Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The new place to go for American comfort food



The new place to go for American comfort food

The restaurant’s po’ boy sandwiches are simple but satisfying.
The restaurant’s po’ boy sandwiches are simple but satisfying. Charlotte Pert

The new place to go for American comfort food

Drawing on cuisines from all over the US, Lone Pine Cafe serves up po’ boys, ribs, chilli, steaks and gumbo in an eatery that conjures the mythical feel of a roadside diner

The Lone Pine Cafe is the new eatery from the couple behind Street 51’s popular Taqueria Corona. Instead of Tex-Mex, this time they’re doing classic American dishes from Southern gumbo and po’ boys to Buffalo wings, chilli, burgers and ribs.

Co-owner William Brown – who hails from California but has lived all over the US – says the inspiration was America’s now semi-mythical roadside diners that exist “somewhere on a lost highway” serving up comfort food for weary travellers from all corners of the country.

Savoury, Louisiana-style gumbo stew from the Lone Pine Cafe
Savoury, Louisiana-style gumbo stew from the Lone Pine Cafe. Charlotte Pert

It’s a neat, bustling little place, with cream walls and varnished wood furniture. Retro touches like shiny metal overhead fans, art deco-ish light fixtures and the waitresses’ 1950s-style dresses evoke that diner feel. A series of black and white photos take the viewer on a cross-country road trip with images of gas stations, lonely highways and epic mountain landscapes.

Since the soft opening two weeks ago, I have visited three times, taking advantage of an introductory half-price offer in place while the staff find their feet and any other kinks are ironed out. Each time, the service has been unimpeachably friendly and attentive. The waitresses fell over themselves to be helpful – one came back to confirm our order three times.

Memorable dishes include the Bacon Onion Cheese Biscuits ($3) – nibbles of savoury dough just-out-of-the-oven fresh – which are moist and delicious with a slather of butter and Mr B’s Gumbo Ya Ya ($7.50), a chunky gumbo-licious Louisiana stew with hunks of chicken and flavoursome andouille sausage. The Cajun Po’ Boys ($7.50) – baguette sandwiches also from Louisiana filled with either shrimp, fish, chicken or steak – are simple but satisfying fare while the Cheesy Smashed Potatoes ($3) are, as the menu describes, “lumpy goodness”.

A diner sits at the bar after the lunchtime rush
A diner sits at the bar after the lunchtime rush. Charlotte Pert

If you’re hungry, the Chilli Cheese Fries ($7.50) are a good option. Served with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top of a pile of thick cut Steak Fries, they’re a moreish pile of ground meat and carbs. If that’s not enough, get some Wings of Desire (four chicken wings for $4.75 or eight for $7.50) with blue cheese dip which makes for a delicious shared side-dish well worth some sticky fingers. The Sauteed String Beans ($2.50) would be a healthy option, except that they come with bacon.

Steer clear of the Memphis Hunk Ribs ($8.75), which were the only real disappointment. Like a pork loin roast with the ribs still attached – the co-owner Brown said he was inspired by the famously meaty ribs served at Kampot’s Rusty Keyhole – mine was tough and chewy and a chore to finish.

I’ve yet to go near the drinks menu – or the extensive array of burger varieties for that matter – but the margaritas ($15 for a pitcher) use the same recipe as at Taqueria Corona and there’s a range of bottled beers and spirits available, too.

People like Brown’s original restaurant for the satisfying food served in a comfortable environment by friendly staff. The same formula – albeit with burgers substituting for burritos – ought to work similarly well here.

The Lone Pine Café is located at #14 Street 282.

MOST VIEWED

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Police arrest Canadian with 167kg of drugs

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on November 15 placed a Canadian national in pre-trial detention in connection with smuggling and possessing 167kg of illegal drugs. Deputy National Police chief in charge of anti-drug enforcement Mak Chito told The Post on November 15 that the man was arrested