Food Porn Friday: Hummus Kitchen, New York

Posted on
Feb 3, 2012

I probably shouldn’t have dragged them all that way.

If I had a conscience, I’d feel guilty, but I got rid of mine sometime around the 10th grade, when I let a boy touch my boobs for the first time.

Thank goodness for that. The conscience-ridding, I mean. The boob-touching was less to rave about (teenage boys lack the tenderness that mammaries require).

And so, feeling nary a smidge of guilt, I made my dear friends travel across Manhattan – covering the length of the island both north-south and east-west – so that I could eat hummus.

Yes, hummus. That gritty, unmiraculous paste of garbanzo beans and garlic and tahini.

It seemed like a ridiculously long way to go for bean dip. Especially when you consider that I can find it on any street corner in Manhattan, at any of the thousands of smokey halal food carts that line the city, scooped out in generous dollops onto partially charred pita. I can get it at the grocery store. I can even make the stuff, if I have a spare three minutes.

But it will be nothing like the hummus they serve at Hummus Kitchen (BTW, great name guys. Bet it took you all day to come up with that one).

I first discovered the restaurant on a trip to New York City years ago. It was inexpensive and relatively close to our hotel, and I figured it would be a good spot for lunch.

I shouldn’t have gone that first time. I’d never have known what I was missing. I could have carried on with my days, not thinking about that delicious unctuous tapenade of deliciousness, that magical concoction which they served with whole garbanzo beans on top, drizzled with olive oil and some green sauce which I’ve always gobbled up before being able to decipher what it is (the secret ingredient is either cilantro or leprechauns).

But I went, and my life was changed. I couldn’t go back to the way things were. To that too-sour tub of goop that from Trader Joe’s that I’d been noshing on. To gritty homemade varieties that seemed better suited for grouting tile than human consumption. No. I couldn’t do it.

Since then, I’ve made a pilgrimage to Hummus Kitchen on nearly every subsequent visit to New York. Even if it’s nowhere near my hotel. Even if I’m on the other side of town. Even if I have to drag my poor friends there and did I mention that one of them was wielding a toddler? I MADE HER DRAG A TODDLER FROM BROOKLYN TO MIDTOWN SO I COULD GET MY HUMMUS FIX.

I’m so grateful I don’t have a pesky conscience bugging me, otherwise I might feel guilty. And I’d have missed out on this:

I always get the Mazze trio when I go, with the Mediterranean chopped salad, the bureka, and obviously a side of the hummus. But free will being what it is, you may order whatever you like, and I suspect you’ll be happy. One of my lunchdates got the falafel, which, he noted, was crisp and warm and satisfying, despite looking a little bit like cat turds.

I shouldn't have made that crack about cat turds. It's now all you can see, huh?

If you go, ask for a side of the spicy green salsa on the side. I don’t know what’s in it, either. Based on the addictive nature of it, I suspect some of the ingredients would cause you to fail a drug test. But I’m just speculating.

This photo is out-of-focus because I refused to stop eating while I took it.


Or perhaps you shouldn’t go at all. Because Hummus Kitchen will ruin you. You will think of it often, and all subsequent trips to New York will require a stop at one of their not-at-all-convenient locations. And you will sit, and eat, and wonder how you can go back to the life you once led, and then you will realize, somewhat horrified, that you can’t.

And so you order another side of hummus.

Leave a Comment

  • catcat

    Hummus is awesome toddler food! (Minus the whole garbanzos as a choking hazard- which means you gleefully move them to your own plate for their good!)

  • Hummus is one of my favourite foods along with falafel, which I shall forever more see as cat turds. That Hummus in particular looks too delicious to waste on the kids 🙂 But I live in South Africa, how do I get me some?? Dagnammit

  • LeeG

    The green stuff is called “Schug”, with the ch making that guttural Hannukah sound. It’s a green chili paste that also comes in a red variety (obviously, with red peppers). From my experience, it is of Yemenite origin and is AWESOME. Try it on warm toast with some kind of berry jam (bonus points for raisin toast).

  • Félix

    Arrrrgh! This is torture… I love hummus and it’s impossible to get decent ones in Paraguay… I’ll be craving this for months now. Thanks a lot! ¬¬

  • Christina

    Why?? As if I don’t drag my friends and husband all over the city enough when we visit? Oy! Now I must have hummus. Seriously, every time we go to the city, I must stop at Shopsin’s for breakfast and hope we don’t get yelled at, Taim for falafel, dumplings, and chinese hand cut noodles. I guess one more stop won’t hurt things. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Now I’m REALLY hungry (just spent 20 minutes staring at your pictures) but I don’t think I can make it to NYC on my lunch break, which might be a good thing (this way I’ll still love the local hummus and not be disappointed every time I order it).

  • Melanie

    I drive two and a half hours for falafel in San Jose. So I can understand going across town for great hummus. Hummus is one of my comfort foods. I love the stuff.

  • KDK

    I think you need to give Hummus Place (on St. Marks) a try next time. You’ll be blown away. And, on the next block over, you can stop at Butter Lane cupcakes or The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop for dessert.

  • Oh nice!

    When I finally make it to NYC I’m going to have to spend the first two days traveling the streets in search of Hummus, Cupcakes and Big Gay Ice cream Shops!

    Headed for the Travel Agent!! 🙂

  • OMG I’m right there with you! My friend JD and I went to the one in Hell’s Kitchen when I was in town for a conference a couple years ago. We totally made fun of the name but it was such a cozy looking place and prices were great that we decided to try it. We couldn’t believe how delicious it was and how much food we got! I’ve been wanting to go back ever since, now I know what we’re doing next time we’re in NYC together again. 🙂

  • kokopuff

    Sorry, but you haven’t tasted real hummus until you’ve had it from New Yasmeen here in Dearborn, Michigan. Cause no one makes the hummus like little old Arabic women.

  • Yum! I’m all the way in Manila eating an apple but craving for hummus because of you! Hope to try Hummus Kitchen if I visit NY again soon. For now, I’ll just search for hummus recipes to experiment on tomorrow!

    P.S. Love your blog. Nowhere else I go on the web but everywhereist to make me laugh!

  • Anthony
  • Yum! Looks amazing. Sad I never heard of this spot when I lived in New York. Reminds me of mediterranean/Turkish food. Love it.

  • Hummus… *drool* http://bit.ly/xNRNXy

  • OMG – I just died and went to hummus heaven…. Sucks I live in Australia right now.

    On a side note, thank you for your blog. It makes me giggle ALL the time.

  • sarah

    I caught this post last year and kept it in the back of my mind when I went to NYC in the fall. I am SOOO glad we tried it (even walking for what seemed like hours to find it) because it is by far the best falafel I’ve ever eaten. My husband and I still talk about this place. Thank you for the recommendation!

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