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Armenians are known for and by their food

I came across this story from the Web site about an Armenian restaurant called Cafe Rita in Houston, Texas (of all places!) where business is apparently booming.

A related review stated: “Cafe Rita is always packed by noon. That’s because eating there is like going over to your Armenian grandparents’ house for lunch.”

George and Rita Sarikhanian

The menu is actually more Lebanese than Armenian, which is understandable: Owners George and Rita Sarikhanian (pictured at left) are from Beirut, but they’re both Armenian and they let everyone know it.

“We serve Lebanese food, with an Armenian twist,” George Sarikhanian told the reviewer. The twist appears to be a little extra spice, including a lot of extra pepper. Rita does all the cooking, “grinds her own spices, chops her own herbs and prefers knives to food processors. Cafe Rita doesn’t buy anything pre-prepared from other Middle Eastern sources except the pita bread.”

Sounds great to us. I’m thinking about the three-kebab platter for $10. I may be thinking about it for a while, as Houston hasn’t been on our travel itinerary — but hey, now we know where to eat if we’re in town!

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  • I know how tough the restaurant business is, but I wish somebody would open an Armenian restaurant that served something other than kabobs and Lebanese food--a true Armenian restaurant serving 5-star traditional Armenian food. You would think that, here in LA, there would be at least one of those but alas...

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