By Robyn Kalajian
FLArmenians Cuisine Contributor
When a Middle Eastern grocery store opened in our hometown of Boynton Beach a few years ago, Doug and I couldn’t have been more pleased. We were able to purchase the must-have Armenian ingredients in order to make our cherished family recipes. The store’s owner, ‘Ken’ had a meat counter, some fresh produce, frozen items, housewares – you name it. He was even planning to have a bakery oven installed for daily-baked pitas, and eventually, a kitchen for freshly prepared food. Sadly, things didn’t turn out as Ken expected and the business came and went after a short two-year run.
With the arrival of more ethnicities requiring the same cooking ingredients as we use, we’re puzzled by the severe shortage of Middle Eastern specialty shops in this area.
Several years ago, Doug and I stumbled upon a place called Green House Bazaar in Greenacres, a suburb of West Palm Beach, and not far from our home. At the time it was a partially open-air produce stand with a sprinkling of Middle Eastern items on their meagerly stocked shelves, and a kebab counter that didn’t seem to have anyone running it. The place was ok, but we never bothered to return … until …
… our friend, Adele Abbott, alerted us to the fact that the Persian-owned Green House Bazaar had been enclosed, still had fresh produce, housed numerous shelves of ‘interesting food items’, a refrigerated and frozen food section including phyllo dough, kadaif dough, etc. – and best of all – the kebab café, which she claimed was very good!
Doug and I swung by one afternoon to check it out. We were delighted to find lavash, basturma, paklava, and a myriad of ingredients that would be useful in The Armenian Kitchen. They were, however, lacking in products imported from Armenia (we found only one) and items such as prepared lahmajoun and Armenian string cheese.
While there, we decided to buy two kebab meals-to-go for dinner that night, and are we glad we did! We chose the combo platter with chicken kebab and beef lule kebab, and the second with salmon kebab. Both meals contained salad, rice – white, or green rice, which was studded with fava beans and lots of dill (we got one of each), grilled tomatoes and red peppers, a piece of freshly made lavash, and a side of a garlic-dill sauce. The salads and veggies were particularly fresh –as the produce stand is just steps away from the kitchen!
Would we return? You bet, but I plan to have a chat with the owner to see about stocking some more of our personal favorites!
The Greenhouse Bazaar is located at 5100 10th Ave N, Greenacres, FL 33463. Check out their website here.
MIAMI, FL – The Florida premier of ‘Earthquake,’ a drama set in Soviet Armenia about the tragic 1988 earthquake in Gyumri (Leninakan), Armenia will take place at the O Cinema in Miami Beach, Florida on Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 7:00pm. This will be the first and only screening of the film in Florida.
Based on a true story, ‘Earthquake’ is a dramatized recreation of one of the Soviet Union’s most devastating natural disasters — a massive 7.0 earthquake that struck northern Armenia in December 1988 — produced by Mars Media in Russia and directed by Sarik Andreasyan. ‘Earthquake’ tells the story of the massive quake that struck Armenia’s second largest city, destroyed more than 300 communities, and killed about 30,000 people.
Focused around the story of two young men, Andrey Berezhnov and Robert Melkonyan, whose fates were already intertwined by an earlier tragedy — a car crash caused by Andrey that killed Robert’s parents — the film brings them together in the same rescue squad of Gyumri (formerly Leninakan) as they struggle to cope with a disaster that eclipses their own personal stories.
Directed by Sarik Andreasyan, the film is in Russian with English subtitles. It was selected by Armenia as an entry for the 89th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
Tickets are $18 (non-refundable and can not be exchanged) and available for purchase online here. The film is only for viewers 16 years+, and not recommended for pregnant women and people suffering from heart disease
You can RSVP on Facebook and connect with other attendees here. For background information on the Gyumri earthquake, watch the ABC News coverage from 1988 below.
By Taniel Shant
FLArmenians Political Contributor
Armenian American advocacy groups, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) and the Armenian National Committee (ANC), are currently urging the Armenian American community to voice their concerns to the federal government.
Last month, both groups issued ‘Action Alerts’ on issues of concern to the over 1 million strong Armenian American community. Here in Florida, there are approximately 30,000 Armenian Americans.
With the inauguration of the President Donald J. Trump and the start of the 115th Congress, the groups called on their respective members to take action to boost the Armenian Caucus membership, express opinions regarding the nomination of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General and Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, as well as contacting the Trump Administration to advance Armenian American policy priorities for 2017.
The Assembly, an independent, non-partisan, Washington, D.C.-based organization, urged members to send messages to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding nominees Sessions and Tillerson. Tillerson was confirmed by the Senate last week and Sessions is expected to be approved this week.
The Assembly is currently seeking to boost the bi-partisan Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, which currently stands at 87 Members of Congress, a historic low. “The 115th Congress is at work, and we are turning to you to urge your Representative to join the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues,” read the Assembly statement. “We need to expand the Armenian Caucus to counter growing opposition, and hostility in the region. Our goal is to increase the number of Members who will speak up for the rights of the people of Armenia and Artsakh. Please urge your Representative to join the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues,” read the Assembly alert.
The ANC, the U.S. arm of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, a Yerevan-based Armenian political party, issued calls to its membership to outline key policy priorities to the Trump White House. “Ask President Trump to support Armenia,” reads the ANC alert. The ANC outlined three key policy areas: “Properly commemorating the Armenian Genocide as a clear case of genocide challenging Turkey’s obstruction of justice for this still unpunished crime and more broadly rejecting Turkey’s efforts to control U.S. policy on Armenian issues; Advancing a durable and democratic peace in the Caucasus by recognizing and supporting the independent Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and; Growing the U.S.-Armenia economic military and political partnership and supporting a secure prosperous and democratic Armenia.”