I'll be staying in Bedford for about a week around Christmas, and I got my brother interested in checking out one of Lowell's Cambodian restaurants (probably Simply Khmer?). Assuming we can make it there for one meal, what are the "must-try" dishes we should consider?
Also, are there any good French-Canadian restaurants in or around Lowell (my brother's a big Kerouac fan)?
If you are willing to picnic in your hotel, the banh mi sandwiches from Hong Cuc - a truly hidden gem the approach to which involves turning into what appears to be a blind driveway behind a dumpster - are out of this world, and only cost $3.50-4.50 although they are enough to feed 2 normal appetites. On 110 in Chelmsford is Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe - another hole in the wall although it does have table seating. Gene makes the hand-pulled wheat noodles that are the specialty of western China's Xian province. The #4 combines them with lots of garlic and hot chili oil, for $6 a hearty, toothsome dish that's way more than the sum of its parts. And Chef Gene is the most genial of hosts.
Made it to Simply Khmer for lunch this afternoon. Since I wound up going solo, I couldn't try too much, but I had the Kuy-Tiev Phnom Phem soup (various pork cuts, including liver & intestines, in a refreshing and savory broth) and the Cha-Kroung Seafood (with white rice). The soup was delicious, but the latter dish was amazing! A terrific combination of flavors, with bell peppers, chiles, galangal, onion & garlic. Nice heat, a hint of sweetness, just fabulous!
Many thanks to posters past and present for making me aware of this cuisine; I will be back!
plus one on simply Khmer. I was there yesterday and had the hot wings, seafood rice noodles and the sour beef and tripe soup (can't remember the Cambodian name). First two I've had a few times and enjoyed but the last dish was a revelation. Complex spicing, tender braised beef and tripe, nice greens. They consider it a speciality. Also went to Pnom Penh (sp?), which was disappointing (papaya salad and ground catfish).
am sorry, but la boniche is barely french at this point. black bean soup, hummus, burgers, pizza. jeebus. the room is kinda pretty, but the food is meh. plus, you could buy 4 dinners at simply khmer or red rose for what you'd spend there.
last time we were at simpy khmer we had the hot wings, the beef loc lac and the fried squid and everything was just delicious. it's also byob.
just beware, simply khmer closes at 9 and red rose even earlier.
viet thai is another good option.