I did a three-day juice cleanse recently with Raw Juice Guru that made me want to continue on a greener eating path. Never mind that the day after I finished this cleanse, I ate poutine and cupcakes at an event. Everything in moderation, n’est pas? Every few days I’ve walked past Loving Hut at Spadina and Richmond without stopping to figure out what they serve. Having lunch nearby one day, my friend mentioned that he liked going to Loving Hut for vegan food. I was surprised and said that the font used for the restaurant made me think of a pseudo-Asian restaurant but with nicer décor and without plastic tablecloths. Turns out my font eyes weren’t totally wrong.
Loving Hut is actually a franchise of vegan restaurants with owners in Taiwan. Locations are popping up all over the US and around the world but in Canada you’ll only find restaurants in Toronto and Vancouver. The Taiwanese beginnings may explain the many Asian-inspired dishes on the menu. The food is organic, vegan, non-GMO, nut-free and contains no MSG. Dear Lord, what can there possibly be left to eat? Turns out there’s a lot, and it tastes good. Thai curry, mixed vegetable chow mein, pad thai and summer rolls are some of the best-sellers. There’s plenty of tofu, tempeh and soy protein on the menu to make up for the lack of meat.
The What a Burger!!! ($9.95) leads me to believe it is so delightful that it requires the three exclamation marks. The homemade organic vegan patty is made mostly of chickpeas, potatoes and spices. It doesn’t have the texture of other meatless burgers that are often made with beans, rice and grains. This one, though pleasant, is like eating a nice mashed potato patty. It’s served on an organic flourless bun with typical burger accompaniments like relish, mustard, tomatoes and lettuce that are also organic. And could anything appear more guilt-free than crisp organic fries?
Vinh Lu, a manager at Loving Hut, says many customers walk in without realizing they’re in an organic vegan restaurant and are pleasantly surprised to discover that vegan food doesn’t have to be bland.
The philosophy behind Loving Hut is to promote a healthy and more environmentally sound eating lifestyle that is kind to animals and the planet. If eating organic fries and onion rings contributes to this cause, sign me up.