Earlier this summer I picked up a copy of Paleo Magazine while traveling and read about a Paleo-centric restaurant in downtown New York. I knew that I absolutely had to check it out on my next weekend trip to the city. I actually ended up eating brunch there twice this summer and was able to forego the mediocre diner omelette I usually suffice for while traveling.
Hu Kitchen was opened last September by two siblings, Jordan Brown and Jessica Karp. Neither of them have prior experience in the food industry, but they are incredibly passionate about spreading awareness and making nutritious, sustainable food accessible. With a team of knowledgeable advisors, they have successfully opened a restaurant that serves truly “primal” food.
Hu Kitchen has a cafeteria style feel to it and boasts a full coffee, tea and juice bar, a snacks and treats section, fresh meals to-go, and hot entrées made to order. The decor is quite fitting as well, with lots of natural looking wooden beams, tables, and chairs, and dark earth tones from ceiling to floor.
Upon entering I immediately ordered an iced coffee and headed over to the “milk and sugar station”- knowing that I was in for a treat. With organic, grass-fed milk and cream and homemade almond milk along with natural sweeteners such as honey, coconut sugar, and maple syrup, it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t at Starbucks.
After adding a splash of homemade almond milk and just a touch of coconut sugar to my iced coffee, I proceeded to place my order. I simply couldn’t pass on trying their take on two of my previous breakfast favorites: a bacon, egg and kale biscuit and eggs Benedict.
The bacon, egg and kale sandwich is made with cage-free eggs, grass-fed bacon and is served on a coconut flour biscuit. I couldn’t help but order a side of sweet potato hash, which I smothered with homemade ketchup and hot sauce.
The eggs Benedict is essentially a semi-deconstructed version of the sandwich above, piling kale, grass-fed bacon, and cage-free eggs on top of the coconut flour biscuits. The magic however is in the hollandaise sauce, a rich blend of little more than egg yolks and butter. Hu Kitchen happens to make this decadent sauce using cage-free eggs and grass-fed butter- making their version about as nutrient dense as it is delicious.
This type of food, while resembling the original versions found at delis, fast food joints, and diners, results in a quite different experience that carries its effects long after you’ve put the fork down. While I can vividly remembering myself scarfing down a bacon, egg, and cheese McMuffin from McDonalds in about five minutes only to feel hunger pangs a couple hours later, this food is incredibly satiating. I could barely finish both of these dishes, and I didn’t eat again for another 6-8 hours afterwards. That right there, is the difference between nutrient-dense food and empty calories.
We have a long way to go before we are going to see places like this popping up everywhere, but you have to start somewhere. Hu Kitchen has done an incredible job in their first year open and I can’t wait to see what they have planned for the future.
I strongly encourage anyone living or traveling in NYC to stop in for a quick and healthy meal at Hu Kitchen.
78 5th Avenue New York, New York 10011