PHNOM PENH SANDWICH STATION
In Lebanon, NH at the corner of High and Mascoma streets, where two funky traffic islands come together and where I always get turned around in confusion, there is a new destination for delicious take-out. This is Phnom Penh Sandwich Station and it is worth getting turned around!
This family is surely familiar to those who frequent the Lebanon Green and the Dartmouth Green during warmer times of the year. This is the food truck with the amazing aromas. Now the family will maintain this new permanent location at 1 High Street in Lebanon and then come warmer weather, be a more permanent fixture on the Dartmouth Green with their food truck, as opposed to just evenings in Hanover.
I had heard three different groups of people discussing this spot just in the last two weeks so I took that as an omen for this next article. Where was this place, was it Thai or Vietnamese, was it a restaurant? These were the questions. It is Cambodian and it is for Take-Out and it is my new marker for refusing to get lost again in Lebanon, as well as offering convenient parking in a roomy lot.
We tried a few different dishes and they are absolutely delicious and fulfilling. I often say that when ingredients are of good quality, you don't leave the table with a leaden stomach. Such was the case especially with the fried dumplings as well as the spring and summer rolls. These three refreshingly satisfying appetizers could have been served in any 4-star restaurant. Bring them home and open a cold Pilsner or pour a glass of Reisling to accompany, perhaps some green tea and you have initiated a perfect Cambodian meal.
The spring rolls are either beef or vegetable with cabbage, carrots, vermicelli and a homemade sweet chili sauce. The summer rolls have fresh lettuce, cucumber, basil, carrots and rice noodles with another homemade sauce: sweet and sour. The dumplings are ensconsed in an elegant crunchy outside and are ripe with pork, cabbage, onion, celery, ginger, garlic, scallions and their own chili sauce. If I had not eaten for a few days I would also have chosen the chicken satay with lemongrass and coconut milk. You may choose one of the main choices with either Jasmine rice, Pad Thai or on a baguette with cucumber, cilantro and pickled carrots. These mains consist of coconut jumbo shrimp, ginger and garlic pork, lemongrass beef, chicken choices and a tofu option for vegetarians with a soy and sesame sauce.
This family business is run principally by Sarin Tin and his wife, Lay Yi, and I gather a family of food lovers anyway. As we waited for our choices, I noticed a complimentary article from The Valley News, proudly framed on a wall. If you look online you will also see high praise from patrons in-the-know.
I did not get to their famous Khmer crispy coconut cookies, but I gather they are unique and not found anywhere else around here. Such are the joys of fresh food prepared from scratch.
There is no website but they are on Facebook and the telephone number is: 603-678-8179. They are closed Sunday. They are open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.
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