Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Best Hummus in TEL AVIV's upscale neighborhood of Ramat Aviv - the Israeli equivalent to NYC's "UPPER EAST SIDE"-


So today, I'd like to introduce all travellers to Israel to the Hummus some of the  upper 1% of Israel's wealthiest citizens eat near their homes in the Schuster shopping center in Ramat Aviv Gimmel.   Tel Aviv's version of  Manhattan's upper east side.

Back in the day there was a famous Israeli TV show called  by the same name - Ramat Aviv Gimmel - depicting the lives of the rich and famous living in this neighborhood. 
It was a huge hit in Israel and made this area  even more mythical and expensive.  
Back then, it made the local shopping center famous and there was always visitors from around the country sitting in one of the many coffee shops there and star gazing at  the many celebrities, famous politicians, artists, and CEO's doing business lunches and meetings there.

Some claim one can even see Quentin Tarantino around the neighborhood. It is a possibility as it's already well known that Tarantino moved to Israel and was living in Tel Aviv. So who knows...

But unlike Manhattan or anywhere else in the world - where it's easy to identify the upscale from the down and trodden neighborhoods -  just by the look of the local shopping mall - in Israel, just like in Israel - even in the most expensive neighborhoods - the local shopping center  is a weird mix of expensive stores surrounded by  Rot, Rust, and Mould . 

It's a dilapidated shopping mall that looks more ghetto than Gucci.

That is Israel in a nutshell - a country where chaos and ugliness is accepted  and everyone's fine overlooking the surrounding and focusing only at the reality they'd like to see .

Black walls and ceilings

Residents  pay anywhere from $1,000,000 for small apartments to over  $10 Million for a home nearbye - and yet accept this cockroach infested dilapidated shopping center under their homes.

Tel Aviv was named as one of the most expensive cities in the world - some say the most expensive and yet as crazy as the pricing of everything is  -  one gets so little for what one pays - be it horrendous decor,  awful service, and overall subpar standards of consumerism.

Is it just me or have  others  experienced that too in Israel and especially in Tel Aviv? Drop a comment if you too feel there's a problem with this Israeli horrid concept of getting so little for what you pay for...
I believe only by enough tourists and travellers finally saying enough is enough maybe things could start to change cause change is needed.
Israelis can't ask for a premium while giving their customers a subpar quality in return.

But philosophy aside- let's get back to Hummus.
Even in this  grungy yet expensive shopping center - In Gimmel, as it's called by the locals - there is some of the best Hummus in Tel Aviv as is expected in  Tel Aviv's shopping center for the rich and famous.


The Northern part of Tel Aviv is called Ramat Aviv.  Gimmel is the third letter in the Israeli alphabet and Ramat Aviv Gimmel represents the third addition to this neighborhood - in essence it was perhaps the last and newest part of the city when it was built and so allowed new and modern high rises while the rest of the city had only older homes.
Today that is changing as new and even more modern high rises are being built all over the city - but the myth of Ramat Aviv Gimmel as a place of luxury and wealth still attracts a certain kind of residents to the neighborhood. 

Ramat Aviv Gimmel - for tourists wanting to visit it - is north of the older neighborhoods of Ramat Aviv which are home to  Israel's largest university - Tel Aviv U , as well as to many museums that are beloved by tourists like The ANU museum of Jewish People, The Steinhardt museum of natural history,   the Rabin Israeli  Museum and one of Tel Aviv's largest museums -   the museum of  Eretz Israel .
For tourists who are on their second or third visit to Israel - and they're planning a trip to the university or one of the many museums nearbye ,  Gimmel shopping center - could be a wonderful break to eat and get a sense of the weirdness of Israel from a less touristy point of view.

There are a lot of coffee shops,  high end bakeries and other food options for the locals.  So Hummus might not be the first thought on the minds of tourists visiting this area.
They usually go into one of the nicer ( if you can call it such) restaurants, pizzerias, French bakeries etc...
But the locals... they love their hummus as can be seen by the packed Hummus joints.

There are  3 places I'd like to recommend but things are extremely fluid in this shopping center. Rent is extremely high and many stores open and close just as fast including most of the restuarants there, so things might change also in the Hummus scene there from the time you read this to the time you actually visit this shopping center.

The three Hummus joints I'd like to recommend in Shuster shopping center - or Gimmel shopping center - as some call it - are : 

Ask different residents and they'll swear only one of them is  great and the others suck. 
As someone who's eaten at all of these joints many times,  I can attest they're all really good, clean and recommended.


Mifgash Gimmel is the oldest and has been there for years. It's run by a few brothers that all work there  diligently  Some of the brothers are religious - so the place is perhaps the one that feels the most Kosher which it is.  It's probably the most successful of the three Hummus restaurants, as it's the oldest so the locals know and love it .

