255 Washington St. Somerville; (617)666-5122
This Union Square establishment turns out healthy interpretations of classic Armenian and Middle Eastern dishes. Everything here is grilled with strong and unusual seasonings, such as ground sumac (sounds dangerous, but it isn't).
Start off with an appetizer of sauteed spinach ($3. 95), or a large and garden-ftesh Greek salad with feta and olives ($4. 35). Sandwiches are substantial and outstanding. For $4-$5, you can get broiled chicken, lamb, beef or losh (ground sirloin) chunks, rolled into a huge pita with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pick-led turnips for an extra punch. Vegetarian choices are just as delicious, including a grilled falafel burger or a labne sandwich of yogurt, olives, lettuce and tomatoes (both $3.95).
Entrees include all kinds of shish kebabs ($7-$8); lahmajune, a thin meaty pizza ($6. 75); or a tasty stew of string beans, tomatoes and onions ($6. 95). But it's the extra touches that win raves from Mine. First of all, with any entree, you get warm pita bread with hummus (free! ). And pay attention to the stuff around the plate the rice pilaf is the real Armenian kind, but prepared in an Asian rice cooker, making it soft and flavorful.
Only one caveat about this restaurant: It has no air conditioning, so it's no oasis in the summer but this food is worth a little sweat Open Mondays through Thursdays from 11 A.M. to 9 P.M. Fridays and Saturdays until 10.