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Recent Lowell Discoveries

I was riding around the Lowell/Dracut area looking for new restaurants. I found an interesting authentic looking Latin place on Bridge St. called Delicias Paisas. They call themselves a bakery, but serve regular food.


Spotted Pete's BBQ Pit in Dracut.


Another little Iraqi place


"Foody Goody", a pan-Asian place that offers a freshly made sushi buffet


There was another Chinese fast food place in Dracut called "#1 Taste House" featuring "Authentic Hunan Cuisine", but the people running it barely spoke English and when I asked them to point out the "authentic" dishes they just pointed to the 3-4 things on the menu that said "Hunan"

Since I lost my job a while ago I can't try out all these places right now (trying to economize), but I'm hoping some of you adventurous area 'hounds can check them out and report back.

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  1. I have a feeling that Iraqi place has really good coffee. Maybe it's the picture on the splash page, I don't know, but that looks interesting to me, and now I also want coffee. //

      1. Stay tuned, I cannot reveal the details yet but there will be a large Asian restaurant opening in Lowell which will be the first in the area to serve Dim Sum 7 days a week and will also be catering to the Asian community for large parties, Asian banquets and celebrations (weddings, births, retirement parties, etc). Right know, the Asian community in the Lowell area essentially needs to travel to China Pearl in Woburn or Boston for Dim Sum or if they are planning a wedding or Asian banquet.

        42 Replies
          1. re: bakerboyz

            Spotted this, too, but I thought it was too early to post about it. Any idea when they are planning to open?

            1. re: Dinsdale45

              Hoping for perhaps September 1 depending upon permitting, construction, liquor licenses, etc. Licensing and permitting can be a hold up so it could be longer.

              1. re: bakerboyz

                Is this place on Middlesex Street?

                1. re: ParisLady

                  Yes, it will be next to the new Walgreens being built.

                  1. re: bakerboyz

                    That's awesome! What is the really great Indian restaurant on the Boulevard?

                2. re: bakerboyz

                  China Pearl Lowell?? That would be great!

                  1. re: hargau

                    I thought I saw "China Star" on the sign. There's a pretty good Cantonese place (they even have roast ducks hanging in the window) in Lowell called China Star, I wonder if it's the same owners.

                    1. re: Dinsdale45

                      Hopefully, better than China Pearl. The owners are the same as China Star in Lowell and they are very good operators. The Father has owned numerous successful Chinese take-out restaurants and for a short time owned a supermarket in Chinatown. Both son and father get the whole "QSC" (Quality, Service and Cleanliness) concept and I am sure it will be a great success. I have not discussed it with them, but I imagine that they will be doing cart dim sum service as they do at the big dim sum palaces in Chinatown.

                      1. re: bakerboyz

                        Construction well under way but a long way to go. Owner optimistically hoping for a New Year's opening but probably not. Still needs to go through liquor license hearing process. I can't wait. They will be serving dim sum 7 days a week!

                        1. re: bakerboyz

                          I keep checking over there, and its been slow going. I can't wait either. I hope they do it right.

                          1. re: Dinsdale45

                            I will be by there tomorrow night as there is a hearing at City Hall for liquor license. I am convinced they will do it right. The owners are very capable, very experienced and care deeply.

                            1. re: bakerboyz

                              Any update? Still on for early January?

                            1. re: hargau

                              I keep obsessively checking for some kind of internet reference. Nothing. I keep asking my wife to drive over there but she never does (I'm stuck recovering from ankle surgery). Can someone local run a little recon mission?

                              1. re: Dinsdale45

                                Here is the latest. Hoping to hear next week from ABCC on liquor license. Inside build out should be done in about 7 weeks, waiting for some equipment from China. They will be doing dim sum with carts from 9 AM-3 PM daily.

                                1. re: bakerboyz

                                  Wow. I remember when they were looking at a Labor Day opening. Too bad they won't be open for Chinese New Year. Can't wait, though.

                                  1. re: Dinsdale45

                                    Yeah with the way the building is looking I would think it would not be another 7 weeks. The outside looks very nice and it's a major upgrade from what was there before. I live up the street so on the weekends I typically drive down there and peek to see if anything says about when they are opening. I look forward to walking down there and trying out the food.

                                    1. re: tallen103178

                                      Yesterday i read that BonChon is opening in lowell too! They say March.

