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[Cheap Eats]

Yummy Hut
The name says it all

on the cheap
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With its neon sign blazing outside, three small tables, and a six-foot photo of the Great Wall of China hanging on the wall, Somerville’s Yummy Hut looks almost indistinguishable from any other Chinese take-out joint. But two things set it apart. First, the adorable name. Co-owner Peter Huang says he spent a month dreaming it up, eschewing the banal staples. " It’s not like ‘House,’ ‘Dragon,’ or ‘Kitchen,’ " he says. " Everything’s named that. " Add to Yummy Hut’s distinctive name the fact that the cuisine comes straight from Chinatown — Huang stole his chef from China Pearl, the powerhouse dim sum restaurant on Tyler Street — and you’ve got a delicious mansion.

Yummy Hut serves huge portions. The spring rolls ($2.95 for two large ones) are crisp, the veggies super-fresh (on offerings like beef with string beans, $8.75). The restaurant opened this May, so it hasn’t worked out all the kinks yet — crab Rangoon ($3.75 for a small order) was a little soggy, and the Buddha Delight ($6.50) could have been more flavorful. But the staff makes up for lingering shortcomings with charming gusto: they don’t ordinarily serve hot tea, but they nuked some up in the microwave when we requested it. Yummy Hut isn’t glamorous, but it serves authentic Chinese food without Boston-style parking hassles. As Huang says, " Sometimes you don’t want to go to Chinatown. So you come here. "

Yummy Hut, located at 217 Highland Avenue, in Somerville, is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m. Call (617) 628-1128.

Issue Date: October 11 - 18, 2001

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