Al Jbara is a restaurant in Amman, Jordan that specializes in Humus. They do Lebanese Humus, with whole chickpeas mixed in. Breakfast humus with chickpeas and bread folded through to keep you going the whole day. And my favorite, Jordanian humus with just a few chickpeas strewn on top and a magic sauce. As far as I can tell, the magic sauce consists of grated spicy green peppers in lemon juice with a little bit of garlic and salt. One teaspoonful transforms the smooth silky humus from just “Wow! This is good!” To “Holy chickpeas batman, this humus is rocking my world!”
I would love to tell you that I’ve got the secret to making humus as silky as the one at Al Jbara. But I haven’t got the foggiest idea. My father says humus is something you have to make in big quantities and that if you boil it right, the skins come off. (I once saw a recipe online that called for individually peeling each single solitary chickpea, as Al Jbara must go through tons of the stuff I am pretty confident, that’s not how they do it.)
Apparently, Al Jabra has a higher turn over than the Amman Four Seasons hotel. Crazy right? Probably helps that they are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
They have an enormous open kitchen full of gleaming aluminum counters. One guy squeezes lemons another is in charge of ladling out ful medames out of the thin-necked pot. There is a line of falafel makers, deftly filling pouches of still warm from the oven flat bread for take away orders.
They are staffed out to the point that there is an entire human being assigned solely to the task of making sure all the windows and surfaces are gleaming. And he does a fantastic job, they are so sparkly clean that on my last visit, a child, more eager even than myself, ran straight into the glass door. After the bewildered child, shook away the stars circling around his head and stood up, the window man was back, cleaning off the imprint of his face.
This is fast food at it’s best. And I intend to go back as many times as I can before I leave.