The Upper West Side is finally getting some worthy food places. Now, in addition to bagels and lox from Barney Greengrass and babka from Zabars, there are places like Jin Ramen, Oaxaca, Crave Fishbar, Luke’s Lobster, Motorino, and one of my favorites, Hummus Place.
I spent a few weeks studying abroad in Israel, so I know good hummus and I can honestly say that this is some damn good hummus. But, their magic is not only found in the hummus at Hummus Place. They have all the Israeli classics you could be craving, including labneh, tzatziki, sabich, falafel, shakshuka, and even those perfectly brined pickles.
I have been coming here for a while so I decided that it was finally time to share this little gem. Hummus Place is perfect for a quick lunch with a friend, take-out, or even a casual dinner with the family. To enter the restaurant, you walk down several narrow stairs, but don’t be mistaken, it does not feel like you are going to eat in a basement. Rather it feels like you are going on a mission into a secret cave filled with a treasure chest overflowing with falafel balls and tahini. The space is small and cozy and filled with the aromas of fresh Israeli flavors.
A few things to try here are the shakshuka, the eggplant sandwich, and any of the hummus dishes.
Shakshuka is traditionally served in a pan and consists of stewed tomatoes, onions, spices and eggs. The eggs are basically poached in this tomatoey stew and there is also the option to add some salty halumi or feta cheese. This dish is perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is light but filling and most importantly, completely delicious. Also, make sure you dip your pita bread in the warm tomatoes and runny yolk.
Sabich is an Israeli eggplant sandwich. It is a pita filled with fried eggplant, hummus, a hard boiled egg, and tahini. It practically melts in your mouth. All the foods in this pocket come together in harmony to make for the perfect bite.
The hummus at Hummus Place is the real deal. It is creamy and flavorful. At Hummus Place whether you get the tahini one (tahini is a condiment made from toasted sesame seeds), the fava one (topped with fava beans and a hard boiled egg), the mushroom one, or the masabacha one (topped with whole chickpeas) you will not be disappointed. If your mouth started watering at the sound of all of these, don’t fret, you can order the hummus platter which has a sampling of all of these. The best part, the they all come with fresh pita bread. There is no need for a fork or knife, this pita is your utensil. Scoop up your hummus in the warm bread for a luscious bite.
One piece of advice: if you’re not too familiar with this type of food, don’t be scared to try something new! Everything at Hummus Place is delicious and authentic so you really can’t go wrong. I challenge you to be adventurous and order something you have never heard of before.
Next time you’re in NYC and looking for some good eats on the Upper West Side, stop by Hummus Place and send your taste buds on a trip to the Middle East.
305 Amsterdam Ave. New York, NY 10023
http://hummusplace.com, (212) 799-3335