Sunday, June 27, 2010


The Downtown Akron Partnership works hard to put out programs for downtown workers to enjoy on their lunch hours.  From lunch clubs to concerts to farm markets and programs at Lock 3, they do their best to offer something for everyone.  This past week began the lunchtime concert series.  I wandered over to the Library Amphitheater to hear a group called Flohism.  It was very hot out on the steps, but the cool jazz sounds managed to keep us all comfy for the hour or so that they played.

I enjoyed the group quite a bit and would like to hear them again, however, they don't seem to have an updated web page anywhere that I can find listing dates.  If anyone knows this group and where they might be, leave a comment below. 

Ah, Wafa's!  is close enough to nip over and pick up a bite of lunch before the concert. Wafa's is a local Lebonese place in the little plaza across from the library and open for weekday breakfast and lunch only. They do a brisk business and the food is terrific and authentic. From Tebouli to Fatoush, Shewarmas to Falafels they do it all and they do it right there. There's always a line at least 5 people deep and they are mostly regulars (you can tell by the gentle chiding between staff and customers as they wait on their orders).

My favorite lunch is a self-assembly of sorts made up of a Kibbee, a piece of wheat pita bread and some of their wonderful, spicy hummus. The kibbee is this wonderful little meat dumpling made up of beef, pine nuts, bulger and some great spices then molded into a little nugget and fried. This makes it the perfect food - hot, crunchie, meaty and small enough to eat out of hand. I don't think I eat this in a traditional manner, but I like it cut in half, set on a piece of pita and spread with hummus. Oh gosh! Deelishiouso!

Rebecca swears by the chicken shawerma, Martha gets the soup and Pat says the salads are fantastic. 
Somehow though everytime I stand in line and look at all the things people are ordering and think I might just try something's like a bad habit, I always get the kibbee and a side of Hummus.  I've tried Hummus all over town and most are quite good but the Wafa's version is just about the best.  It took me a bit to figure that it's the cayanne and hot oil on top that makes it so darned addicting.  And the Kibbee!  YUM! 

I decided that since it's quite good for you, Hummus would be a good thing to make at home for my own snack habits.  After a try or two I seem to have hit upon the right recipe.  Everyone can adjust the ingredients to suit their own tastes.  I see lots of styles of hummus out there, some made with black beans, some adding herbs or tomatoes.  All sound wonderful, feel free to do anything that sounds good.  Use it as a sandwich spread as well as a dip for pita or veg. 


While there's no way I'd ever attempt to duplicate the kibbee (or most anything else on the Wafa menu), I was so taken by the hummus that I had to learn to make this at home. Come to discover it's very simple and there are a hundred variations on the theme. Based on the description of what's in the Wafa version (from their menu), I came up with the following and it is pretty darned good.

1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup tahini paste (found at the regular grocery store
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5-6 Tbls. fresh lemon juice
3-4 Tbls. olive oil
salt to taste
serve with cayanne pepper and a drizzle of hot chili oil to taste

Put everything in a food processor and grind to a smooth paste. Garnish with hot pepper oil and cayanne to taste. The trick to getting it as good as Wafa's is the cayanne and oil on top. This adds a nice bite to something that could initially be very bland.

I like to serve this with toasted pita chips. Simply cut wheat pitas into wedges, toss with olive oil and spices (salt, pepper, paprika, oregano (optional), chili powder (optional)). Put on a cookie tray and toast in a 350 degree oven until just beginning to toast a bit.

Now all I have to do is figure out that Kibbee........

No comments:

Post a Comment