Zarzir Hummusiya

Guy Sofer visits the Zarzir hummus restaurant, located near the supermarket of the Carmey Yosef Moshav, at the edge of the Gezer municipality. Turns out that you can fulfill dreams even after the age of 40; and when you eat a delicious hummus plate in the morning, you might find yourself not falling asleep in your afternoon meetings!

The Carmey Yosef Moshav is located at the edge of the Gezer municipality on a hilltop overlooking the vast surroundings. Just after the supermarket in the commercial center of the moshav, you can find the Zarzir Hummusiyah owned by Ziv and Zohar. I did not think for a moment that such a place would be filled at this hour, but I was wrong and the hummusiyah place was packed. A constant stream of hungry customers poured in, each leaving satisfied and full.

We situated ourselves at one of the tiny tables at Zarzir and immediately found a plate of homemade pickles for our pleasure: tomatoes, onion, olives and small pickled cucumbers. We also noticed selection of other munchies at a small stand just to the side, for immediate delivery to patrons.

Zohar, who was once an engineer for many years, decided after age 40 to fulfill his dreams and open a hummusiyah. He learned the art of making hummus at the home of an Arab friend in Jaffa and in the three months after his studying, he would distribute his hummus to anyone in the area who would agree to take it. He also passed out tehini sauce and felafel balls for free if the taster would share an opinion on the food or even just a nice bit of conversation. Slowly, slowly, he arrived to the right texture and the exact hummus-taste that he sought. The favorite of his many tasters, this fomented the door opening of the Zarzir Hummusiyah about a year and half ago. Zohar continues developing the menu, adding different local dishes and adjusting the menu. He also learned something about himself: "For two years already, I had been falling asleep at afternoon meetings at work, until I discovered that a plate of good hummus at 8 or 9 in the morning would keep me awake all day long!"

We tasted the mainstay hummus plates from Zarzir: hummus with whole chick-peas and an egg (20NIS) - perfect with a browned sour egg, not the usual white tasteless version common in this area. Labane made on premises from sheep's yoghurt (20NIS) is certainly of the highest quality, served with local olive oil. The fresh, delicious felafel platter with tehini and parsley and, of course, a platter of hummus with foul (fava bean stew) (20NIS). The hummus is not sour, as I sometimes experience in other restaurants, but rather tasty and spiced with just the right amount of lemon, in place of the standard cumin. What a treat!

We also sampled the shakshukah with chickpeas (20NIS) - an interesting combination of tasty shakshukah with a new addition that adds quite a flair. We could not pass up on a plate of chips as accompaniment (14NIS) and enjoyed their crunchy, not over-fried flavor.

Zarzir's also offers traditional breakfasts, Turkish traditional "original" burekas (with surprises inside) and jachnun on Shabbat.

We decided that we would definitely be returning to Zarzir's in the near future. Worth the trip both for the taste and for the lovely mountain air outside!