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Best New Restaurants 2018: Mr. Hummus Grill – Food & Dining – Columbus Monthly


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A taste of Lebanon

When longtime food truck owner and caterer Tarek Albast opened his full-service restaurant this year, he provided Columbus with an extensive menu of fresh Lebanese dishes. The Bethel Road restaurant is filled with dark wood paneling (and even tablecloths), healthy food, a sense of humor (in the form of witty t-shirts) and, of course, hummus.

Tucked away in a shopping mall, Mr. Hummus adds to the range of international and local restaurants that make up the culinary wealth of Northwest Columbus. The Albost’s restaurant offers meals on the terrace, as well as a large selection of hot teas and coffees. The sandwiches are simple and ingredient-focused, and the entrees make you feel like you’re in the Mediterranean.

Appetizers are usually available in small and large portions, and the creamy hummus (served with plenty of olive oil, pita bread, and an optional side of vegetables) provides a light start to the meal. And the fattet hummus is meant for a crowd. A sort of Lebanese casserole dish, this rich dish features tahini, chickpeas, garlic yogurt, toasted pine nuts and olive oil with a base layer of flaky, decadent pita chips.

Most entrees include grilled lean protein (chicken, lamb, or beef) served on a mound of rice with tomatoes, red onions, and steamed vegetables. And while the dishes may seem simple, they show what can happen when fresh ingredients take center stage. While grilled kebabs are plentiful, the special lamb shank is a sure bet to try, if available. Slow roasted, boneless meat is tender and warm. And the fried red snapper is another classic in the making from Mr. Hummus. Beautifully plated, the lightly flavored flaky fish make for a light and delicious meal.

Meet the Owner: Tarek Albast

Birthplace: Tire, Lebanon

Plot: The culinary school graduate owned five food trucks across Columbus as well as Midnight Hookah Lounge in Short North. In Lebanon, he worked in a restaurant called Station Shawarma.

Which dish are you most proud of? “Braised lamb shoulders and lamb chops are my mom’s recipes. I cook the shoulders for 11 hours, while the chops are marinated for 48 hours.

How do you like to spend a day off? “With my son. He is 3 years old. We go shopping or watch a movie.

What more does central Ohio need? “We need healthier places where you can eat and not smell fat.”

Most Instagrammable item on the menu? “The mixed grill platter, with beef, shrimps, arayes and chicken shawarma”

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