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May 10, 2009 07:17 AM

Seeking suggestions for Lowell ethnic food crawl

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. 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. 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

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

      2. 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:

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious

          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.

          1. 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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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.