During lunch it's packed also with kids after school,  who's parents maybe sent them there to buy lunch when the parents didn't feel like cooking. It's kid friendly and has a lot of options for kids.
The owners are always on premise joking with the adults and kids and letting everyone test new dishes they've made in the store.
The joint has a 1970's feel to it - like the old Hummus joints of past. 
But don't let the decor fool you - this is a very high end food place run in the best of ways.
During the busy hours - there's always huge lines - but no matter how busy the place is - you'll get your food in probably under 10 minutes.
The Falafel is always fresh and people love their Shawarma.
They also have a large assortment of plastic boxes with homemade food to take home with popular dishes like Schnitzel ( Fried Chicken in bread crumbs) ,  Rice with lentils etc...
On Fridays, before the Sabbath kicks in, many residents rush to that place to buy fresh food for their family's Shabbat dinner.
They claim to make all the dishes in their restaurant. I've tasted a lot of their dishes and they do taste fresh and have a homemade taste to it - not like a generic supermarket made dish made in a factory.

The Hummus is very good. I won't stay outstanding but it's very very good.   Their Falafel on the other hand is outstanding. One of the best in Tel Aviv. Also, their Pita Bread is outstanding - maybe the best of the three restaurant joints in the Gimmel shopping mall and I've seen many residents sometimes just buy the pitas there.

Their falafel  in a pita is always super packed and you'll probably have leftovers to take home. Another thing I love about their falafel is that it's ALWAYS and I do mean always fresh. Even if you come in the hours between lunch and dinner when the place is relatively empty - they'll probably make you some fresh Falafel balls just for your pita so it'll be fresh and hot. I guess that's why they've managed to survive in this cutthroat shopping center where so many hundreds of small business owners came and went  not figuring out how to cater to the high net residents of this neighborhood  - These brothers  treat every customer like a king regardless how they come dressed. 

Mifgash Gimmel is near the supermarket and has seating.

Caspi according to their website was intended to be a local Hummus restaurant.  It opened it's first restaurant in 2011 by Chef Yaniv Caspi.
Since then they became a chain and now have 13 Hummus restaurants in Israel aiming to maintain a local vibe to their restaurants. According to some websites it's operated both by the Caspi family as well as by the Cafe Cafe group - which is a national chain of coffee shops similar to Coffeebean or Starbucks in the US.
If Cafe Cafe are still a partial owner it could mean there's a lot of money behind this chain as it's affiliated with a larger Israeli food corporation.

As Caspi have become a Hummus brand - it was only fitting they also open up a local Hummus restaurant in Ramat Aviv Gimmel .

Of the three excellent Hummus restaurants in the Gimmel shopping center - it is my number 3 option.   While I like it a bit less - I can't say it's not great hummus. It's still very high end hummus and if this was the only Hummus joint in this shopping mall I'd still highly recommend it - but in my personal opinion it's a bit less than the other two hummus restaurants.

That said - many local residents swear by this restaurant and love it and buy only  there a lot of Hummus for their home and lots of locals are always sitting there.

Of the three hummus restaurants - this one has a bit more of an upscale feel. Not sure why. All three still feel more like a small local joint than a full restaurant - but Caspi did make a bit more effort to make their place look a tad nicer.

Caspi  is trying to bring higher end Hummus to the masses via franchising so that's an interesting venture that could change the Hummus scene in Israel.
I guess a lot of people who've visited their other locations - feel more comfortable going back to the familiar taste of Caspi.

CASPI's Hebrew only website:

Abba Ahimeir Street 29 Tel Aviv

Tzipora is one of the newer restaurants in the Gimmel shopping center so it's hard to say if they'll have any staying power.
According to their website - they are also a chain with 6 restaurants across the country.

Their other branches have nicer seating but Tzipora has glass casing so it'll probably be a bit warmer to sit there in winter.

I personally love their Hummus the most in this shopping center so I do hope they will succeed and stay as I do believe 3 similar and competing restaurants help all three stay relevant and supply the best customer service and give the most to their clients.

Tzipora based on research online is mostly focused on their Grill menu. They have a lot of options for meat lovers.

It seems they have deals with all the major local delivery services so I guess an important part of their business model is delivering food to the residents who don't feel like climbing down from their ivory towers and eat at the disgusting shopping center downstairs.

While they seem to be focused on meat - I've tried a bunch of their non meat items and I can attest it's all very high end.


All three Hummus joints are high end. Taste is subjective so I guess it's best to taste all three and make your own opinion. Share your thoughts if you've ever eaten in one of these.
In a random polling of my family - I loved Tzipora's Hummus the most. I think it's in a league of it's own. My sister and her family love Caspi the most and my mother and father swear that Mifgash Gimmel has the best falafel in Tel Aviv and are extremely loyal to it and so are also byassed about it's Hummus. So here you have it - even in one family - the reviews are mixed and different family members are loyal to different restaurants in the same shopping center.

Best Falafel in Ramat Aviv
Also, Best Pita bread
And Best Food for home takeout especially to feed kids.

Best Hummus in Ramat Aviv Gimmel

CASPi: 8.5
High end hummus chain with high end hummus that's destined to grow.
Best in person seating  in Ramat Aviv Gimmel if you want to sit on site and eat in a more restaurant feel.



A Wine Bar in Ramat Aviv Gimmel Schuster Center

Ramat Aviv Gimmel's Schuster center is Israel in a nut shell.
High end Wine Bars, French bakeries and expensive fashion stores docked amidst a run down shopping mall that looks third wall at best.
New generations of kids from the top 1% of society run around in this shopping mall and grow up learning to not look at their surrounding and focus only on the here and now and only on the little beauty tucked away amidst the ugliness all around.

