... HoppyPop Local NYS Craft-Beer Infused Caramel Popcorn from Kernel Cravings. Sweet, salty, and crunchy with a subtle hoppy, bitter flavor. Found at the Empire State Plaza Farmer's Market and eating by the handful!
We're very Albany-centric when it comes to brunch. On a whim, we decided to take a trip up to Ballston Spa for a weekend outing. We've stopped for tea at the Whistling Kettle a number of times but always overlooked The Iron Roost until recently. Located on Front Street, this quaint and charming cafe makes brunch a treat. Their speciality are gourmet waffles, both sweet and savory. They also make it a point to use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible and we love to support businesses with this philosophy. Your food is homemade and made to order, but you pay at the counter first and then the food comes to you. I've always associated waffles as a sweet treat but never underestimate the power of a savory waffle. It's not weird at all! We were so impressed with the Green Turkey special from our summer visit and were delighted to see it again on the specials board. We had to order it again. This savory waffle wedge is made with sliced turkey, fresh avocados and sprouts, and a schmear of homemade green goddess dressing. Green goddess is a creamy and tangy dressing typically made with variations of mayo/sour cream and chives, garlic, tarragon, parsley and lemon. The waffle was a great alternative to a thick bread and worked well as a wrap here, light and crispy, and a great vehicle for all the above. What we loved about this sandwich is how light and bright the flavors were. We were actually eating something healthy for once that tasted awesome. We also added a side of homefries to share because brunch wouldn't be brunch without them. The homefries were unfortunately nothing too exciting. We prefer smaller crunchier bites rather than the few big hunks of starchy potatoes.
To balance the savory bites, I went with a sweet waffle. I'm usually a bit hesitant about ordering from the sweet side of brunch, afraid that it would be too cloyingly sweet. I was pleasantly surprised when I took a bite out of my lemon mascarpone and strawberry combo. The waffle was just sweet enough and had a nice chewy texture, almost like a yeast donut. We had tried the liege waffle over the summer and were so disappointed. It was strangely stale and had an odd grainy texture, unlike the yeasty ones we were use to from the Troy Farmer's Market. This was certainly a redeeming bite for us.The heaping scoop of mascarpone was intimidating but it was light and bites of fresh strawberries and drizzle of lemon curd was a good balance of sweet and tart. I would've loved more lemon curd to bring out more zing. Add two cups of dark roast coffee (roasted locally in Hudson) and we were happy campers.