One of the many perks of living in downtown Lowell: there are (at least) two places to get delicious falafel within a block of each other. Extremely tasty Babylon, and our new find La Suprette. Chris and I have been meaning to grab something at this halal corner store for some time, and heading home from Winterfest last Saturday seemed like the perfect moment.
La Suprette is a little like a neighborhood deli, with a couple of shelves of African/Middle Eastern groceries, and a takeout-ready menu. Chris and I are vegetarian, so we were sticking to the falafel, but they have numerous meat options including goat, lamb, and jerk chicken (here’s a couple of yelp reviews). The falafel wraps were super delicious, crammed full of delicious zesty tastes and textures.
As a an added incentive, if you’re thinking about going, if I’m not mistaken I heard the African-Lowellian woman behind the counter speaking French. There’s a certain pleasant historical deja vu there: not so long ago there were entire neighborhoods of very different speakers of that language: French-Canadian Lowellians, concentrated in Centralville, Pawtucketville, and particularly in the neighborhood known as “Little Canada”. Many of Lowell’s historic ethnic neighborhoods have been altered significantly over the years, but perhaps none more so than Little Canada. Urban redevelopment efforts essentially wiped the neighborhood off the map, with the ripple effects of dividing and significantly dissipating the once quite vibrant Franco-American community.
La Suprette is on Bridge street just beyond Kearney Square. Heading a few blocks West, towards the Tsongas Center and LeLacheur Park, would take you into what was once Little Canada. I imagine the ghosts wandering through downtown are happy to still be able to hear their language spoken. And how appropriate that even as one immigrant group mixes into the larger melting pot, a new group joins the city, bringing with them their own traditions and delicious food. A city is always changing, and there is a natural sadness for the things that get lost along the way. But if we are lucky, change can bring with it new opportunities, new things to discover and to love. And more falafel!