Friday, January 18, 2013

Loving Hut Vegan Restaurant, Pittsburgh

I was in the Pittsburgh area last week for work and, while searching for healthier restaurants in the area, came across the Loving Hut, a vegan option, something totally unexpected. Loving Hut has more than 200 franchise locations around the world and each is individually owned, with the freedom to choose its own menu, thus giving a distinctive difference among all of our locations.

I ended up enjoying my first dinner so much that I went back the second night as well! I may have gone a bit overboard with ordering, but I wanted to give it justice. Both nights I ordered carryout and paired with the hotel's house Sauvignon Blanc, an inspired pairing!

Loving Hut Appetizers


Crispy Rolls -- carrots, mungbean, fungus, vermicelli, tofu, with sweet sour sauce. Not sure how some restaurants do it when others can't, but these rolls stayed steaming hot (as did all the food), even after the drive back to my hotel, an extended wait at the hotel bar for a glass of wine, and then up to my room. Very tasty.

Golden Wontons -- home made wontons: vegan ham paste, dried mushroom jicama, with plum sauce. Slightly too much wrapper to filling, but hot and tasty!

Jumbo Drumsticks -- made with King mushrooms, Snow White mushroom, tofu, soy ham, Enoki, ginger sauce and sesame seed. I must admit that, while these tasted pretty good, they were also somewhat creepy, as they mimicked chicken tenders too closely for my taste.

Loving Hut Entrees

Lucky Chowmein -- stir fried yellow noodles with broccolli, cauliflower, carrot, bokchoy, bell pepper, fresh mushroom, cabbage, onion, garlic, cilantro and soy protein, tofu and vegetarian mushroom sauce. One of the better chow meins I've had recently. Veggies remained crisp, noodles were firm.

Fabulous Mongolian -- soy protein slices, red and green bellpeppers, onions, green onions, celery, cilantro and with hoisin sauce, with a side of brown or white rice with sesame seeds. Good replica of Mongolian Beef, tasty, hot, plenty of veggies as well.

Loving Hut Desserts

Chocolate Cake the first night was quite good, though a bit dry. Chocolate chips throughout saved the day. Pandan Cake the second night was a lurid green, a bit on the sweet side, but an interesting new dessert to have tried.

Finding a restaurant while on travel that is 100% vegan was a godsend and I enjoyed both meals. One complaint is that the dishes remain too committed to copying/replacing the meat versions -- since the menu is heavily based on Vietnamese cuisine (in my opinion), it seems like they could have focused just a bit more on the vegetables themselves. That being said, everything was very tasty, remained piping hot until I was ready to eat, and paired wonderfully with my wine choice.

Loving Hut on Urbanspoon

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  1. Nice find for you! And now you know you can look for the name in other locales when traveling.

  2. Yum-o! What a treat to find! I still want to check out the one in Chicago. Have you been to that one yet? :)

    1. I haven't yet, Kim -- until this one, I'd never heard of them, kind of surprising since they have 200+ locations.