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Mar 12, 2011 08:38 PM

ISO Lowell picnic spot

If spring ever comes, I would like to find a spot in or near downtown Lowell for a picnic to compare various sandwich shops' specialties with friends. Benches or picnic tables a must, overlooking the water would be nice. Any suggestions?

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  1. There are benches along the entire canal throughout most of downtown.

    1. Lots of great spots on Pawtucket Boulevard along the water next to the Sampas Pavillion. Great walking, riding path right there!

      1. I haven't been up there for a while, but there used to be a little shaded park with benches on Shattuck Street next to where the trolleys park. According to Google maps, it's across from Life Alive and the quilt museum. Not exactly a view of the water, but close to downtown.

        Once you do your comparision, please share the results of your research! You should definitely check out Hong Cuc Sandwich Shop for banh mi, which isn't far from this little park I mentioned. It's next to the textile museum, down the first driveway on the right on Fletcher Street.

        Life Alive
        194 Middle St Apt 3R, Lowell, MA 01852

        8 Replies
        1. re: Kiyah

          My mission is to compare Hong Cuc, which I love, with Nhu Y, which will be "nhu" to me.

          1. re: greygarious

            I was just googling all the Banh Mi places in Lowell!! Can you also swing by Yummy Express and Heng Heng on Branch St. Those appear to be the big four. I also ran across a name that i can't seem to recover, just over the river on Bridge St. Anyone know it?? And I found a Lowell Examiner review of TMorda sandwiches on 33 Willie St.
            I haven't started my crawl, but you go to it, and report back, please!
            EDIT: OK, I found it, it's Chongkankham Video Store & Asian Sandwich at 370 Bridge St. I can't tell if it's new, or old and replaced by Liberty Insurance. gg, if you don't make it by, I'll try to.
            So that's 6 places to compare, and I've only been to Yummy. Better get on it!

            1. re: justbeingpolite

              there is also white rose sandwich shop next to red rose restaurant in pailin plaza on middlesex street

            2. re: greygarious

              i like the grilled beef banh mi at yummy express and the cold cut banh mi at hong cuc the best. i don't think the banh mi at white rose, heng heng, and nhu y are as consistent

              1. re: galangatron

                Thanks galangatron,
                Do you know if Chongkankham exists, and if it's any good?

              2. re: greygarious

                Just make sure you get to Hong Cuc early enough. I was by there late one afternoon and they were out of sandwiches, which I take to mean that they were out of bread. Actually, it was more like 6 o'clock IIRC, so I'm sure you'll be there much sooner.

                1. re: Kiyah

                  i wonder if they all have the same source for the rolls. I noticed, in the course of what proved to be a disappointing first (and likely last) visit to Battambang Market that they had a brown grocery bag of what looked to be the same rolls. It was right by the register, next to the small array of prepared foods.

            3. gg -

              Another possible picnic spot, or two...

              St Anne's courtyard is very grassy and leafy and pleasant, but I'm not sure about benches. Right on Merrimack, opposite Shattuck.

              And right around the corner (facing the church, it's to your left) is a park along the canal, with benches I'm almost certain.

              2 Replies
              1. re: fredid

                Yummy Express today.
                Next time Hong Cuc.
                BBQ Beef banh mi was tasty, enough meat. Not too, spicy, though.
                A plus, the spring rolls were fresh and delicious.

                1. re: justbeingpolite

                  I noticed at Hong Cuc that for the barbecue options, bbq sauce is just squirted over the plain cooked meat. I wonder if this is standard for other banh mi places.