Sunday, January 29, 2012

Israel 2012

The Israeli Hummus scene is exploding. There's a lot of new players opening daily and there's a lot of the classic places still there.
One of the most popular Tel Aviv Newspapers - MOUSE - ( Kind of like the NY VILLAGE VOICE or the LA WEEKLY - had their readers rank Hummus joints. Here's their ranking:
For those who can't read Hebrew - here's the list:
1. Abbu Hassan - Jaffo
2. Sayed - Acres
3. Abu Adehem - Kfar Yassif
4. Abu Adehem - Tel Aviv
5. Hummus Ashkera - Tel Aviv
6. Bahadonness - Ramat Gan
7. Pinati - Jerusalem
8. Halil - Ramleh
9. Hummus Lina - Jerusalem
10. Abu Gosh Hahadasha- Derech Hashalom 65 Abu Gosh

We also decided to check a few places - and here's our conclusions for 2011/2012

1. Ali Karavan (or) Abu Hassan - Tel Aviv - Jaffo
Still considered by may Tel Aviv residents as the top tier Hummus joint. Opens early and closes in the early afternoon. Always crowded. Cramped seats. No frills but great Hummus. THUMBS UP!

2. 206 - Moshe Sneh 54 - Tel Aviv
A very popular place that's always packed. They have great food and wonderful service but their Hummus is mediocre. They also have a wonderful fish restaurant next door. Hummus is their major flaw. THUMBS DOWN!

3. The Lebanese Restaurant - Hashalom 88 Abu Gosh:
Abu Gosh has a huge culture of Hummus and so many legendary rivalaries. We've checked a few places there. The Lebanese - one of the most popular places there - has great service and wonderful prices -but their Hummus is mediocre. Thumbs down!

4. Mifgash Karavan - Derech Hasalom 27 - Abu Gosh:
This place used to have great hummus. Then it deteriorated for many years. We decided to recheck even thought we had very little expectations after all the times we were frustrated by it. But today their Hummus has greatly improved. While it's not a top tier restaurant like it used to be. They still serve very good Hummus and are located in a beautiful location. THUMBS UP!

5. Hummus and Tehina: Outskirts of Kfar Shmaryahu:
This is a small Hummus joint on the outskirts of one of the richest neighborhoods in Israel. The Hummus used to be really good but this year in our random test - relative to the past it deteriorated - so unfortunately for this year we'll have to give it a thumbs down - but we do like this place and it feels intimate and local and are so hoping next year when we check it again it'll prove us wrong and improve their hummus like it used to be - fresh and tasty. THUMBS DOWN!

6. Hazaken Vehayam ( Old Man and the sea) - Jaffo.
One of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Tel Aviv - a huge cultural phenomenom. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for their wonderful service. Huge salad offerings and their extremely colorful serving of food. This is a must for every tourist coming to Tel Aviv. It's truly amazing.
That said - their hummus is only mediocre and sadly while we truly love this place and hope it'll continue it's unique style and offerings - in terms of Hummus - it's a THUMBS DOWN!

7. Ahmed and Salim - Herzlia
Good Hummus. This place also used to serve much better hummus but something happened. It's hummus quality has deteriorated. THUMBS DOWN

8. Sabich Florentine - Florentine 36 Tel Aviv
Great Hummus - THUMBS UP.

9. Mifgash Gesher Hayarkon - Derech Namir 136 - Tel Aviv
Used to be one of the best low key Hummus joints located in a gas station. The place is still fully packed - but their prices have skyrocketted, their service has gone down, their quality and their quantity of hummus has also deteriorated. Bummer. It was such a great place. Please come back to what you were. Please? THUMBS DOWN.

10. Abu Yussuf - Kikar Paris - Haifa
A legendary restaurant - located in a renovated and historical place in downtown haifa. The food was of extremely high quality and they were extremely generous with the portions but the Hummus wasn't the stuff legends are made of and we were highly dissappointed. THUMBS DOWN!