Seriously Catherine – BONUS: What’s On The Table This Weekend – February in Saratoga Edition – Palette
Become a Member!
The Palette Cafe

More than coworking, a community.


Seriously Catherine Podcast /

Seriously Catherine – BONUS: What’s On The Table This Weekend – February in Saratoga Edition

February is HAPPENING in Saratoga Springs, NY! Ryan and Catherine hilariously talk you through what’s going on in town, from Chili to Chowder, beer to Motown, and some twists and turns along the way.

They’re also talking Phish, brunch, Taylor Swift, and drunken shenanigans. They even divulge how their short-lived bike gang era ended with broken bones on day one, sharing hilarious stories and unexpected adventures.

For all you Chowder Fest goers, the pros break down how to navigate it to get the best experience, and survive the madness!!

This lively bonus episode is your ticket to a rollicking good time, filled with insider insights, playful banter, and the unique charm that defines Seriously Catherine.

Seriously, don’t miss out – press play and let the laughter begin!

Thank you to our SPONSOR – Henry Street Taproom




OEC Coolship Lager

Saratoga Clay Arts Center who puts on Chili Bowl –

Discover Saratoga who puts on Chowder Fest –



*This Transcript is Autogenerated*

Ryan McFadden 0:03
That sounded good

Catherine Hover 0:15
welcome to what’s on the table this weekend. This is a new bonus episode brought to you by Henry shoe Taproom. And joining us today is the one and only Ryan McFadden.

Ryan McFadden 0:26
How’s it going out there folks? Happy to be here. Thanks for having me. Katherine on the show. I appreciate it. I’m excited. I’m excited for this bonus episode. Bonus. All right, everyone

Catherine Hover 0:35
loves a bonus.

Ryan McFadden 0:36
Right? It’s free. It’s extra.

Catherine Hover 0:37
You know, we in in New Orleans, we call that land Yap

Ryan McFadden 0:41
land. Yep. Yeah. So

Catherine Hover 0:42
it’s a French word. That means like, extra, like an unexpected extra.

Ryan McFadden 0:46
Is it sort of like using like a derogatory like, oh, that person’s land? Yeah,

Catherine Hover 0:50
no, no, land. Yap is good. So like in your world, it might be like, Hey, you bought a beer. And here’s an extra, you know, shot

Ryan McFadden 0:57
a frenetic lane. Yep. Yeah.

Catherine Hover 0:59
All right. So you might say like, oh, here’s a little vignette for you. A Little Lamb. Yep. I think you needed an extra dollar on my ice cream or whatever it is. And people

Ryan McFadden 1:09
use that a lot. Land. Yep. Yeah, sounds made up. I’m gonna be honest. It does not sound like a real world in any language. You

Catherine Hover 1:15
can look it up. It’s legit. Okay, well, I wouldn’t lie to you. All right, I’ll use land. Yep. If I can’t, yeah. Or like, a lot of times, it’s like in a restaurant is like, you know, Can I Can I get an extra whatever. And then they just bring it out to you and are like, Oh, what a lot cost you and the server might be like, Oh, it’s land. Yep.

Ryan McFadden 1:30
The server will say that. It’s land. Yep. Yes. It’s land. Yep. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 1:34
I think it’s cultural. But like, you can’t expect it. Okay. You just can’t expect for people to just give you extra stuff. Oh, that’s

Ryan McFadden 1:40
not bonus either than it’s expected. No. Land. Yeah, exactly.

Catherine Hover 1:44
Okay, okay.

Ryan McFadden 1:52
That sounded good. It tastes delicious. I may have spilled it all over myself. But I’m happy to be drinking it.

Catherine Hover 2:01
You’re a little sloppy.

