For the Love of Hummus

Delicious, delicious hummus.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Roundup, Shmoundup. Bo Boundup.

Howdy Faithful Followers,

Well, this post, technically, is a round up, but it's starting to become clear that our idea of a round up now must be expanded, due to the rampant 'round up' abuse that Dafna has so frequently committed. Can we call it a half-circle up? Because there's a lot to be said about different hummus places in New York City, but perhaps it's not a round up. You guys tell us.

A few weeks ago, Dafna wandered down to the Upper West Side in search of this magical land known to some as 'The Shtetl,' to others 'Little Tel Aviv.' There were tales of hummus, sabich, Goldstar Beer, and many Jews. She got off the subway, dawdled west on 72nd Street, and almost immediately laid eyes upon SoomSoom, a sort of falafel/sabich fast food place.

$7.50 for a sabich?? This better have been the best. Ever. Period. Here's what it looked like halfway through (and I think upside down somehow):

Okay. Sort of hard to distinguish what's going on there, so here's the situation: good, creamy hummus, nice spongy pita, two, count them TWO hard boiled eggs and eggplant. All of those things would have been fine on their own, but everyone knows sabich and fried potato go together like the cliff and the sea at Rosh Hanikra. SoomSoom, however, did something really strange. They shoved in half a ton of boiled, unsalted potato slices. Boiled? What? Maybe it's easier/faster to do, but it was so unflavored, and there was just so much of it. Ack. The good news was their little salad area, which contained all of the classics - Israeli salad, onions in sumac, green and red cabbage, spicy shredded carrots, amba, etc.

Then, across the street, like an oasis of coffee-flavored blended ice beverages in the barren Be'ersheva landscape, there it was: Aroma. Rachel has been spoiled by Aroma in Tarzana (the other Little Tel Aviv), but Dafna has never experience American Aroma. It was like walking into an alternate galaxy. There they were, all the salads, sandwiches, delicious drinks and bourekas, but everything was in...English. Dafna got an ice Aroma and vowed to return one day soon, demanding pickles on her egg salad sandwich, per usual.

Okay. Let's take it back to our humble hummus beginnings for just a moment. Last Friday, Dafna ended up at the Hummus Place in the West Village. Here's the 'hummus with fava beans' (Hummus Place, don't abandon your roots - you mean 'hummus with ful'!)

Looks awesome, right? Well you know what? It WAS awesome. Yes, the cilantro dressing was a little much, but the egg in the middle was great, the hummus warm and light, the beans not too mushy. Pita was debatable, but fine. Could there have been more? Sure. But a good showing, all around. (Minus all of these ridiculous New York prices, wah wah.)

Out of desperation, there may soon be ventures to Maoz (a chain falafel place? Eek), a place near Columbia called Amir's, and Nanoosh, which looks maybe decent. We'll keep you in the loop.

What else? I'll tell you what else! Do you people know that Rachel Marder has been officially employed by the Jerusalem Post as a copy editor for more than a month now? Here's her byline on this article, too! Dafna continues the job search. Anyone want to lend a hand?

That's all for now, folks. Wishing you all a Shabbat full of Shalom.


  1. Maoz is pretty damn good. But the real falafel needs to be found in Little Egypt, in Astoria.

  2. I seriously need to try it! Next New York trip.