Decided on Armenian Takeout for the Party. Suggestions for what to get?
I posted a query looking for a restaurant for 30-40 on a Sunday afternoon for a birthday. My $$ restrictions being what they are I've decided to have the shindig at home and get lots of hot and cold delicacies from one of the Armenian delis in Watertown.
First, which one should I go to. I've seen two that look like they have similarly wonderful offerings. Can't remember the names. Second, any suggestions for things to get? Lamajeun is a given as is that spicy pomegranate/walnut spread but what else? TIA.
I cannot answer the what-to-get question, but you should also consider Karoun, in Newtonville, as a possible source. Their food is excellent. If you do a search, you should find a recent review by limster.
First of all, I think they usually all close, by common accord, on Sundays for part of the summer, so plan ahead!
Sevan Market for transcendant store-made taramasalata, make sure you get theirs...
Meatless, Persian-style (or that's how I think of it, a kind of agra-dolce filling that has some tomato and raisin and nuts, I think)...
Tahini Bread, a dessert, the only baked good I buy there; their baked goods are just not as good as they look..
For almost evrything else, got to Arax, Your feta, the amazing olive and pickled vegetable bar (make sure you get some walnut stuffed eggplant, and any olives with citrus and hot pepeper in the mix), fried cauliflower if they have it...
In the cold case on the wall, get EVERYTHING!!!!
Hummous, baba ghannouj, their amazing garlic dip, ditto for their shallot dip, an eggplant with pomegranite, I think, taboule, a lentil salad, a bunch of amaszing salads, with veggies and grains, premade felafel balls, tahini; really, I haven't had anything I haven't adored. They have little prefried football things filled with meat, seasoned with sweet spices, like star anise and nutmeg, and often, little meat and veggie pies.
Get tons of bread there; the freshest pita, matnahkash, (wait'll you see it!) and a strange Lebanese (I think) bread that is paper thin, and folded into squares.
Do your sweet shopping here. Lots of dense, heavy pastries soaked in rose water...Oh gawd...Get some halvah, too..
Then, go a few blocks away to Eastern Lamejun Bakery (belmont St? I think), and get your lamejun at the source....
I would also pick up Sevan's veggie stuffed grape leaves done Turkish-Armenian style & absolutely delicious and a little splurge would be the tender, savory Imam Bayildi(The Imam Fainted)stuffed eggplants. The pomegranate lamejuns at Eastern Lamejun are my favorites. Along with the marinated veggies at Arax, pick up an assortment of olives and fresh fruits. I get their Bulgarian feta for its creaminess. You may also want to have some thinnly sliced pastirma(dry, cured, highly seasoned beef http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastirma) & some soujuk(like beef pepperoni).
Is Tabrizi the bakery close to Watertown square, near Sushi 21. If so, I agree that it's quite good but I belive that it is syrian and not persian not that there's anything wrong with that. For the OP, Arax is usually the only one of the Mt Auburn strip open on Sundays but usually not until noon and I'm not sure if the summer hours stated above pertains. call and check.
Definitely get some labne. Also Armenian string cheese is great - the brand Arax has is great. Either soak it in water and then shred it by hand or cut it up into tiny pieces and toss with olive oil and red pepper flakes. You can also buy it marinated with peppers and oil.
Metch (also called Eetch) is really good -- serve with slices up lemons and pita bread.
I like the yalanchi at both Eastern Lamehjun and Arax.
For dessert, kurabia is my favorite cookie -- it's a butter cookie often with a pistachio in the center. I prefer Eastern Lahmejun's.