Sunday, July 19, 2015

The demise of "Hummus World"

"Hummus World" was a small eatery in a nearby town that specialized in pita sandwiches, falafel, homemade soups, and hummus among other things.  In more or less a shotgun shack configuration it had three tables that could seat two people, three if a chair was put in the aisle, and one longer table in the front that could seat six people comfortably, perhaps two more if crammed in.  There were a couple of metal tables outside on a concrete slab for use in good weather.   It was primarily a restaurant for take-out but the owner was obviously pleased when we decided to eat there.

A few days ago we were shocked to find out that it had closed.  It was one of those unique choices that are rare these days, a small family owned business where the owners were always on the premises and recognized their customers.  The loss relative to good food options in the area is tragic. In fact, it had closed in late January but we had not been out and about enough recently to know. It had been a regular almost monthly outing over the last ten years or so.

So it's a goodbye to those chicken shawarma pita, shawafel pita, and falafal pita sandwiches, all stuffed with Israeli salad, hummus, and tahini sauce.  The New York Times referred to them as "big, messy, and terrific".  That's all true, and napkins were essential.  Goodbye to those "crisp Israeli fries", covered in salt and spices and when put in a brown paper bag for take-out, the bag was drenched in grease after our 10 minute drive home.  We always snacked on them aggressively in the car while they were still hot. Another adios to the "sloppy ju", a pita combination of hummus, ground beef, baked fava beans, and mushrooms.  And last but not least, goodbye to the four hot sauces, green, red, yellow, and brown.  A combination of green and yellow worked for me.  Brown was saved for a dare.

Why they closed is a mystery, as they had many loyal customers.  During the lean years of 2009 the large multi-tasking owner - cashier, server, talker, Mets watcher, and phone attendant -  did complain to me about the business barely making it, but it was assumed that must have been related just to that year.  It's possible that he and his wife, who made the soups( the paper menu said "all soups served depending on Esther's mood that day") decided to move home, had health issues, or were worn out from running the business. They were our age is my guess.

The people, the uniqueness of the food, and the personalized atmosphere of the place will be missed here.  There can be no replacement.  K says the closure is "terrible".  We miss the owner, a big guy with always looking for a laugh, and that's what it comes to in friends in this metro world.


Blogger CollectiveAccess said...

They lost their lease.

8:23 AM  
Blogger John Borden said...

Thanks for the information.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The owner was working at the roslyn bagel boss as of a few months ago and he said they didn't want a kosher restaurant there anymore. They offered more money on the lease but the landlord didn't want them there, sad seeing as that building is still for rent

9:51 AM  
Blogger tom..... said...

I saw the owner working at the roslyn bagel boss as of a few months ago and he said they didn't want a kosher restaurant there anymore.i lived right down the street from hummus world and would go about twice a week. He is what every business owner should be.

9:58 AM  

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