Hummus a tune, will ya?

One of the first restaurants I visited after finding the Sietsema list was his number 2 choice, Hummus Place, in its MacDougal Street (between W. 3rd and Bleecker) location – still haven’t been to the St. Marks Pl. location, but I assume that it’s of the same quality.  It was quite a revelation, both for quality of food and for mind-blowing cheapness.  At the time, I was under the delusion that it was impossible to feed oneself well in NYC for five dollars, but the list combined with the hummus worked some kind of Texan-Israeli voodoo on my impressionable brain, I think.  Now I’m going to Midwood for sheep testicles.  WTF?!?  Okay, I made that one up.  Kind of.

Anyway, about the hummus – it’s warm, unlike the store-bought hummus you might be used to, and considerably more cream-of-wheat-like in texture; the analog to maple syrup on cream of wheat is olive oil, which turns out to be a very good complementary flavor.  You can get your bowl o’ hummus with whole chickpeas and tahini, hot or cold, or my (and Sietsema’s) favorite with fava bean stew (foul, pronounced like “fool”) and a chopped hardboiled egg.

The menu isn’t exactly diverse – I just named the three main entrees, after all – but they supposedly have date cookies, and for an extra couple bucks, you can get a side of “health salad,” which consists of chopped veggies, olive oil, and lemon juice.  In my estimation, this is basically an enhanced version of the kind of stuff you’d put in a hummus pita sandwich (they also serve a $2 rendition of said sandwich now, though strangely it includes chickpeas, foul, tahini, egg, and pickles rather than the salad).  After trying the health salad once, though, it’s not exactly the most thrilling $2 I’ve spent, so I’d probably pass going forward.

At $5, served with two warm pieces of pita bread, and a pickle, onion, and pepper plate that will test your mettle for strong flavors, and (for $1.75 more) washed down with a mint lemonade, this is a pretty fantastic lunch, snack, dinner, or midnight drunken nosh (open until 2am on Friday and Saturday).

Of course, if you want falafel with your hummus, you’ll have to trek to the other side of the block, where Mamoun’s has held court for 30-odd years now.  Still one of the best falafel sandwiches I’ve had anywhere, Mamoun’s is a staple, and I hope, having gone elsewhere to school, a rite of passage for NYU freshmen.  A $2 falafel sandwich (or my usual 2 for $4, including tax) is a deliciously sloppy way to end an evening.  I would, for your own sake, avoid the schwarma – nowhere close to the best meat-on-a-stick I’ve had.

I’m still trying to find a good source for the real Turkish Doner Kebap that I had in Graz, Austria.  Anyone know where to get it?  Not on MacDougal St. at the place across from Hummus Place, that’s for sure – that stuff has the right texture but they don’t cook it enough, so it’s fatty and nasty, and they sure don’t use the right kind of bread/toppings.

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1 Comment

Filed under NYC

One response to “Hummus a tune, will ya?

  1. Anonymous

    for doner kebab try Memo (#1 on the village voice cheap list) on Kings Highway/Brooklyn which I think has it or Bay Shish Kebab in Sheepshead bay on Emmons Avenue, Brooklyn which I know for sure has it.

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