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Good Armenian Restaurant?

j
Joe D. Sep 17, 1999 10:02 PM

Since the demise several years ago of the Balkan
Armenian (which was near 19th and Lex) and the years
before that The Dardenelles on University Place, I
have not been able to find good Armenian food; even
bad Armenian is hard to come by. Where did those chefs
go? Does anyone know a place out there?

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  1. j
    Jim Leff RE: Joe D. Sep 17, 1999 10:29 PM

    See my article on Ruth's Gourmet, linked below this
    message.

    Also....that article and lots of other stuff to read
    are indexed at:

    http://www.chowhound.com/writing/writ...

    Link: http://www.chowhound.com/writing/ruth...

    7 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff
      m
      Mary Lynne RE: Jim Leff Sep 18, 1999 02:20 PM

      Thanks for the reminder. I had been wondering whether
      any other Armenian places may have opened since you
      wrote that article (I came across it while searching
      the boards for mouhammara (sp?), a recent craving),
      but I presume from your answer, nobody has identified
      one. Drats. Looks like I'll have to learn to make
      it myself, or get out to Fort Lee.

      FYI, you may have figured this out long ago, but
      with respect to the mouhammara mentioned in that
      article, my Armenian relatives in L.A. confirmed that
      it does indeed take pomegranate syrup. Is mouhammara
      part of other regional cuisines, too? I'm not familiar
      enough with the region to know.

      1. re: Mary Lynne
        j
        j gold RE: Mary Lynne Sep 19, 1999 09:39 PM

        Muhammara is pretty common across the spectrum of Middle Eastern cuisines. Pomegranate molasses, pepper paste and walnuts, the constituent ingredients, are commodities all over the region.

        1. re: j gold
          r
          Robert Sietsema RE: j gold Sep 19, 1999 10:00 PM

          Note that there's a new Armenian restaurant called Yerevan (the captial of Soviet Armenia) located at 47-57 41st St in Long Island City/Sunnyside. Maybe it's not the Armenian restaurant of your dreams, but it's pretty darn good. They had pepper boreks, excellent ground meat kebabs on buttery dilled rice, a white bean dish or two, and Russian and Armenian salads. No muhammara in evidence, but there were a couple of nut things, including an impromtu dessert of fresh nuts on a tray with some foil-wrapped Russian chocolate bars.

          1. re: Robert Sietsema
            j
            Jim Leff RE: Robert Sietsema Sep 19, 1999 10:48 PM

            Yerevan's actually been there for years in different
            forms...glad to hear they've turned into something of a
            "real" restaurant, at least for the minute...

            I really miss Pyramid Bakery, a place around the corner
            from there where elderly Egyptian-Armenians ran a food
            shop from heaven, with fantastic Armenian desserts (the
            Egyptians are in awe of Armenian bakers, and the stuff
            there made me understand why)

            ciao

            1. re: Jim Leff
              p
              phyllis RE: Jim Leff Sep 20, 1999 11:22 AM

              Jim's right to miss Pyramid. That place was fantastic
              (although the wife was very moody and could be very
              mean--and the husband was a sweetheart of a guy). The
              new owners are really trying hard and some of their
              appetizers are terrific. They are Lebanese. Try the
              "mousaka" and the lentil/rice pilaf. It's not Pyramid
              but at least it's still a great place to have in our
              neighborhood.

        2. re: Mary Lynne
          j
          Jim Leff RE: Mary Lynne Sep 19, 1999 10:51 PM

          "FYI, you may have figured this out long ago, but
          with respect to the mouhammara mentioned in that
          article, my Armenian relatives in L.A. confirmed that
          it does indeed take pomegranate syrup"

          yeah, classically it does. But Ruth's husband swears to
          me that this version contains no pomegranates. Sure
          tastes like it does, though....

          I think Syrians miiiight make something similar, but
          I'm almost guessing here.

        3. re: Jim Leff
          j
          Jonathan Sibley RE: Jim Leff Sep 20, 1999 04:35 PM

          Ruth's is, indeed, fantastic. It's too bad it's take
          out, only, on the other hand, it all travels well.

          Just down the street is Silver Pond restaurant, which
          has quite a good Dim Sum, in my opinion. Perfect for
          Saturdays - Dim Sum and bring home Ruth's for dinner.

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