Al-Amir Mohammed St Downtown
Amman 11110, Jordan
I’ve been back from Jordan for nearly a week now and still salivate at the thought of eating hummus and pita from Hashem. Prior to my trip to Jordan, I naturally looked up all the food places and foods I needed to try and found that Hashem was the only restaurant that consistently showed up on everyone’s “must try” list. Hashem showed up on TripAdivsor, NYTimes, niche little blogs, Wiki Travel, and even Arab news sites. It is frequented by upper, middle, and lower class Jordanian locals, as well as tourists. One journalist described Hashem as “a gateway for bridging the city’s well-off west end and its poorer eastern neighbourhoods.” It opened in 1956 and has been extremely popular ever since. The hummus recipe was brought over by the Palestinian founder, Hashem Turk, whose family owned a restaurant on the Mediterranean coast of what is now Israel.
In our one week trip where we were only in Amman for maybe two full days, we had Hashem four times. The first time was for dinner the night we landed. Second time was for breakfast the next day. Third time was the night before we were leaving Jordan. Fourth was the morning after at the airport where we savored our little tub of hummus that we had purchased to-go the night before. As someone who is almost morally opposed to eating the same thing when traveling, I know how ridiculous this is. But Hashem is really that good.
There’s no menu. You have the choice of creamy hummus, chunky hummus, and fuul (fava bean). Every meal is served with pita on pieces of paper (easy clean-up to say the least) and complimentary pickles, fresh basil, onion, tomatoes, and very sweet tea.
The star of the show is easily the hummus. This is the creamiest and freshest hummus I have ever tasted in my life. The chick peas are ground super finely and then mixed with tahini (sesame paste), plenty of lemon juice, and hyper rich tasting olive oil. It is served with finely chopped green peppers and whole chick peas in the center. The hummus has the right amount of salt and tang to shock your tastebuds, only to then be washed down by large pieces of pita bread. The hummus is more acidic than I’m used to in the US but is balanced by how damn creamy it is. I can’t even fully describe what it tastes like but trying to decipher the taste by memory is making me salivate. Continue reading
238 E 14th St
(between 2nd Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
Sorry for being MIA again. I’ve been busy figuring out my life and have recently made some exciting changes! Also took advantage of some inbetween time to travel last week to Jordan. Jordanian blog post coming soon! After our long journey back, we had a couple hungry hours to kill before dinner so dropped by BaoHaus. I’ve reviewed this place twice before. It’s become a staple place to go to for a snack in my neighborhood. The little baos are the perfect after-school snack to tide you over before dinner. Of all the baos they have, my favorite is still the Birdhaus Bao ($3.50).
This little bun is stuffed with a piece of fried chicken with mayo, cilantro, crushed peanuts, and Taiwanese red sugar. The chicken used to always be fat and juicy but the last couple of times I’ve been, the chicken has been dry and overcooked. BaoHaus, don’t be losing your quality now that you’re the popular kid on the block.
In addition to increased prices all around (sad), BaoHaus has added a couple new menu items, including the Chairman on Rice (a $10.50 bowl of fatty flavorful pork belly over rice, something you can get in Chinatown for less than half that price) and the Coffin Bao, which is a whopping $7.50. It is a large fried man tou (Chinese steamed bun) stuffed with either fried chicken or fish and topped with condensed milk, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, and cilantro. Continue reading
22 Warren St
(between Broadway & Church St)
New York, NY 10007
Y.N. is the queen at finding food deals (did you know you could sign up for Red Mango’s mailing list and get a free froyo? Y.N. did.) and cooking classes. She invited me to a mozzarella-making class she bought on Groupon. I’ve started learning a lot more about cheese from my cheese connoisseur roommate, B.A., who used to work at Murray’s Cheese Shop, so decided to take the plunge and join Y.N., M.F., and R.C. on this cheese-capade. The class was hosted by Brick, an Italian restaurant in the heart of Tribeca. The restaurant is supposed to be medicore (according to Yelp), which may be why they are offering classes on Groupon. The class was about $34 per person with the Groupon and included 1 bottle of wine between two people, a little plate of antipasti, and enough cheese curds to make a little ball of mozzarella. Definitely not good bang for your buck but it was a fun experience nonetheless!
We each got a bowl and two pairs of gloves to begin.
We also got a little cup of cheese curds.
This was our cheese-making teacher, Patrick. He is a senior at Fordham University graduating with a degree in Sociology. Random. His family owned a dairy farm, which is why he knows so much about cheese. He gave us a brief history of cheese while making snide and sarcastic jokes throughout. His jokes made us feel awkward but increasingly were more funny the more wine we had… Continue reading