                                      1. re: hargau

                                        The place where BonChon is supposed to open is a little unusual for a restaurant. I haven't seen any work going on there.

                                        1. re: Dinsdale45

                                          where is the bon chon going? downtown someplace amidst all the new, and likely fleeting, fro-yo joints?

                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                            I heard it was Drum Hill, but I've been looking for signs, and can't find one.

                                            1. re: justbeingpolite

                                              down past pho 88 and the car dealer where the road turns to the right...

                                              1. re: hargau

                                                Yeah, between Drum Hill Rd and Stedman, Its on their facebook page, I'll have to check that location out. May be dangerously convenient for lunch some days.

                                          2. re: Dinsdale45

                                            we get their roast duck and pork belly pretty regularly. both very good.

                                            1. re: Dinsdale45

                                              eesh -- does sysco sell the combo pack like that now? although the paint and all on the inside looks much nicer than what was there before.

                                          3. re: tallen103178

                                            It's looked like they are ready to open for a while. I guess it's the licenses/equipment that they are waiting on. BTW, if a place is only open until 3PM, how important is a liquor license? I see "Lounge" is part of the name of the place, but most people don't do too much drinking before 3PM.

                                            1. re: Dinsdale45

                                              Dim Sum served daily from 9 AM-3 PM but restaurant will be open late for dinner/banquets until probably 1-2 AM depending on the day of the week.

                                              1. re: bakerboyz

                                                Cool. Will they have the same non-dim sum menu as the other China Star, or will they add more authentic Cantonese options?

                                                  1. re: hargau

                                                    I'm pretty sure. They have roasted ducks and freshly cooked meats hanging in a case, like many places in Chinatown. I've had a few things there, but since I'm more into big flavors, Cantonese isn't my favorite cuisine. But, it looks like they are a cut above most area Americanized Chinese places.

                                                    1. re: hargau

                                                      Yes, that is them. I have seen their new menu and while much of it is similar to this, they have added about 4 pages in the back of the menu that is entirely in Chinese and Vietnamese. They seemingly will have far more authentic dishes than the China Star on Broadway.

                                                      1. re: bakerboyz

                                                        Can't wait, but I hate the practice of keeping the good stuff hidden from English-speaking people. More and more Americans are seeking out authentic dishes.

                                          4. re: bakerboyz

                                            Called the number on the outdoor sign today. Still 3 more weeks.

                                            1. re: Dinsdale45

                                              Heard on Friday that liquor license was approved. Owner hoping to open March 15th. I will be stopping by this week to check on progress and will report back.

                                              1. re: bakerboyz

                                                I swung by today. If we're talking about China Star, they say they're aiming to open this Friday.

                                                1. re: justbeingpolite

                                                  Just left China Star. Lots of activity going on but still looks like best case scenario is 2-3 weeks away from opening. Seidman Bros was there today working on the kitchen, electricians there, chefs and waitresses were there, tables are in place, etc. The place looks great. Can't wait to try their dim sum!

                                                  1. re: bakerboyz

                                                    Weren't they targeting Labor Day 2012 at one point? Can't wait to try it, but man, what a drawn out process.

                                                    1. re: bakerboyz

                                                      Wish they had a website or facebook or something

                                                2. re: Dinsdale45

                                                  I called today and they said they estimate 1 week but have no firm date.

                                                  1. re: hargau

                                                    All licenses issued today. Building Inspector would only give them 200 seats due to amount of toilets; they wanted 285 for banquets and dim sum but they will start with 200 and try to increase after they open. They are planning on opening April 3rd.

                                                    1. re: bakerboyz

                                                      picked up a peking duck at china star last night. they confirmed all permits have been issued and staff is in the building training. so, next week for sure. he was most excited about the multiple thanks they will have for live fish.

                                                      and yes, duck was mucho yummy.

                            2. Had a Cuban sandwich at Delicias. Solid, tasty, but nothing spectacular. Looks like a nice little place, though. They also have a small bar. Picked up some cheese arepas and chicken empanadas to go, too.

                              1. Saw a sign for a Bon Chon restaurant coming soon just around the corner from Drum Hill and Pho88. I was excited because it sounded like a new Korean place, then I realized then name sounded familiar. It's a (Korean) fried chicken franchise.


                                Other notes: Pete's BBQ only had sandwich plates when I was there in early August, but I only wanted some bulk meat. They plan to have this available in the fall.

                                The China Star dim sum place still has a way to go before opening.

