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Published on 02/20/2012
February 20, 2012
The New Culinary Kid on one Chelsea Block: Hummus & Pita Co
Written by Christine Wei for NYCityMama on 20 February 2012

Once an industrial neighborhood of downtown Manhattan, Chelsea is now one of NYC’s hippest neighborhoods. There’s plenty of contemporary art, upscale shopping, and food—oh, the food. I’ve always been a huge fan of the area’s ethnic offerings (think: everything from Indian to Venezuelan), so I was of course delighted to attend a preview of Hummus & Pita Co, the newest Mediterranean establishment in town.

Opened just last week on the corner of 17th Street and 6th Avenue, this warm little restaurant serves up Middle Eastern fast food via a Chipotle-style bar. There were many distinct elements of the space that I was immediately attracted to: the taboon tandoor oven, the communal tables, the gyro and shawarma roasting in plain sight.

But what really caught my attention were the baskets and baskets of fresh pita bread alongside laffa flatbread, all baked in-house. While I love pita bread, especially sweet and fluffy ones like those at H&PC, the crunchy laffa turned out to be a strong contender on my list of choice carbohydrates, too. My absolute favorite on the menu, though, would have to be the pita chips. With a lethal combination of garlicky and peppery seasonings, these pita chips are satisfyingly crispy on the outside and oh-so-soft on the inside.

Of the entrée offerings, I most enjoyed the chicken taboon, a very tender and generously seasoned dish made in the tandoor oven. Edward Geyman, one of the partners of the restaurant who I met, revealed that this was his favorite as well. The lamb shawarma was tasteful but not too salty, though some pieces of the marinated steak were on the tough side. Note: all of these were served in side dish bowls during the preview, but they usually come in the falafel, pita, or platter.

Of course, I can’t write about the Hummus & Pita Co. without mentioning the hummus. While the spinach hummus in the falafel I tried wasn’t the best I’ve had, it had a great consistency and I like that the restaurant offers other flavors like sundried tomato and jalapeno & cilantro.

For a snack instead of a full-blown meal, I’d highly recommend the potato bourekas, a flaky pastry with a creamy filling, or a sweet rugelach rolled cookie. If it’s a post-work drink you’re after, the restaurant stocks Greek, Turkish, and Moroccan beers on top of wine and domestic beer.

Though I’m not in Chelsea often, I can see myself coming here and plunking down with my laptop. The free wifi is convenient for getting some work done outside of the apartment and the long tables are conducive to larger gatherings—a rarity in the city. Otherwise, I’ll just have to get an order of those otherworldly pita chips to go.

Hummus & Pita Co. is located on 585 Avenue of the Americas, Between 16th & 17th, NYC TEL: (212) 510-7405
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