Armenian Pizza at Arouch
This is the first part of a two-part write-up on my culinary adventures in that far-off land known as Laval. But donâ€™t let the distance dissuade you from making the journey; the food that I got to sample there rivals most of the meals Iâ€™ve been served all over the island of Montreal.
The first food stop was Arouch, a small but modern building right off the busy Saint-Martin Ouest. Arouch dishes out Armenian pizza, also known as Armenian lahmajoun. What is exactly Armenian pizza? Pretty much the tastiest and most satisfying snack food Iâ€™ve had the pleasure of eating.
A meat topping consisting of minced beef, chopped onions, parsley and spices is spread on top of very thin circles of dough. These little pita-thin pizzas are then baked, the crust nice and crispy at the edges, malleable and soft in the middle. After squeezing some fresh lemon over the pizza, fold or roll it and these warm and slightly spicy pizzas are ready for eating. Made with what must be very lean beef, these are neither oily nor heavy, and with the thin crust, they make for a very light snack.
For about $10, you can bring home a box of twelve pizzas, and Iâ€™ve been shown a variety of ways to enjoy them. I like them straight out of the fridge, nice and cool, but they are also great toasted up and rolled around some halved pickles or tomato pieces, and even dipped in plain yogurt (to curb the spice).
Though Arouchâ€™s main focus is on these pizzas, a Greek variation of feta and spinach is available, as well as a zaâ€™atar (thyme and sesame) and cheese variations. If a full course meal is more what youâ€™re after, Arouch also sells salads, fantastic, unripened cheeses like halloumi, baladi, and akawi - deserving an article all their own! - and drinks (including a salty one thatâ€™s basically just yogurt, water, and salt). There are even piles of pastries to choose from for dessert, so all grounds are covered.
Make the trip for the pizza, all the rest is just bonus. If Laval is too far for you to travel to, thereâ€™s also an Arouch located on Rue de Liege Ouest. But what are a few kilometers for such refreshingly different, unique and delicious food?
3467 Blvd. Saint -Martin Ouest (Laval)
917 Rue de Liege Ouest (Montreal)