                                Found this place in Dracut. I've been there twice, at around 6PM on Saturday nights, and they were closed both times, with a flashing "OPEN" sign in front. I've called several other times on the phone and they appear to be open. Seems like an odd menu, and they appear to be partnered up with a coffee and doughnut shop. I'll give it one more try.


                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Dinsdale45

                                  No Lowell thread would be complete without a mention of the luscious Good Thymes restaurant. It's in a bizarre little corner of the city, surrounded by graveyards, and the patrons kind of have one foot in the grave -- but the food and service is OUTSTANDING. Lots of homestyle American stuff and oldies music warbling on the radio. A definite scene out of a movie (maybe the Fighter?), and the food is really luscious. Best fried clams I've had in a long time.

                                2. Yanagi Sushi has opened at Drum Hill ( in Chelmdford, technically), in the mall behind the strip where Pho 88 is. I think there was a Greek-American restaurant there before. On one visit, I was impressed. Friendly staff. The non Japnese (Chinese, I think) sushi chefs trained in NYC and were very pleasant. Nice atmosphere. I had very nice toro ( otero, too), Anahi, hamachi, and scallop, as beautiful as I've seen, and served on top of the shell, over a bed of ice, with a cute light embedded in the ice. Ll be back

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: justbeingpolite

                                    I chuckled at this when I passed by - there's a sign which from one side says Yanagi Sushi and right below it, Fin & Feather Pet Shop. The denizens of the latter must be on their best behavior!

                                  2. Pete's apparently has closed, according to their facebook page

                                    1. There's a new place where SE Asia used to be, and the place has only been open 10 days. They have a lunch buffet, and it's kind of sad, with a few tired Thai offerings. The thing is, they are Cambodian, and their menu has all the stuff you can find at Red Rose, Simply Khmer, et. al. I don't get why they throw this horrible buffet out when Viet-Thai does it much better around the corner. Since Khemara closed, there really hasn't been any Cambodian buffet in Lowell. Maybe I'll suggest that to them when I try some of the menu items.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Dinsdale45

                                        on appleton st., across from the tedeschi's, a place called irwin's has opened. very barebones, serving sandwiches and chicken and waffles. it's surrounded by transient housing and the last place there, 2 hearts cafe, got seized by the sheriff, lol.

                                        we shall see.

                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                          Someone's put a picture of the chicken & waffles on Yelp. It looks rather sad.


                                      2. Has anyone ever tried Marko's Mediterranean Grill? Its a truck that sits in a parking lot at the beginning of Appleton St.at the Thorndyke/110 intersection, just before the Owl Diner.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Dinsdale45

                                          yes -- I have tried it. Really great falafel sandwich. I get it spicy. I have heard the shawerma is really tasty but kinda salty. I love this spot though.

                                        2. Thanks for checking out my blog Dinsdale45! Yes, Chinastar is now open everyday from 9-3 PM for dim sum. Service is pretty bad right now but hopefully they will iron out the kinks.

                                          I don't have much confidence that the new Cambodian buffet place
                                          New Asia" will do well on Market street. Before it changed from Southeast Asia, the restaurant also changed ownership and it still didn't survive.

                                          Bonchon is definitely a go! My cousin is in the industry and just got his serv safe certification as a cook there. I will definitely post a review once its up and running.

                                          For other reviews for Lowell restaurants, most recently the Dim Sum, please visit my blog.

                                          1. I just spotted a Grand Opening sign for Pailin Garden, next to the Pailin Market on Branch St. The sign says Thai cuisine, which was a bit surprising. Can't wait to try it, though.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Dinsdale45

                                              Went to Pailin Garden for takeout. Ordered basil chicken, pad see ew with pork, chicken massaman curry, and a spicy ground chicken dish, similar to larb. All were very tasty, and had plenty of meat in the dishes (I've found that Thai places often go easy on the protein). Value was pretty good, the dishes were in the $9-12 range, and the portions were better than some of the other local Thai establishments, where getting a second meal out of one dish is a rarity. There was one other party in the restaurant at the time, but the food took nearly 40 minutes to come out. If the prep work is done, there's really no excuse for this. But, this is a small family owned place and they are trying to make a go of it, so I'll give them more business. I'll just remember to call ahead first.

                                            2. Tre Monte pizza has opened in lowell, on the corner of palmer st., previous home of the gone-but-not-lamented fortunato's.