Ryan McFadden 2:02
You got shaken up. I walked up here. Oh, God. That is good, though. That frothy head on this thing. All right. What is this? This is a CheckStyle lager OEC brewing. They’re out of Connecticut. So it’s a nice refreshing crisp lager. This is something that you know people have gotten away from in recent years, but are now coming back to easy drinking beer. People are taking it easy a little bit. Maybe you’re coming off to ski slopes. You’re cooling off after a long day. This beer is crisp, refreshing and it’s gonna make you happy every time. That’s good. Yeah, well, I mean, that’s the goal. CheckStyle loggers are things so they’re trying to have like a European looking flair to the can to which is obviously intentional, but it’s made here in the US of A baby. We make good beer here in America, like at Connecticut, the nutmeg state

Catherine Hover 2:45
cool, shipped, and open fermented Yeah, cool ship. That

Ryan McFadden 2:49
means I don’t want to bore you with brewing details, but it’s sort of left open to pick up some yeast from the air, which helps in the process gives a little character

Catherine Hover 2:57
I liked the light a little lighter beer.

Ryan McFadden 2:58
I thought you might. I thought you might like it. I didn’t want to bring like a big heavy IPA. Like, I don’t think Katie’s gonna drink that. So I thought this was good.

Catherine Hover 3:09
Anyway, we’re talking about what’s going on this weekend in the little town that we call home Saratoga Springs. What a place. Alright, first up in February is the Saratoga clay Art Center’s Chili Bowl fundraiser, which is super family friendly. So in college, we had a Chili Bowl and it was like it was not family friendly. It was a college for sound. But what’s really cool about this event is that they actually make all the bowls at the clay Art Center. And so you leave with a Bushnell and beautiful Alright, first up in February is the Saratoga clay Art Center’s Chili Bowl fundraiser, which is super family friendly. No, they’re

Ryan McFadden 3:52
nice. So the first year that we had Taproom open we actually went to we were participants in it and I got a little bowl because you get what is next to my bed. It has a bunch of crap in it.

Catherine Hover 4:01
Yeah, we, we use it to as like, like a dish for change. Okay, so you guys are not in this this year. No, we are kindred is in it. Ryan, who’s in this year’s kickoff. This year’s

Ryan McFadden 4:13
cook off is kindred new wine bar and Henry Street. That’s definitely worth checking out.

Catherine Hover 4:18
Who’s the chef because it’s about that, right? Like the chef that’s coming up with it is the rest of Yep. So

Ryan McFadden 4:23
it’s at Palma Sato, who was our chef at Taproom for the last few years he moved over to kindred I know Andy, you know, great moustache yeah see him back there firing things out of the oven. Yeah, he’s gonna be making the chili so he’s gonna be up there. I believe P homme from Ray is going to be there Cardona is is going to be there because they won last year formerly known as Roma’s to the uninformed, I think fat Pawleys is going which makes a great chicken parm sandwich by the way, that’d be Walton Whitman brewery right around the corner. But I think it’s five cool.

Catherine Hover 4:53
Yeah. And did you in that last year, have you?

Ryan McFadden 4:56
Would this differ this first time we’ve done it Taproom did it a lot. Seven years ago sadly we did not win that time. But this is the first time since then. So fans

Catherine Hover 5:04
so they used to have an ad the clay Art Center but they’ve grown out of the venue and they’re having a at the city center this year. Yeah

Ryan McFadden 5:11
cuz they wanted to get more people inside weather dependent so that cleared center doesn’t fit too many people inside the city center is much more conducive.

Catherine Hover 5:18
Yeah. Like chili more than chowder.

Ryan McFadden 5:21
I think most people do I mean, yeah, how many times do you have chowder versus chili? It’s probably considerably there’s more chili in my life than chowder. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 5:28
yeah. More chili. So I do you do you perceive the Chili Bowl being like a city wide event? You know?

Ryan McFadden 5:34
They’re expecting a lot of people I think because it’s inside it’s downtown now either get done we’re gonna get more people and also it’s February. There’s nothing else to do. Yeah, so I do think they’re gonna get a lot of people I don’t see it turning into chowder fast because you can’t do two of those things back to back. It’s too much it’s too much on the restaurants to be honest with you for that many people. Yeah, but I don’t see that but if they keep it at the city center, I think the way that they’re going to do it now I think is great. I mean,

