I am now a happy resident of the iPhone world. It took me 5 years, but now that I'm here, I'll share my adventures of new-found freedom with you from the eyes of a food photographer. Why freedom? Well, for many years, I carried a point-and-shoot camera with me everywhere. I tried many incarnations of point-and-shoots, and hated them all. Either the battery life sucked, the noise level was too high, it was too bulky, etc, etc. Every time I used one, I'd hate it even more, and would eventually either stop carrying it, or stop using it.
But NOW I have freedom. My phone was always right next to me wherever I went before anyway, so why not have a camera in it? I'm not going to say iPhones replace cameras, especially not my nice, professional grade Canon cameras. No, what an iPhone lacks (and it does lack) in photo-taking, it makes up for in convenience. The convenience of always having it with me, of being able to upload photos no matter where I am, of doing post-editing adjustments on-the-fly, and the convenience of not having people stare at me when I pull a camera out of my bag.
While I've had my iPhone for a few weeks, this is my first play with food photography. Over time I will master food photography on the iPhone, but right now I'm just playing around. And really, when I'm out to lunch with friends, that's all I really want to do anyway.
Onto the food. My friend and I went a little outside our neighborhood to Reynoldsburg, a suburb of Columbus that isn't really known for food. From what my friend read, Loving Hut chooses to put their restaurants in areas that aren't known for vegetarian/vegan friendly food, because they want to create better options for the residents and introduce them to something that might be totally new. What a brilliant idea--every time I go on vacation or travel to an outskirt neighborhood, I'm reminded of how few options there are when it comes to non-chain restaurants and vegetarian-friendly restaurants. While Loving Hut is a chain, it certainly doesn't feel like one.
We decided to order together, so we could try as many things as possible. The prices were super reasonable, so I wasn't worried about over-ordering for the sake of money. I really did enjoy every dish we got, starting with smoothies and appetizers.
To view the whole menu in detail, check out the Reynoldsburg location menu. There weren't many things I DIDN'T want to order, so it was hard to narrow down. I enjoyed both drinks. My Pink Nectar was more of a juice, but with a nice, creamy texture, and my friend's was much thicker, with a really good (but indistinct) flavor. If you're allergic to nuts, it may be hard to eat here, as there are nuts throughout the whole menu and in most of what we ordered.
The Saigon Rolls were fresh and light, but I'll be honest and say I like Nida's rolls better. The soup was really creamy, they use a soy cream cheese base (brilliant!). It tasted like something I'd make at home-in a good way.
The Love Letter salad was a favorite for both of us. I loved the julienned veggies and apples (though a little messy to eat) and the avocado dressing was awesome. The Gyro Wrap had a great sauce on it with lots of dill. The veggie protein in the wrap was really tasty, even by itself. The Thai Curry was my other favorite. A great depth of flavor and textures, very creamy and a really substantial meal I'd love to eat again. I will be making another trip to Loving Hut soon to share the great find with more friends. Vegetarian or not, I think everyone has the potential to enjoy the food. I can imagine my meat-eating friends saying "But it doesn't TASTE vegan!"