It’s “dinner and a show” at Hummus World where the vivacious Esther Derman and her stalwart husband Yochanan delight patrons with conversation and delicious Middle Eastern food.
Hummus World – a tiny restaurant in a free-standing brick building off Roslyn Road where Esther, assisted by Sofia Ventura and Yochanan, produces soups, salads and other Middle Eastern dishes.
Hummus World’s regular customers are many and loyal – “The only place I can get food like this is in Israel,” Farzin Sehati from Great Neck, picking up a take-out dinner of soup and falafel.
Each day Esther prepares soup, as the mood suits her. One day it might be Moroccan vegetable soup and split pea soup, or perhaps lentil or carrots with ginger. The hummus is smooth, creamy and well flavored and forms the base for many of the dishes prepared at the restaurant.
Shawarma is a chicken preparation in which white and dark meat boneless chicken are place on a rotating cone and slow cooked. The chicken is thinly sliced and used in a variety of dishes, such as shawarma platter served with hummus and Israeli salad of cucumber, tomato, cabbage and carrots. The Derman’s son invented a dish called shawafel, which brings together shawarma and falafel with Israeli salad and sauce.
Esther also prepares several hot sauces – mild green, medium red, medium to hot yellow and fire hot brown – to use on the food at well.
With the exception of the pita, all the food is gluten free.
Hummus World is primarily take out but there are a few tables.
17 A Lincoln Ave., Roslyn Heights, NY 11577, 516-621-0025
Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 11:30 am until two hours before sundown (Shabbat). Closed Saturday.
Prices: All soups are $6; pita sandwiches are served on whole-wheat pita imported from Israel and range from $6.95 for Hummus, with Israelie salad and tahini to $11.95 for “Sloppy Ju,” made up of hummus, ground beef, baked fava beans and mushrooms. Israeli fries, sprinkled with Esther’s spice blend, cost $4.25 and the crisp and crunchy falafel sells for $0.75 per ball.