Hudson: Susan Simon’s Guide to her Favorite Places to Eat and Shop in Hudson
Susan Simon is a James Beard award-winning cookbook author, a freelance journalist, she writes a weekly food column for newspapers in Columbia County and Greene County called “Susan Simon Says – Food for Thought”. She still writes for her old paper and magazine on Nantucket, and is a former caterer. She moved to Hudson three years ago, from New York City “kicking and screaming” - it was difficult to leave the City - but, right now is very happy that she did. She has quickly become involved with the both food community, and the literacy community in the public schools. Below Susan shares her address book of favorite places in and around Hudson.
Catskill Mill Food Truck: What a discovery - the best use of local produce that I have eaten in the area. Vietnamese inspired food; Banh Mi made with local sausage, local barbequed chicken, Garbanzo Tofu, Coconut Noodles with Poached Chicken. Chef Hannah Black has really made great, great use of the local products, especially the herbs and leaves that are so prominent in Vietnamese food.
Farmer’s Wife: Is in Southern Columbia County – first it’s a beautiful drive to get there - it’s a great “slam-the-screen-door” kind of place with delicious breakfasts and lunches, and wonderful baked goods. They have a smoker in the back yard where they smoke the beef for their mouth-watering brisket sandwiches. They also make wonderful buttermilk fried chicken.
Local 111: Is a restaurant about fifteen minutes outside Hudson, owned by a very young chef, Josephine Proul who prides herself on using all local ingredients. Her food is very fresh and imaginative. The space, a converted service station is welcoming and friendly.
Henry: Is the brainchild of the artist Nancy Shaver and she considers the shop a part of her art work. She collects quirky things, which she sells in her shop. You can buy interestingly-shaped old finials, vintage Japanese fabric, rope, spool furniture, and Navajo rugs. She has a unique eye. She is part of the Robert Gober show at MoMa right now.
Rural Residence: Is one of the oldest house wares shops in Hudson. They carry a variety of things. I buy Diptque scented candles, bees wax tapers there. It’s a good spot to buy gifts: beautiful embossed birthday cards, quilted jewelry cases, a great variety of books, and little packets for seeds.
Rogerson's: Is an old fashioned hardware store in the center of Hudson - you don’t have to go out to the mall. My favorite thing to buy there is jute twine. Not only do I like to use the twine to wrap around packages, and bunches of flowers, the roll is also a beautiful object. I have keys made there, and buy brass numbers. Rogerson's is everything that you dreamed a hardware store should be.
Tractor Supply: Tractor Supply, as the name implies, is the place to get everything for your tractor, and for your farm. You can get reins for your horses, you can get fences to keep your chickens in, and in the spring time you can also buy baby chicks. But, I buy, Levi’s there. They carry Oshkosh clothing, great, all-weather boots, and sometimes I buy things for my garden. I love going to Tractor Supply, I love the atmosphere.
2 Note: Is a new shop in town, two women, both musicians (that’s the reason for the name - 2 Note). Their shop was in Portland Maine before they moved to Hudson. They make botanical beauty products; hand soap, shampoo, shaving cream, shower gel, all sorts of things for to freshen your home, and insect repellents. Each group of items comes in different scent combinations - I am particularly fond of Aria – a mix of Moroccan rose, grapefruit and Vetiver.
Tommy’s: I go to Tommy’s for a pedicure, but its more than just a pedicure, because he gives the best leg massage that I have ever had. He massages with all sorts of creams, sloughs off the dead skin, and puts hot rocks on your legs just before he puts on the polish on your toenails. You can also have wonderful manicures and facials there.
Bonfiglio and Bread: Bonfiglio and Bread is a bakery that happened because, “necessity is the mother of invention”, Gaby Gulielmetti and Rachel Sanzone moved to Hudson from the City and found themselves in the need of good bread. They started out by making baguettes in their basement and graduated to this bakery that has the most delicious bread. I am fond of the filone with sesame seeds, quinoa bread, and I love the cinnamon swirl which is like a brioche bread with cinnamon swirl through it and then a crackling sugar glaze on top. I love breakfast there, especially the bowl of avocados, yogurt, and croutons with poached eggs, chili oil and lime zest on top; the delicious pizzas, sandwiches and seasonal salads for lunch. Their tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich. Can’t be beat. Their amazing pasties - they make croissants and all their turnovers with Kouign Aman dough which is so buttery and flaky; almond, ham and cheese, chocolate, and the crispest croissants.
Hudson Food Studio. A relatively new restaurant in Hudson which serves a kind of Pan - Asian food. The chef/owner, David Chicane, has had many restaurants in other locations, in New York State and in New Hampshire. He makes good Asian-inspired food; Sesame-crusted Tofu with local Greens, Crab Cakes, and Spring Rolls, all with fresh ingredients that he sources from nearby farmers.
Grazin’ Diner: Here’s the place to go when you are in the mood for a good burger and you want to be ethical about it. The burgers at this 50s-style diner are made from grass fed cattle that have all kinds of government seals of approval. The delicious burgers come with fries that are made from Columbia County potatoes, and there is always some sort a pickle on the plate. There are more than burgers on the menu - they make wonderful onion and chicken soups. They also have something for vegetarians, a mushroom burger.
Finch: A great collection of things for the home, and gifts. They carry John Derian, Astier de Villate, scented candles, various Eau de Parfum, a beautiful collection of handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry, well-chosen books, garden accessories, Mid-Century furniture pieces, and lamps.
Lick: Is an ice cream parlor on lower Warren Street and it is the bane of my existence, I love ice cream and Lick carries absolutely delicious ice cream with ever changing flavors. Each time I go in there, there is always something new to taste - I‘m very fond of the Chocolate Halvah, and I love the Cleopatra which is toasted coconut with a swirl of date puree through it. The place is painted shocking pink on the inside, which immediately puts you into a good mood.
Les Indiennes. Is an outlet for their own label, beautiful, very elegant, hand blocked - on top-quality muslin - Indian designs that are made up into yardage, pillowcases, curtains, duvet covers, quilts, coverlets, napkins, and tablecloths. They’ve just begun to carry their own wallpaper as well. Excellent deals on discontinued items.
Pondside Nursery: Has a wonderful selection of annuals, perennials and plants for the shade. I have a lot of shade in my back yard and I like their choices of unusual and interesting plants. Plus they have a very helpful staff.
Hudson Mercantile: Has a small shop on Warren Street and a huge spot on Allen Street. They carry vintage items, antiques, Mid-Century Modern, and reproduction pieces, in their enormous, as big as a football field, filled-to-the-brim space.
Hudson Farmer’s Market: The Hudson Farmer’s Market is every Saturday morning from May to November, then it moves indoors to the rectory at Christ Church for the winter time. There are between twenty and thirty vendors, of all kinds of things; bread, flowers, produce, prepared foods, cheese, meat, and herbs. I am particularly fond of Cedaroth Farm’s flowers and Chaseholm Farm Creamery which makes a very tasty selection of cow’s milk cheese at their farm in Southern Columbia County. Chaseholm brings their neighbor Jack’s charcuterie as well, which is called Jacuterie. I like all the produce farmers; they are almost all organic, or as organic as they can be.
Hudson Farmer’s Market - Chaseholm Farm Creamery - cheese
Hudson Farmer’s Market - Jacuterie - charcuterie
Hudson Farmer’s Market - Cedaroth Farm - flowers
Claverack Agway: Is the place I go for all of Allegra’s food. Allegra is my dog. The store has two resident labs, Dodge and Raya, who greet us when we come there. I also buy garden hoses, seeds, fertilizer, and refill the gas tank for my outdoor grill at the Claverack Agway.