Saturday, April 16, 2005

Perfect ending to the NY trip

I found a lahmejun stand one block from my hotel! I haven't had real, fresh lahmejun in more than 20 years. The popular wisdom is that you find it only in Belmont/Watertown, Massachusetts, and in certain Armenian areas of Central California.

The Sahara Grill spells it "lamecun," which is the Turkish take on this Armenian delicacy, but the pronunciation is the same, and so is the food: A crispy bread (like an ultra-thin pizza crust) covered with ground spicy lamb, tomato, onion, and herbs. $2.50! There was a nice little kadayif for dessert, hot Turkish tea with mint, and a sample of their fresh-squeezed orange juice.

A hole-in-the-wall two blocks south of Times Square, the tiny Sahara Grill is also a fruit and vegetable stand, a juice bar, and a popular neighborhood hangout. Their big sellers are chicken gyros and lamb/beef gyros, but the lamecun is listed at the bottom of the menu, and they were delighted when I ordered it. While I was there, perched on one of five well-worn stools at the counter in back, a number of friendly gangsta types came in and bought fresh fruit--and soft drinks. Interesting combination.

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