In the world of cooking and dining lately, local is good. No, that’s not a strong enough statement — local is best.
Food raised and purchased locally saves transportation costs, lowers fuel consumption, and it tastes good besides. My dining companion and I found that out recently when we had lunch at HoQ (pronounced “hawk”) in the East Village.
The restaurant’s motto is “Local farms, global flavor.” This was illustrated further on the menu with a list of suppliers — meat, cheese, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and honey, all coming from within the state.
The menu is small — two soups, two salads, six entrees and a daily feature. Half of the entrees are vegetarian. With a menu like this, you know that the owners are concentrating on doing a few things well.
My companion has been working to get more fish into his diet, so he ordered the burger duo — one local lamb and the other Alaskan salmon — for $12. I chose the grass-fed beef burger for $11. We both opted for side salads instead of fries, and I enjoyed an excellent glass of iced tea.
All of the sandwiches were served on delicious, homemade buns. My burger was topped with white cheddar, lettuce and tomatoes — no need of ketchup or mustard here; the meat had plenty of flavor on its own. My companion’s lamb burger had a subtle hint of spices, and the salmon tasted fresh. Our salads of greens, sprouts and asparagus were dressed with a mustard vinaigrette. Homemade cucumber pickles served on the side reminded me of the ones my mother used to make.
We were pleased and impressed with our meals. I felt like I’d done something good for my body and for the environment. I’ll be back to sample more of the menu.HoQ
303 E. Fifth St.
Mon. – Thur.: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri. – Sat.: 11 a.m. – close
Sunday brunch: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.