Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hu Kitchen

When I first heard about Hu Kitchen, I was simultaneously psyched and wary; psyched about (yet) another GF-friendly spot opening up near Union Square and wary of their "pre-industrial diet" credo. I have an aversion to any prescribed diet that isn't due to medical reasons, but to each his own. I had to run some errands in Union Square this week, so I planned on a Hu Kitchen dinner stop. There's some construction going on near the restaurant - lots of scaffolding, partitions, etc. - so I was glad for the clear signage:

Follow the arrow!

From what I had read about the place, i.e. that you can dine-in or get weighed portions to go, I expected a casual deli style space. So when I walked in, I was literally speechless. You guys, it is so lovely. No, I don't have a picture to show you. I knew one couldn't do it justice. Just go. Go to Hu on a day when you're zipping around running errands and need a peaceful place to pit stop, eat, and recharge for the trip home - or more insane holiday shopping.

While I was taking it all in, a staff member greeted me and asked how she could help. When I started asking about gluten, another staffer chimed in and said that, while Hu isn't certified GF, the only gluten in the restaurant is in some beer. Works for me. With that in mind, I went to check out the prepared food section:

Lovely ... 

if a bit pricey (yes, that one is $35/lb!)

After my sticker shock at some items in the prepared foods area, I checked out other options, like soups ($6/cup, $8/bowl), burgers ($12), and "bowls" ($7/cup, $9/bowl). I finally settled on their organic turkey meatloaf meal (an utterly reasonable $13.50) which came with a choice of two sides, homemade sauces, and a small grainless roll. Behold:

Meatloaf, garlicky escarole, roasted butternut squash, and a grainless roll. 

Delicious. As in audible "mmmh!" from me. I don't know what they add (magic?) to the squash, but it has an amazing flavor and aroma. And those greens? Tender and flavorful. All of it, even the grainless roll (not my bag, usually) was just wonderful - earthy and delicious. I can't wait to go back to try the soup and burger. (And bowl and breakfast sandwiches ... )

And as for my wariness re: the "pre-industrial diet" ethos? Frankly, their food jives with my basic eating MO, which is to eat organic, free range, and local as much as possible. Save for the grainless roll, I make meals similar to their meatloaf plate all the time - they just do it better.

Hu Kitchen is located at 78 5th Avenue. Hours of operation: M-F: 7am-10pm, Saturday: 8am-10pm, and Sunday: 9am-10pm. Phone: 212-510-8919


  1. Hi there! I just found your blog through my cousin Nina, I love it. I am particularly obsessed with Hu Kitchen. Have you tried their brunch? Their version of eggs Benedict is VERY delicious.

  2. Thanks so much, Kathy - for the kind words and recommendation! I didn't even realize Hu served brunch, but it's on my to-do list now. Thanks!