A blog about Hudson, New York

De Gustibus Why Not Disputandum?

Sometimes I think I’m the only omnivore amongst the regular Hudson bloggers (but then I remember Trixie Starr’s Gay Hudson.com and Hungry in Hudson –the names of both of which their authors might be willing to exchange on occasion.)  As much as I admire the other ones –SamPratt.com and Carole Osterink’s Gossips of Rivertown— however,  and no matter how often I agree with them and the particular zeitgeist of the town they brilliantly express and report on, I do occasionally feel the need to quibble.  Herewith a compendium of a few gustatory and somewhat related ethical and political differences:

I Confess:

that I very much like the pulled pork sandwich at the American Glory trailer/stand on 5th and Warren (and think it’s a good deal: $6.50). Although initially as perplexed as everyone about the logic for its existence,  I also think that the stand itself is an acceptable use for the spot,  not to mention a far quieter place to have a meal than the main branch a block away. As for the issue of being a consumer of the pork itself:  nolo contendere.

I Confess:

…that I am having trouble with the concept of calling pet owners those pets’ “humans”– as if a reification of our own species will mitigate an implied injustice of our possession of other ones, even those which (whom?) have evolved through the millennia specifically for that purpose. (Dogs, in other words.) Anyway,  the use of the phrase — particularly as expressed in  a recent Gossips post about the happy reunification of one such pet, a Chihuahua named Barbie, to her “rightful human”  or, a sentence later, of  “Barbie and her ecstatic human” — gives me an odd Planet of the Apes feeling.   (Just think of how it would feel if your Chihuahua started introducing you in that way to others–with appropriate Spanish accent of course. I can actually picture The New Yorker cartoon now.)

I Confess:

….that I have succumbed, after resisting for many years now, to a favorite of my parents when they used to weekend up here in Columbia Country:  the all you can eat Grand Buffet Chinese restaurant on Green Street, which is still a good deal at 7 bucks for lunch.  (It was the only reason they ever came into Hudson during the 80s and 90s , back when the price was …what, a nickel? It’s also true that my dad has since died — and  his diet was never a help to his health –but my mom, who also liked dining there, looks fab and is currently kicking up her heels in the Hamptons.)  This despite the fact that the food can leave one with one of the more intense msg buzzes and that everyone thinks the staff is slave labor. (It’s not:  I, at least,  tip fifteen percent.)  Frankly I think the place should be renamed Cherry Pick, the key to enjoying, let alone surviving, a meal here.  Recommended dishes: the salmon and eel sushi,  roast chicken, baby clams with garlic sauce, pork with scallions, chicken with mushrooms,  chow mai fun, the egg drop soup, and  dim sum (at least when its fresh).  Another fillip of eating at Grand Buffet:  you’ll be thinner than anyone else in the room for the first time in ages. Interesting tidbit:  It was given a top rating by the Columbia Country Board of Health.

That’s about it I guess.

Mea culpa, hail Mary and bon appetit!       — Scott Baldinger

4 Responses to De Gustibus Why Not Disputandum?

  1. Scott — I don’t recall ever writing about the quality of the food at American Glory, or about pets having “humans,” nor indeed anything at all about Grand Buffet. (Been there once, under duress, due to the presence of house guests with 7 young, hyperactive kids; no one else would have ’em, or had enough chocolate pudding to sate them.)

    But since I’ve nevertheless been dragged into said quibbles, I’d just note one stunning thing about Grand Buffet: Its owners were found a few years ago to be engaged in human slavery. (Or at least the previous owners, though one gets the impression that only the corporate names have changed.) Employees were kept effectively in prison, and could never work off what they owed for being brought into the country. GB was shut down for a while, and some jail terms handed out. Then they opened right back up.

    That’s probably the most extreme reason one could imagine for shunning a Hudson restaurant, unless there’s one run by cannibals… But I’m pretty sure that all the cannibals moved out to Greenport a back in the 70s.

    Best,

    –S.

    (In all seriousness, though: For some of us, the tastiness of some establishments’ fare or the desire to see a certain film is not the issue. If a place’s owner has a toxic effect on the life of the town, some won’t go no matter what culinary or cultural temptation is on the menu. It’s voting with one’s pocketbook, and sticking to one’s guns. In a small town, unlike a big city, these hard choices sometimes have to be made.)

  2. (P.S. The labor thing is not just some idle rumor. Money laundering charges, too. Shuttling employees in vans between none locations. Owners faced up to 35 years in jail. November 2004 this went down, iirc.)

  3. This column shows that you’re not just a nice guy, obviously raised by parents who weren’t pretensious, but also someone whose mission is not to write a blog that mocks, degrades, demeans, or pokes fun at the locals.

    Thank you writing a blog that EVERYONE can enjoy.

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