Hummusology: An Israeli street-food connection in Washington Square West

The hummus known as Go Hard or Go Home has extra chickpeas, ful (the pureed fava bean dish), egg, tahini, lemon, and olive oil. At Hummusology, 1112 Locust St.

Some people may have scratched their heads, bemusedly, when Steve Cook and Mike Solomonov decided to open a hummus shop called Dizengoff next door to Abe Fisher near Rittenhouse.

Hummus happened, and Diz does brisk business - witness the lunchtime lines onto Sansom Street, as well as the New York branch inside Chelsea Market.

There's some new chick pea competition in Washington Square West since last week's arrival of the cleverly named Hummusology (1112 Locust St., 215-592-6505, formerly home of Cake & the Beanstalk bakery).

Like Dizengoff, Hummusology is turning out a half-dozen varieties of Israeli-style hummus. Daily, it also sells the tomato-and-egg dish shakshuka and its cousin hamshuka, and offers potato and cheese burekas.

Though the owner was not around to field questions, his chef Micah Moscovich and apprentice Hezi Francis were. But only reluctantly, as they eagerly handed out samples. (The question "Ever try Dizengoff?" was met by blank stares.) The pitas, I learned, are par-baked offsite and finished in the shop's oven. Everything is made from scratch.

Uncharacteristic of Philadelphia restaurants, Hummusology serves its creamy hummus warm. Abetted by a generous splash of olive oil, whole chick peas, and a ladle of ultra-nutty-tasting tahini on top, it's almost a religious experience.

Toppings include vegetables (eggplant, squash, sweet potatoes), ful (the mashed fava bean dish), and onion-tossed mushrooms.

Each dish ($10 to $12) gets a side of pickled vegetables and a pita.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.