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Best hummus in PHL?

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AllisonS May 27, 2008 10:49 PM

I've been on a major, major hummus kick for the past several months...where's the best hummus in the city or eastern Montco?

Thanks!

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    brightman RE: AllisonS May 28, 2008 07:46 AM

    I like Bitar's at 10th and Federal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: brightman
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      mazza3 RE: brightman Jul 3, 2008 12:07 PM

      i second that! damm, you may have just forced me to go there for dinner tonight....

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      jonnyblueshoes RE: AllisonS May 28, 2008 08:25 AM

      I recently had the hummus at Zahav and was very impressed. garlicy and smooth with marinated fava beans on top i believe, and warm freshly made bread to accompany it. I think they have a few other varities available as well. ,

      1. saturninus RE: AllisonS May 28, 2008 08:45 AM

        Restaurant: Dmirti's
        Store: Sabra

        10 Replies
        1. re: saturninus
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          Bigley9 RE: saturninus May 28, 2008 09:36 AM

          What/where is Sabra? Google will not answer me!

          1. re: Bigley9
            saturninus RE: Bigley9 May 28, 2008 10:11 AM

            It's a supermarket hummus - you can find it at some larger supermarkets and even large containers at Costco. Some say it's nothing fancy but I much prefer it's thick, creamy, aromatic taste to smaller local hummus' like Bobbi's.

            1. re: saturninus
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              Bigley9 RE: saturninus May 28, 2008 10:28 AM

              Ah! Thanks

              1. re: saturninus
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                discndav RE: saturninus Aug 12, 2009 12:08 PM

                I found Sabra hummus at a deli/store on Chestnut just west of 8th St in Philly.

                1. re: saturninus
                  sockii RE: saturninus Aug 12, 2009 03:06 PM

                  Sabra is great! It's easily my favorite store-bought hummus. Lots of rich flavor plus there doesn't seem to be raw garlic in it, so I can eat it without setting off my allergies.

              2. re: saturninus
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                pamd RE: saturninus May 29, 2008 06:30 AM

                FYI....the recipe for Sabra hummus is on topsecretrecipes.com this week!
                where do you buy citric acid/sour salt - at a regular grocery store?

                oh and the hummus at Kanella was really good!

                1. re: pamd
                  k
                  kahm RE: pamd May 31, 2009 09:38 PM

                  The only place I have found sour salt is online. King Arthur's catalog has it and by the time you pay shipping and handling it is over $12.00. I heard you can use "real lemon" but again I can't find it anywhere. I think Cost Plus World Markets had it but they closed in town. I found Lime Salt (Limon y Sal) by Morton Salt at Walmart and it does the trick, and is great on other foods also.

                  1. re: pamd
                    phillybakingqueen RE: pamd Jun 1, 2009 08:49 AM

                    Fresh Grocer at 40th and Walnut has sour salt/citric acid in small bags on a spice rack in the produce department. I was surprised when I randomly spotted it there last week! It was under $2/bag.

                    1. re: pamd
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                      barryg RE: pamd Jun 1, 2009 11:15 AM

                      Spice Corner on 9th in Italian Market definitely has it.

                      Best hummus I've had in town is a draw between Zahav and Shouk. Zahav has better bread, but Shouk can do the hummus with sauteed mushrooms--it's delicious.

                    2. re: saturninus
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                      SnappyH RE: saturninus Jun 9, 2008 10:14 AM

                      Second the Dmitri's vote.

                    3. juice RE: AllisonS May 28, 2008 09:46 AM

                      KONAK. Hands down. The bread they serve with it is even better. Go on Tuesday night, most of the menu is offered in sampler size for $2.

                      Sabra (store brand) garlic is really good although they have jacked the price lately. Cedar's Garlic is pretty good too.

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                        GBak504 RE: AllisonS May 28, 2008 11:37 AM

                        the hummus at Caspian Grille in Lafayette Hill is very good. as is their babbaghanoush.

                        germantown ave.

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                          Ali RE: AllisonS May 28, 2008 01:02 PM

                          Saad's at 45th & Walnut is amazing. The hummous is glorious and smooth and is served with warm pita if you eat in the restaurant (~$6/lbs or something equally ridiculous) - I've actually always gotten warm pita, but someone I recently sent there said she didn't. (The babaganoush is also incredibly smooth and lovely.)

