The Loving Hut is a vegan cuisine chain with locations throughout the US and world. The Pittsburgh (Robinson) location recently opened, and I was able to try it out this past Friday. I took my friend Kat with me, and I was happy that she was brave enough to come with me. I had heard some things about the restaurant, such as it may be related to a cult, and that video loops of the Supreme Master play while you eat. Yeah…I was a little nervous. Not about the food though…I’m all about vegan food, but the atmosphere sounded iffy.
As soon as we stepped into the restaurant, we were greeted by brightness and extreme cleanliness. This place was seriously clean! The tables and chairs are a bright sterile white, and the walls are a relaxing light brown. We were seated at a booth along the wall, which gave us a nice view of the rest of the restaurant. Near the entrance, there was a small refrigerated case that contained items for sale like juices and snacks.
Their menu is the same as the online version, only some items are not available, and each item is changed to be $1 less than its online counterpart. I’m not sure why – possibly because this is Pittsburgh and not California? The menu offers many different types of cuisine – mostly eastern Asian, and there are so many delicious options to choose from. Noodles, tofu dishes, soups…the possibilities were seemingly endless. I really enjoyed the pictures on the menu too :)
We began our lunch by sharing an order of spring rolls. These were great! They were filled with veggies and some type of soy protein. The flavors were fantastic, and I could have just had a bunch of them for my meal!
We were also served piping hot jasmine tea. The best kind of tea for a heavy meal, in my opinion!
I chose the Bun Hue - rice noodles, soy ham, fried tofu, and mushrooms in a deliciously spicy broth, and Kat ordered the Lemongrass Tofu with brown rice. These were both delicious. The soup was way too big to finish, however. I loved how the soup had so many different elements. Each bite was completely different.
The soup was accompanied by chili paste, bean sprouts, lime, and basil, which gave the soup even more flavor and added textures.
Inspirational/earthy messages grace the walls at the Loving Hut, but nothing about their message was too intrusive or interruptive of our meal. There was one TV that played what seemed to be the company’s own station. Different people were reporting on environmental disasters and giving tips on how to make your life more beneficial/less harmful to the earth. It was interesting, but to be honest I wasn’t paying much attention to it.
All in all, my experience was at the Loving Hut was nothing less than positive. I’ll definitely be back, and I can’t wait to try more of the menu items!