Syrian family opens Middle Eastern restaurant in Allendale

Hummus & Falafel serves “healthy and tasty” Mediterranean food. Photo by iStock

An entrepreneur on Monday opened Hummus & Falafel Middle Eastern Grille with an assist from his brother and sister-in-law.

Mohammad Yasen is owner of Hummus & Falafel, which opened at 10897 48th Ave., Suite B100, in Allendale, next to the campus of Grand Valley State University.

Yasen’s brother, Kossai Yasseen, is the manager, and his sister-in-law, Reem Al Asmi, is the chef. They are not currently hiring but expect to once the eatery is more established.

The family is originally from Syria and moved to the U.S. in 2015. According to the restaurant’s website, Yasseen and Al Asmi worked for several years at Spectrum Health’s nutrition department, where he was a dietitian tech, and she was a chef. Yasseen currently is pursuing a degree in nutrition and dietetics at Western Michigan University.

Yasen said he decided to open the restaurant to bring more diversity to the food community in Allendale.

“We have noticed that Allendale doesn’t have any Middle Eastern type of food, and if anybody wants Middle Eastern food, (they have) to go to Grand Rapids,” he said. “So, we found an opportunity to just offer a chance for a different culture to be in Allendale.”

Due to the current spike in COVID-19 cases at GVSU, Yasen said they are being extra careful at the restaurant, in addition to following all state and local health guidelines.

“We don’t serve any fountain drinks right now due to COVID. We are limiting all point of touch, and we are following all the safety procedures by the environmental health departments to limit the exposure,” he said. “(For dine-in), we are following all safety procedures, and there are 6 feet between each table.”

Hummus & Falafel serves “healthy and tasty” Mediterranean food, including hummus and falafel starters; fattoush and tabouli salads; lentil soup; sandwiches including falafel, chicken kabob, beef kofte and chicken or beef shawarma; entrées such as muajanat (diner’s choice of a meat, spinach, cheese and thyme mix or pepper mix topping on bread, like mini pizzas), yalanji (spiced rice with tomatoes and onions wrapped in a grape leaf, boiled and seasoned with lemon), fried kibbeh (deep-fried balls of a bulgur, onion and meat mixture stuffed with sautéed meat and nuts), biryani rice topped with chicken and almonds; as well as combos and sides.

The restaurant offers 10% student discounts. It is open for takeout, dine-in and catering from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

Customers can place orders for pickup by calling (616) 325-9281.

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