Lunch 12/13/2022

Tandoori chicken

On the days I go into the office, I usually get takeout for lunch via GrubHub or DoorDash. Those services are problematic, to be sure, but the place where I work has one of those cultures where going out to lunch is Not Done and everybody orders in. If my co-workers are ordering lunch with me, we tend to resort to the same three or four places that everyone can agree upon, but if I am going solo I will try some different options.

There are lots of Asian restaurants to choose from in and around Lowell, but skews heavily toward Chinese and Thai, with a smattering of Vietnamese and Cambodian. Lately, though, I had been looking for some Indian food, which is far less common in this area. I ordered from a place GrubHub calls “Art of Biryani”, but which actually turns out to be a place called Priya. I am familiar with Priya because it is in the same stripmall as my favorite pho place, Pho 88, and I have actually been there for lunch a couple of times years ago. I know this because the food came delivered in a Priya bag. Now that I know this, I will order from them directly and knock out the middleman.

This tandoori chicken is fabulous, by the way. Spicy, just the right level of char, juicy. With three thighs and three drums in an order, you could easily share it, but I ate all of it myself because it ia that good. They also include a small container of Basmati rice and another with a sauce that seems like maybe tikka masala (mild, tomato-based, creamy but not as creamy as korma). The rice and sauce make a good not-spicy counterpoint to the chicken. Such a welcome alternative to the parade of subs, Chinese combo platters, and Pad Thai.

Lunch 8/25/22

Crab fried rice

On the days I go into the office, I order takeout. I work in Lowell, which has a substantial Asian immigrant population, so there are a ton of Asian places to choose from. One that my officemates and I order from occasionally is a place called Wee Thai Food. I usually order the Drunken Noodle, which they make very spicy, but I wasn’t in the mood for spicy, so I tried their crab fried rice instead. Good choice on my part. It was quite satisfying, as a good rice dish should be, but not heavy or greasy like your standard takeout pork fried rice. A few big bits of crab meat on top, and smaller bits throughout gave it an excellent seafood flavor. In all honesty, a lot of the Asian takeouts are not all that great, but Wee Thai really excels.

Lunch 7/29/21

Saigon-style banh mi

Saigon Sandiwch House in Lowell is just a few blocks from my office, so we get lunch from there somewhat regularly. Their specialty is their banh mi, and this is their “Saigon combo”, which is the standard traditional banh mi with ham, pork, pate, daikon, carrot, jalapenos and cilantro. For me, it’s the Platonic ideal of a banh mi, and they make a really good one. You have to have that super-crispy exterior on the baguette to get it right, but the interior of the bread can’t be dried out. I’ve had other banh mi where they just used stale sub rolls, and those suck. Or even worse, super soft rolls like you get at a Subway. ::shudder::