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Ali
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                            mitchh RE: Ali May 28, 2008 03:02 PM

                            The best hummus that I have had is at Arpeggio in Spring House. Everything else on their menu is great as well.

                            1. re: mitchh
                              crazyspice RE: mitchh May 28, 2008 07:22 PM

                              I agree the hummus is wonderful at Arpeggio, but it is also really delicious at Iron Hill in English Village.

                            2. re: Ali
                              c
                              cybermome1207 RE: Ali May 30, 2008 06:04 AM

                              I agree..and the baba ghanoush is the best

                            3. oliviasaru RE: AllisonS May 29, 2008 02:04 PM

                              For store hummus, I LOVE Sun-ni hummus. Unfortunately, I can only get it at Whole Foods and am trying to avoid the place. :(

                              1. c
                                Chefpaulo RE: AllisonS May 29, 2008 04:55 PM

                                Why not homemade??? Soak and boil up some dried chick peas. Drain but save about 1/2 cup of the liquid. Dump them in a food processor with a few Tbs of tahini and as much garlic a you can stand. Pulse a few times. Add Tb or two of lemon juice, salt to taste and a pinch or two of oregano or parsley. Cumin if you like. Pulse again. If too thick and pasty, add some of the reserved chick pea liquid. Allow to chill overnight. Serve at room temp with olive oil and warm pita on the side.

                                Anything done at home these days SAVES GAS!!

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: Chefpaulo
                                  crazyspice RE: Chefpaulo May 29, 2008 06:28 PM

                                  ;-D I hear you on the gas thing! I am so busy right now, I have not seen the inside of my kitchen in weeks. SO, how 'bout you make it sell it to the rest of us! Not to worry about delivery service, be glad to do the drive-thru thing.

                                  1. re: Chefpaulo
                                    PattiCakes RE: Chefpaulo Jun 5, 2008 12:39 PM

                                    Ditto on the homemade. In a pinch, when seized by an uncontrollable hummus craving, you can always use canned garbanzos. The beauty of home made is that it's lots cheaper & you can add all kinds of amazing things to it. The only non-standard ingredient you'll have to keep on hand is tahini. Chick peas do not take long to cook. If you are into chick peas, you can also saute them (already cooked ones, of course) with onions, garlic and a combo of olive oil and buttah. Add a little S & P. Great side dish, and yummy with rice.

                                    After you master hummus, you can move on to baba ganoush [sic]. God, I love those Middle Eastern salads! Anyone have a recipe for the one with carrots?

                                    1. re: PattiCakes
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                                      Buckethead RE: PattiCakes Jun 5, 2008 02:17 PM

                                      Natural peanut butter (not Jif or whatever) makes a good stand-in for tahini in hummus.

                                      1. re: PattiCakes
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                                        Chefpaulo RE: PattiCakes Jun 7, 2008 06:07 AM

                                        Do you mean the shredded Moroccan carrot salad? I have no set recipe but wing it often. Shred several carrots. Toss with lemon juice, olive oil, cumin powder, a pinch of sugar, S/P to taste. Throw in some raisins (a mix of brown and golden adds color), toasted sliced almonds, chill a few hours and garnish with lots of chopped parsley.

                                        1. re: Chefpaulo
                                          PattiCakes RE: Chefpaulo Jun 9, 2008 05:18 AM

                                          The salad I had was composed of "carrot coins", but this sounds delicious. Thanks!

                                          1. re: Chefpaulo
                                            missclaudy RE: Chefpaulo Aug 13, 2009 04:20 AM

                                            http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/...

                                            Whats up doc?

                                          2. re: PattiCakes
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                                            FelafelBoy RE: PattiCakes Jul 9, 2008 10:33 PM

                                            PattiCakes - without using a pressure cooker, how do you figure that chick peas do not take long to cook? Cooking time is 1 to 1 1/2 hours, not including the time it takes to bring water to a boil, which does take considerable time (considering the amount of water in which the chick peas is to be boiled in). The last time I cooked chick peas from scratch, I swore it was the last time I'd do that for homemade hummus, as the whole process took well over two hours. The difference between that and using canned chick peas was not worth the additional time. (Now I have a pressure cooker, which supposedly takes about 14 minutes not including presoaking the night before and a natural release cool down period - I figure the actual pc time from start to taking off the cover would be about 25 to 30 minutes, considerably less time than just boiling them in the conventional way.)

