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NY eats: Hummus Place

January 3, 2009

In my opinion, the best meals are spontaneous. That way you have no expectations, and you’re usually hungry and stumble upon the most wonderful little places. I knew of Hummus Place, which has 4 locations in Manhattan, since my cousins had eaten there before, but I wasn’t actually intending to eat there.
My mom and I were wandering around on 73rd and Amsterdam when I spotted, below street level, the door to the restaurant. It was freezing cold and we were starving, and ecstatic to find some Middle Eastern food. And talk about cheap!
Lunch special included your choice of hummus plus pita and one appetizer. You could also get a special deal with 3 appetizers.
We ended up ordering the classic: hummus tahini, which was served warm, generously drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sumac, a citrus-y spice.
We requested whole wheat pita, which ended up being the right decision: It was warm, doughy, and chewy, so unlike those flat, tasteless pitas served at most places.

As for the hummus, it was UNBELIEVABLE… honestly the best hummus I have EVER had, Israel included, and I don’t say that lightly. The perfect smooth texture without being completely liquid. The rich, bitter tahini blended with the slightly grainy chickpeas… I’m trying my best to do it justice, but until you experience it, you won’t fully appreciate all that I’m saying.

I also ordered falafel– there were six, perfetly crispy and served on a pool of either cilantro or parsley sauce and tahini. The second my teeth into it, I was in heaven. I hadn’t had falafel this good since Paris this summer. The inside was a tiny bit gummy, but that could easily be ignored. Sandwiched into a hunk of pita and dredged with gobs of creamy hummus, I stuffed my face.

But don’t think that this is all! Quinoa taboulleh was a classic, with the quinoa adding a feathery, light texture.

My mom ordered the most WONDERFUL dish that I’ve never seen before on a restaurant menu, an Israeli dish called Shakshuka– overeasy eggs in a sauce of tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
In the past, we’ve tried baked eggs with mushrooms and breadcrumbs, but they were much too dry. I usually hate runny egg yolks, but combined with the silky texture of the tomato sauce, they bleded into the dish. It was so overly simple, but the kind of wintry dish that warms you from the inside. It would be great over rice, with bread, or even as a pasta sauce. We will DEFINITELY try recreating it at home.

On New Years, we also ordered hummus, labneh (yogurt cheese), and roasted eggplant with tahini from them. Unfortunately, I had already eaten, so I didn’t try them 😦
The atmosphere of the place was great: exposed brick walls and small tables, all concealed and away from the cold. Their salt shakers even had dried chickpeas inside!

To conclude the meal, my mom ordered turkish coffee, which I had never had before and promptly fell in love with. According to her, it was a little watery, but to me, it was amazing: not nearly as sweet as I had been expecting, with a strong cardamom flavor. If I could have this every day, I would become a coffee addict.

So, in conclusion, I would be happy to eat here every day until the day I died.

Upper West Side


305 Amsterdam Ave.
(Bet. w.74th and 75th st.)

Delivery available
from 84th st. to 64th st,
from West End Ave. to Central Park West

West Village


99 Macdougal St. (Between West 3rd St. and Bleecker St.)

Delivery available
from 10th st. to Broom st.,
from Hudson Broadway

East Village


109 Saint Mark’s Place
(Between 1st Ave. and Ave. A)

Delivery available
from 14th st. to Houston st,
from Broadway to Ave. C.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. erica permalink
    January 3, 2009 7:30 pm

    wow, hummus place really does look incredible! especially that doughy looking pita bread. i’ll have to try it for myself one of these days!

  2. Anonymous permalink
    January 7, 2009 5:31 pm

    the new photos are fab, whether of the lake, the kitchen, the house, the food: I’m getting hungry (and it’s lunchtime for me, I realize). I think if you had a small movie camera, it would be great, esp for the lake views. I know an anonymous angel who would very much like to get the food blogger the latest– it’s a Flip Video Mino series — is tiny and holds an hour’s worth of film. you could ask your dad too. it gets raves: check it out

  3. January 8, 2009 10:57 pm

    This is great. Because I’m planning to go to college somewhere near/in NYC, this blog is really helpful in what I’ll end up eating. Good taste + healthy choices is exactly what I want!

    Of course, if I go to some other city you’ll have to do a restaurant review there as well so I know where the best places are.

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