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Best Hummus and fresh pita bread in bay area?

g
gandro Jul 7, 2008 05:13 PM

I love hummus, however its always hit or miss at most restaraunts and groceries.
Please share your opinions on where to get the best hummus and fresh pita bread in the south bay and peninsula.
Thanks

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  1. The Ranger RE: gandro Jul 7, 2008 07:19 PM

    There's a Turkish restaurant on Murphy in Downtown Sunnyvale, Taverna Gyros, that has an excellent hummus and pita side. M&M, the grocery store on Stevens Creek and Blaney also sells both. TJ's has the 4-flavor hummus and pita for quick noshings. Afghan House on the border of Sunnyvale and Santa Clara on El Camino also has a hummus side that's divine. I think the Indian grocer on Rodriguez and De Anza Blvd. sells hummus; their nan (a worthy double for pita) is excellent.

    1. j
      Judith RE: gandro Jul 7, 2008 08:25 PM

      I like Sabra hummus. You can always get it at the International Market on Curtner and Union in San Jose. They sometimes have it at Costco.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Judith
        JiyoHappy RE: Judith Jul 7, 2008 09:47 PM

        I like that store for their frozen falafels. And on fridays. they have beirut style large pita breads ..yum

        1. re: JiyoHappy
          v
          Val RE: JiyoHappy Aug 5, 2008 06:41 AM

          Frozen falafels? I live in SW FL and when I last ordered a falafel pita from my favorite local Greek restaurant, they said they were thinking of selling their own falafel--frozen--since so many of us just love them. How do you cook frozen falafel? Do you deep fry them or just re-heat? I don't think I've ever seen frozen falafel in our grocery stores here, though I could be wrong. I've seen the boxed mix for it but not actual frozen falafel. Thanks!

          1. re: Val
            JiyoHappy RE: Val Aug 5, 2008 11:10 AM

            Deep frying is the way to go for these frozen falafels b/c they are big in size, about 1 inch diameter. Sometimes I shallow-fry them in about half inch high layer of olive-oil , that gives them a crunchy crust .
            There are some stores in the SF bay area which actually supply
            pre-cooked frozen falafels to restaurants and delis. Not all restaurants make their own falafels!!

            1. re: JiyoHappy
              v
              Val RE: JiyoHappy Aug 5, 2008 11:50 AM

              Thank you!

        2. re: Judith
          J T RE: Judith Jul 30, 2008 05:28 AM

          I love Sabra Hummus. I know my area Andronicos has a nice selection, think they 6-7 varieties of Sabra Hummus on the shelf on my last visit. Admittedly Sabra's not for everyone. My closest Middle Eastern friend doesn't like it.

          1. re: J T
            w
            whiner RE: J T Jul 30, 2008 08:04 AM

            Sabra is my favorite store-bought hummus, too...

            1. re: whiner
              o
              oaktowngirl RE: whiner Jul 30, 2008 08:28 AM

              Sabra- Roasted Garlic is my favorite store bought. As far as bread, I have found the Middle eastern flat bread at Trader Joes s a good match for the hummus. The pita is kinda dry (like most pitas I have had). And the frozen naan in a pinch.

        3. wolfe RE: gandro Jul 10, 2008 12:29 PM

          At Zand's in Albany they carry a delicious thick pita made by Aroma's Pizzeria in San Bruno. It's ingredients include flour, yeast, thyme, oregano and olive oil. Previously described on Chowhound by K.K. 3/2008
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/50096...
          And a link found by rworange also described by Candice in 2006.
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/34951...

          1 Reply
          1. re: wolfe
            w
            wally RE: wolfe Jul 25, 2008 06:42 PM

            Thank you for this.

          2. lauercrnsw RE: gandro Jul 12, 2008 09:40 PM

            I struggled to find the best gyro. And then I happened upon Yiassoo. They have the absolute best pita bread.

            -----
            Yiassoo
            2180 S Bascom Ave, Campbell, CA 95008

            Yiassoo
            10660 S De Anza Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014

            1. The Ranger RE: gandro Jul 25, 2008 07:41 AM

              If you find yourself around the Vallco Farmers' Market today between 9-1, Sukhi's has a booth there. I've not seen hummus but their eggplant, curry, and cilantro chutneys are way-cool! They also sell fresh naan. ABSOLUTELY a must-stop!

              1. WCchopper RE: gandro Aug 3, 2008 06:27 PM

                There is a brand of pita called Caravan at the Persian grocery store in Concord. It has a good fresh bread flavor, chewy, not too crumbly. I usually get the whole wheat version.

                1. m
                  melisky RE: gandro Aug 3, 2008 07:14 PM

                  My absolute favorite hummus right now is from East and West Gourmet Afghan Food (www.bolaniandsauce.com) -- the plain is super garlicky and fresh. You can find them at Andronico's and farmer's markets. Everything else they sell is wonderful, too -- sundried tomato pesto, cilantro pesto, basil pesto, eggplant pesto...only thing I didn't finish was the lentil curry. In a pinch, the Trader Joe's Mediterranean style with pine nuts is tasty, if very rich, but I find the large container frustrating -- it always goes off before I can finish it.

                  I've only had the spinach and pumpkin bolanis -- spinach was excellent -- the pumpkin was really good. It looks like they'll be adding fresh pita bread to their offerings soon if they haven't already...I haven't seen them, though. Anyone know?

                  1. celeste RE: gandro Aug 4, 2008 01:58 PM

                    The best best BEST hummous is Haig's. It's made by a local SF company and sold in several stores in San Francisco - I would check at a specialty or gourmet market in the peninsula? I think almost all store bought hummous is largely pasty guck, and I *love* Haig's hummous. It has a very light texture with a clean tangy flavor.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: celeste
                      a
                      Agent 510 RE: celeste Sep 2, 2009 07:31 PM

                      I tried Haig's baba ghanoush, and I couldn't even finish the tub. The flavor was OK, but the texture was all wrong, firm and thick like cream cheese, just really pasty and weird. I hope their hummus is different.

                    2. c
                      CaitlinC333 RE: gandro Aug 4, 2008 06:53 PM

                      My favorite hummus in the Bay Area is at the Apollo Market & Deli on Fell at Laguna in SF. You can order containers of it at the deli counter and they always offer to drizzle olive oil on top.

                      1. k
                        katya RE: gandro Jul 10, 2009 01:23 PM

                        Every since I started getting the super garlicky hummus at Gourmet Express, every other hummus doesn't compare.

                        My second favorite version though is the one at Gulzaar. They give you a huge portion for the small - an entire plastic container of the stuff and pita for $4.25. (And this isn't a market either.)

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                        Gourmet Express
                        463 Valley Way, Milpitas, CA 95035

                        Gulzaar
                        1880 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: katya
                          c
                          chow_eb RE: katya Jul 10, 2009 10:30 PM

                          > the super garlicky hummus at Gourmet Express,
                          > every other hummus doesn't compare.

                          No way. I was there recently. I ordered the schwarma chicken plate (meat with four small sides). They were low on hummus and brought over an industrial container to refill the pan with. I couldn't see the label on the container from my table, but it looked familiar.

                          The "schwarma" chicken was soft and moist -- wet actually. When I finished my lunch and went to the cashier to pay, I said that the "schwarma" chicken appeared to be _boiled_ and I asked where the (whatever it is) vertical roaster is, since I didn't see one in their kitchen. She said "we cook it in the oven." Hmmm. I pointed out again that the chicken was soft and actually WET, and she said, "Well, yeah, we boil it."

                          Of course they do. It was easy to figure out. In taquerias that have lots of meat choices, they will have a "pollo asado" and a "pollo." The first is grilled and the latter is stewed. The schwarma chicken at GE is exactly like "pollo," it's stewed/boiled and has a soft/flaky texture. Not like any schwarma I've had at other places.

                          1. re: chow_eb
                            k
                            katya RE: chow_eb Sep 2, 2009 03:52 PM

                            I ate at Gourmet Express again today. I asked the honor about their hummus, and she proudly told me how they made it in-house, and that she hoped to one day sell it at local markets.

                            In fact their website includes their hummus recipe:
                            http://falafelland.homestead.com/Reci...

