Thursday, September 24, 2015

Happy for hummus

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 9:08 AM

click to enlarge Hummus from Al Seraj on Rodney Parham Road. - MICHAEL ROBERTS
  • Michael Roberts
  • Hummus from Al Seraj on Rodney Parham Road.

Consider, if you will, the humble chickpea, that lovely legume that makes things like hummus and falafel possible. Humanity's history with chickpeas stretches back to before recorded history, and the little suckers are so dad-blame delicious that it isn't hard to see why. They're great in soups, they're great on salads—but my personal favorite way to eat them is pureed with tahini, olive oil and lemon into hummus. Little Rock has some great spots to get hummus, so if you like the stuff as much as I do, why not pay some of these places a visit? Here are my top spots for hummus in town:

*Al Seraj: Despite my recent mixed review of Al Seraj, I don't have a single complaint about the Rodney Parham Road Mediterranean joint's hummus. Silky smooth, with a great bite of lemon, this is hummus worth savoring. Eat it with pita, eat it on a sandwich or just eat it with a spoon. It's great, and has quickly become one of my favorite versions in the city.

*Ali Baba: When I used to work down in southwest, I ate at Ali Baba on South University quite often. The hummus there is a little more herbal than some of the other varieties in town, and a healthy glug of fruity olive oil over the top of each plate makes it a wonderful experience to eat. 

*Four Square Cafe: This downtown eatery uses hummus in several of their sandwiches and wraps, and while it isn't as pungent as some versions I've tried, it's still quite tasty. In fact, the only thing that keeps me from eating at Four Square more often is that the service leaves a lot to be desired.

*Geek Eats: When I'm at our area farmers markets, I always keep a look out for Geek Eats. The hummus from this local company is flavorful and comes in a variety of flavors like Spicy Sriracha and Lemon Zest & Cilantro. Creative flavors, high quality ingredients, and the fact that when I pick up the hummus I can also usually get some of the best granola on earth all goes to making Geek Eats a favorite.

*Layla's: Of course, no discussion of hummus can happen in Little Rock without talking about Layla's. The hummus here is simple but never bland, with a tangy bite and a delightful texture that makes it a go-to snack or quick lunch whenever I am near one of Layla's several locations. It's just good.

There are, of course, other spots for hummus in town, but these are some of my favorites. Honorable mentions would include The Veg down in the River Market, Taziki's and Big Orange, who includes hummus on a veggie-and-cracker dip tray. And, of course, I'm sure all of you have your own favorite versions. So let me know—where's the good hummus coming from? I'm getting hungry.

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