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Since opening its doors in late April, the Lahmajoun Factory has regularly been selling out of its pizza-like lahmajoun and manakeesh, traditional Middle Eastern flatbreads covered in an array of toppings.
The sell-outs occur despite the fact that Lahmajoun is no mere bakery, but an actual factory. As customers can see for themselves via the large glass windows near the takeout counter, the kitchen is an automated production facility with giant mixing machines and conveyor belts. The assembly line also includes human helpers who spoon homemade toppings onto thin spheres of stretchy dough before moving them into the oven for a quick bake.
The namesake traditional Armenian lahmajoun comes topped with a fragrant mixture of ground halal beef, red pepper paste, tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsley and spices. A vegetarian version features mushrooms instead of meat.
A similar flatbread base is used for the plumper and more pillowy manakeesh. Possible toppings include cheese, hot pepper and za'atar, either solo or mixed according to your pleasure.
If you’re in the mood for something more elaborate, an extra $2 grants you access to the salad bar where you can add layers of fresh tomatoes, black and green olives, mint and sour cream.
Most of Lahmajoun Factory’s business is takeout -- boxes of six or 12 flatbreads are available -- and orders are frequently placed in advance. There are also several stand-up tables where you can wolf down a fresh-out-of-the-oven lahmanajoun or manakeesh, chased with a chilled bottle of tahn, a refreshing Armenian yogurt drink.
As one local reviewer, Garen Hasser noted, “this lovely Scarborough neighbourhood, which is predominantly Middle Eastern/Armenian, was in desperate need of an authentic lahmajoun spot, and this restaurant delivers that "taste of back home" that they were looking for! I find myself back here every week, picking up a dozen hot pepper flatbreads to take home for my family.”
Lahmajoun Factory is located at 2533 Pharmacy Avenue, in Scarborough. Open from Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.