A society cannot exist for long - if they accept ugliness as a way of life.

A society cannot exist for long if they accept that corruption is so deep that even the 1 percenters have a shopping mall they attend to that looks so awful and dilapidated and no one stands up against it.  Why don't the residents boycott this locale? Why doesn't the city force the shopping center to fix this eye sore?

A society cannot exist for long with generation after generation of people living without caring about anything going on in the streets under their homes.

A society cannot exist for long if the residents only care about what they'd like to buy next but don't care about the place that is their neighborhood, their childs growing up environment, their meeting grounds with their friends, neighbors, families.

And when you see that this is the shopping center of the 1% - this is the shopping center of the influencers, the thought leaders, the celebrities,  the CEO's, the doctors, lawyers, politicisans and ome of the most powerful people in Israel you ask yourself - what about the other 99% - How do they live? What do they accept as normalcy?  

You realize there's a problem under the surface of Israel that will probably eventually explode to the surface and who knows it's ramifications. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 11, 2021


There's a new king in supermarket Hummus in the US and it's... ( Drum roll) ... Holy Hummus.
WOWA WEEWA it is good. 
I bought it randomly in the supermarket in LA, one day when they ran out of the other bigger brands I tend to buy.
There's nothing very special or inviting in their packaging.  It looks like all the other generic supermarket Hummus brands -but wait till you taste it...

They have 4 flavors: Homestyle Hummus with olive oil, Jersualem with Tehina , Nazareth and Classic.
They're all really good. 
The best in my opinion is their Homestyle Hummus which has lots of chickpeas and feels coarse and fresh like restaurant hummus in the middle east.

Their second best in my opinion is Jerusalem Hummus which is much creamier and also excellent.

Their last 2 flavors are Nazarath and Classic. Two flavors that are still really good and no one will ever complain about - well no one except those that already tasted their Homestyle Hummus.

 The main difference between the four Hummus isn't that much the taste but rather  the texture.  While the Homestyle seems to be the coarsest, the Nazareth somewhat coarse and the Classic the creamiest.
For those who love creamy rather than coarse - you will find everything you are looking for in the Classic.

The hardest thing in making supermarket hummus is figuring out how to ensure it doesn't have that "plastic" aftertaste of preservatives and other ingredients which make it feel somewhat generic.
Some of the Hummus companies place a lot of garlic or garlic flavoring that hides the fake aftertaste, 
while others simply place more focus on texture than on taste.

To get additional flavors that taste a bit different and don't have the same aftertaste and garliccy flavor - some larger supermarket chains have started experimenting in recent years in distributing creamed veggies made from other ingredients not chickpeas yet still call it Hummus - even thought hummus based on my understanding has to be made from chickpeas.
It's like calling a butter made from Cauliflower - PEANUT BUTTER - knowing people prefer butter made from peanuts over butter made from Cauliflower.

Maybe Cauliflower cream is interesting - but peanut butter should be made from peanuts or it's false advertising.
Hummus is made from Hummus - i.e. chickpeas in Arabic and Hebrew. 

Because of Covid 19 - a lot of restaurants have closed and many people prefer buying supermarket hummus that feels safer and has less potential for Covid 19.
That's why it's super important to choose the right one.

It seems that Holy Hummus is still a small label and isn't available in many supermarkets and even in the ones it is available it tends to run out very quick as it's possible the word on the street has already spread about the uniqueness of this tasty hummus.

I purchased this hummus first time at the Israeli supermarket - Samy Makolet on Fairfax blvd in Los Angeles, CA . Sammy Makolet is one of the most famous specializing Israeli supermarkets and I understood it's also sold in the other famous Israeli supermarkets in LA.

Samy Makolet also tend to run out of it quite fast and I had to follow up to figure out when they get more supply to purchase more of it. 
From the Holy Hummus website it seems it's a NY based company so they might already be available to purchase all over the nation or at least in large cities from LA to NY.

Because of Covid 19 - I couldn't do blind tests with friends - but I did recommend they all purchase it and let me know their thoughts and they did - and they were all blown away by the taste that is quite unique for a supermarket hummus.

Bottom line - I hope with Covid 19 and the fact many people aren't shopping in smaller supermarkets only buying from large retailers like Costco, Amazon, Whole Food, Krogers etc ... that people will still discover this new company that is still mostly sold in smaller supermarkets and is mostly sold out.
Unlike the large Hummus brands - that tend to occupy the majority of the Hummus Fridge even in smaller specialized markets - this Hummus tends to hide in the corner.
If not for Covid and shortage of supplies - I probably would've never discovered this brand myself and stuck to the large brands I know.

I also hope this brand slowly make their way into the larger retail chains - cause their taste - is ready for the mainstream spotlight .
But as they make it to the larger retailers - I hope they will not compromise their unique and unbelievable flavor that tastes as good as many restaurants and will help educate Americans to the real taste of Middle Eastern Hummus.

Their website:


Friday, July 19, 2013

Who Makes The Best Hummus?

Bragging Rights: Who Makes The Best Hummus?

