JIWON NOH FOR THE HOYA Sabra, the well-known hummus brand has opened a temporary restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue. Hurry in to try dishes like the hummus plate.
JIWON NOH FOR THE HOYA
Sabra, the well-known hummus brand has opened a temporary restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue. Hurry in to try dishes like the hummus plate.

Sabra Hummus House
1234 Wisconsin Ave. NW
★★★★☆
$$

My favorite late-night snack by far is a big scoop of hummus with a comparatively miniscule bite of pita bread. My expertise in hummus however, is limited to just that: A delicious snack that I sneak in late at night when I’m scrambling to do my homework.

When I was given the opportunity to sample some of the more exciting varieties of hummus at the pop-up Sabra Hummus House on Wisconsin Avenue, I jumped at the chance. For an amateur hummus fanatic such as myself, the Sabra Hummus House was quite the treat.

Sabra is one of the most popular hummus brands, and the restaurant boasts a quiet but still very sociable ambiance. The atmosphere is very casual, perfect for a fun meal out with friends. The Sunday dinner crowd seemed to consist mostly of small groups of college students or couples in their 20s. Water was served in little mason jars, which added a charming touch to the rustic decor of the restaurant.

Most of the tables there were for groups of two or four. To accommodate my group of five, our waitress seated us at the communal table, which can seat about 15. We were later joined by a group of four, who occupied the other half of the table. Although we were seated at the same table, their conversation did not interfere in the slightest with ours. If anything, it was a rather enjoyable experience to sneak peeks at the dishes the other group had ordered.

The waitress was very patient despite my group spending nearly 15 minutes debating the merits of each item on the menu. Although the menu was short, it boasted an impressive variety of hummus dishes. Three of the five in my group were vegetarian, and they each expressed their delight at having so many appetizing, vegetarian-friendly choices to select from.
I had the chef’s special stuffed pita ($12), which replaced the hummus anini on the menu for the night. The chef’s special, as described by our server, is a warm pita bread stuffed with citrus grilled chicken, red pepper hummus, feta cheese and mixed greens, with tzatziki on the side.

The pita was perfectly wrapped, so I didn’t have to worry about all of its contents spilling out as I ate. The chicken did not have the lemony taste that its name implied but it was nonetheless cooked to perfection and very satisfying. It was flavorful and tender; dressed with the red pepper hummus, I very easily forgot that it was described as “citrus grilled chicken.” The feta cheese added the perfect creaminess, and the mixed greens delivered a slight crunch to each bite. The tzatziki was creamier and thicker than I was accustomed to, but it was nevertheless an exquisite addition to the overall dish.

Each of the components of the stuffed pita was splendid; if there was one flaw it was that all the ingredients were stacked, meaning that I often got alternating bites of the different fillings instead of an even mixture of each. The stuffed pita came with two pickles on the side. The pickles served here are not your standard dills; they were crunchy, lightly salty and sweet instead of the slightly sour, fermented variety that comes from jars.

Two of my companions shared the hummus plate ($12), one of the Sabra signature menu items. This dish came with a huge plate of hummus, topped with chickpeas and tahini, a sesame seed paste that is a main component of hummus. On a second platter was guacamole, roasted red peppers and pita chips. The hummus was delectable, as expected — this is, after all, a restaurant that exclusively specializes in the Middle Eastern spread. The platter also came with one six-inch, round pita bread, which was undoubtedly the highlight of this experience.

The pita bread was served warm, just out of the oven. It was the absolute fluffiest, most exquisite pita bread I have had the pleasure of sinking my teeth into. The first piece of pita bread disappeared instantaneously. We were ecstatic to learn, however, that you can request more pita bread at no extra cost. While we certainly would have gone for a third round, all the hummus had disappeared at that point and it was getting rather late.

Overall, my experience at the Sabra Hummus House was delightful. The servers were wonderfully friendly and accommodating, even when we asked belatedly if we could split the bill. If you are not a fan of hummus, then this restaurant’s limited variety in other types of foods may be frustrating. My friends and I however, who all happen to be hummus enthusiasts, found the variety of hummus choices to be a welcome treat. The Sabra Hummus House will only be around until Oct. 26 , so make sure you get your hummus fix while you still can.

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