Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hearty Helpings of Hummus

Hummus- a puree of garbanzo beans (or chickpeas if you like) that is usually overshadowed by its usual companion the falafel or kebab.

For some odd reason, dishes that appear so fundamentally basic always have a hidden complexity to them, a secret ingredient or ratio that makes every individual's stand out. There is always a place that boasts the best tuna salad, or the creamiest mashed potatoes or even the best chocolate chip cookie. And to continue with my theory of the specialization of basic dishes, I recently stumbled upon those who have dedicated their labor to the mastery of hummus.

Quietly nestled among the slew of competitive, eclectic, fusion restaurants on St. Mark's, I found a cozy Middle Eastern cafe called Hummus Place. The epitome of simplicity, it offered a basic menu namely consisting of a few soups, a handful of pastries and of course, their fresh hummus that was offered in four different ways. The pita bread, was piping hot out of the oven and my hummus was served cool with all its dressing and a hard boiled egg. What the menu lacked in diversity, the food astoundingly compensated for in its brilliance. Everything from their hummus and pita to the mint leaves in the house brewed iced tea emanated "Fresh!" The Hummus Place is a healthy breathe of fresh air from the run-of-the-mill, processed, and often over-priced specialty restaurants in the East Village. You won't find a happy hour and a garden here, just good hummus, reasonable prices and a menu that will satisfy an early dinner and your waist line.

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