I had lunch at Hoomoos Asli the other day. It’s right next door to work, and although I rarely go there, it’s nice to know that there’s a good, cheap falafel place nearby. It’s a kosher place so they have no dairy products, and the people who work there insist (an order is written on the menu) that customers pronounce hoomoos phonetically as hooo-moos, not hummus. It gets busy at lunch time, especially for take-out, but we went a little early, and were seated right away.
I ordered falafel and an Asli coffee, and my dining partner ordered a feast: lentil soup, chopped tomato salad, and a platter of hoomoos and tahini. We also got a side of a dark green spicy topping, made of what we believe to be parsley.
It was all great and fairly cheap- not the $2 falafel of Ali Baba’s, but $4.50 is a good price for a lunch sandwich in Soho. The falafel was hot and garlicky, but the real standout item here is the hoomoos. Once, I ate a plain hoomoos sandwich, with chopped tomatoes and fresh Israeli salad on top. So much hoomoos wasn’t overwhelming, like I thought it would be, because it was so darn delicious, and creamy but not heavy. The pitas are warm and fluffy like pillows in a hotel room – not the usual dry thin pitas that simply function as a way to keep the sandwich together but instead an integral part of the sandwich’s appeal. Later, I realized I could have gotten fries in my falafel- a Middle-Eastern vegetarian hoagie sounds so awesome. But, a good thing about Hoomoos Asli is that I always feel as though I’ve eaten a healthy meal after one of the falafel sandwiches- probably because everything is so super fresh.
My coffee was a complex delight, with the ground spices at the bottom that made it much more exciting than a regular coffee. My colleague said her soup was really tasty and I tried some of the tomato salad- lightly dressed in oil and garlic, it was juicy and addictive.
Hoomoos Asli is at 100 Kenmare Street, New York, NY. Tel: 212-966-0022.