Wherever the Armenian diaspora travels, it brings its baking traditions, particularly the flatbread staple called lavash. You can get it at Brooklyn Bread House, the sole source for fresh, local Armenian bread in New York.
'Armenian' on Serious Eats
Look close under the green and white awning and you'll notice, in the window, brightly painted signs advertising dried fruits and nuts, homemade salads, and more. Welcome to Carmel, a tiny but wonderfully stocked Middle Eastern grocery in Forest Hills. The products are fresh, the staff is friendly, and the affordable prices can't be beat.
It's always a gamble trying to adapt a successful overseas to the fickle U.S. market. Occasionally you might strike gold—think: Till Death Do Us Part's metamorphosis into All In The Family. But more often than not, you end up with Chateau Snavely or Payne desperately trying to capture the magic of Fawlty Towers. Having spent a few meals out at Almayass, the successful Middle Eastern chain of Armenian restaurants that has most recently expanded to Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, it feels more like the American version of The Office: a refreshingly unique and strong beginning that gets progressively less exciting.
Last month Erin conducted a string cheese poll asking Serious Eaters how they ate it: string-by-string or bite-by-bite. The results had more than 80% of you stringing it. But my method wasn't exactly either: it first involves unbraiding. I buy my string cheese in braids that float in brine at the Middle Eastern shops in Watertown, Massachusetts. And, I do string it before serving it to family and friends as a lovely pile of strings! With that, the seed was planted for a string cheese-inspired road trip.