Catherine Hover 5:56
the only chili story I have doesn’t have anything to do with Saratoga was Sigma Phi Epsilon chili cook off at my college and it was the first time actually met Mark’s parents so I sounds like a good story. Okay, so it’s a chili cook off. It’s all the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. It’s like their fundraiser Okay, and so you know, everybody can like enter a team and so I was on a team with another friend of ours brother and our chili name I was so proud of it was I’m dreaming of a white chicken chili Okay, so it was so good and it should have one and I didn’t even place and I was in place I was pissed and so at the time I was very hungover because it was on a Sunday they did this knowledge and I’m I’m definitely like Katie Willis and this point in my life. Yes. Catherine is is pretty serious and Catherine so I was very upset that we didn’t Did we didn’t place or when and I had a water bottle in my hand so I threw it and I was like, This is bullshit and in front of everybody and it was I wasn’t embarrassed. I was just causing a scene did the water bottle hit somebody? No, no, it just it was just like one of those things like okay this is just a fundraiser Katie

Ryan McFadden 7:03
relaxed remarks parents appalled your behavior

Catherine Hover 7:06
was I don’t know what they thought I think after that experience, Miss McKee did tell Mark that I was a wildcard

Ryan McFadden 7:15
I think that’s accurate.

Catherine Hover 7:16
That’s the only chili story that I have.

Ryan McFadden 7:18
I don’t have any chili stories I wish I did not have chili in my life turns out

Catherine Hover 7:22
well I mean I think most people’s chili stories have having to do with like the chili tearing up their stomach Yeah,

Ryan McFadden 7:29
well and also there are people that are very into like I have friends that are like like oh my chili is the best is it like you know it all kind of tastes similar to me but yeah, people that are into chili are very into it so I think you have to like be making chili routinely to like have like a lot of experience

Catherine Hover 7:44
with chili. There you have it.

Ryan McFadden 7:46
There you have it folks. don’t know shit about chili.

Catherine Hover 7:50
Okay, some other events coming up at Universal Preservation Hall on February 3,

Ryan McFadden 7:55
beautiful venue the same day as the Chili Bowl. Okay,

Catherine Hover 7:59
so if you’re not into chili, you could or go get some chili and then go the universal Preservation Hall from 730 to 1030 for uptown, a celebration of Motown and soul. That sounds fun. So if Taylor Swift is not playing on Spotify, iTunes, it’s either Motown or like New Orleans rap so you

Ryan McFadden 8:17
would like your Swift Motown or normal job which I think is probably bad southern rap. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 8:23
bad so that no I wouldn’t say like, I would be like bad ass southern rap.

Ryan McFadden 8:27
Okay, all right. So that’s a pretty eclectic three to go to.

Catherine Hover 8:31
What makes you think that Southern rap is bad?

Ryan McFadden 8:34
I mean, I’m just thinking about like juveniles and stuff like that. Like when? Yeah, like that. Like little Wayne. Exactly. Yeah, is that bad? Do I have that? I mean, the words aren’t great. Oh, you mean like

Catherine Hover 8:45
you mean like, like explicit not yet as in like, not good. You know what I mean? I

Ryan McFadden 8:53
meant not good at first in my opinion, but I also think it’s bad I just I don’t like that style rap but whatever

Catherine Hover 9:00
you like more alternative Dave No, I don’t even consider Dave Matthews personal store like hollow notes like alternative like alternative

Ryan McFadden 9:10
but I think I think you’re thinking of somebody else. I like like, I like I have an eclectic taste in music. Also. I just don’t like Southern rap. Okay,

Catherine Hover 9:19
well, there you have it. Where you go oh, here’s another music thing. Same day. Okay, what do we got cliffside push a fish experience.

Ryan McFadden 9:29
Place that will be packed. This town loves fish. What is up with that? The fish loving this?

Catherine Hover 9:35
Because he because I think one of the singers is like just a big Saratoga fan. Yeah, well,

Ryan McFadden 9:41
he’s a big Saratoga fan slash he got in trouble here and was not leave the county for a while. So lived in Saratoga for about six months. Oh,

Catherine Hover 9:48
I didn’t know that. Yeah,

Ryan McFadden 9:49
I think he got this was Trey. I think he’s sober now actually, but he was I think on heroin at the time. This is like early 2000s. And I think he lived above Starbucks because he wasn’t allowed to leave. But I mean, they’re based Vermont were closed I think they like playing its back at least they used to they don’t really come up anymore they are fun to go to but any kind of like fishy jam band that goes to Putnam Dan won the whole service industry goes into this town just fully supports anything like that. So um, that will be a fun night I bet and a very busy night for put in place.