                                              reno took forever (as all lowell projects seem to do), but they essentially gutted the space. square bar, with some high-top booths as a nice barrier to the entry hall, and a simple dining room with some more booths and lots of little tables -- many of which were together for what looked to be an impending 20-top.

                                              they have an "ice bar" -- essentially a shallow trough of frost in which to stick your beer glass. ok, so it keeps the bottom 1/8" cold?

                                              beer selection is good, wines by the glass selection is awful, just like most other places in that hood.

                                              menu is pretty straightforward, with a slant towards italian-american and standard pub-food.

                                              we went friday, in the downpour, around 4:30.

                                              3 bartenders and at least 7 servers, all standing around. i know it's standard to overstaff in the beginning, but it was between-times for any kind of potential rush and seeing that many with nothing to do but chit-chit amongst themselves was a bit off-putting.

                                              bartenders were very friendly and observant.

                                              my burger sounded promising - a mix of beef, brisket and short rib. it came out well done instead of the requested medium rare and the fries were limp and less than lukewarm. sadz. b/f got a stromboli, which was also just barely warm. he had the same complaint about his pizza there last week. underdone on the bottom and topping not hot.

                                              somebody needs a cooking lesson.

                                              these issues are all easy to fix and i know they have only been open a few days. it's a big improvement over the predecessor, so we'll give it a few more tries.

                                              oh! there are 6 tvs hanging over a bar that seats less than 20, PLUS a giant flat-screen in the way back. inescapable.

                                              the owners run a successful place in woburn, so here's hoping they have a bit more business savvy than 95% of the owners who take a stab at downtown lowell and board up their joint 6 months later.

                                              1. Best hidden gem for a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich, go to the basement of Lowell's city hall. Tuna sandwich is also quite good.

                                                1. b/f and i finally tried ma mina, on andover street last night.

                                                  yet another churrasco place. this is either iteration 3 or 4 in the last 6 years. :0

                                                  you can pay by the pound h have all-you-can eat for $12.99, but you need to go up to the carving station or pay $17.99 to have the guy come to you. they didn't seem to want to do the latter, so we picked option b, lol.

                                                  they have dramatically reduced the cold sides offered: some undressed romaine lettuce that was pretty wilted, undressed shredded cabbage, a very heavily dressed potato salad with peas, and some sliced melon.

                                                  hot buffet had some small pieces of fried plantain, rice, pasta, 2 kinds of beans, a rich chicken stew and some braised pork. some kind of pudding also, but meh.

                                                  none of these buffet items made me want a 2nd helping.

                                                  the meats were the usual salty suspects, lol. there was sirloin, sausage, brisket, lamb, chicken (which we skipped), pork loin and a few others. everything was so very dry. they had put on another price of brisket when we went back up and he really didn't want to serve it, but we were happy he did. it was the only piece of meat i got through.

                                                  the 2 guys working were very nice and concerned we were having a good time. everything was clean. not sure if they kept the liquor license from the former owner, we just had water.

                                                  perhaps the meat had been left-over from the night before and dried out from over-cooking? i don't now that i'll rush back unless i see way more cars in the parking lot.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                    Hidden gem in Dracut/Lowell area is Dracut House of Pizza: quality salmon and haddock dinners for $10/$11. I find most of the places are hole in the wall type pizzerias but Dracut House is a good value. Jimmy's in Lowell by the Walgreens on Plain St probably has the best pizza around and has optional wheat dough.

                                                    1. re: kreptol

                                                      I like Jimmy's. They have the best chicken salad.

                                                      1. re: kreptol

                                                        that wheat dough sign always makes me laugh. is the regular pizza dough made of gravel or something?

                                                    2. bumping this.

                                                      etsogo in lowell is closing next week and moving to dracut. looks like a chinese place will move in there.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                        The parking situation usually kept me from going to Etsogo, but the last time I went, I noticed they cut down on the Malaysian menu, which is what I thought made them unique to the area. I can easily get out to Dracut, but I'm not sure if it's worth it.

                                                        1. re: Dinsdale45

                                                          we are able to walk there so parking was never an issue. the owner is SO nice and friendly. i paid ONCE with my debit card and she has remembered my name and what i like every time i go.

                                                          i think the quality of sushi at blue taleh is better, but am not always crazy about the bar crowd drinking pink-tinis, so etsogo was always a nice, lower-key atmosphere.