Tahaza Hummus Kitchen
One Canal Park
Cambridge, MA 02141
Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fast casual eateries seem to be popping up left and right these days, and I think it’s wonderful. Bon Me and Clover are two great local ones, and I never have anything against Panera or Shake Shack, even if they are national chains. Compared to the average sit-down restaurant, they save time and money, and the quality of food isn’t too shabby either.
Over by the Cambridgeside Galleria, Tahaza Hummus Kitchen just opened up this past September as a fast casual Mediterranean eatery — think Chipotle, but with hummus. Before I even ordered, I was thoroughly impressed by the atmosphere of the place with its wooden accents and contemporary interior. It’s exactly what you’d imagine an organic, locally-sourced-everything kitchen to look like.
Anyway, onto the food. There are four items to choose from: a hummus bowl, a warm grain bowl, a salad, and a wrap. I went with the hummus bowl and had to choose from three hummus flavors: original, beet, and roasted red pepper. Not deciding to be terribly adventurous, I went with original, and they proceeded to smear the edges of my bowl with a thick layer of hummus. From there, I chose to have lamb as my protein (the other options are chicken, beef, mushrooms, and falafels) and filled my bowl with tons of vegetables. For my dressing, I went with the fresh mint yogurt, and chose to have pita bread as my side.
A lot of the uber-healthy, organic eateries that I’ve been to tend to be vegetarian, which is fine, but it’s always nice to find one that offers protein options other than tofu or peanut sauce. I was a huge fan of my hummus bowl’s lamb, which had a juicy, savory flavor. The mint yogurt dressing was the perfect complement to the lamb, and the toppings like cucumbers and pickled beets added a fresh bite. The hummus was a pleasant touch to the toppings, but it was thoroughly mixed into the rest of my bowl that I didn’t get to try it by itself.
My friend, Krystal, came along and tried the warm grain bowl with beet hummus and slow-cooked beef. “The bowl had a creative combination of flavors, but it was just too salty for me to completely enjoy it,” she explained. I took a few bites from her bowl, and I could tell what she meant. Her bowl’s beet hummus was on the salty side, and so along with the slightly salty beef, the entire bowl was overwhelmed by salt.
We also tried the blackberry verbena and raspberry lime house-made sodas, and those were quite interesting. The blackberry verbena soda was fine, and I tasted more blackberry than verbena. The raspberry lime soda, however, was unsweetened, so it was a bit jarring to go from the sweet blackberry verbena to the raspberry-lime-flavored seltzer water.
Nevertheless, while it seems like the kitchen is still working out a few kinks, I had an overall positive experience at Tahaza Hummus Kitchen. The food is pricier side, with the hummus bowl starting at $9.25 and toppings like lamb tacking on an additional $2.25, but it’s worth a try the next time you find yourself at the Cambridgeside Galleria.