Catherine Hover 10:17
So I do have to take this opportunity to talk about how good brunches at Kindred are not just saying this because we’re friends and neighbors but it’s good right? We went right when you first started. I got the fried chicken Benny. Would you think it was awesome? It was great, right? It must be chicken thighs. It is fried chicken thighs. Yeah, or more tender. Yeah.

Ryan McFadden 10:37
Nobody wants fried chicken breast. Alright.

Catherine Hover 10:39
This is a very important event that I think we both have history in Yep. I avoid it like the plague as a business owner to be quite frank, but you probably you have to play ball. It’s the Saratoga Springs chowder fest. The

Ryan McFadden 10:51
chowder fest. Okay, yeah, it’s what I describe as the best and worst day of the year. It’s kind of a goddamn nightmare. To be honest with you. We have to make so much chowder and so much soup believe a tap room, we have a very small kitchen, it’s a lot of work on our staff, and then the day comes and it’s like preparing for war. It’s like It’s like that movie 300 you’re like alright, there’s only 15 of us and there’s 5000 of them at least but like ready for it and everyone kind of like buckles up you take a shot at fernet open the doors at 11 o’clock and the floodgates just open and it’s absolute madness first

Catherine Hover 11:21
of all, the first year we thought we would attempt to do we had like a vendor set up shop in front of paint and sit because painted doesn’t have we just don’t have the capacity whatsoever to like cook anything. And then after that I was like never again, I’m closing my doors and I will support my neighbors and one year where I volunteered as tribute to help you as tribute serve chowder. Yes. And I don’t know what I was thinking I’m never going to do it again.

Ryan McFadden 11:45
Big mistake. I don’t blame you. Well, first of all, it’s often six degrees outside so you’re outside for four hours I like to plan it so that we run out of chowder at about three o’clock because that’s about how long you want to be outside that’s four hours technically goes to four It’s brutally cold. You’re standing out there you’re saying the same thing to every person that walks up for four hours Yeah, what kind of chatter is what cut Yeah, it’s this and then you say you know you try to be charming to everybody as the day goes on. You’re running out of steam and you’re getting cold and people are getting cold people are getting word drunk as the day goes on. The first best part is when the serving of chatters over but that is far from the end of chowder fest then you walk inside if you can even get in there and it’s just absolute mayhem everybody’s drunk I mean it’s we don’t have a lot of issues at our bar almost ever like we almost never have fights we’re not you know that’s not what we are we’re at adult bar like to tell people we do get a different crowd chowder for a lot of the locals they come early and they get out we get people that you know they’re not used to being in town they come from somewhere else. So once in a while we’ll have an issue the only time we’ve ever hired security was for chowder fest which was really nice you did that we don’t anymore, but there was a couple years there it got a little squirrely but it’s been fine the last few years actually and

Catherine Hover 12:54
will be blocked off it’s always sort of like up in the air whether we can get it blocked off or not

Ryan McFadden 13:00
yet they’re gonna block it off this year. A shout out to Connie discover Saratoga she does a great job with the event together. It is a massive event.

Catherine Hover 13:06
She is the real MVP.

Ryan McFadden 13:08
she is and she’s very good at like chasing down the paperwork from everybody and organizing the whole thing. But yeah, they are gonna shut it down. I don’t know if we’re getting a ban this year. Usually there’s a band EQ X will often broadcasts from the blog, which is fun, Jeff mo rad sometimes he gets lets you jump on the radio and talk a little bit. We usually try to go down there and feed him some beers. I’m happy. But it’s a great day. It’s the best and worst day of the year. As I say it’s the best business day it’s you know, twice what our usual Saturday is at least the bartenders make a mint. Everybody works very hard, but then they’re rewarded for it. So and then we close Sunday for Super Bowl Sunday. Let everyone take a break. Watch Super Bowl, decompress.