Mar 29 2013
Richard’s Hummus, Lina Style. Photos by Dan Kacvinski. Food coordinated by Judy Zeidler

Who makes the best hummus? Everyone in Israel is passionate about the taste of genuine hummus, and each individual believes deeply that his or hers is the best.
In Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, hummus remains a daily staple. Village streets are dotted with tiny shops that prepare hummus swirled in a brown-and-cream-colored bowl, drizzled with extra virgin olive and sprinkled with paprika or cumin.
Many cuisine-related sources describe hummus as an ancient food. The earliest known recipes for a dish similar to hummus bi tahini are recorded in cookbooks published in Cairo in the 13th century.
Hummus is a simple, wonderfully flavorful dip or spread made from garbanzos (chickpeas) and tahini (sesame seed paste). Its texture is velvety, rich and firm enough to scoop up with wedges of pita bread or crisp vegetables. The taste is robust, nutlike, garlicky and so satisfying that you won’t be able to stop eating it.
One significant reason for the popularity of hummus in Israel is the fact that it is made from ingredients that follow Jewish dietary laws, and it may be combined with either meat or dairy meals. It is seen as almost equally popular among Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs, and as a result, hummus has become a sort of “national food.”
My prize-winning recipe takes as long to make as the time it takes to measure the ingredients and blend them in the food processor. For a change of color and flavor, I sometimes add roasted peppers when blending in the tahini, but the peppers are delicious on their own, too.
Some say that authentic hummus must be thick, so that you can carve deep valleys over its surface and fill them with olive oil. Then just tear off pieces of fresh pita bread to scoop up the pungent dip and pop it into your mouth.
Laurie Harris and Richard Hecht, who teach at the University of California, Santa Barbara, recently returned from four and a half months in Israel. While there, they were determined to enjoy every type of hummus they could discover. They sampled plates in Mahane Yehudah Market, the central shuk in West Jerusalem; along the pedestrian mall that is now Jaffa Road; and in shops in Musrara, not far from the city center and the Old City walls.
Hecht, who wrote “Abu Steve Is Coming Out of Retirement,” a small book about a man who opened a Jerusalem hummus restaurant, said, “Jerusalemites take great pride in the hummus at Abu Shukhri in the Old City. They will tell you that it’s a matter of minor gradations in taste — more garlic, less lemon. Hummus is basically all the same, but in Tel Aviv, they say the best hummus is at the very small restaurant Sultan, in the Arab town of Qalansuwa.”
The very best in Jerusalem, in the opinion of Hecht and Harris, is the hummus at Lina, a restaurant in the Christian Quarter of the Old City.
Hecht has his own ideas about what distinguishes top-notch hummus.
“It begins with the selection of fresh chickpeas in the shuk or market,” he said. “If you can’t find the fresh chickpeas, then use the dried.”
Still, no serious hummus connoisseurs would ever think of using garbanzo beans from a can nor use a food processor. True hummus is prepared in a large pottery cooking vessel with a narrow neck, over a low flame. The beans are stirred gently with a long wooden spoon until the right texture is achieved. Some use mortar and pestle to slowly grind the chickpeas.
Hecht also shares his special recipe for hummus and musabbaha, which is a breakfast hummus, served in the morning as we would eat hot cereal or cooked rice.


From “The Gourmet Jewish Cook” by Judy Zeidler

∗ 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, with liquid
∗ 1 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
∗ 1/2 roasted pepper (optional, recipe follows)
∗ 1/2 cup lemon juice
∗ 4 garlic cloves, peeled
∗ 1 teaspoon ground cumin
∗ 1/3 cup olive oil
∗ 6 fresh parsley sprigs, stems removed
∗ 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
∗ Minced fresh parsley for garnish
Place the garbanzos and their liquid in a food processor or blender; process until coarsely pureed. Add the tahini, roasted pepper (if desired), lemon juice, garlic and cumin; process until smoothly pureed. Add olive oil in a thin stream and continue blending. Blend in the parsley sprigs and l teaspoon salt. Add additional salt to taste. Garnish with minced parsley. Serve with hot pita bread and sliced vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, mushrooms and jicama.
Makes about 3 cups.
Judy's Hummus
Judy’s Hummus


From “Italy Cooks” by Judy Zeidler
∗ 4 to 6 firm, crisp, red, yellow or green bell peppers
∗ 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
∗ Olive oil
∗ 1 jar or can (2 ounces) anchovy fillets
∗ Parsley sprigs for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 to 450 F.
Place a large sheet of foil on the lower rack of the oven. Put the peppers on the rack above, in the middle or top of the oven. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until the skin has puffed and darkened slightly on top. Turn each pepper over and continue roasting for 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Remove the peppers from the oven. While they are still warm, carefully peel off the skins. Pull out the stems and discard the seeds. Cut the peppers into segments that follow their natural ridges. Layer the peppers in a bowl with the juices, garlic and enough olive oil to cover. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to serve, arrange the peppers on a serving dish and garnish with anchovies and parsley. Or place an anchovy fillet in the center of each segment, roll up and place a toothpick in the center. 


