Skip to content

Loving Hut and Vegan Chocolate Croissants in Paris

May 21, 2010


I realize that I just posted yesterday, but I thought that the Parisian vegan restaurant Loving Hut deserved its own entry.

The Loving Hut is, I believe, somehow related to Supreme Master Ching Hai International, a corporation founded by Ching Hai (when you walk into Loving Hut, you’ll notice Supreme Master Television playing in the background, although I didn’t find it nearly as annoying as most televisions in restaurants). Ching Hai, as I understand it, is a fairly controversial figure in Buddhism, given her sometimes suspect business dealings (I’m truly not qualified to discuss Ching Hai’s flaws and merits, mind you). However, she has worked to open many vegetarian restaurants around the world, at least one of which is fantastic.

Last night, we went to Loving Hut, which is located on the border between the 3rd and 11th arrondissements, on the Boulevard des Files du Calvaire (this is just five or six blocks further from our apartment than Chez Hanna). It’s a very cute little place, with pleasant indoor and outdoor seating–we ended up sitting in a window. The servers were extremely friendly, and they seem to be used to international travelers, and so our poor French wasn’t the least bit problematic. I wouldn’t exactly call it a fusian restaurant, since each dish was fairly traditional, but they had many different kinds of traditional dishes: French, Chinese, Italian, and American.

The entire menu, we found out, is vegan, so we had some difficult choices to make. Graham got the plat de jour, which included soup, a seitan- and greens-filled pastry, potatoes with yellow lentils, and seitan with an Italian tomato sauce.

I can attest that all of this was fantastic. The soup had a coconut lemongrass broth, with lots of cilantro,and was then filled with different kinds of vegetables. It was very mild, but also very flavorful and fresh-tasting. The pastry (I’m not sure what to call it, and I’d like to avoid the phrase “hot pocket” if possible) was similarly delicious. It looked much like some of the savory pastries we’ve seen sold in cafes and bakeries–golden and flaky on the outside, and filled with ‘meat,’ vegetables, and gravy. The potatoes, I have to say, seemed to me to be uncannily similar to scalloped potatoes, even though they were cooked in lentils, not cream. And the seitan steak with marinara was also very good, although I think that the pastry and potatoes were a little more exciting.

I got a mushroom crepe with a salad.

These were great. The salad had lots of fresh vegetables piled on top of each other, and included *the only raw tomatoes I’ve ever enjoyed eating.* I’ve never liked raw tomatoes, but these little cherry tomatoes were not merely not-gross, but were actually delightful. The salad also came with a very good, mild dressing which was hard to pin down. It was a little sweet, and pretty tangy. Perhaps it contained some miso?

The crepe was very exciting. I’ve seen crepes all over the place, and was wishing I could have one. This crepe was perfect–a thin, fluffy pancake, perfectly browned on one side, and filled with mushrooms, seitan, and white gravy. (I should have taken a picture of the inside.)

Graham then got an espresso, 

and we decided to split a banana split. We didn’t know what we were in for.

 A mound of whipped cream, on top of a layer of chocolate, on top of three scoops of different kinds of homemade ice cream (we decided they must be chocolate, coconut, and hazelnut), on top of fresh banana slices. This was, obviously, amazing.

We then approached the counter to pay, and noticed that they had a tiny little grocery section, with perhaps five different kinds of vegan cheese, vegan mayo (which I immediately picked up to make some bean-of-the-sea salad), and…

Tada! Vegan croissants, imported from this little commune in Southern France:

http://fun.chryzode.org/fr/borie.htm

They come packaged,

but if you just put them in the oven for five minutes, they’re wonderfully fresh, soft, and flaky. What’s more, they’re completely affordable–about 1.10 euros per croissant. 

Now, if you’ve ever scoured the internet for information concerning vegan croissants in Paris, you’ll get a lot of conflicting information. Some say that the kosher bakeries in the Marais make vegan croissants, while others say that those croissants still contain eggs. But I can now confidently say that there are vegan croissants in Paris (although they’re imported) at Loving Hut. And they’re delicious.

And, what do you get when you combine La Borie vegan croissants with vegan chocolate spread?

Pains au chocolat végétalien!

