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Monday, March 21, 2016

New Finds in Houston: Moroccan Scrub at Hamman Spa and the Best Hummus Ever

I'm a Houston frequently flyer, and I want to share two new discoveries. My typical Houston stomping ground is on Bellarie where I can happily stuff my face with authentic Chinese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese fare.

This time around I decided to try a Moroccan spa at Hammam Spa on Westheimer. I was looking to try something new, and learning about spa rituals from other cultures is something one can't find in Austin. The Hammam treatment is something that is done on a weekly basis in Morocco. There are large bath houses where you would go to do your own scrubbing or you could pay someone a fee for scrubbing you.

At the Hammam Spa in Houston, it is more of a private spa experience. It starts with being covered in olive oil soap which makes you smell like the olive bar at Whole Foods. Then the dead skin is scrubbed off your body. There will be plenty of skin sloughing off. I'm pretty sure I lost of a few pounds of that way. After that you shower off, and you're covered with a rich lotion. I haven't had a scrub that effective in removing extra skin cells before, and I would certainly do it again.

There's only four hammam spas in the United States - Houston, Vegas, New York, and somewhere in Virginia. This one is independently owned so you can feel good about helping other people achieve their dreams while you exfoliate your stress away.

My second find in Houston does not come with a pretty photo. I stopped by Kasra Persian also located on Westheimer to find that their hummus is amazing. My first visit included a lamb shank, rice, and hummus. It had the fast punch of raw garlic and an amazingly creamy smooth texture. It was not as thick as most hummus, but it was definitely the best I've ever had.

I tried recreating it at home, and I this is my version. It is super garlicky and much thinner than most. I can't stop eating it. If you eat it, there is no doubt that you'll be killing vampires for days to follow.


  • 1 can of chick peas, drained
  • 5-8 large cloves of raw garlic, peeled
  • At least 1/2 cup of tahini sauce
  • At least 1/2 cup of really peppery olive oil
  • juice of 6 lemons
  • salt to taste

Blend this up in a food processor until smooth. Keep adding more olive oil until it is a smooth and creamy. It should be the texture of a thick sauce.

*I know the garlic seems like too much. You can dial it back, but you won't be protected from vampires.
*I added 1/2 a bulb of garlic, and it was fantastic.
*The tartness of the lemon will be tempered with the tahini and the olive oil.