16 September 2005

Ode to the Chickpea

Years ago, while doing menu development for the first cafe, James and I came to an impasse. It happens infrequently but this one was a doozie.

Hunkered down after hours in our then place of employment, he stated "We gotta have hummus." I'm pretty certain my brief response contained the F word and a question mark. James explained that hummus was a middle eastern dip of olive oil, salt, mashed garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice and ground sesame seed paste. "You must be joking!" was my reply, "Nobody eats that shit but you." He lobbied fiercely and at the end of the night I caved in with one concession. We agreed that hummus would go on the menu for two weeks and if it was a poor mover, we'd take it off and I would win full bragging rights.

The night before opening, he demonstrated what's known in the business as "mad skills" in the hummus making department. All the while, I provided back up by making snotty comments about the texture (and it's similarity to vomit) and contorting my face as much as possible to show my disdain for the whole affair. James wore the smug expression of a sure winner.

On day four of operations, he called me out to the front of the house and had me take a look around. Dag! It was like a hummus eating competition! Folks were wolfing it down with purpose and rapture. I asked for a side of hummus myself, you know, to eat with my crow.

Almost two years later, it remains our second most popular item. Right behind falafel.