By Nancy Kalajian
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
BOSTON — Two very different Mediterranean-Middle Eastern food establishments have recently made their mark in the Boston area. Both have experienced, Armenian-rooted chefs at their helm, but their venues are as diverse as two chickpeas lovingly perched on top of a dish of homemade hummus.
Take Seta’s Mediterranean Foods. Chef Seta Dakessian makes a wonderful assortment of tasteful appetizers and salads and sells them at Boston-area farmer’s markets.
Using local products from local farms, her motto, “Fresh Food, Simply Made,” says it all. She cooks nearly every day of the week and sells eight-ounce containers of assorted delights like babaganoush, lentil salad, beet salad, vegetarian grape leaves and Armenian potato salad, ranging in price from $4 to $5 to a curious mix that on any one day might include office workers, students, senior citizens and stay-at-home moms or dads; many are repeat customers.
Chef Seta’s lunch specials vary from week to week and often sell out quickly; I watched as she sold the last babaganoush and metch combo ($7.50) and quickly wrote “sold out” on a brightly appointed board stretched out on a long table.
“Metch is traditionally eaten in lettuce leaves. Eetch is a Turkish word and metch is the Armenian word,” shared Dakessian, and continued, “I personally make it a meal by adding a dollop of hummus or babganoush to the metch in lettuce leaves and then adding fresh tomatoes and lemon cucumbers.”