*Update: see the “Crepes!” post for more about Loving Hut’s *real* Pain au Chocolat. https://vegetalienaparis.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/crepes-vietnamese-and-otherwise-also-true-pain-au-chocolate-salads-and-sandwiches/

Advertisements
14 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephanie permalink
    May 21, 2010 4:31 pm

    We have a Loving Hut here! Very different menu, but also inspired by the Supreme Master. I almost always love the restaurants she inspires/endorses (though there was one in Maui that was highly disappointing…)

    So glad you found vegan croissants & this tasty looking restaurants! And I’m really enjoying your updates. 🙂

    Peace!

  2. Faith permalink
    May 21, 2010 5:38 pm

    Wow – I need to not read your blog when I’m hungry (fortunately it’s snack time though, so while I’m not starving, your food trumps mine).

    Looks like you’re having an amazing time exploring – and kudos for figuring out your kitchen and concocting meals in that tiny space so quickly!

    • May 22, 2010 7:21 am

      It’s great to hear from you, Faith!

      I’m having a very good time exploring–it’s my favorite past time.

  3. Gwin Krouse permalink
    May 21, 2010 5:57 pm

    It’s a good thing I just had lunch and am full, or I’d be drooling looking at those dishes, especially the croissants!

  4. Mary Bosch permalink
    May 21, 2010 9:06 pm

    What on earth is a vegan omlet made of?
    …or whipped cream?
    …or this ice cream?

  5. Mary Bosch permalink
    May 21, 2010 9:10 pm

    Sorry–I should have said a vegan crepe…

    • May 22, 2010 7:24 am

      Hi mom!

      Well, I don’t know exactly. Here’s a crepe recipe from VeganYumYum that looks pretty great:

      http://veganyumyum.com/2009/03/spring-crepes-three-ways/

      I would think that the whipped cream involves whipped soy cream, but that’s just speculation.

      I’ve made tofu ice-cream before (in the ice cream maker you gave me!), and that’s not too hard, but the ice cream at loving hut was creamier. I’m not sure how they managed that.

  6. Kiki permalink
    May 23, 2010 2:12 pm

    This dinner looks incredible! I want to go to that restaurant! How are you finding these places, from guidebooks or recommendations?

    Your vegan pain au chocolat looks great too! 🙂

    Do you feel settled in yet, more or less? I hope you’re both doing well!

    • May 23, 2010 7:47 pm

      Hi Kiki!

      The truth is, I found out about a lot of these places using a very useful website called “Happy Cow,” which has long lists of vegetarian restaurants around the world. I’m also just trying to keep my eyes open for things.

      We’re starting to feel settled in. Starting tomorrow I’m going to try to get into more of a work routine, so I’ll probably feel less like a visitor then. We’re doing very well, though–eating lots of good food and getting lots of exercise, which makes me feel great. I hope you’re both doing well, too!

  7. October 28, 2010 12:04 pm

    Can you please share the link for ordering them somehow? I clicked on the link you had but I couldn’t locate the croissants anywhere!!!

    Thanks,
    Dhaval

    • October 28, 2010 12:33 pm

      Hi Dhaval!

      I’m so sorry, but I’m not sure how to order them. I was only able to figure out the town (commune) they come from, but had a hard time finding contact information for the specific bakery. It’s still a mystery to me how the Loving Hut people in Paris heard about them! Here’s what I’ll do: the next time I’m in Loving Hut, I’ll ask them how they order the croissants, and see if they have suggestions for others who would like to order them.

      More later….

    • October 28, 2010 1:16 pm

      After looking at the link I posted, it looks like you can contact the bakery but only *over the phone*. I’m guessing that they’re just a teeny-tiny little business in Southern France with no email. I would think, though, that calling France may be a little pricey, and that shipping them from France may be even pricier! Trop cher pour moi, anyway. I’ll ask around at Loving Hut, in any case.

  8. kris permalink
    January 6, 2011 10:56 pm

    My tummy wonders why they haven’t invented a way to manifest delicious vegan food blog pictures (ie: the crepe) into real life! mMmmm… thank you for your great review!

    Love the Loving Hut concept, by the way. So revolutionary and high time to take veganism global! I found that actually Supreme Master Ching Hai doesn’t own the restaurants; they are individually owned, that’s why they have different menus (like Stephanie said). The restaurants do say she inspired them though 🙂 I think she is super cool for being so outspoken about veganism, but doing it in such a genteel way. I mean, what better way than to inspire world vegan restaurants w/ croissants and crepes! wow

Trackbacks

  1. Vegan Chocolate In Paris « Végétalien à Paris

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: