Hummus in the Middle East
I'm on a mission to find the best hummus in Israel. And not just Israel. Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon... I want to try every variety of hummus in the region. The simple kind they've been cooking for millenia. The fancy kind that they serve in upscale Tel Aviv restaurants. You name it. All suggestions appreciated. Thanks.
Speaking from a Jerusalem perspective, I'm not sure I've ever had hummus I'd call "upscale" - but then I'm not really eating in many fancy Tel Aviv restaurants either. I'd specifically recommend Abu Hassen - which has locations in Jerusalem and Jaffo. Also hummus from Abu Gosh is supposed to be "the best" - but I don't have a specific recommendation there.
Along the lines of "totally unhelpful directions" - there is a place in the Old City that is this small hole in the wall where they make the hummus in the front with a giant mortar and pestle (best visual cue that you're there). My horrible walking directions have you starting from Jaffa Gate, walking down the main tourist pedestrian street until you can't go any further. And then take a left going in the direction of the Muslim Quarter and not the Western Wall. It's on a street that primarily has bedding and fabric stores. For an Israeli Jewish take, there is a place on Ben Sira Street (that is called Ben Sira or Hummus Sira, something like that) that is quite popular.
The hummus I personally dislike are the kinds where they've had hard boiled eggs included. A lot of places in this region will add hard boiled egg for a smoother texture - but I find the smell really off putting.
As far as I'm concerned the best hummus in Israel is at Abu Hassan in Jaffa. Smooth, creamy, really excellent. Go early; they close after they sell out. For a completely different style of hummus there is Mashawa on Pinsker Street in Tel Aviv. They serve their hummus warm, with whole chickpeas on top.
Years and years and years ago the best place for hummus in Jerusalem was Abu Shukri. I don't know if it still exists, but it got to be so popular among Jewish Israelis that the Arabs didn't go anymore.
Hummus is often served with cut raw onions, but it is also excellent with raw tomatoes.
Sadly, it's been a while since I was last in the region, but the two best hummus (pluralize as you see fit) I've tried were in Muscat and Amman. Surprised, I was, but delighted all the same.
Which isn't to say that it was disappointing everywhere else, but those two stand out.