That’s right, you heard me: we’re getting a hummus bar. And not one of those scuzzy hummus-and-falafel takeout places like the one near your office, either… our neighborhood will soon have a hummus bar, with authentic-style decor and a vaguely Arabic-sounding name. I’ve done some investigating, and it even has shiny new taps, for draft beer. It has wine, too if you’re into that sort of thing.
Do you have one of those in your neighborhood? Probably not, because your neighborhood is not as cutting-edge as mine. Hummus is the best. Did you know that hummus is the one thing that the entire Middle East can agree on? People are acting horribly towards their neighbors over there, shooting guns and throwing rocks and firing rockets (and worse)… but the one thing they agree on? Yes, hummus! Whether you are an Israeli or a Palestinian or a Syrian or an Iranian, you love hummus! (Fact check: do they eat hummus in Iran?)
We don’t just have hummus, as I’m sure you know. We have a beer garden that opened a good three years before the whole NYC beer-garden craze really got started. We have an adorable little wine shop, with a constantly-rotating selection of organic wines that are carefully organized not by country of origin or grape variety but by optimal music accompaniment. (“This soft pinot noir has delicious notes of currant and goes exceptionally well with the new Neko Case record…”)
Our neighborhood has a fancy pizza joint. It serves pies with a crackly, bubbly, blistered, paper-thin crust, baked for exactly 14 seconds in a 900-degree oven and topped with fresh burrata cheese made that morning by hand. You simply cannot get these anywhere else. We have another pizza joint, which might be more like the pizzeria in your neighborhood except that it uses organic ingredients that are either harvested from the landord’s rooftop garden or foraged in Prospect Park.
Down the street is a coffee shop that serves these amazing cardamom-ginger scones baked by the owner’s six-year-old daughter. We have another coffee shop that only serves coffee made from beans that were first crapped out by Vietnamese monkeys. And the third coffee shop is the place everyone goes for bagels, but they use Fluffernutter marshmallow spread instead of cream cheese. It’s outstanding on a Sunday morning with a triple espresso and some Nutella.
Our neighborhood has two artisanal grilled-cheese shops opened by competing quasi-celebrity chefs. But to be perfectly honest, one is really a morning-grilled-cheese place while the other has more of a focus on dinner-grilled-cheese, so it’s all good.
We have a new Italian restaurant that specializes in slow food; you need to make a reservation no less than two weeks in advance so they can have sufficient time to interview, prepare, slaughter, mourn, and ultimately braise the fine animal that will make an appearance in your ragu. Next door, there is a bar that serves only Albanian beer and Norwegian whiskey.
Oh, and we have a bike shop.
It is so interesting to live here! If I have made your neighborhood look dull by comparison, please know that was exactly my intention. But do not fret! We have an eight-story condo building going up across the street built entirely out of wood reclaimed from shuffleboard courts across the southeastern United States. It has not yet been completed, but it is under consideration for landmark status. Applications are being accepted for potential buyers, but I understand there is a wait list.
Please feel free to visit one day, and be sure to post a few choice pictures of your meal to your friends on social media. In fact, most establishments will recommend a preferred Instagram filter for your shot… so please be sure to ask.