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Aug 31, 2009 09:37 AM

Lunch options in Lowell, Lawrence, Methuen area?

Looking for some ideas in this neck of the woods for both sit down and take out. I found some older posts and set off to find Yummy Express or P&N for some Banh Mi in Lowell, but none of the stores I passed had any signs that indicated Yummy or B&N. I saw what looked like a convenience store that said they sold sandwiches, but it didn't seem to be the place.

I think I'll try Lawrence tomorrow for a cuban.

Any recent and updated recs would be great.

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  1. Some of my favorite places include Suppa's in Lowell (love their steak stick), Tripoli and Napoli in Lawrence (Sicilian pizza), and Cafe Azteca in Lawrence (one of my favorite restaurants in the Boston area). For cubans, you might want to try Pollo Tipico in Lawrence.

    1. Here is a very good thread on Lawrence.

      For a cubano in Lawrence, in addition to Pollo Tipico which is excellent but not available all the time, I've had an excellent version from Capitol Griile Cafe on South Broadway (Rte. 28).
      For take out, Mt. Vernon Varitety & Deli on Beacon St. is worth seeking out.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Infomaniac

        How about Jacqueline's on So. Broad. for empanata's.

        1. re: treb

          Oh ya.....I haven't stopped in there for a while, and they have some really good lunch specials too.

      2. the good bahn mi places in lowell DO look like convenience stores, the one i like is on merrimack street, on the same side of the street as st. vincent de paul and a large de-commissioned catholic church, located in between those two, i'm not sure what the actual sign says, but the sandwich counter/prep is at the back of the very tightly packed convenience store.

        there are some other good threads on lowell, but two places to keep in mind are Pho 88, near drum hill, and Udupi Pavan, near the hindu tmple.

        3 Replies
        1. re: qianning

          Great suggestion. The place is called Nhu Y Vietnamese Sandwich Shop. Stopped by today and got a pork banh mi. Very good and only $2.50. It's listed as pork skin on the sign. Looks to have about 3 different kinds of pork cold cuts. The roll is crusty and chewy and larger than most banh mi's I've had. Filled with pickled daikon, carrot, jalepenos, and cilantro with a long cucumber spear on the side.

          They also had some shrimp summer rolls and a box of fried spring rolls. I got the spring rolls as a snack before the sandwich (2 for $1, filled with pork and veggies). I'll be back to try the beef and chicken bahn mi's.

          1. re: Ali G

            Glad you enjoyed it, and I must say you are doing very well if you can figure out the menu of bahn mi flavor selections! I've kinda decided to take whatever they give me...which is always good. Sometimes they also have very nice sweets, I'm particularly fond of their version of the rice pyramids filled with cocnut.

            1. re: qianning

              Actually, I asked the older guy behind the counter what they had for fillings. He said BBQ, chicken, beef, and pork. I chose pork. After that I noticed a paper on the plastic barrier by the lottery machine that had the sandwiches in english. I believe there was also some kind of pate option. I love getting a great sandwich, spring rolls, and a coke for $4.

        2. there are lots of good se asian restaurants in lowell

          some of my favorites are pho 88 (vietnamese) red rose (cambodian), phien's kitchen (laotian), senmonorom (cambodian), tepthida khmer (cambodian), new koh kong (cambodian), phnom penh restaurant (cambodian), and yummy express (banh mi). le petit cafe (banh mi) on middlesex street is supposed to be good too but i haven't tried it yet. avoid the southeast asian restaurant at all costs

          yummy express is right off middlesex street on branch street. a little further down the road from red rose restaurant and right past where the two streets split

          5 Replies
          1. re: galangatron

            Thanks. Maybe I will try to find Yummy Express again tomorrow. I made a couple of passes but could not find a sign. Someone was always behind me, so I couldn't slow down too much. I'll just park and walk around next time.

            I had read some mixed reviews on the Southeast Asian Restaurant and was wondering if it was any good. Some days I will have coworkers with me to sit and enjoy lunch, but most days I'll probably be grabbing takeout. I'm on a banh mi kick lately.

            1. re: galangatron

              I used to go to Yummy but the food in the past year has become a little too challenging (few, if any, conventional meat dishes). I go to Heng Heng across the street now. There dishes are authentic but a bit more accessible. Great banh mi, too, and the owners are very nice. The Pailin Market can have some decent food if you catch it on the right day, but most of the stuff is an offal-lover's paradise.

              There's a great banh mi shop tucked into a parking lot on the corner of Dutton/Fletcher. Take an immediate right on Fletcher then cross the parking lot and look around the corner of the building. My Vietnamese co-worker told us this was the place to go, and it's very good.

              Why the hate for SE Asia? I know it's not what it was, but it's still pretty good.

                1. re: cornFusion

                  i had lunch at the southeast asian restaurant a couple of months ago and was disappointed. i had expected it to be a lot better given the hype it's received on the board

                  the spicy dishes were good (notably the nam prik ong and phad nuer gratium) but the rest of the buffet was pretty mediocre. the food was bland, lukewarm, and mostly picked over.....despite the fact that i arrived shortly after they opened. my dining companion had visited several years earlier and agreed that it had gone downhill

                  i also think that a restaurant called "the southeast asian restaurant" should have more se asian options on the menu. the buffet was all thai (except for goi cuon, gyoza, chicken wings, and crab rangoon) and the menu was mostly thai with a few vietnamese, cambodian, laotian, and burmese dishes

                  i think there are way better options for se asian food in lowell

                  1. re: galangatron

                    Word on the NE Board was they had changed owners.

              1. You have not lived until you try the South East Asian Restaurant's Lunch Buffet!
                Forget all the other places and get yourself post haste to that "destination spot" in Lowell. Eat other things later... if you can.