Central St Petersburg, for all of its imperial grandeur, is also full of nooks and crannies: hard to notice, but hard to pass by once they register on your radar. There is no sign on the window located on the right-hand side of the aisle which leads to the Armenian Apostolic St Catherine Church, and you are not likely to see it from the Nevsky prospekt, which is at its busiest around there.
The kiosk only offers a handful of items – Bjni mineral water, mulberry jam, or kaghtsr sujukh candies but they are of the finest quality. The lavash flatbread that this kiosk sells is the city’s best, and for a type of food available pretty much everywhere that’s some achievement.
My favourite of the foods obtainable there is the zhengyalov khats, which is a traditional Karabakh flatbread stuffed with herbs, and a delicious vegan snack. It usually seems to be baked for the Lent seasons, so they don’t always have it. “Can I have some blgur?” “Yes, but do you know what it is, young man?” asked the lady at the kiosk. “Sure, it’s kind of like pshenichka (Russian wheat groats) but bigger”. “Ah, very good of you”. When I wanted to buy pokhindz, I was also asked if I can cook it properly. Traditions are a serious matter, culinary ones included.
If the weather’s good (a rarity here, I have to admit), the church courtyard has a fountain and some benches. Perfect with your Armenian lemonade.