Ten Reasons To Go to Hubbell & Hudson Market & Bistro (Think Burgers and Dry-Aged Steaks)

The Woodlands restaurant scene is maturing quickly, and while there are several brand new restaurants and markets in the area, Hubbell & Hudson Market & Bistro is a place you can't miss.

Hubbell offers a multitude of options for you to satisfy your culinary needs - it's not your typical specialty grocery store. If you have shopped or dined in Hubbell, you will agree that it's a necessary place to stop while visiting The Woodlands. So, without further ado, here are the top ten reasons you need to visit Hubbell & Hudson.

10. Gourmet Food To-Go

Yes, dining inside the bistro can be a bit pricey, but you can purchase most of those dishes off of the bistro menu, as well as other chef-prepared items, at the Gourmet To-Go counter. Each item is pre-cooked, so all you have to do is heat it in the oven or microwave before serving - so much better than any frozen dinner. Bring a smorgasbord of food home for the family: lasagna, haricot verts, mushrooms, chicken, and more. Hubbell also has a microwave in the small dining area on the first floor, so you can heat a plate of food and eat inside. Or, gather some cold foods, such as beets or tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, to eat as is.

9. Baking Supplies

Hubbell's grocery section has an array of baking ingredients, supplies and decorating items, helping you decorate a specialty item, be it a cake, pie, cookies or cupcakes. From the variety of colorful sprinkles to the special jams, jellies and sweet sauces for fillings, you can make an incredible baked creation.

8. Burger Bar

Make a burger at brunch, lunch or dinner at the burger bar inside the market. Just about any burger is scrumptious, but if you can't make a decision, order the Bistro Burger; it's a signature item and a must-have for anyone ordering a hamburger for the first time inside the grocery store, or at the bistro. Located in the sandwiches section on the brunch and lunch menus, this eight-ounce sirloin patty is topped with oven-dried tomatoes, Vermont cheddar and applewood-smoked bacon, all between a challah bun. The sweetness from the oven-dried tomatoes, smoked bacon and challah, paired with the melted Cheddar and juicy sirloin patty, make this burger one of the best items here.

7. Gelato

It's a perfect treat for the kids to enjoy while walking around the store, or as an after-movie date-night dessert. Hubbell has a wide variety of specialty gelatos, so whichever type you crave, they've got it. Those who love fruity flavors should opt for the raspberry gelato - it never disappoints - or the strawberry, but there are always pistachio and chocolate. Hubbell also offers seasonal flavors. Purchase a cup of the honey pumpkin before it's gone.

6. Chocolates

Not only are these beautiful to look at, but the artisan chocolates taste absolutely incredible. Each truffle and chocolate is coated in a glossy color to reflect the flavor, and are decorated with gorgeous designs. The chocolates are almost too pretty to eat, but once you take a bite you won't care that you demolished the design. The chocolate is smooth, creamy and satisfies any craving you might have. Create a box for a gift, or grab a couple for yourself and sit down with a cappuccino or latte from the coffee counter for an after-dinner snack, or just because.

5. Not So Cuban, Cuban Sandwich

All of the sandwiches at Hubbell are tasty - you can't go wrong with any choice. But, the best bet is the Not So Cuban, Cuban. For those of you who don't really like a pickle in your sandwich, but love the rest of the Cuban flavors, this sandwich is for you. Freshly sliced pork and Black Forest ham, plus baby Swiss cheese, are pressed between two slices of ciabatta coated with a spicy Asian sauce. The crispy, crusty bread, with the tender sliced pork and ham and creamy cheese, make one heck of a sandwich.

4. Farm-to-Market Produce

Hubbell's produce section has all the basic fruits and vegetables, as well as some you've never seen before. Hubbell supports local farmers markets by selling some of their products, including apples, pears, mushrooms, squash, potatoes and more.

3. Dry-Aged Beef

If you can purchase only one item at Hubbell, make it the dry-aged beef. When the butchers place the meat in the dry-aging case (which you can see at the butcher counter), the meat loses up to 20 percent of its weight, mostly water, resulting in a piece of steak with a nutty flavor and extremely tender texture. If you're entertaining guests, or want an amazing steak for dinner, these steaks are sure to please

2. Samples

Which brings me to the next reason to visit Hubbell - the samples. Hubbell never fails to provide samples of products, and I believe their marketing ploy works, because once I try something I want to buy it. The produce section always has slices of refreshing fruit and fresh-squeezed juice concoctions, and the meat department usually has tender pieces of steak, sausage, bacon or whatever the specialty of the day is. Not sure which bread or pastry to take home? Hubbell has several samples of sweet and savory breads, as well as tastings of cakes, cupcakes and cookies. Samples are definitely a necessary component for a grocery store filled with so many options.

1. Cooking Classes

Whether you want to learn how to bake and create cake pops, start with the basics of cooking, or cook a menu for a special occasion, there's a class for you at Hubbell. The market and bistro offer cooking classes just about every day, and most last for three hours. Each instructor is a trained chef and they will answer any questions you have throughout the class; they are there to guide each group as each cooks its way through the menu. But in addition to cooking scrumptious dishes and learning new techniques, the best part is sitting down to eat what you made - with a glass of wine, of course. If you're unable to sign up for a class or want to see one in action before you commit, sit upstairs and watch one of the classes through the windows that look onto the classroom.

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