HUDSON, NY — This little Columbia County city has long been known for its top-flight restaurants, so anyone hoping to open another is always looking for an edge.
Grazin’, which will open Saturday at 717 Warren Street, has that edge, It is the first restaurant in the nation to be an Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) operation.
That means it is first in the U.S. to use only meat, eggs and dairy products certified by the AWA organization. Restaurants can earn the designation only if all such products are from AWA-approved farms.
Dan and Susan Gibson and his family own and operate both Grazin’ Angus Acres farm in Ghent, Columbia County, and the new Grazin’ restaurant. Signature menu items at the classic 1950s-style stainless steel diner will include a range of eight different burgers, all made using local Grazin’ Angus Acres’ 100% grass fed and finished Black Angus beef, served with hand-cut organic fries, plus a range of homemade organic ice creams and house-made organic sodas from an old-fashioned fountain.
“For some time now, I have dreamed about opening a truly sustainable restaurant which serves tasty, nutritious meals using only high-welfare, sustainably produced meat and other ingredients,” says Dan Gibson. “Grazin’ is that restaurant. We only source our meat, milk and eggs from other Animal Welfare Approved farms who share our concerns about high animal welfare and environmentally friendly farming. And as we only use local suppliers, most of our ingredients will have travelled less than 11 miles from farm to plate, minimizing the carbon footprint of every meal.”
Grazin’s “Farm to Table – Direct” menu features fresh beef, pork and eggs from Grazin’ Angus Acres and fresh milk and pork from Milk Thistle Farm in Ghent, as well as cheeses from Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet, VT, and Finger Lakes Dexter Creamery in King Ferry, all certified by the AWA.
Other ingredients are also sourced from local farms and suppliers, wherever possible. Grazin’ will make its own butter and ice cream from the fresh milk from Milk Thistle Farm and its signature menu items will be the eight different versions of the Angus burgers and organic fries. Hawthorne Valley Farm will also custom make the organic burger buns and other baked goods.
Andrew Gunther of AWA, says, “We are proud that Grazin’ is the first restaurant in the country to serve meals using only Animal Welfare Approved meat, eggs and dairy products. And diners can rest easy knowing that our farms are certified to the most stringent animal welfare standards, as recognized by the World Society for the Protection of Animals.”
Of course, starting any new venture always brings with it a certain set of problems. On August 16, Dan Gibson wrote on the Grazin’ website:
“Well, folks … we got our keys yesterday! And, as luck would have it, we turned on the water and discovered that every pipe was leakong … replacing all of the plumbing will certainly delay our opening, but we will keep you posted – please check back with us to follow our progress. We are so excited about the opportunity to soon serve the finest local organic and sustainable food our community has to offer? “
Now, it’s about to be real, and Grazin’ will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, as well as 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Sunday brunch. Phone: (518) 822-9323.