One of the best parts of living in a city is having accessibility to a broad spectrum of authentic ethnic restaurants. I love and appreciate foods that are indigenous to other cultures and I enjoy exploring new and unique flavors. On Tuesday night we celebrated my friend’s birthday with a casual dinner at Chickpea. Located in West Town, Chickpea serves Middle Eastern cuisine in a quaint, counter-service restaurant that is run by Jerry Suqi and his very friendly parents.

We started the meal with a trio of dips served with pita: hummus, baba ghannooj (smoked eggplant and sesame mash) and koosa ma laban (zucchini, mint and yogurt combined). Although they were all good, the baba ghannooj had the best spices and was by far my favorite of the three.

Hummus and Koosa ma Laban

Baba Ghannooj

Mussakhkhan, sumac-spiced roasted chicken with sautéed onions and pine nuts, served on top of Arabian bread, is the Palestinian national dish.


Next we enjoyed Koosa Mihshee, stuffed zucchini, herbed rice, scallions, minced lamb in a tomato broth. The zucchini was so tender and delicious and I wanted to dip everything in the excess tomato broth. I would highly recommend trying this at Chickpea.

Koosa Mihshee

Everyone at the table devoured the Malfoof, which is rolled cabbage leaves, herbed rice, tomato and scallion, with garlic-lemon garnish. I had no idea we would love the Malfoof as much as we did but this is another “must try” dish!


We also ordered Chicken Shawirma and Falafel. The chicken shawirma was great but not nearly as amazing and different as the three previous dishes. However, the shawirma was served with this incredible garlic paste/sauce that was so good, I could have eaten it with a spoon. As for the falafel, I absolutely love falafel, but I did not think Chickpea’s falafel was the best I’ve had. There are so many other great options here that I suggest skipping the falafel to make room for more rolled cabbage leaves other unique dishes.

Chicken Shawirma


The meal ended with a cup of the best black tea I’ve ever had, given to us by the owner’s mom in adorable little mugs. We kept asking her what was in the tea and why it was so good, but she said there was nothing special. To us, it was darn good. I already can’t wait to go back to Chickpea!

Black tea


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