                                            The Sabra brand of hummus has to be among the most beautifully packaged hummus I have ever seen - beautiful swirling design on the top surrounding an interior center of pine nuts and oil and who knows what else that I can't remember! Now, I see that another brand is trying to copy them!!

                                            I still find, pouring a can of drained chick peas, sesame tahini, salt, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, cumin, and some water, blended (and topped with paprika and lemon juice) makes a hummus as good as most store brands (albeit Cedars does it good job on its roasted red pepper, a variety that would take extra work - the plain hummus variety can be done even if one is half asleep!!).

                                            What I like about homemade hummus, besides its affordability and control over ingredients is that I can control the texture - sometimes I want a chunkier texture where some bits of chick peas can still be chewed upon, whereas other times I want a thinner texture. I like being able to add fresh garlic and extra virgin olive oil for health reasons and taste.

                                            Some store brand hummus now uses canola oil. Olive oil is supposedly a healthier oil, and this dish is a great way to get that oil. Some store brands actually use sugar and fillers!!! Horrible!!! Beware of the apparent size of the packaging!! Most have that hole in the bottom center which goes right up into the space of the packaging. While 8 oz. may sound and look like alot, you are lucky if you get two servings out of the package if you are hungry and eating it with one pita bread and salad for a meal.

                                            For convenience, store bought hummus is good, but if you have a little bit of time and money, the best way to go is to make your own or go to any of the restaurants that make it. They know what they are doing better than the rest of us.

                                            1. re: PattiCakes
                                              missclaudy RE: PattiCakes Aug 13, 2009 04:13 AM

                                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                              http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/...

                                            2. re: Chefpaulo
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                                              Boognish RE: Chefpaulo Jun 2, 2009 07:54 AM

                                              It doesn't always save gas to make your product at home. Restaurants have the advantage of creating large batches of a product at once which ultimately uses less natural resources than multiple people creating their own individual batches.

                                              Economies of scale and all that.

                                            3. joypirate RE: AllisonS May 30, 2008 04:59 AM

                                              Sue's produce at 18th and Sansom sells the homemade hummus from Byblos next door. That gets my vote. Short shelf life as it is homemade.

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                                                heartdoc RE: AllisonS Jun 2, 2008 06:02 PM

                                                Zahav is amazing, and great bread to go with it
                                                Second, Dimitris also, terrific

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                                                  danny m RE: AllisonS Jun 3, 2008 08:50 AM

                                                  The best hummus can be found in Chester County at Brandywine Prime.... It has just the right amount of lemon and talk about smooth!!!!!! I dont know how they do it. They serve it with pita and grilled shrimp.

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                                                    SpdRcr069 RE: AllisonS Jun 3, 2008 11:08 AM

                                                    You are not going to believe this but two middle eastern friends of mine, a Lebanese friend and a Pakistani friend, found Johnny Brenda's hummus to be one of the best served hummus in Philly. Konak's very good too, and course Bitar's is highly recommended, but both actually preferred JBs. I always order it (at JBs) with the grilled octopus or falafel. I also agree that Arpeggio's in Spring House, PA makes a darn good hummus and they have great brick oven pizza's too!

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                                                      isadorasmama RE: AllisonS Jun 5, 2008 10:21 AM

                                                      We've always enjoyed Aliyan's.

                                                      1. h
                                                        hungry100 RE: AllisonS Jun 6, 2008 07:00 AM

                                                        For store bought, Bobbi's can't be beat.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: hungry100
                                                          saturninus RE: hungry100 Jun 6, 2008 07:16 AM

                                                          I am a minority, but I don't like Bobbi's. Way to wet and thin.

                                                          1. re: saturninus
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                                                            Hansel RE: saturninus Jul 6, 2008 11:57 AM

                                                            For store-bought I like Bobbi's -- it's almost addicting. It's spicy and flavorful and there are now several different varieties available -- red pepper is very tasty. You can buy it at the Sunday Headhouse farmer's market -- a sample taste is free though it's not cheap to buy.

