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Restaurants & Bars 12

Way down upon the Mekong River... a Lowell chow crawl

gourmaniac | Jan 3, 201212:31 PM

Taking advantage of a Friday off, i ventured to Lowell to sample the richness of Southeast Asian places there and took advantage of previous posts by Galangtron, RoyRon and others. As I was dining solo, I used a similar strategy that i used recently for Malden, ordering way too much, sampling, and packing it for take out. On to the chow. Tepthida Khmer worried me a little as it was a little too white table cloth for me but the prices were similar to less elegant places. The Loc lac ($12) was tender and flavorful with deceptively complex spicing. The Amok luncheon ($8.00) was delicious and great value. I'm used to a pastier fish but this had chunks that I think added texturally and again the spicing was delicious. I peaked in the kitchen and appreciated that the chefs were actually tasting to adjust salt and seasoning. A stop at Battambang market was a little disappointing. It is large with a good variety of SE Asian produce and inexpensive (a huge amount of lemongrass for a dollar), but the meat and fish sections smelled a little off. I got a banana and sticky rice thing which was nice and a fried whole crab that was inedible though at 50 cents, no harm no foul. A break for Yankee food at Eliot's, a hot dog place that has been there since the 20s. A chilidog was good ($2.82) though not up to Simcos or Georges Coney Island with regard to snap and taste. Simply Khmer was more my kind of place and there I ordered the seafood drunken noodles and the hot wings (each $7.50). The noodles were great generous in seafood and that addictive Cambodian spicing. I requested spicy and it could have been more so. The wings are justly famous. They are reminiscent of the Bonchon Korean wings and 10 large pieces for $7.50 is good value. Heading out along Westford, I stopped at Phiens Kitchen for the purple rice and coconut custard, which was toothsome, tasty and a large serving was $5.00. I had hoped to hit Pho 88 for shrimp toast as well but missed it and as I related on another post, perhaps it was God's way of keeping me slim (snort). I did pass Priya an Indian place that looked promising but will save that for another day.

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