A place to get drinks and food, plus, I’m surrounded by books in downtown Schenectady? You know I had to check it out! Don’t look puzzled if one of your favorite downtown eateries may be slightly different from what you remember pre-COVID!
In February, I mentioned that Puzzles Bakery was gone but a new concept was opening in its place by the same owner, Novel BIBLIO•BREW. Owner Sara Mae Pratt closed the popular Puzzles Bakery during the shutdown with no idea if or when she’d be able to open it again. As she told the Daily Gazette, “It’s certainly at times been a long and thoughtful and emotional journey,” Pratt said. “And, the circumstances surrounding the pandemic kind of gave me the chance to gain a deeper appreciation for things like locally sourced food, just the importance of small businesses in our community.”
If your dream is to have some food in Belle’s library from “Beauty and the Beast,” then don’t miss a stop at Novel BIBLIO•BREW. Their spring menu has options for all kinds of culinary moods you’re in (find the full menu here). I ordered the “Tale of Two Cities” which is a portion of soup and half a sandwich. For a sandwich, I got the pesto chicken (full-sized $9.50) and a cup of tomato bisque ($5). Both were delicious! It was a great serving size too for a light lunch. They also have a full bar with really cute literary-themed drinks to choose from. Bring a book of your own, find a new book to bring home and maybe grab a cookie to go – I did.
They have seating in the front, seating on the patio and a smaller kid-centric room toward the back so plenty of space to meet up with friends. Next time? I have my eye on a flatbread. The hard part will be deciding which one I want!