Takeout Chronicles Lincoln: Hub Cafe

How to order

Hub Cafe makes it simple: order online at www.hubcafelincoln.com and pay by card, or call 402-474-2453 and pay on arrival. The restaurant is located at 250 N. 21st #3, just a hop off the Rock Island Trail. 

What we got

The breakfast bowl, brioche French toast, and four fresh bierocks that we held onto for dinner — beef and cabbage, ratatouille, jerk chicken, and curry. We also ordered a mimosa-to-go for Michael and a bottle of Pōhjala Porcini Porter for me. 

How long it took

For a late Saturday lunch, it took under 20 minutes from the time the order was placed to the time it was ready. I called upon arrival and they brought our brown bag of goodies to my car. If you add a bottled beer or cider, ask because it may not show up on the ticket but does come in on the order. 

Liz’s take

Hub Cafe holds a special place for Michael and I — we had our rehearsal dinner there just six months ago and frequently met friends for brunch. I think I initially got Michael there on the promise of great French toast, and he said the dish lost none of its luster in a takeout box. The raspberry compote and maple syrup were in two tiny containers and soft, sweet cheese smeared one corner of the box. 

I got the breakfast bowl, a fantastic sweet, salty, sour, creamy mess of rice and quinoa, greens, tahini, chili paste, black beans, pickled cabbage and carrots, and a fried egg. It held up great from transport, although it needed a little reheat in the microwave. 

We also ordered one each of Hub Cafe’s bierocks, although if you have a preference you can order more of one type. The lamb/beef/cabbage is a classic Nebraska hit, and the curry is mild with touches of sweet fruit. Michael favored the jerk chicken bierock, which had chicken and rice speckled with fruit. My favorite was the vegetable ratatouille, which was incredibly moist inside without soaking through the bun. We did save these for a later meal and reheated them in our oven for about 10 minutes at 300 degrees. This dried out the bread a bit but would likely be remedied by covering the bierocks with a little aluminum foil. 

A note on the drinks — you can’t go wrong with a mimosa, even in a to-go cup. But if you like a darker beer and mushrooms, the Pōhjala is the unexpected best of both worlds. Its smokiness and woody mushroom flavor are like a trip to a favorite campsite, even from a blanket fort in your living room.

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