When you visit Florida (or at least the area where all of my relatives live), you tend to stay in a ‘community’. This area looks nothing like your typical neighborhood with houses, parks and schools. This is a gated development complete with housing (mostly townhouses and condos), recreation (tennis, pools, golf, and card rooms), and a large social gathering area that tends to have a restaurant, a bar and a banquet or social hall. The landscaping is always pretty impressive!
In my aunt’s community near Boca, each mini development even has their own mini clubhouse, which have FREE soda and coffee. For this reason, breakfast is considered B.Y.O.C. and you should pick up your coffee on your way to my aunt’s place for bagels. If you’ve grown up visiting Florida like my brother and I have, you are used to these golf and retirement communities. In fact, I even joked in January when I was down that at night the streets look like Las Vegas with bright spot-lit buildings, fountains, fences, and pillars. However, if you are new to the area, you might get a little stir crazy hanging out in what we kindly nicknamed the ‘compound’ this weekend. Especially when you really are stuck there without a car and the skies are poring buckets of rain, so your planned day at the pool happens to be cancelled.
I share this with you just to paint the picture of why this hummus not only warranted a picture, but also got its very own post. After a lazy morning indoors spent watching the rain from the lanai, my brother, his gf, and I were over tired, slightly hung over, and beginning to get VERY hungry. When my dad, mentioned lunch at the deli, we perked right up and waited excitedly for someone to return to the compound to retrieve us for lunch. Interestingly, there are not many delis in Chicago (I know…I find this weird and the BOY suggests opening one after every trip to NY and FL), so deli food is always a fun east coast treat.
I knew immediately that I wanted some matzah ball soup which is perfect for a rainy day, but continued to look through the 9 page menu which is common at the deli. While deciding on a sandwich, my brother’s gf and I decided we wanted a hummus appetizer, but because we were already ordering soup AND a sandwich, we told my brother to order the hummus. He placed his order adding in the ‘hummus plate’. After the waitress finished taking everyone’s orders, she came back and asked us, ‘So you just want a bowl of hummus?’ My brother looked at us like we were planning a joke when in fact, the hummus was listed on the menu. When she left we all started to laugh. I figured there would be bread on the table (a good bialy or roll) and that the hummus would come with something. The table started to joke and laugh about what someone would do with just an order of hummus…in a bowl…as their appetizer, when the waitress came back and delivered…
Just a bowl of hummus!!! She said that she brought us some saltines too at which point, we all broke out in hysterical laughter. Somewhat because the thought of saltines and hummus was funny, but mostly because we were seriously stir crazy with a major case of the giggles.
We decided that the hummus bowl deserved its own picture before digging our saltines right into the hummus. We HAD to try this combination, pausing only for a staged photo op.
‘How’s the hummus?’ my mom asked to which my brother’s gf replied, ‘it’s hard to tell when all I taste is salt’. When the waitress returned, we asked if we could have some bread or pita to eat with our hummus. Again, she looked confused…was this an odd question? ‘It will be a charge,’ she said and we chuckled a bit as my brother told her that we’ll take it! In the end, she brought out a few plates of warmed pita bread, which was perfect and paired so much better with our bowl of hummus.
Needless to say, we were still laughing about our adventure outside the compound all through lunch and even when we made it back to my aunt’s house.
As we conveyed the story of the hilarious hummus to my dad, who most of the humor was lost on, he told us that this is why it is safer to stay ON the compound. Plus, once we were back, there were plenty of treats (black and white cookies, leftover birthday cake and my personal favorite…the pudding pie) to stick our forks into.
Tell me…do you know what I am talking about?
Who has stayed in a Florida community? Any funny restaurant stories to share?