Saturday, November 28, 2015

Solomonov and Cook try their hand at hummus

Hummus with corn, with pita and lemmonana, at Dizengoff.
Hummus with corn, with pita and lemmonana, at Dizengoff. MICHAEL KLEIN /
Hummus with corn, with pita and lemmonana, at Dizengoff. Gallery: Solomonov and Cook try their hand at hummus

They have done BBQ (Percy Street) and doughnuts and fried chicken (Federal Donuts) and Israeli food (Zahav) - and for a while they did Mexican food (Xochitl) and kosher food (Citron & Rose).

For their next trick, Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook have opened a hummusiya.

A hummus-i-what?

Simply a shop specializing in hummus, the Middle Eastern staple based on ground chickpeas.

Dizengoff (pronounced "DEEZ-en-goff," after the boulevard in Tel Aviv) opened last weekend at 1625 Sansom St. (215-867-0088). It's next door to Abe Fisher, whose menu will cover foods of the Jewish diaspora, opening next month.

Diz's menu includes four varieties of hummus, house-baked pita, a few salatim (salads), pickles, a few sodas, two beers on tap, and lemonanna (a lip-puckering slushie). Israeli Bazooka gum with Hebrew lettering is a giveaway at the counter.

The space, tucked behind a garage door, is high-ceilinged and industrial, with picnic tables.

Posted hours say 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., but it has been running out of food earlier.



Tommy Up and Sarah Brown of PYT and Emmanuelle have launched the Yachtsman (1444 Frankford Ave., 267-251-3234), a retro tiki bar in Fishtown.

Chris Thomas and Greg Charnock, who designed Pizza Brain, have enlisted artists including Pedro Ospina (who fashioned a Moai-like head out of the plastic bed of a truck) and Nick Bader. They based the place's look on a fictional yachtsman. "It's a tiki interpretation of Pee-wee's Playhouse," Thomas said. The bar is made of thatched grass and reclaimed wood.

Phoebe Esmon and Christian Gaal are running the bar, whose signature drink is a Caribe Welcome Coconut, served in a fresh coconut. A snack menu will begin when - as Up puts it - he gets around to it.



Aug. 21 is the target reopening of Chhaya Cafe - Varnana "V" Beuria's bruncherie - moving into larger quarters two doors away, at 1819 E. Passyunk Ave.

Gary Dorfman and Sean Stein's remodeling of their Jake's Sandwich Board at 122 S. 12th St. took but six days. It's now open for dinner (5 to 10 p.m. daily), when the menu expands to offer pig, brisket and turkey roasts. They're also hammering out a second location at 40th and Sansom Streets for the fall.


What's new

Mad Mex - the Pittsburgh-based casual Mexi-Cali chain - opened its third Philadelphia-area location, carving out an enormous space beneath the DSW shoe store (where Borders was) in Wynnewood Shopping Center (50 E. Wynnewood Rd., Wynnewood, 484-417-6932). Two dozen beers are on tap; count on about 40 different tequilas. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, with the kitchen open till 1 a.m.



Hikaru's Manayunk location closed after 21 years. Takashi "Stash" Yoshida, who also owns the building that housed the Japanese restaurant at 4348 Main St., said business was off.

Marlene Mangia Bene, an Italian BYOB in downtown Woodbury, closed last week after three years.


More restaurant news at

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