Catherine Hover 13:43
And you’re not a football bar like people don’t go no, no

Ryan McFadden 13:46
watch football.

Catherine Hover 13:47
No one’s going to tap your ball. Yeah. So tips for people who have never been to charter fast who are coming to try to fast. Yeah, I have a couple of tips. Okay. Don’t expect to get like a sit down meal anywhere. know

Ryan McFadden 13:59
people call us for reservations. And I tell them I’m like, just so you know, this might not be the night to do that. Right? We have one night. This is for a couple. They never made a tap and they were very sweet. They were in their 60s. And these two brothers were fighting they turned out to be cops actually off duty not from around here. And people were like, you know, they’re like trying to enjoy their food. And this guy’s getting like punched into the woman’s lap and then threatened to call the cops the guy who stands up first of all, it was like Robocop you stood up and I was like why not kicking this guy out here you can throw me out the window if he wanted and then it turns he’s like, I am a cop but I was like well shit. What do I do? Why are you acting like this? Please don’t act like a cop for a second. We’re out to dinner but ya know I go out of my way to tell people like this is not going to be a normal night maybe skip this Saturday if you’re expecting like a nice night

Catherine Hover 14:46
out. Yeah, I just I don’t think of charter fest is like a family friendly environment.

Ryan McFadden 14:52
It is early early.

Catherine Hover 14:53
You gotta go early. Yeah. And even then you’re not getting like a sit down meal. I mean, people are just getting their drink. again. Yeah,

Ryan McFadden 15:00
and there’s just it’s every place is packed. I mean, if you go out right away at noon, I’d say at Taproom you can get a table and get some food if you’re with your kids, but after two,

Catherine Hover 15:08
I wouldn’t recommend it. Yeah. So do you have any other tips? My tips would just

Ryan McFadden 15:12
be it depends what you’re looking for, but go out early, I would say if, if I was not working on shutter fest, which I’ve never experienced, but I would probably go to five places. And then I would find a place in a bar like Kenisha tap, and we’re kindred, and hunker down and get some space and reserve it. So if you’re with a bunch of friends, go to a place, hunker down, get yourself a spot, because it’s gonna be hard to get a spot later. Yeah, man and make it like, find a home base, find a home base. So go try some chowder, how much super you’re going to you’re not going to drive 30 chowders. Or maybe our I don’t know, but I wouldn’t go to five or six spots that you want to go to find someplace to hunker down and hang out. It is a fun day. And it’s it’s February, it’s winter in upstate New York, there’s nothing else to do that day, there was something to do.

Catherine Hover 15:56
So there are some really serious chowder fest goers and they’re like, they’re going to vote because it is a competition. So I think I think at the end, you go and you pass in your ballot or whatever, at the city center. And there is a winner that comes out of this. And there are those people who are like, Ryan, this wasn’t so good. You know, and sometimes like they just want to tell you right then and there and I’m like, I don’t give a fuck like get out. Move on. You gave me your money. You got your chowder On you go. So

Ryan McFadden 16:20
that’s very true. So we actually tried. I didn’t really want it the last two years. Okay, which was Yeah, so we wanted the last two years which is was great and like a big dog section to have servings they break it down by how many servings you did. So we have like a lot to live up to this year. How many servings Do you so we they break it down by between two and 3000 servings three and 4000 servings four to 5000, which is like druthers, I think probably alone up in that category. But we did I think 2400 servings or something like that. We won the last two years, which is funny because then you have to go up and receive the Word and now you’ve been like sort of drinking and hanging out chatter all day at you. You’re like, wait, wait, let the need to go receive an award up there. But there is a lot of pride in it. And in our chefs really worked really hard to make it good for us really that day. The Chatter is like it’s fine. I just want people inside hanging out

Catherine Hover 17:10
drinking beer. Yes. Some of this. This will just be available there. Yeah,

Ryan McFadden 17:14
most likely we rotate cannot sleep. We’ll have something just like this. If it’s not this. Oh, we see brewing. Cool ship lager. Check those there.

