Panadería y Confitería Armenia: My Favorite Scala Ortiz Armenian Joint

Lately I have been on an Armenian binge, which has brought me almost daily to that same couple of blocks (1200-1400?) of Scalabrini Ortiz in Palermo Viejo which are so packed with Armenian markets, restaurants and specialty food stores. Hands-down my favorite little place is  Panadería y Confitería Armenia, a bakery specializing in phyllo-wrapped, nutty little pastries, marinated olives, falafel, kibbeh, Armenian “empanadas” made with sweet cheese, and other traditional numnums.

My favorite thing to get is what I consider a fantastic alternative to the daily and quickly-becoming-old empanada de pollo: a crispy falafel ball and a kibbeh, heated up and served in a paper bag. My preferred venue for eating it? On the back-seat of the 110 on a bumpy ride home from class.
The falafel is fried to golden perfection, only slightly greasy but not heavy in the least. The pureed chickpea inside is comforting and creamy while the fried coating is very crispy. It is also seasoned with quite the mix of spices, so it has a ton of flavor, uncharacteristic of the usual falafel ball. The kibbeh is also heavenly. The fried bulgur coating was the perfect consistency, soft and only slightly chewy but in a comforting, savory donut kind of way. The minced beef filling (a mixture of beef, sauteed onion, peppers and what I presume were roasted pine nuts) was delicious, not the least bit oily and packed with flavor. Forget the touristy crap around Plaza Serrano and get one of these as an afternoon snack next time you’re in Palermo Viejo!


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