                                                            1. re: Hansel
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                                                              mpetr RE: Hansel Jan 17, 2009 04:58 AM

                                                              I really hate to say this, but addicting as the taste may be, I think Bobbi's hummus is a pretty greedy outfit.

                                                              I can't imagine anyone paying that much money for hummus, when the recipe has been duplicated so many times. Heck, I made some in my blender the other day, with a copycat recipe I found on Mother Jones. I mean paying out big dollars for an ice cream cup sized container of hummus is outrageous. Great advertising, and hey...an impressive following...but a ripoff nonetheless. I recognize quality, but the price is downright opportunistic, you know? With big cuts coming down the pike, I'd like to know that my comfort foods aren't going to be the cause of discomfort in the months to come.

                                                              1. re: Hansel
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                                                                mpetr RE: Hansel Jan 17, 2009 05:01 AM

                                                                k

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                                                            jessicheese RE: AllisonS Jun 7, 2008 08:14 AM

                                                            I've been to banquets at Tangerine on two separate occasions and thought their hummus was out of this world. I'm not sure if the menu version is the same, but it's definitely worth a try.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: jessicheese
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                                                              heartdoc RE: jessicheese Jul 2, 2008 05:13 AM

                                                              Recently at at Kanella and hummus was good too, but Zahav still beats it, especially with there home made Lavash bread!

                                                            2. j
                                                              jl0328 RE: AllisonS Jul 3, 2008 07:35 PM

                                                              Highly recommend Apamate's chirizo hummus..just won best of
                                                              http://www.cafeapamate.com

                                                              1. k
                                                                Karen K RE: AllisonS Jul 12, 2008 11:54 AM

                                                                Best from a store: Trader Joe's white bean and basil hummus.

                                                                1. m
                                                                  michyphilly RE: AllisonS Jan 17, 2009 06:49 AM

                                                                  I think the best hummus is at the Amenian Delight store on rt. 3 in Broomall. Old school women make it fresh in the back kitchen. Try it you will like it!

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                                                                    Elaine RE: AllisonS Jan 17, 2009 07:44 AM

                                                                    Cedars.

                                                                    1. j
                                                                      jaba RE: AllisonS Jun 1, 2009 07:28 AM

                                                                      zahav.

                                                                      1. sockii RE: AllisonS Jun 2, 2009 03:46 PM

                                                                        Are there any PHL restaurants that don't load their hummus with raw or roasted garlic?

                                                                        I love hummus but pretty much have to stick to the storebought brands myself. I have a nasty allergic reaction to garlic if it isn't well-sauteed (or removed from a dish after cooking, kind of impossible with hummus) and just get sick as a dog after eating most restaurant-prepared hummus.

                                                                        1. missclaudy RE: AllisonS Aug 12, 2009 08:00 AM

                                                                          Have you considered making your own. It's so easy. Search the chowhound recipe boards, find one you like, buy the readily available ingredients, sharpen up your trigger finger, fill the bowl, push the processor button for a few secs and there you go. Even if you need to buy a processor, you'll save a fortune buying way too expensive hummus and yours will be so much fresher AND you can mess around adding your favorite spices. Hummus is not lobster or foie gras. It's peasant food, a small bunch of simple ingreds which is why it's so good. You'll love youself and your pals will love you too when you make yours better than what you have been buying (it may make take a few trys, all mistakes are edible here,good luck.)

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: missclaudy
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                                                                            bemycake RE: missclaudy Aug 12, 2009 04:57 PM

                                                                            i agree!! SO easy to make tasty hummus. I feel buying store bought is sooo overpriced now that I make my own! :)

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                                                                            masonwasp RE: AllisonS Aug 14, 2009 11:42 AM

                                                                            I always make a point to stop by Armenian Delight in Broomall, although that may be a hike for you. It has the best hummus around, IMO. It's at the intersection of 320 and Rte. 3.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: masonwasp
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                                                                              mitchh RE: masonwasp Aug 15, 2009 09:30 AM

                                                                              Had dinner last night at Chaikana in Blue Bell. Dinner was excellent including their hummus with freshly baked naan. While it may not be as good as Arpeggio's, it's a close second and it's not as garlicy as theirs.

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