Review By: Stefanie Parks –
I’ve walked by Hummus Kitchen a dozen times and every time I do, I make a mental note that I need to eat there ASAP. In fact, I actually tried to eat there once, but the entire restaurant was closed for a private party (whoever was having that party must have a lot of friends). So, when my friend Ilysa and I finally got our long-overdue dinner date on the calendar, I thought that Hummus Kitchen would be the perfect place.
We met there, and before even looking at the menu, we both knew that obviously we would be getting hummus as an appetizer (I mean can you really go to a restaurant named Hummus Kitchen and not order the hummus? The answer is no). As soon as I saw the Hummus Kitchen Sampler on the menu, I was sold. It’s a platter divided by four types of Hummus: Chickpea, Mushroom, Tahini, and Egyptian. Ilysa doesn’t like mushrooms, so we asked if we could get the platter split into three instead of four. Our waitress said it would be no problem. She asked if we wanted white or whole wheat pitas and instead of speaking, Ilysa and I both just looked at each other and nodded, as if the waitress would be able to read our minds (we want wheat, we want wheat). Miraculously though, she somehow did. “Ok, I’ll bring your Hummus Kitchen with Wheat Pita.”
And that was not the only amazing thing that our waitress did throughout our meal either. She was the best…. and I won’t lie, Ilysa and I both wanted to be friends with her.
In looking at the menu after ordering our appetizer, I immediately realized that I had made a big mistake in assuming that hummus kitchen was a Greek restaurant. I was expecting a menu full of hummus, pita, kebabs, gyros, falafel… you get the picture. Yes, we could have chosen some of those items, but this menu was very different than what I had been expecting and had a lot of things on it that I had never even heard of.
As you know, I hate cilantro. With a passion. So, the few items containing cilantro were out. And, I just had kebabs for dinner the night before, so those were out too. Our amazing waitress (I kind of wish I knew her name so I could tag her on Facebook or something and let her know all of the nice things I’m saying about her) told us that the Chicken Cous Cous and the Mediterranean Red Chicken were both very popular. Ilysa had her eye on the Chicken Cous Cous (slow cooked chicken with raisins, onion, and cinnamon served on cous cous, and assorted vegetables), so we went with that as our first entree.
I thought that the Seni’Ya looked very interesting, but didn’t quite know what it was. The menu explains it as traditional stew of ground beef and lamb seasoned with onion, parsley & spices, topped with white Tahini and pine nuts. Served in a hot pan. The waitress said it was awesome, and by this time, I trusted her wholeheartedly, so we went with that as our second entree.
Our hummus came out, and was probably the most ridiculous and amazing looking hummus platter that I have ever seen. One hummus was more beautiful than the next… And they tasted as good as they looked… Maybe better. And, the pita was as good as the hummus. Best pita and hummus combination that I think I’ve ever had. Before this meal, my favorite hummus was at Taxim in Chicago, and even though I haven’t had that in a while, I think that Hummus Kitchen’s hummus blew that out of the water. Yes, that is a bold statement… I know.
The tahini hummus was my favorite, followed by the chickpea and then the Egyptian. I’m still not exactly sure what exactly the egyptian hummus was, but I think it was mixed with some kind of beans. I’m just really not sure. All I know is that they were all amazing (ok, I know you get the picture… I loved the hummus). My only complaint was that there was a little too much parsley for my liking, but that’s just me being picky.
And then came our entrees. No joke, we had so much food that we had to use the table next to us for storage. The Seni’Ya came with rice, so we mixed that in, and I dug into that first. It was so good. Like wow. It wasn’t at all what I had pictured it to be. When I read traditional stew, I thought big chunks of meat… But, I guess I should have paid more attention to the part in the description that said “ground beef and lamb.” Either way, it was delicious, all the same.
I took a bite of the chicken cous cous, and it tasted like something my mom or grandma would make for the Jewish holidays. It had those same chicken/cinnamon/raisin flavors that you find in a lot of noodle kugels. Again, nothing at all like what I was expecting, and probably my least favorite of the dishes, but still very good.
Ok, well as you can imagine, by the time we finished eating, we were stuffed (I think I end about 95% of my posts with that line). Our waitress came over to ask us if we would like some of their free dessert and I kind of can’t believe it, but we were so full that we had to turn it down. I mean really, who turns down free dessert?
Our waitress didn’t seem that disappointed in us though. After she cleared our table, she came back and gave us both high-fives. I have never gotten a high-five from a waitress before… I liked it.
It’s not often that a restaurant surprises me like Hummus Kitchen did, and it was definitely a very pleasant surprise! I will certainly be back there again sometime very soon.