Grazin’ Hudson on Warren Street, the lively main street in downtown Hudson (Columbia County), New York, is grilling up what is hands-down the very best burgers money can buy. This small diner in New York’s Hudson Valley should be a destination for anyone hungering for a flavorful, juicy and tender beef burger.
A mindful eater would have to agree with the conclusions of a recent new study issued by the World Resources Institute, which spotlighted the drastic changes needed in the next few decades in order to feed billions more people without inciting a climate catastrophe, as reported by Brad Plumer in Can We Grow More Food on Less Land? We Must (New York Times, 12/6/18). Reporter Plumer notes that in the past, researchers have suggested that the key to a sustainable agriculture system is to persuade consumers to eat far less meat and waste far less of the food that’s already grown.
This new study also emphasizes that there must be a focus on a major shift in farming practices worldwide. One example of needed change emphasizes that the best-managed grazing lands can produce four times as much beef per acre as poorly managed lands and could help satisfy rising meat demand while lessening the need to clear broad swaths of rain forest, now under threat, in Brazil.
Dan and Susan Gibson, the owners of Grazin’ Hudson, deserve praise, for their Grazin’ Angus Acres, a 500 acre farm in Ghent (Columbia County), New York, the source for the beef used in their family’s Grazin’ Hudson diner. Their nearby farm employs a holistic, synergistic, rotational grazing system combined with numerous eggs mobiles to produce great tasting and healthy animal proteins while also restoring the land as noted in Our Story on the Grazin’ Hudson’s website. They trumpet their laudable standing as the first completely Animal Welfare Approved restaurant in the world.
On a wintry day, unexpectedly snowless in upstate New York, this occasional meat eater, who maintains a mostly vegetarian diet, decided to indulge in Grazin’ Hudson’s basic burger, The Grazin’, noted on the menu as the original, lightly seasoned 6 OZ. burger with fresh greens & tomato (when available). Other options included The Uncle Dude, chipotle mayo, organic cheese, Grazin’ Angus Acres bacon, jalapeño relish & fresh greens and The Cowboy, country ham, over easy egg, organic cheese.
These creative and indulgent examples of added ingredients to a burger motivated this diner to customize his basic burger with one of the Customize Your Burger options, Ardith Mae Goat Cheese, which made the basic burger an extra delicious cheeseburger. Ardith Mae Farm is a small Animal Welfare Approved goat dairy in Stuyvesant (Columbia County), New York, which is renowned locally for its fresh chèvre. With the help of Columbia Land Conservancy’s Match Program for farmers and land owners, Ardith Mae Goat Cheese made a home about five years ago for its goats at Monkshood Nursery where there was an empty barn and in the words of Todd & Shereen Wilcox (the cheesemakers), big, beautiful pastures just screaming for some animals.
How satisfying was my Grazin’ basic burger topped with Ardith Mae Goat Cheese on a top-notch organic bun, custom made by Hawthorne Valley Farm Store bakery? Deliciously tender and juicy, even when served at the requested medium well which on the diner’s menu noted it would be pink center. In contrast, rare was noted as red throughout; medium rare, rare center; medium, pink throughout; and well done, no pink.
No surprise that even the bun was light, tender, and perfect. And the extraordinary mindfulness of the sourcing of ingredients for Grazin’ Hudson burgers is also reflected in Hawthorne Valley Farm Store bakery’s certified organic standard: all of the bakery’s flours, grains, nuts, seeds and fruits used are organically or Biodynamically®-grown and for added freshness, the bakery grinds and sifts the wheat and rye on-site.
In short, Grazin’ Hudson is cooking up THE BEST burger money can buy.
(For vegetarians, Grazin’ offers The Veggie burger, made with its own blend of white beans, beets, carrots, onion and cashews topped with buttermilk aioli.)
Grazin’, 717 Warren Street, 518.822.9323, Lunch & Dinner: Mon-Thurs 12:00PM-8:00PM, Fri 12:00PM-9:30PM; Brunch, Lunch & Dinner: Sat 9:00AM-9:30PM (brunch until noon); Brunch: Sun 9:00AM-6:00PM, www.grazindiner.com
(Frank W. Barrie, 1/5/19)