Sharing a meal out strengthens family bonds in a civilized way, unlike invading the neighborhood block party and laying siege to the bounce castle. Subjugate your hunger with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of diverse Mediterranean dinner fare at The Armenian Cafe in Carlsbad.
Recently voted best Mediterranean fare in San Diego, The Armenian Cafe's diversity-minded chefs deck dinner plates with flavors intermingled from Lebanese, Greek, and Mediterranean culinary traditions. Mandible drawbridges lower for skewered chicken shish kebabs ($15.95), which arrive bedecked in authentic herbs and spices and flanked, like an ill-prepared medieval knight, by house garlic dip. Vegetarian dishes include sarma, tender grape leaves stuffed with rice and onions ($16.95), and cheese bereg, a bread-based mélange of smoky cheeses baked into a layered, golden-brown filo-dough sheath ($16.95). Diners go on adventurous chewing treks through mountainous helpings of Armenian rice pilaf and chicken-lemon soup, as well as fresh pita bread and other side dishes that accompany each entree platter. While patrons socialize, The Armenian Cafe's chefs busily prepare exciting feast finales, including such specialty coffees as amaretto and liquer de café ($6.95/ea.), moist and flaky baklava ($7.95), and a gummy-bear rock band that plays "Free Bird."
The Armenian Cafe
At The Armenian Cafe, chefs have mastered the delicate art of adaptation. Their far-reaching menu spans the meals of an entire day, incorporating many entrees that seem American at first glance, but have actually been injected with Mediterranean flair. What appear to be crunchy chips are toasted segments of pita bread; breakfast omelets can contain gyro meat and falafel in addition to morning meat staples; and pieces of cured Armenian beef sausage dapple mozzarella and feta cheese on the soujouk pizza. Even desserts receive the fusion treatment, with layers of baklava filo dough sandwiching the creamy filling of an Armenian cheesecake.
Of course, the kitchen also produces recognizable classics of the culinary genre. The chefs closely guard the secret marinade that flavors their rack of lamb, just as they do the recipe for the garlic house dip—curious diners have only managed to discover that it does not, in fact, contain spaghetti. Shish kebabs and pita sandwiches, on the other hand, flaunt housemade tannouri pita bread and pair well with sips of Armenian coffee and sights of belly dancing on Friday and Saturday. From 2008 to 2012, this mix of the inventive with the traditional has helped the café win first-place or runner-up status from CityVoter for Best Mediterranean.
3126 Carlsbad Blvd.
Carlsbad, California 92008Get Directions