Wednesday, December 2, 2009

High-pitched hummus

Posted on Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 4:00 AM

The UCF area is a mecca of drive-through and 'fast casualâ?� restaurants that focus more on heft than health. Hummus House, the area's latest pita joint, is a welcome option for both omnivores looking for fresh, unprocessed food and vegetarians craving more than just tofu or lettuce.

But Hummus House isn't all garbanzo beans and pocket breads ' they aim high. No styrofoam is allowed in the store, all bottles are recycled and they even convert their used vegetable oil into biodiesel. Their website urges, 'If you are going to take care of yourself, you should also take care of mother earth.â?�

The six flavors of house-made hummus are fresh and authentic, but skip the 'hummus salsa,â?� a combination of traditional hummus and pico de gallo ' Mexican and Middle Eastern don't mix. (Who knew?) Although the chicken, marinated overnight in a Mediterranean spice blend, is quite delicious, go for something that you couldn't get elsewhere, like a tasty gyro ($5.95) or falafel ($5.90). Hummus House's take on the gyro is a succulent combination of beef and lamb, and spicy chickpea cakes are fried to order for protein-heavy vegetarian falafels. Top off your pita with tzatziki, tahini, tabouleh or some of the other dozen or so toppings. If you're not feeling creative, opt for one of their signature pitas or salads ($5.90-$6.35).

The bottom line: Compared to Hummus House, the pitas at that other place might seem like the pits.

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