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Seeking suggestions for Lowell ethnic food crawl

Heather29 May 10, 2009 07:17 AM

Hi everybody
My friend and I have decided to explore the wonderful food options in Lowell. I know that we are starting at Phien's Kitchen but I'm stumped as to where we should go next. We're not big fan of Indian, but anything else is a possibility. I welcome any ideas. Thanks in advance!

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  1. galangatron RE: Heather29 May 10, 2009 08:24 AM

    phien's kitchen is a great start. make sure you order the homemade lao sausage (sai oua) and purple sticky rice with egg custard for dessert. they also take requests

    lowell is full of many wonderful se asian restaurants. some of my favorites are red rose (cambodian), senmonorom (cambodian), phien's kitchen (laotian), new koh kong (cambodian), pho 88 (vietnamese), and yummy express (banh mi). all highly recommended

    a lot of people also like the southeast asian restaurant (se asian buffet) and tepthida khmer (cambodian) but i haven't had a chance to try them yet. you should also take advantage of some of the se asian markets while you're in the area. most notably battambang market on church street in central plaza

    1. cassis RE: Heather29 May 10, 2009 09:48 AM

      Udupi Bhavan on 1717 Middlesex St is a very good vegetarian Indian (for others who do like Indian), or so it was in its former Framingham incarnation.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cassis
        three of us RE: cassis May 10, 2009 12:51 PM

        Yes! Good suggestion. There is an Indian market, next door, that can be fun to browse in.

      2. greygarious RE: Heather29 May 10, 2009 11:40 AM

        Different kind of ethnic: for take-out like baked beans, Cote's Market; for individual savory/meat pies and British sausages, Thwaites's Market in Methuen. Across the stree from the Southeast Asian Restaurant is a Portuguese place, the name of which I cannot recall (perhaps it's Friends). Also, check out Gourmetgal's blog - she is on top of the dining scene in lowell and the Merrimack Valley: http://thesunblog.com/gourmetgal/

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious
          hotoynoodle RE: greygarious May 11, 2009 09:15 AM

          yes, it's called friends and it is quite good.

          lots of good recs so far, so here is one caveat:. stay far away from ole on merrimack street. awful, just awful "tapas" place.

        2. r
          robertlf RE: Heather29 May 10, 2009 07:09 PM

          Tephida Khmer

          1. r
            robertlf RE: Heather29 May 10, 2009 07:11 PM

            Another favorite is:

            Southeast Asian

            This used to be a great place especially for the authentic street food lunch buffet. They have changed management. I have not been in a long time. Would be nice to get an update on it.

            4 Replies
            1. re: robertlf
              Food4Thought RE: robertlf May 11, 2009 04:33 AM

              I would second SA. I've been there for lunch and dinner. The lunch buffet offers a wide variety, but the key is to get there early if that's the option you choose. Casual place with helpful waitstaff. Last time I was there was for diner before a show @ the Lowell Auditorium and our waitress was great. There are many very spicy dishes available if that's your thing, and Southeast Asian doesn't "dumb down" those dishes if you make it clear what you are looking for.

              1. re: Food4Thought
                hargau RE: Food4Thought May 11, 2009 05:04 AM

                agreed. One of my fav places, especially for dishes that are truly spicy. If you go for the buffet you have to get there when it starts.

                1. re: hargau
                  greygarious RE: hargau May 11, 2009 07:55 AM

                  The food is excellent, but for the finicky diner, it should be noted that the SA won't pass the white-glove test. It's something of a hole-in-the-wall, almost literally. The times I have been in warm weather, the dining room has been VERY hot. If they even have air conditioning, they weren't using it.

                  1. re: greygarious
                    hargau RE: greygarious May 11, 2009 08:35 AM

                    True. I have been in there when it was very hot as well. It is a hole in the wall but its all about the excellent food.

            2. r
              RoyRon RE: Heather29 May 11, 2009 08:57 AM

              You must try Tepthida Khmer on Chelmsford St. They serve great Cambodian food in a very pleasant atmosphere with great service. I have always found the food to very authentic. I love their Drunken Noodle Special, the Loc Lac with beef and several of their soups.

              1. hotoynoodle RE: Heather29 May 12, 2009 06:04 AM

                a lowell resident has asked me to chime in with viet-thai on merrimack st. they also do a lunch buffet and the food is great. menu prices are very low and the staff is pleasant. bare-bones for decor, but clean. no liquor.

                etsogo, also on merrimack, but the other end, is a good bet for sushi.

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