I was excited to hear that a Loving Hut opened in Pittsburgh. I'd heard from other vegans that it was really good, but with its touchy-feely name and all-vegan menu, I knew my omnivore husband would be reluctant to go.
I give him credit for agreeing to go last night. Unfortunately it was one of the worst restaurant experiences we've ever had, and neither of us will ever go again.
First, the service was awful. We'd just spent hours shopping for stuff for a home renovation project--flooring, cabinets, etc., so we were starving and thirsty. It took 15 or 20 minutes before anyone even came over to our table, and then another 10 minutes to get our drinks. Our food took forever too. The waitress apologized for the long wait and said dessert was on the house, but I couldn't decipher the bill so wasn't sure if that was true.
Second, the menu was almost entirely focused on fake meat. There were only a few things on the menu that didn't have fake meat--a salad and a panini sandwich with mushrooms and sundried tomatoes that I knew I could easily make at home. Ugh. I don't like fake meat--if I wanted to still eat meat, I wouldn't be a vegan. And it's processed and unhealthy. Yuck! Given my reaction, I felt for my husband, who really struggled to find something he wanted to try (he was hoping for, well, some type of vegetable dish--crazy, huh?).
Third, the quality of the food was poor. I had the Jumbo Drumsticks as an appetizer, made with mushrooms, tofu and soy ham. When I bit into one, there was a whole green onion in the middle of it--what the...? I pulled it out and ate the rest, which had very little taste and pretty much just tasted like fried, breaded something, in not a good way.I ordered the BBQ Noodles because it was something I knew I'd never make for myself, and my husband ordered the veggie burger. The BBQ Noodles had BBQ-flavored fake meat over a giant bowl of rice noodles with a little shredded lettuce on top. The few slices of BBQ fake meat were kinda gross and just didn't taste good. The sauce was so minimal that it wasn't nearly enough to cover all the noodles, so most of the meal was plain noodles with shredded lettuce. The crispy rolls it was served with were good--but they had soy ham in them. I've never heard of a spring roll with ham in it--why do they have to put fake meat in everything???
My husband's veggie burger was drowning in sauce, to the point that he took two bites and then couldn't even hold it anymore because the bun was covered in sauce. So all he ate were the french fries, which he said was soggy.We had the Pandam Cake for dessert. It was good, but not fantastic. It was dry and didn't have too much flavor--it really just tasted sweet.
Thanks to this awful experience, my husband will likely never agree to go to a vegan restaurant again. I have to agree that it was awful, and I wouldn't go again either. I hate to think that omnivores interested in vegan cuisine would try this restaurant and think all vegan food is unhealthy, processed fake meat dishes that aren't very good. In my opinion, Loving Hut not only doesn't help the vegan cause, but hurts it.