and tin ceiling have been preserved, and there are thoughtful touches throughout - from the dinner plates found in antique stores, to the vintage inspired lighting, and vignettes with old books and postcards. There are three great spaces to enjoy - the chef’s table/bar up front where you can watch the food being prepared, a second low-key bar in the center, and a cozy space in the back with bench seating.

farmacy glens falls ny restaurants

And the food! We grabbed a few small plates along with drinks at the bar - the shishito peppers are always a win with us (and these are prepared with brown butter and ginger beer aioli!), and since Tom is a big bread guy, we had to go for the house sourdough with pink butter and himalayan salt - so good! The vegetables though (pictured below) are a work of art and might have been the favorite - the cider poached carrots were perfection. We’re excited to head back again soon to check out the rest of the menu!

Until next time, [farmacy]!

glens falls restaurants
glens falls living

P.S. More things to do here.