The place for hummus

Hummus Place
Photo: Kenneth Chen/New York magazine

To the uninitiated, the word "hummus" may invoke images of mucuous secretions. But at the aptly named Hummus Place in the East and West Village, their namesake dish is as decadent as butter.

The Hummus Place subscribes to the philosophy of doing one thing and doing it well: on the menu are hummus tahini (plain chickpea puree with a swirl of olive oil), hummus masbacha (with whole chickpeas) and hummus foul (with fava beans and a chopped hardboiled egg), all for about $5.  The waiter said the hummus, which Time Out magazine called "vegetarian foie gras," was merely chickpeas, tahini (sesame butter) and garlic.  😕  I’ve made hummus with those ingredients, and it didn’t make my mouth sing. He neglected to mention that the tahini was imported from Nablus in the West Bank.

The gigantic platters come with two thick pull-apart pita breads with which to grab the creamy goodness.  The pitas are the best I’ve ever tasted: they’re thick, soft and hot out of the toaster.  They surpass the ones at the respectable Damascus Bakery in Brooklyn and put Aladdin’s sawdust-like pitas (which should be banned from supermarket shelves) to shame.

Or, you can get the $2 sandwich special: an overstuffed pita with hummus, fresh tomatoes to cut through the richness, and a hardboiled egg to once again, make it rich.  It’s a better value than McDonald’s value menu and better executed than a $150-private dinner at the Park Avenue Cafe.  I actually had to scoop out a large portion of the hummus, or else gobs would have plopped out.  It was so good that I had the leftovers for breakfast the next day.  It takes a lot for a sweet tooth like me to start the day on a savory note.

All the dishes come with a side of pickled cucumbers, onions and peppers.  Their crunchy sweet-and-sourness provide a foil to the nutty hummus.

According to the Sephardic Heritage Update (scroll to the second to last article, "A Bit of the Middle East in the East Village"), the Hummus Place is also planning a third shop on the Upper West Side.  All the more easier to get gourmet food at fast food prices.

The Hummus Place
99 MacDougal St. between First Ave. and Ave. A, (212) 533-3089
109 St. Mark’s Pl. between Bleecker St. and Minetta Ln., (212) 529-9198

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  1. Robyn said,

    I’ve always wanted to try this place! Now I’m really hungry. :O

    October 3, 2005 at 11:39 am

  2. BZ said,

    Is the Upper West Side location open yet? Does anyone know where?

    July 26, 2006 at 12:17 pm

  3. Jessica said,

    Fallon on Chowhound reports: “It is on Amsterdam near Freddie & Peppers Pizza in the mid-70s.
    Walked by it during its grand opening & they were giving out free side of hummus cards thru 7/31”

    July 27, 2006 at 10:18 pm

  4. JimBo said,

    I’ve never tried hummus until last night. My friend enjoys it, so I figured she would appreciate this place. The hummus fava and carrot ginger soup was very good, and exceptionally filling (even for a chowhound like myself). The venue is smallish, but perfectly acceptable, and the service was good. I will definitely put The Hummus Place on my list of eateries to frequent.

    October 29, 2006 at 11:32 am