Hu Kitchen: A New Way of Eating

Hu Kitchen: A New Way of Eating

When you work in an office that is predominantly female, you have to expect that chatter around the water cooler is often going to revert to diets and dieting. Recently, our conversations here at the IN New York offices have revolved around the oh-so-buzzy Paleo Diet: a food philosophy that promotes eating like our Stone Age ancestors, with a strong focus on fruits and veggies, lean meats and fish, nuts and seeds. Hu Kitchen, a casual, take-out or eat-in dining spot on lower Fifth Ave., has been getting a lot of press for their Paleo-focused food offerings. The website alone impressed me, offering not only the standard menu and basic restaurant info, but describing, in a clear, simple format, how to eat "paleo" in general, with what they call their Food Pillars ("if you are going to eat animals, demand they ate what they were meant to eat...cows and fish aren't meant to eat grains"). And, so, my colleague and I decided it was time for a trip to Hu.

Left: Bison meatloaf and sweet potato mash. Right: organic roasted chicken and mixed wilted greens.

Walking into the Union Square-area restaurant, you first notice a small bar nook, filled with people sipping organic juices and shakes, whose base is made of what looks like tree stumps.  The clean, industrial look of the bilevel space was inviting:  there are also areas of packaged food to purchase, a mirrored wall, and a hot and cold food area. A table was set up with sample cacao chips, and a friendly staff at the food counter helped my colleague and I navigate through the hot lunch offerings (for me: organic roasted chicken with hot mixed greens: for her, a wild bison meatloaf and a sweet potato mash). We took our sturdy metallic trays upstairs for seating, admiring the fact that here, in what is basically an eat-and-go fast food joint, real silverware was given for eating utensils and real glasses to fill with water.  The chicken was tender, the greens, though a tad oily, were flavorful, spiked with cloves of garlic, and the bison meatloaf was light and delicious with just the slightest kick to it. The final consensus: Hu Kitchen is a great spot to fill up an empty stomach with the kind of organic eating that would make your prehistoric relatives swoon.

» Hu Kitchen, 78 Fifth Ave., 212.510.8919