Catherine Hover 17:21
So I have a really funny story that I think about a lot because not a lot, but I just like it’s one of those memories that I have about you and Sonia. And it was when I was hugely pregnant for Posey and we went to the Saratoga senior centers fundraiser. polo fields at the time. Yes. Right. And it was moms mingling and more. And so you remember and Sonia and Mark, were drinking and I was sober because I was very pregnant. So it was May 31. I remember and because and Posey was born June 2, so it’s like it was right before. Yeah, very proud. And I remember that was the day that y’all told us that you were moving forward with adopting. Yeah, yeah. And I was like, Oh, my God. And you’re like, well, we don’t know how long it’s gonna take or how long it’s gonna last. I was like, two years. I’m like, Y’all are gonna have a baby next weekend. Because, you know, I’m like, no one is going to, like overlook you in a binder of people to choose like, who you want your kid to go to? Yeah, I was so excited. And it was very shortly after you got word that you were gonna get a baby.

Ryan McFadden 18:25
It was much more shortly after that we had anticipated by a lot. Yeah. All sudden. They’re like, Oh, yeah, you have a baby come and she’s doing a month. I was like, what was like it could take two years.

Catherine Hover 18:34
They’ll happen quick. Yeah, it was a very exciting time.

Ryan McFadden 18:37
It certainly was. Yeah, it feels like it was a million years ago. Yeah.

Catherine Hover 18:40
I just remember being so happy. I’m like, Oh my god. This is great. We’re manifesting. These kids are gonna be best friends. No, they’re hanging out right now. They are little buddies. Best Buddies. Yeah, that’s one of my favorite stories. No pressure, Ryan.

Ryan McFadden 18:53
I know yours is like hard to balance about babies and adoption. I’m like, trying to think of like nights we went out and things like so here’s one of the jumps into my mind real quick is Do you remember when we had the bike gang? Oh, yeah. The bike gang that was short lived. But this is pre kids. I think the point of the bike gang was basically just to ride bikes around town and drink was

Catherine Hover 19:12
well, we wanted to be friendly. We wanted friends. Yeah. We were new to town and we wanted to do something that didn’t revolve around drinking. We wanted to be active. Yes.

Ryan McFadden 19:21
Okay. And we were riding the bikes up by Skidmore, and I think was one of your friends. You like it was the first night of the bike gang and he hit a curb and flew about 30 yards and broke his shoulder and it was like, I think that was the end of the bike gang. I think it was a one day event.

Catherine Hover 19:41
I can’t remember what his name was

Ryan McFadden 19:43
someone that worked with Mark. Yes, but it was like yeah, we’re the bike gang. And then half an hour later the bike gang was I don’t think we ever rode again. I think the bike Yeah. Just firstly, you’re mad. Because he was really hurt. Like it wasn’t like he scraped his knee. It was like Oh, Shit.

Catherine Hover 20:01
Like, he didn’t see the curve and he was

Ryan McFadden 20:04
going very fast. Yeah, he I think Mark took him to the hospital. A bike gang was short lived

Catherine Hover 20:12
to the taproom and finished drinking. Yeah,

Ryan McFadden 20:14
and he I hope he’s okay. I don’t know. Remember even when he looks I’m sure he’s fine. Sure.

Catherine Hover 20:20
We had a lot of fun times for kids.

Ryan McFadden 20:22
Yeah. And now yeah, that’s, that’s just a different kind of fun. But yeah, it

Catherine Hover 20:27
is a different kind of fun. I definitely I can’t drink like that. I don’t think you can ride a bike. Oh my god. Well, this was fun. Thank you so much for being here.

Ryan McFadden 20:36
Hey, thank you for having me. It’s great. It’s

Catherine Hover 20:37
fun. A lot of fun. Thanks. I hope you enjoyed this bonus episode. What’s on the table brought to you by Henry sheets app from last year’s last toast. Cheers. Let’s do this thing. Yeah, it was busted bar. Let’s go.

Ryan McFadden 20:53
That’ll make your Monday go off right.

Catherine Hover 20:56
Thank you for listening to this podcast. And if you want to connect with me slide into my DMs on Instagram. My handle is Catherine hoever.

Transcribed by