Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hommus Express on Liberty in Ann Arbor

In this part of Michigan, there are plenty of choices for Mediterranean food. My favorite is Haifa Falafel located on Washtenaw just east of 23. Their portions are generous and their prices are great. I think they serve the best chicken shawarma in these parts.

If you go to downtown Ann Arbor, most people will recommend Jerusalem Garden near the corner of Liberty and 5th Ave. I am not one of them. When Greg and I went there, we found the food to be terribly dry and their chicken shawarma was more like an American-style wrap than anything remotely authentic. Where were the sauces? The lentil soup was tasty, but that was about all I found satisfying. I don't understand why the place is always so crowded, another minus.

So I found a new place to go to for shawarma when I am downtown, Hommus Express at 529 E. Liberty. The term "express" might be stretching it just a tad since there only ever seems to be one person working, and he has to go make your food after taking your order and ringing you up at the register, but I don't really see that as a bad thing. I know the food is made fresh! The price is right, too. They offer daily specials on both their food and their smoothies. I'm not really into the whole smoothie thing right now, but they seem to have quite a selection! 

I ordered a 6" chicken shawarma on flat bread with a side of chicken lemon rice soup and a fountain Vernors (which I don't think I've ever seen at a soda fountain before) for $8.21 after tax, and that was more than enough to fill me up. In place of soup, one can order french fries or rice. I really love chicken lemon rice soup, though, as well as lentil. (Click here for when I made soupa avgolemono, Greek egg lemon and rice soup.)

The soup turned out to be not very lemony in flavor, but that was really all right with me. It was plenty flavorful otherwise and contained lots of chicken. The shawarma was not the least bit dry and was packed with flavor. It was different from Haifa Falafel's and also Shawarma King, my favorite place to go in Kalamazoo for Mediterranean food. This didn't make it inferior. I enjoy variation when it still tastes good. 

There are three large, flat-screen TVs in Hommus Express, and while I was there, the inauguration was on with the sound turned very low while delightfully cheery Mediterranean music was piped in on the overhead stereo. The restaurant is sleek and clean, brightly painted, with fun chandeliers overhead. I particularly liked the beaded one by the front counter. There is free wi-fi, and they don't seem to care if you stay for hours at a time. (I was there at least two hours reading my book and taking notes for my book discussion this Friday.)

Hommus Express also delivers, so I grabbed their menu for nights when I am working at Crazy Wisdom and jonesing some shawarma. Mmm... Shawarma...

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