Just stumbled upon Kebab, a new Indian restaurant near Drum Hill Ford, next to Pho 88. We stopped by for the buffet lunch, which was a cut above the standard offerings. They offered an equal number of meat and meatless dishes, all of which were quite flavorful. I saw some odd "fusion" choices on the menu (Cajun curry?) and I think they may offer both Northern and Southern regional dishes. They are still working out some kinks but the staff seemed very concerned about our every opinion. I've seen prices of Indian entrees climb into the $16 range lately, which limits the number of dishes you can try at one sitting/order. They must be aware of this because they advertise that their entrees are below $10. I don't know if portions are scaled down, but we want to give takeout a try very soon.
Khemara Restaurant on Westford Street In Lowell has been sold (the owner told me it was because being hurt breaking up a fight at the restaurant between middle-age men was the last straw for her) to the people who own the Hong Kong Market across the street. My Laotian friend at work says they will keep it as a restaurant but the focus will be on catering events. I hope they keep the buffet that kept me going back to Khemara for years.
I haven't made it yet, but my wife and daughters rave about the Egg Roll Cafe in Lowell, near ULowell. Very friendly owners.
I just found out that the longtime owners of Southeast Asia Restaurant sold the place. Joe wants to get into frozen foods (I know he tried that once at the restaurant, but it didn't fly). The new owners assured us that the menu would stay the same. Maybe the quality/reliability will be more consistent, which will be a good thing.
A Vietnamese coworker pointed us to the best Bahn Mi in Lowell. It's a tiny shop at the corner of Fletcher and Dutton Sts., hard to see from the street because it's tucked into a corner of a parking lot. The chicken, pork, and beef BBQ were all excellent. I tend to shy away form the head cheese in the "regular", but that's just me.