We love hummus in our house. LOVE it. But I should probably warn those of you who live in America that think you know and love hummus that unless you have tasted genuine, for real Lebanese hummus, sorry but you don't REALLY love hummus. (I'm sorry, that sounded somewhat snobby but I have to stand by it because it's pretty much true). Anyway, since arriving in the states 5 months ago, we have really missed hummus. I have tried multiple kinds of store bought hummus and various kinds at "Mediterranean" restaurants but have still not found anything that lived up to the wonderful goodness we could have anytime we wanted while living in Lebanon. Until yesterday...
We were invited by some friends to join them at a restaurant in downtown Memphis called "The Little Tea Room". I honestly don't know a lot of the history of this place so I won't pretend that I do, but it is fabulous and is a very popular lunch spot for the downtown crowds. It's run by a sweet little Palestinian lady who has been in the US since the '60's. She's serves amazing country cooking with kind of an Arab twist if you can imagine. She apparently uses no pork in her cooking but rather an assortment of Middle Eastern type spices. The turnip greens and corn bread sticks are truly ah-ma-zing. She also has various couscous salads, sandwiches and an array of other yummy southern dishes.
Our friends, who are regulars there, introduced Jason and I to this sweet lady and told her that we have lived in Lebanon for many years. She started crying and carrying on and talking to us in Arabic all at once- it was so great and made our hearts hurt for Lebanon and our Arabic friends! We talked a bit in Arabic and then she stopped and said, "oh, I have something for you!". She hurried off apparently going to her apartment above the restaurant where she lives. She brought us her homemade hummus and baba gannoush (another yummy Arabic salad) along with flatbread to enjoy along with our meal as her treat. (these things are not on the menu or I assure you we would have ordered them).
The place was packed for lunch so we didn't get to talk much more with her but we will definitely be back. As much as we could have inhaled every bit of that hummus on the spot, we just couldn't bring ourselves not to share it with the girls who are frequently lamenting over how much they miss Lebanese food.... They were thrilled!