∗ 3 cups fresh or dry chickpeas or garbanzo beans, soaked overnight in water in a large pot
∗ 1 teaspoon baking soda
∗ 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
∗ 3/4 cup tahini sauce or paste
∗ 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
∗ 1 teaspoon ground cumin
∗ Salt to taste
∗ 1/4 cup lemon juice or more to taste
∗ 1/4 cup pine nuts
∗ 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
∗ 1/3 cup finely minced fresh parsley
Drain the chickpeas, cover with fresh water and baking soda, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until chickpeas are tender, about 50 minutes. Strain and cool about 20 minutes.
Pour 2 cups of the cooked chickpeas into a food processor, reserving the rest to be used later for garnish and the Breakfast Hummus. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and slowly process the mixture, adding the tahini, garlic clove, cumin and salt. Add the lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. When the mixture is smooth, remove from the processor. If the mixture is too rough, continue blending until smooth. With a rubber spatula, spread the hummus into a shallow dish in circular motion, leaving an indentation in the center of the dish.
In a small frying pan, lightly brown the pine nuts. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the indentation in the center of the dish. Place the reserved whole beans into the indentation. Sprinkle the pine nuts and parsley over the olive oil and beans in the center of the plate. Serve with whole warmed pita for dipping.
Makes 4 to 5 cups.


Use the basic hummus recipe, but prepare the following sauce.
∗ 1 cup boiled chickpeas (reserved from Richard’s Hummus, Lina Style)
∗ 3 cloves garlic, minced
∗ 1/4 teaspoon cumin
∗ 1/3 cup tahini or more to taste
∗ Juice of 1 large lemon
∗ 2 tablespoons olive oil
∗ 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
∗ 1/2 teaspoon salt
∗ 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
∗ 1/3 cup finely minced parsley
In a small saucepan, combine the chickpeas, garlic, cumin, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, salt and chili powder. Simmer gently; do not boil. When the mixture is warm, serve for breakfast or pour into the center of the plate of Richard’s Hummus, Lina Style, and sprinkle with parsley.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Judy Zeidler is a food consultant and author of “Italy Cooks” (Mostarda Press, 2011). Her Web site is

Friday, December 7, 2012

BEST HUMMUS IN NEW YORK CITY ( NYC) 2012, Based on Village Voice


The Village Voice a publication that's always ahead of the pack published it's list of 10 best Middle Eastern Restaurants for 2012. 
The Village voice - is one voice I always listen to so I wondered what all of you think also of their taste buds not just their voice?  Their article got only 10 comments which might mean that their readers might love hearing a strong voice - but sadly aren't strong on their love of Hummus.
 I didn't want this voice forgotten - so I decided to help and share their conclusions:

Here's the link to the full article:

Here's their top 10 and the reason they'v chosen it:"

1. Kabab Café -- Not only does this Egyptian café in Astoria offer an outstanding meze platter, it's one of the most intimate, relaxing spaces in the entire city. If you come during the day, there will be no written menu to choose from, the owner and chef of the restaurant's minuscule kitchen, Ali El Sayed, will simply ask you what you'd like to eat. Your order must absolutely include baba ghanoush, made with intensely smoked eggplant and lime, stuffed eggplant (if available), and the place's truly distinct fava falafel -- the daintiest, crispiest fritters you could ever hope to find outside the region. 25-12 Steinway Street, Queens, 718-728-9858

2. Cedars Meat House -- The juicy meat skewers at Cedars will make every other kebab you've had in this city pale in comparison. Order the platter so you can really taste the deep seasoning and perfect char of the lamb shish kebab and the spicy beef kufta kebab. They come with plenty of accoutrements: two dipping sauces -- a potent garlic sauce, and one with hot pepper flakes; a fresh chopped cucumber, tomato, and onion salad; hummus; and baba ghanoush. Then cool down your palate with some ayran, a sour yogurt drink often consumed with meat for digestive purposes in the Middle East. 41-08 30th Avenue, 718-606-1244

3. Tanoreen -- You can find some fantastic meze -- snacks meant for nibbling on while lounging for hours at an outdoor café -- at this Bay Ridge restaurant. Try some Arab classics: kibbeh -- raw, if available (fear not, it's like steak tartare), baked, or fried -- crispy lamb-filled sambousek, and tabbouleh salad. 7704 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-748-5600

4. Taïm -- This Israeli vegetarian carryout gets some serious points for boldness -- it serves three different flavors of falafel, a move that would be considered heresy in some purist circles. My favorite one features house-made harissa, a chili pepper paste common in North African cooking, which turns the balls' interior a vibrant orange color. The great thing is that when you bite into the harissa falafel you're not inundated with heat; instead you taste the flavoring's zest playing off the low, earthy notes of the chickpeas. 222 Waverly Place, 212-691-1287

5. Ilili -- A little more pricey and swanky than most other Middle Eastern restaurants in the city, Ilili serves some outstanding lamb -- made into makanek, a typical Lebanese sausage, or simply seared as chops and served with a sauce made with za'atar -- which makes putting up with the loud music and weird décor worth it. 236 Fifth Avenue, 212-683-2929

