Thursday, August 25, 2011
the king of hummus?
on my mother's side, my bloodline is lebanese. it involves a fascinating collection of characteristics, and i have quite a bit of pride because of that lineage. food, and feeding others, is a very important part of the middle eastern culture. growing up with a connection to syrian food has forever linked me to this association, and i am grateful that i am able to carry on the tradition that is so many generations old. my grandfather opened a restaurant 73 years ago, and my mom has been running it for the last 17 or so. it is not middle eastern fare, it is a "steak and spaghetti" diner style eatery. it is famous in some circles; JFK ate there. the spaghetti sauce is the big seller, and people buy quarts/pints either hot or frozen and take it home to share. anyways, the syrian food that my "sittee" (lebanese for grandmother) has made for us has surely prejudiced my palate in regards to middle eastern food. i have had my share of sub-par yubruk (grape leaves wrapped around rice with lamb and seasoning,) kibbee (ground lamb, pine nut, bulgar wheat patties,) and other syrian staples, and it should be expected. i compare other's to my grandmother's and that is maybe not fair, but it is still true. so, evidently, this gentleman here is known as "Chef Rakka," and he is rumored to have the best hummus around. he owns a restaurant north of nashville, and i will have to get there soon to see what he is serving, and how it "compares." he and his friend were extremely friendly on this particular night, even though i may have uttered something boastful about my hummus.