Thursday, June 10, 2010Hyde Park,
Spending a day in
Hyde Park after our idyllic stay in the Amish Farmlands has thrown us into anaphylactic culture shock. We have gone from the land where pridefulness is a sin to the showplace of the Gilded Age, where owners of splendid mansions vied to outdo each other in their displays of wanton excess. It's the Amish world turned upside-down.
Food: The restaurants around Amish country specialize in all you can eat buffet or family style service of simply prepared country fare. To convey the impression of "Amish-ness," their décor is simple and unadorned. Here in
Hyde Park, we began the day with breakfast at the Eveready Diner, a neon and chrome affair that would permanently injure your eyes if it were any shinier.
We lunched at the Culinary Institute of America's St. Andrew's Café, which is like our Amish country dining options only in that it purports to use locally procured meats, produce and dairy products. What happens to those products once the student chefs in the kitchen get their hands on them is another story. Our meal consisted of small portions of exquisitely prepared and artfully served dishes, enjoyed in a fine dining atmosphere. We also observed that the average weight of our fellow diners was roughly fifty pounds lighter at St. Andrew's Café than at the Good and Plenty in Intercourse. This reinforces my Amish Eating Theorem: If you don't work like the Amish, you should not eat like the Amish.