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Thanksgiving at Kutsher's Country Club

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Just back from a four day stint at Kutsher's with Jeremy and 17 other members of my family, and thought it would be a worthy update to post on this legendary Catskill hotel with the voluminous quantities of food -- different comedians on consecutive nights at the Stardust Room tell the same old, comforting jokes about it; it's the topic of conversation morning, noon and night in the lobby, pool, steam room, etc.

In a way, it kinds of sneaks up on you. The first day, you arrive, you're hungry; lunch and dinner on Thanksgiving day seem unimaginable but become plausible as you run from physical activity to physical activity all through the afternoon. Every meal has a printed out menu, and the joke is that while you're conditioned to pick one juice, one soup, one appetizer, certainly one entree, and one dessert, at Kutsher's you can pick as many of anything as you want. So a main dish of chicken can be accompanied by a 'side' of steak.

Alas, alas, it won't be a *good* chicken or a *good* steak. The food is almost universally mediocre. The first thing I (Jeremy speaking, now) ordered at my first meal was borscht -- I figured hey, this is the Borscht Belt, right? What I got resembled closely beet-flavor Nestle Quik. Blandness is the order of the day.

If you go, try to stick with fatty dishes -- the steak and roast beef were fairly good, the baked ziti is quite satisfying, "scallop-style" (whatever that means) fried fish was toothsome. The fat and salt sort of make up for the lack of other seasonings. Oh, and the hot chocolate is very good too. Nova lox are bad but pickled lox are good.

One thing that's quite entertaining is the wording of the menu. I'm not sure what the genesis of this is, but French words are used whenever possible to describe the dishes, even when totally inappropriate. My favorite was alphabet soup, described as "Consomme de ABC".

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  1. as one of those 17 family members, I'd just like to say that iceberg lettuce rules at Kutchers. Most noteworthy was the menu listing daily for beverages which included parve margerine!

    9 Replies
    1. re: mindy

      I hate to say it, but the food at Kutschers is INEDIBLE and I cannot imagine eating there for Thanksgiving. That would be like a cruel joke. But I'm glad you had a good time. I had fun last time I went -- despite the food.

      1. re: Yael

        Hate to disagree but i'm a semi- professional food critic and went to a meeting of the Catskills Institute last summer at Kutschers and found the food excellent-as much as heavy, old fashioned Jewish cuisine could be! It was unpretentious and quite edible.If you dont like this kind of food, I suggest you try Le Bernadin or the Union Square Cafe

        1. re: mike berman

          I've vacationed at Kutchers for MANY years. Granted it's been a few years since I've been there I can't imagine a hotel with a better cullinary intent. Kutchers has always been a top notch, hard working establishment...even if the Pickled Herring was in short supply at my last visit. Man, the things we Jews remember! :)

          1. re: Barry Gordon
            s
            Susan Hoffman

            We've been going to Kutsher's for about 8 years now (my son keeps meeting girls there -- he's almost 16 -- so he insists on returning). The trick to eating there is to know what's good and what isn't. When the Lakeside Cafe is open (weekends during the summer, last year), it's definitely worth going to -- it's as close to nouvelle kosher as you can get in the Catskills. The grilled veggie pita and the turkey burger (at the Cafe) are particular standouts. The fake Chinese is not worth trying. The fake Mexican is even worse. But the omelets are good at breakfast, the knishes and potato pancakes are good choices at lunch, chicken is usually safe at dinner. Remember -- if you don't like what you order, you can order another entree. The entire package (sports, kosher food, and keeping the kids busy) can't be beat.

            1. re: Barry Gordon

              Do you know by chance, what kind of crowd goes to Kutchers in the Summer?

              1. re: Barry Gordon

                Interested in reservations for Christmas week. Ten people. Rates and activities ,shows!

                1. re: Barry Gordon

                  I worked front desk there for 3 years in the 70's, what fun for a 18 yr. old, great friends, great fun

                2. re: mike berman

                  Can you send me your 800 number. Thank you.

              2. re: mindy
                a
                Alan and Nydia Crescas

                Please send me the proper dept to call for making reservations or the proper email to do it on line.

                Thank you---

                Nydia Crescas