The Hummus and Pita Co.: Pretty Good Fast-Casual Mediterranean Cuisine Comes to the Flatiron

Categories: The Early Word

Lauren Shockey
Laffa bread filled with chicken shawarma

Looks like the owners of the recently opened fast-casual Mediterranean spot the Hummus and Pita Co. (585 Avenue of the Americas, 212-510-7405) had the Chipotle concept in mind when figuring out the plan for their new eatery. First you pick your protein (falafel, vegetarian salads, gyro, shawarma, chicken, steak, or taboon chicken or steak, ranging from $4.95 to $8.95), then stuff it into a pita, laffa, bowl, or platter, fill that with hummus plus an assortment of other hot and cold salads, top that with raw veggies, and sauce the whole shebang with a condiment. Needless to say, there are countless permutations here to get your Mideastern lunch fix.

Lauren Shockey
Inside the laffa wrap

Service was a bit hectic and rushed, and it's a bit overwhelming trying to decide how, exactly, to fashion your sandwich, but the food is good, not to mention doled out in huge portions.

We ordered the chicken shawarma on laffa, a chewy bread made in the taboon oven, and topped it with hummus, Israeli salad (chopped cucumber, tomato, and onion), sumac-coated onions, and shug, a spicy cilantro-and-chile sauce. The wrap was ginormous and the chicken moist and well-flavored. All around, a tasty lunchtime sandwich -- one that we'd definitely get again, though we might swap harissa for the shug since it wasn't quite as spicy as we would have liked.

Lauren Shockey
A veggie plate piled high with legumes

We also opted for the vegetarian plate, to which we added hummus, grilled vegetables, beet salad, tabouleh, and chickpea salad. While the hummus was creamy and worked well in a sandwich with lots of other flavors going on, on its own it fell a little flat, as though it needed a touch more lemon and/or tahini. The veggies were nicely cooked, though, not too overdone, and the beet salad was refreshing. We were somewhat less into the tabouleh, wishing the bulghur-to-parsley ratio wasn't as high as it was, but still not a bad version. Like the laffa wrap, the veggie plate was amply portioned, enough for lunch and leftovers for the next day.

Lauren Shockey
The lunchtime crowd waiting to place their orders

True, Hummus and Pita Co. isn't the first fast-casual Mediterranean spot, and you can find similar fare at Meze Grill or even at the gyro sellers on the city street corners. But it's a convenient, flavorful spot for those who work or live in the area, and, if the Chipotle effect works its magic, it's likely to be the first of many to come.

For more dining news, head to Fork in the Road, or follow us @ForkintheRoadVV, or me @ldshockey.

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Asad Pervaiz Sheikh
Asad Pervaiz Sheikh

First of all I was a regular until today. The owner is a total jerk. All I wanted to get the small bowl of the Chicken chunks and in my past 3 visits when ever he sees me he went to the cashier and change the prices on me. Yes the food is good and is a good concept. But his behavior  is shady. I don't mind paying a set price for something. Also it's crazy expensive if you get small fries ... for $3.23 or lg for $4.13. Seriously ... what a shame.

great food, excellent prices and fast efficient service. what else could you want? 


Great feature, Laura! I'm going again today.  The proprietors are really nice. Not super, super cheap, but great quality.


 Yes, agreed.  Lunch for one averages around $10 after all the fixings, but if you split over two meals it can be a good deal.