First Look: Hummus & Pita Co. Nails Its Chicken Shawarma Sandwich

Sometimes it seems like the only places opening in Downtown Lunch territory are of the “build your own…” variety involving some sort of flatbread or bowl option. Maybe I’m exagerating, but when word came that the second NYC branch of The Hummus & Pita Co. was opening on Chambers St. (btw. Broadway & Church) where Carl’s Steaks used to be, I wasn’t exactly rushing out to review it. But, the menu looked promising and so I trekked over on a brisk day for lunch. One food coma later, I was happy I made the trip. 

You’ll probably recognize the menu as the options of what to get here are fairly standard for the new-style falafel and shawarma shops (unless you’re the guy in line in front of me who seriously asked what hummus was): Pita sandwich, laffa wrap, bowl or platter. They bake their breads in house and most everything seems to be made fresh. It’s somewhat similar to Nish Nush which opened nearby, with Hummus & Pita putting more focus on meats than falafel.

I couldn’t resist the spinning cone of chicken shawarma glistening behind the counter, right next to one composed of beef/lamb gyro. There’s also a white meat chicken option, steak,  falafel, or you can just get two of their bounty of vegetarian salad offerings. In my shawarma sandwich ($7.45) with regular hummus, I got Spanish eggplant as my one “fill it” option, and added in red cabbage, pickles, marinated carrots, and topped it all off with their amber sauce which was described to me as mango-based. I won’t go through all of the salad/topping/sauce options, as they are many, but you can gaze upon them here.

They really crammed a lot into this sandwich, although I wished I’d asked for a few more vegetable toppings. What was in my pita was so tasty that I powered through the whole thing even though my stomach told me not to. The crisp-skinned chicken, although tasty when I got a bite, took a back seat to the salads and vegetables within (the Spanish eggplant and carrots were standouts). I think if I went back I would just get a vegetarian sandwich and save a couple of bucks.

My gluttonous lunch would not have been complete without a side of sweet potato fries ($2.95) which were hand cut, crispy and well salted for the win. You don’t really need fries with the overstuffed sandwiches (their soups looked really good too), but you might want some anyway.

Yes, we have plenty of options for hummus, pita, and meats carved from a spinning cone, but Hummus & Pita Co. has some stellar vegetables to top it off.

The Hummus & Pita Co., 79 Chambers St. (btw. B’way & Church), (212) 571-6700


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