6. Taboon -- The kitchen of this spacious Hell's Kitchen restaurant riffs on classic Middle Eastern dishes using Mediterranean -- often Greek -- flavors. It's a great place to go for brunch, especially for its freshly baked, crusty bread stuffed with feta cheese and soft-boiled eggs, or ground lamb and tahini. 773 Tenth Avenue, 212-713-0271

7. Alfanoose -- This restaurant got its start as a food truck that quickly won over the lunchtime crowd in the Financial District, where the street food competition is fierce. Here the falafel, which is not always super crispy but has a lively cumin-coriander flavor, is at its best when bundled up tight in a large pita (for tidy eating) with beets, tahini, lettuce, and tomato. 8 Maiden Lane, 212-528-4669

8. Tripoli/Damascus Breads & Pastry -- Located on an Arab restaurant-dense strip of Atlantic Avenue, Tripoli has an endearingly old-school feel -- the walls are covered in dark wood, the ceiling is painted to look like the sky, and the menu specializes in Lebanese home cooking. Make sure to try the wara'anib, tight cigars of grape leaves stuffed with ground lamb and rice served warm with a bit of lemony broth. Then for dessert, head across the street to Damascus Breads & Pastry, a Syrian bakery, and pick up some first-rate walnut or pistachio baklava for the road. Tripoli (156 Atlantic Avenue, 718-596-5800), Damascus Breads & Pastry (195 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-625-7070)

9. Moustache -- Much has been written about this West Village restaurant's flatbreads, but the best dish on the menu is also the most ordinary sounding -- grilled chicken over lentil puree. These are no ordinary lentils: They're softened and mashed until velvety and spiced with plenty of garlic and a drizzle of potent olive oil. Though it might be hard to resist the lamb sandwiches and fancy pitzas, this plate won't let you down. 90 Bedford Street, 212-229-2220

10. Gazala's -- At this Druze Israeli restaurant, located on the Upper West Side, you'll find the kitchen staff hand-rolling kibbeh at tables hidden in the back of the dining room, and freshly made bread that's stretchy, thin, and more like South Asian roti than the pita found in most Middle Eastern restaurants. Use it to scoop up lemony tahini and thinly sliced grilled lamb -- one of the best entrées on the menu. 380 Columbus Avenue, 212-873-8880"

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hummus: the ultimate guide for beginners

So I found this interesting article online when I googled the word Hummus. This is an article from the blog I Googled Israel giving a brief history of Hummus and top 10 places to eat Hummus in Israel:

They also have an interesting video about Hummus in Israel:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Best Hummus in East Jerusalem

This article was taken from Globes, the Israeli Wall Street Journal

And their selections are:

Little Abu Shukri
Abu Hassan of Salah A Din
Sultani Restaurant or Abu Hassan El Bagdadi
Acramawi of Shehem Gate

And for those who want to read a little more and know Hebrew - here's the full article titled: ZEN AND THE ART OF EATING HUMMUS: The guide to Hard Core Hummus in East Jerusalem
זן ואמנות אכילת החומוס: המדריך לחומוסיות "הארד קור" במזרח ירושלים
הסיור "בין הגרגרים" שעובר בין חומוסיות סודיות במזרח ירושלים הוא בדיוק מה שהרופא המליץ לכם לחורף הזה ■ בסיור תאכלו תתענגו על הטעם ועל אנקדוטות היסטוריות ■ ניגוב נעים
13/02/2011, חגית אברון

