Established in main large European cities, The Loving Hut is a place that integrates classic Asian-style meals with local flavors and fares. With only a couple hours to spare, I approached The Loving Hut starved with feasting eyes.
My eyes glazed the menu pondering, “Do I try the noodles? No no, I can eat that in Germany. Should I order the crepe? Oh Oh! What about the quiche?” Everything sounded so appetizing.
The young and kind waiter spoke English as my mind reminisced on eighth grade French class. I remembered the basics of “Oui. Bonjour and très bon.” Sadly, I schools taught languages from our youth.
Clean and chic, the interior gravitates toward white furnishings speckled with a faux flower centerpiece. I sat solo in the café since I arrived promptly at the opening time, noon. Similar to Spain, The Loving Hut is only open for lunch and dinner and they are closed during the “siesta” hours.I waited for lunch while I read vegan French cooking books.
The daily lunch special included a vegetable puree soup, seitan wrap and coconut-nut ball dessert. The waiter asked for my opinion and I replied, “très bon” as I secretly wanted to bathe in a vat of that soup. Creamy, smooth and flavorful, I desired to know this secret recipe.
Earlier that morning, I walked through four districts, or “arrondissements,” so my feet ached, but the soup soothed my starving soul. Upon the service of my second plate, the seitan wrap, my heart melted into a bowl of gelatin-free Jello. The Loving Hut does seitan perfectly.
The taste. The texture. The smell. Everything combined with a slightly spicy sauce, made my “diable” enzymes spit fire to my digestive tract while I enjoyed the slow-food movement with a smile.
This ball perplexed me, but in a good way. With years of cooking, I had no idea how to recreate this treat. The dough, pliable but firm, did not lose its shape. That means either the French know what the hell they are doing in the kitchen, or chemistry wins the award for the best nut ball in town.
Whatever the case maybe, I needed to find a quaint Parisian cafe for a “digestif” after lunch tea or espresso.
What should you try? Honestly, the question should be, "What should you not try?" Let your heart guide you and surely you won't be disappointed.
92, Boulevard Beaumarchais
Paris, 75011 France / Europe
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