But climb to the second floor of this shrine to spices, seasonings, sweets, and snacks from six continents and many islands, and at Kalustyan's cozy café you can find your own mountain of mujaddara (moo-Jah-dah-rah; platter, $6.99, or $4.99 for a hillock, fitted into a pita). In the Kalustyan's rendition, a moist mass of lentils and bulgur is crusted with fried onions and accompanied by lettuce, tomato, carrot, cauliflower, two varieties of olive, and delightful taut chunks of sour pickle. Tahini sauce, too (hard to see here); hot sauce is an option I'd ask for next time.
Also: Baykal carbonated soft drink (330 ml.; $2) from Armenia, whose "main components" are wormwood, sage, coriander, liquorice, St. John's wort, laurel oil, and eucalyptus oil, has a lush, vegetal woodland nose; the liquorice lands thickly on the tongue. And inspired by a vicarious mountain expedition — "A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush," by Eric Newby — previously I picked up a jar of Artashes mulberry preserves (16 oz.; $3.99), from Armenia. More like fruit in syrup than spreadable preserves; interesting flavor, though I prefer my berries with a tad more tartness.
123 Lexington Ave. (28th-29th Sts.)