Review by Nadezhda Otterstad–
With Citrus Heights boasting a new Mediterranean drive-thru off Antelope Road, my husband and I decided to grab a bite to eat at Extreme Hummus and were soon coming back after being impressed with the taste, service and quality of the restaurant – as well as to get a bigger picture of the menu options offered.
Walking past some outdoor seating as we made our way to the front door, we entered a small, new dining area and were greeted by the workers busily scooping up veggies, meats and other fixings for one of their to-go customers, at a Subway-style, watch-your-food-be-made ordering counter.
The owner greeted us and introduced himself right away, and with a friendly smile guided us through the menu’s wide selection of choices. Being a Mediterranean cuisine fan (especially a gyro fan), I dove right into ordering a lamb and beef gyro, and several minutes later, a fresh pita wrap cuddling a large portion of all kinds of vegetables and sliced meat met my face.
Taking a look around inside, I was happy to note the restaurant was kept clean, with tables cleared off in a timely manner and bathrooms well-taken care of. The inside was a bit lacking in decor, but hopefully that will change as the business gets more established.
My husband chose a sandwich that stood out on the menu with its name, “Shish Taouk,” and as a fan of large portions, his first reaction was noting the hefty amount of meat on what turned out to be a delicious, hot entanglement of caramelized onion heaped over lettuce, tomato, parsley and grilled chicken – all tied together by a creamy house sauce adding a little zing to each bite.
As hummus-lovers, we were also pleased with the eight choices of fresh hummus available, with a side of hot pita bread which we sampled and enjoyed dipping our meals in. On a later visit, we also tried their house-brewed specialty tea – a blend of four different teas and spices that produces an amazing flavor (and one the owner wouldn’t share his secret on). Definitely worth the buck-fifty.
Vegetarian options are also available, and for those in the mood for a salad, the menu had several varieties available at a fair price –although we would have preferred our Greek salad order to be a bit larger and include a bit more meat for the added price. The salad was fresh and crispy though, full of colors from the red onion and olives, and rounded out by a must-try drizzle of specialty house Greek vinaigrette dressing.
Another great choice was a combo plate with a chicken kabob, rice, house hummus and a fresh salad, delivered hot and fresh from the kitchen. (The rice is amazing, by the way. Normally, we’re used to a cheap, pasty blob of rice thrown in with a meal, but not at this place – the rice is perfectly cooked, doesn’t stick all together, and has great flavor due to some added herbs.) The kabob was also seasoned perfectly – not too salty and not too bland – with a tender, soft texture.
To round out one of our many meals at Extreme Hummus, we couldn’t help but try a slice of baklava that was tantalizing us in full view on the ordering counter. The sweet, sticky dessert morsel is a great way to end a good meal, with an authentic Middle Eastern experience right in Citrus Heights.
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For those in search of a local, healthier choice than most fast-food chains, Extreme Hummus is the place that hits the spot when it comes to flavorful, affordable and healthy food. Having visited several times now, and sampling a good part of the menu, we can definitely say this family-run Mediterranean eatery is worth a visit, and once you find the dish you like on the wide selection of options, you’ll definitely be coming back for more.
Cleanliness: Five stars
Ambiance: A bit plain inside, but on-par if compared to standard fast-food. Great for the whole family and welcoming for even the youngest kids (kids menu is available.)
Customer Service: Four stars for a friendly owner who speaks to his guests and often personally delivers food to table. Staff are knowledgeable about the menu and can explain what’s in each dish. We only had to drop a star due to the order time, especially on the drive-thru.
Food: Delicious, noticeable food quality. Great flavor. Halal certified. Have to drop a star for one trip where the food was a bit cold though — an experience a few Yelpers have also commented on.
Affordability: A bit more expensive if compared to fast-food restaurants, but a good deal when compared to other sit-down Mediterranean places. Gyros and wraps run below $9. Wraps, sandwiches, and salads, are also below $9. All hummus choices are below $7. (See full menu and prices by clicking here.)
Overall satisfaction: 4 stars
Extreme Hummus location and hours:
7820 Zenith Dr. (Off Antelope Road, behind Raley’s).
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.