So, since HUE saved the day last weekend after the Fifis debacle, I figure this is long overdue.
I remember a few years ago, when HUE was opening, it was really the talk of the town. I think I may have even made fun of it-there were rumors abound claiming the name was an acronym for "Hip Urban Environment". (I still have no idea if this is true!) And, quite honestly, I don't even remember the first time I went for a meal. I think it may have been for a birthday dinner. But it wasn't for another year that I became a (semi) regular for brunch.
While one can describe the restaurant as being Hip and Urban, those two words have never been used to describe me. Which is why I've always been so surprised that whenever I eat at HUE, I usually feel comfortable and well catered to. And yes, it is a great location for sitting outside and people watching; but at the same time the inside decor is a perfect combination of comfort and sophistication.
My favorite brunch item is the infamous HUE Scramble 2-scrambled eggs with ham, spinach and cheddar cheese served with a sweet potato hash. I can fully admit that the sweet potato hash was the item that initially sealed the deal on HUE being my favorite brunch. For those of us watching our consumption of carbs and refined sugar, sweet potatoes fair much better on the list. Not surprisingly, HUE was one of the very few restaurants in Orlando that was mentioned in the 2005 South Beach Diet Dining Guide. Regardless, the hash is a perfect not too sweet, not too salty side for brunch. And the sauteed mushrooms give the dish a fantastic element of earthiness.
This past week at brunch I broke tradition and had the turkey croissant sandwich. The ultra flakey yet not greasy pastry was filled with turkey, brie, brandy poached pears with a honey creole mustard sauce. I would highly recommend this sandwich...but hold the pile of fries and go for the sweet potato hash instead.
Lastly, with all good brunches come good drink deals. I usually do the flavored mimosas (peach being my favorite) but the Bloody Mary bar is also a big hit. It's hard to describe the giddiness I feel when faced with a buffet of drink mixers. And, let's face it, there really is nothing like being handed a glass with an inordinate amount of vodka in it at noon on a Sunday.
In the end, thanks HUE. I'm sorry I used to make fun of your name. You have proven yourself to be a perfectly nonjudemental friend and are always there when a girl just needs some sweet potato hash. And a mimosa.