ראשית סיפור המעשה הוא במייל תמים שהועבר לתפוצה אקראית של גברים ונשים, שעליו כותבו מנהלים בכירים, אנשי היי-טק ומספר שפים שאולי יגלו עניין כלשהוא בסיור חומוסיות בירושלים. "הסיור יעבור בין מספר חומוסיות סודיות במזרח העיר", כך נכתב במייל, "והוא מיועד לאוהבי חומוס אמיתיים ולבעלי קיבה חזקה". התגובות הנלהבות לא איחרו לבוא, בעיקר מצד הגברים בחבורה שהכריזו חגיגית שלא מאיימים על חומוסולוג בחומוס, ובכלל למה רק חמש חומוסיות? "הבו לנו עוד" תבעו בהתלהבות גברית אופיינית, ולבסוף, כצפוי, אכלו ברעש גדול שתי צלחות חומוס כמו גם את הכובע ונדמו.
וכך יצא לו הסיור "בין הגרגרים" לדרך. את הסיור מדריך דורון יושע, טיילן נלהב, חוקר ירושלים ומורעל חומוס, שהגה את הפרויקט. התוצאה - מפת חומוסיות אותנטיות ומשובחות, רובן בגומחות זעירות, שאותה שרטט דורון בעמל וקפידה. ואנחנו, בני מזל שכמותנו, ניווטנו בעקבותיו במשך יום שלם, טועמים, מגרגרים, נושמים ואוכלים חומוס מתובל בסיפורים, באנקדוטות היסטוריות ותרבותיות מרתקות, חשופים לפסיפס מרהיב של צבעים וריחות ומרגישים הכי חו"ל בארץ. להלן סקירה לא ממצה של החוויה.
"בין הגרגרים" סיור חומוסיות בירושלים -דורון יושע. טלפון: 052-4673663. כ-100 שקל לאדם כולל טעימות והדרכה. ניתן לארגן סיורים לקבוצות בתיאום
אבו שוקרי הקטן
רבות הן החומוסיות הנושאות את שם המותג היוקרתי "אבו שוקרי" ועל כן יש להיזהר מחיקויים. "אבו שוקרי" הקטן, קרוב משפחה של "אבו שוקרי" הגדול (והמשובח שלעצמו), ממוקם בלהב הרובע השוקק, לא רחוק מכנסיית הקבר, וכמה מטרים מחומוס לינא המפורסם.
שוקרי הקטן, סירב לתיעוד העיתונאי, ואף דחק בנו לקחת את קערית החומוס ולאכול אותה מחוץ למסעדה. לא נעלבנו, החומוס היה שווה את היחס המעט מנוכר. בשלב הזה, חשוב לציין, פרשו מרבית גברברי הקבוצה לאנחות, אוחזים בבטנם וממלמלים דבר מה אודות פגישה חשובה. וכך נותרנו אנחנו, דבקים במשימתנו העיתונאית, עם דורון , נציגות שפים וקערית החומוס האחרונה לאותו היום.
תגובות הקהל: חומוס נפלא, בעל טעמים נהדרים של טחינה ומקרם אוורירי.
דבר השפים: חומוס גברי, טחינה גסה, טיפת חמיצות ובעל טעמים עזים ומודגשים.
הסוד: פטרוזיליה טחונה בתוך התערובת, המעניקה לחומוס מרקם אוורירי.
אבו חסן של סלאח א-דין
יורדים ברגל לרחוב סלאח א-דין שוקק החיים - השפים עוצרים להתפעל מעלי רקפות למילוי, מכרוביות ענק ונבלעים בתוככי חנויות תבלינים. מידי פעם מצביע דורון על פינת חמד נסתרת, גן חבוי מעין, בניין יפה או מציין עובדה היסטורית מרתקת. קפיצה קטנה לחו"ל, כבר אמרנו.
החומוס של אבו חסן הוא חומוסייה ותיקה בת יותר מ-50 שנה. כוך קטן ללא שולחנות ישיבה, המגיש לסועדים המקומיים מבעד לדלפק קטן. יושע מאלתר עבורנו כמה ארגזים הפוכים ועליהם מניח את קעריות השילוש הקדוש של החומוס, חומוס פול ומסבחה. בעל המקום מוסיף גם רוטב ירקרק של פלפלים חריפים, לימון ושום שאותו מוסכים על החומוס, גלדי בצל וכדורי פלאפל.
תגובות הקהל: חומוס מעלף! פוסקת החבורה, קריאות עונג נשמעות עם כל טבילה.
דבר השפים: חומוס בעל מרקם עדין וטעם לימוני, טחינה מעולה באיכותה ופול נפלא וחמצמץ.
הסוד: עקביות. במשך 50 שנה ברציפות נפתח המקום ב-02:00 לפנות בוקר, אז מתחילה מלאכת הכנת החומוס המדוקדקת, שמתכונה לא השתנה מאז ועד היום.
אבו חסן אל בגדאדי (מסעדת סולטאני)
נכנסים לעיר העתיקה מבעד לשער הפרחים ונבלעים בתוככי סמטאות הרובע המוסלמי, בינות בתי המקומיים שניחוחות ארוחת צהרים וצהלות ילדים השבים מבית הספר בוקעים מחלונותיהם. אנו פוסעים בעקבות דורון במקומות שאין בהם רמז לתיירים, או כפי שהיטיב לנסח זאת אחד ממשתתפי הסיור, "מקומות שלא הלכו בהם מאז מלחמת ששת הימים".
ובכל זאת, באותה שעת צהרים של יום חול, הסכסוך נראה רחוק מתמיד, הסמטאות שלוות ותושבי הרובע עסוקים בענייניהם.
החומוס של אבו חסן הבגדאדי נמצא בעיבורה של שכונת מגורים בה מתגוררים צועני הרובע. את החומוסייה הנפלאה הזאת גילה דורון במקרה, עת נמלט מהגשם אל תוככי המסעדה הקטנה, שם הוא נפגש לראשונה עם החומוס של הבגדדי. נפגש ונפגע.
אבו חסן, דמות משופמת ותיאטרלית להפליא, מכין בפנים חתומות חומוס אלוהי במכתש ועילי, עבודה ידנית הניכרת בטעם. מלבד החומוס הנפלא, שולף הבגדאדי מנצ'טה אימתנית ופוצח בקיצוץ דתי של ירקות לסלט אותו הוא מערבב בטחינה ומגיש בשתיקה לסועדים.
וכן, יש להודות שזה היה הרגע היחיד בסיור שבו השתתקו גם המאצ'ואים שבחבורה, מאימת התרחיש הפוטנציאלי אודות קבוצת ישראלים הכלואה בכוך שבעליו אוחז בסכין בנבכי הרובע המוסלמי.
תגובות הקהל: "הארד קור" של החומוס. טעם עז ומודגש של חומוס אסלי. החומוס הכי אותנטי עד כה.
דבר השפים: חומוס בעל טעם דומיננטי המושג בזכות המכתש והעילי, כמעט ללא תיבול וללא טחינה, מרקם משיי.
הסוד: לאחר הבישול עוברים הגרגרים תהליך של סינון והוצאת נוזלים באמצעות שקית בד ורק אז גורס אבו חסן את הגרגרים ידנית.
עכרמאווי של שער שכם

