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Souriks Garden Restaurant in Armenia
I`ve been getting back into the swing of things after my recent trips to New York and Armenia.
I`ve already shared tons about my trip to New York, but I thought I would share some things from my trip to Armenia!
I went to Armenia as a chaperone for the youth group I mentor, so a lot of it was visiting historic sights and such. On one such tour, we visited an old pagan temple in a place called Karni -it is a popular sight for tourists to see since it is the only pagan temple still standing in the country.
After our tour, it was lunch time, and we headed to a very popular `restaurant` with humble beginnings. Though Karni is a popular tourist destination, it is located in a smaller village with a small population and there aren`t many choices in terms of where to eat. When you have a group of over 40 people, the choices dwindle down even further. However, one family has used their home and large garden to their benefit and created an outdoor restaurant. The restaurant doesnt even have a name really everyone just knows it by the owner whose name is Sourik.
We sat outside under a canopy in their garden, and it was one of the most delicious meals of the entire trip! They brought us pork kebabs that were cooked on a huge coal grill, and roasted potatoes that were better than any french fry I have ever eaten!
We also got to enjoy fresh tomatoes and cucumbers grown right in their garden!
But the best part of the meal (which I forgot to get a picture of since I was too busy chowing down) is the fresh bread! They have a tonir (pronounced toh-neer) oven in the garden where they bake the most delicious, fresh lavash bread.
Lavash is an Armenian flatbread that is cooked in special ovens, called tonir, that are dug right into the ground. The dough is rolled out and pulled taut over a large padded paddle. The baker will then take the paddle and slap the dough onto the side of tonir in the ground. The bread cooks in just a few minutes from the intense heat, and comes out in large sheets that you can rip off and eat.
I found some pictures of some women making lavash bread in one of my older trips to Armenia, so you can get an idea. It is an old-school way of doing things, but the tonir is the only way to get authentic lavash. The restaurant had a very similar set up with 3 women cranking out fresh bread for us.
Simple, yet amazing food in the middle of nowhere! My mouth is watering just thinking about those potatoes! Mmmmmm