                        2. s
                          sonomajom RE: gandro Jul 11, 2009 01:47 PM

                          Look for The Hummus Guy at the Alemany Market on Sat. I think he does other markets too. They have great pita and many flavors of hummus. He's from Petaluma but I think only sells at Farmers Markets

                          1. l
                            little cook RE: gandro Jul 11, 2009 10:40 PM

                            They have house-made hummus at Saffron Gourmet in Albany that is fantastic. They carry a variety of pita breads from the area, but so far my favorite so far is the large Afghani flatbread. If you go, I would also highly recommend trying the house-made dolmas!

                            1. m
                              MeerKatya RE: gandro Aug 31, 2009 02:43 PM

                              I second, or maybe it's third by now, the shout-out to the Hummus Guy (of Tunisia by way of Petaluma). We found his goods at the Point Reyes Farmers Market (Saturdays, 9-1).

                              OMG - his pita chips alone are to die for, terribly addictive, we had friends fighting over the crumbs. And his hummus (and olives) and other spreads are yum, yum, yummy. They are very very generous with giving tastes, and discounts, I bought two giant bags of pita chips (one garlic, one lemon), his regular hummus, his kalamata hummus, artichoke spread, and two containers of olives (one spicy green, one black), and it cost $22. Too cheap!

                              I will also say that indeed Zand's on Solano Ave in Berkeley/Albany has excellent pita and the store-bought Sabra's is a favorite.

                              Further, the various spreads from Bolani, the Afghan guy who we've found at the Temescal (Oakland) market, and also in grocery stores - Berkeley Bowl I think - very very good, also very generous as to samples.

                              Spread the love! Love the spread!

                              1. k
                                katya RE: gandro Sep 1, 2009 11:18 AM

                                Gulzaar's is excellent. A little garlicky, slightly lemony. Comes with a plate of pita they're happy to refill for free.

                                They do a lot of to-go business so it'd be easy to pick up.

                                -----
                                Gulzaar
                                1880 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA

                                1. t
                                  Thomas Nash RE: gandro Sep 2, 2009 08:34 PM

                                  I am very partial to the hummus at Good Frikin Chicken -- for me it is the best anywhere -- and it hasn't been mentioned yet. Their chicken (rotisserie version not the grilled one) is darn good too, maybe the best (if they haven't run out).

                                  The hummus is very smooth, very complex in flavor, but with little or no cumin, and not too raw in garlic. Just right

                                  1. s
                                    sundeck sue RE: gandro Jun 27, 2011 12:04 PM

                                    This is going to be a hard one to find consensus--so many opinions re what makes perfect hummous! I'm still looking for a really GREAT hummous in the Bay Area. I'm a Haig's fan (great flavor, texture not perfect)--in addition to their store in the Richmond in SF, I've gotten it @ Berkeley Bowl. Sabra doesn't do it for me re flavor--though my kids, who've both spent time in the Middle East, like it a lot. Recently tried the Hummous Guy @ Alemany Mkt--he's engaging, but his hummous imo less so. Other folks mentioned the Bolani folks @ farmer's mkts--I love his garlic cheese and sweet pepper jam and cilantro pesto, but hummous less wonderful.

                                    -----
                                    Berkeley Bowl
                                    2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                                    1. s
                                      sistinas RE: gandro Jun 28, 2011 12:23 PM

                                      They don't make fresh pita, but I love the hummus at Sultana in Menlo Park. Great garlicky flavor and not as oily as the Sabra hummus, which I'm not very fond of.

                                      -----
                                      Sultana
                                      1149 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: sistinas
                                        wolfe RE: sistinas Jun 28, 2011 03:50 PM

                                        I don't know if you read all the posts. If not the Aroma Hamati bread from the folks in San Bruno is the freshest store bought bread I have found for hummus scooping.
                                        Up thread link.
                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5364...

                                      2. drewskiSF RE: gandro Jun 30, 2011 12:52 PM

                                        Fa La La, the newish falafel place on Durant in Berkeley bakes their pitas fresh daily. Thicker and fluffier than your typical pita. They sell them in bags of 6 for $3.60 and I think I saw a sign for day olds, but can't remember the price.

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                                        Fa-La-La
                                        2518 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: drewskiSF
                                          Glencora RE: drewskiSF Jun 30, 2011 01:02 PM

                                          Good to know. I would definitely buy their pita, though I don't think I'll try their sandwiches again.

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