בין הטעימות - חומוס גרגרים, חומוס פול ומסבחה, בה הגרגרים משתכשכים במיצי הטחינה והלימון. בגלל השעה המאוחרת (11:00 בבוקר) פספסנו את ה"פאטה" - חומוס ובו פיסות של פיתה מבושלות יחדיו. החומוסייה של עכרמאווי (שמקורו בעין כרם), החלה את דרכה בשנות ה-50 ומאז ועד היום היא משרתת את המקומיים שבשעה בה אנחנו הגענו כבר סיימו את ארוחת הבוקר שלהם והביטו בקבוצה הצפונבונית במבטים משועשעים.
את המתכון לחומוס הביא לארץ פועל מסוריה ומאז ועד היום מוכן החומוס על-פי מתכון זה.
תגובות הקהל: התגובות היו נלהבות אם כי מתונות. מדובר בחומוס ערבי אותנטי וטעים.
דבר השפים: מרקם משחתי מדויק עם מעט חספוס בלשון, שמן זית נהדר וחריף שמתחבר לחומוס בשלמות.
הסוד: שמן זית מאיכות מעולה, המופק מעצי זית שגדלים בהר ומושקים רק באמצעות מי גשמים. יחס משתנה של לימון-מלח בהתאם למזג האוויר, מה שמייצר הבדל גדול בטעם.
טיפ 1: תשכחו מתנועות סיבוביות
בניגוד למנהג המקובל של ניגוב החומוס בתנועה סיבובית עם הפיתה, את החומוס למעשה טובלים בתנועות מעודנות. ובכלל, יש המאמינים כי הטובלים בחומוס באופן קבוע הם אנשים רגועים יותר, בשל העובדה שהחומוס מכיל רמות גבוהות של טריפטופן, חומצת אמינו המעובדת במוח לסרוטונין - חומר המופרש במוח האחראי לתחושת הרוגע והאושר. הלאה הציפרלקס, מהיום איכלו חומוס.
טיפ 2: לא להגיש את החומוס חם
שימו לב! חומוס לעולם אינו מוגש חם. הגרגרים הינם הדיירים היחידים בקערת החומוס המורשים להיות חמימים. אם המשחה עצמה חמה, דעו לכם כי חיממו את החומוס, אקט ברוטלי המנוגד לאמנת החומוס הבינלאומית.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Great Hummus in Israel: Kibbutz Einat

In recent years a lot of new Hummus restaurants have emerged in Israel in a lot of new and untraditional places.  Here's one of the underground places that is known only to Hummus connesseurs.

Who would have thought that a great Israeli Hummus joint would be found in a Kibbutz. 
The "Jingi" - the Hebrew word for red haired - or freckled one, depending on how you understand it - is located in a tiny little joint on the outskirts of the Kibbutz.
The Jingi opens at around 8:00 am and closes at around 1:00 pm - or as his banner states - when the Hummus he made in the morning ends.
He wasn't joking. I came at 12:55 to get the last plate and at 1:00 pm a few people came and were told that they were too late. The Hummus joint is closed as he's run out of Hummus.

Funny that a Hummus joint closes exactly when people are starting to come out to eat Hummus. But that's the rule in this really great little place.

I asked the owner about this and he told me that he makes the Humus himself and has no aspirations to hand over his recipe to anyone else.
Not because he's afraid they will steal his recipe but because he thinks they won't make it as good as he does.

"You can double your money" I tell him - and he smiles and says - "So? " and continues " That's the problem with todays society. Everyone is so hungry for more. More land, more cars, more bling. More everything and at the end - only the drug companies make money - cause we're so depressed we can't eat everything we want that we take anti depressants to conquer our frustrations. I've only wanted to make Hummus" he tells me  and continues " And I sell only what I can make. Not one ounce more"

Looking at all the people who drove to Kibbutz Einat especially for his Hummus and were a few minutes too late - I realize he isn't kidding. He's not going to make more Hummus than he does.

The Hummus is wonderful and so is his Falafel but what was annoying to my colleague that came with me is that the options in this little joint are so limited. She wanted Hummus with Mushrooms but they didn't have it. They basically have Hummus and Falafel.
They didn't even have pickles on the side.

For those loving good Hummus - I highly recommend this place. 
The Hummus is awesome. Their Pitas are fresh and tasty. The falafel is superb and the owner is a great person to talk to about life and Hummus.

For those wanting more than just a basic Hummus plate and crave for all the extras of a full middle eastern restaurant - I think you need to look elsewhere.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Israel- Jerusalem Hummus

Jerusalem has a lot of great Hummus joints, both in East and West Jerusalem.

East Jerusalem. Can be scary and dangerous to get to as it's in East Jerusalem- but considered one of the best Hummus places around.
9 Al-Zahra St.
02 - 627 62 27

Additional places:
Abu Shukri (Abu Gosh)