Restaurants & Bars San Francisco Bay Area

Hamada Report

Andrew Raskin | | Jul 10, 2001 07:41 PM

From the name you might be expecting another sushi adventure, but Hamada (Union @Hyde) is an Egyptian coffee and kebab house. Thanks to Melanie for challenging me to walk up 2 very steep blocks to check it out.

I ordered a chicken kebab in pita sandwich. The felafel -- "made the Egyptian way from fava beans (not garbanzo beans!)" according to the menu -- seemed interesting so I ordered one felafel ball on the side.

This chicken kebab sandwich is not the cubes-drenched-in-tahini thing. The meat is cut small, with texture somewhere between chunky and shreddy, and it's been marinated and grilled in something good and mediterranean-tasting. "It's only grilled when the meat absorbs the marinade," the manager told me. The pita is filled with a cilantro, tomato, red onion relish (my word) that contained only a tasteful amount of tahini and matched the chicken perfectly. The pita was moist but held together really well.

The felafel was indeed green from fava, and had a richer, fava-ier taste than garbanzo felafel (makes sense, right?). I recently made a fava bean puree, so I appreciate how much work must go into making those things. I didn't try the coffee, but they have a roaster right there on premisis which looks like it's still in use.

A sign in the window advertised, which I thought was some new takeout site with which Hamada was associated, a la It turns out the site is Hamada's own, where you can order Hamada dishes for delivery. The link is below. They also have I didn't have much time to check it out so I'm not sure if there's any practical difference between the two. I guess domain names are a little easier to come by these days, so maybe the thinking is why not have two, one for kebab-eaters, one for coffee drinkers?

On my way out, I noticed the Basbousas, Egyptian dessert bars made from semolina flour, coconut, and nuts and soaked lightly in sweet syrup. I got one and enjoyed it thoroughly during the downhill walk home.


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