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Fork It: The Lonesome Road Home

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Lone Pine Cafe

A Royal au poivre burger, some comfort food from an American style roadhouse. (KT Photo: Billy Otter)

 PHNOM PENH, (Khmer Times) – Whether a traveller is a seasoned veteran seeking the next great adventure, or the first timer venturing to points unknown, the long lonesome road exists in every land. 

It can be urban Cambodia or the American midwest. But  road weary travellers all have one thing in common: the need for a rest stop to recharge both body and soul.
A new addition to the Phnom Penh restaurant scene is the Lone Pine Café. The second offering of William A. Brown, an American restauranteur with experience in the USA and six years locally.

The quality of service and cuisine during the Café’s soft opening in late July was exemplary. Timely service was evident from the first greeting through to the final friendly parting.

Lone Pine is described by the owner as a roadhouse. This is the kind of café one would find travelling in days gone by, as evidenced by wall photos of scenes reminiscent of Route 66. The photos provide accent to a comfortably decorated room that has a versatile seating scheme inside, as well as outdoor patio dining.

We started with margaritas. The selection has 3 flavors, in classic and frozen, ranging from $2.75 to $3.75. The second one is only $1.50. This offer also applies to mojitos. 

The classic margarita was a tasty version offering coolness on a muggy night. The beer list is 17 brands long, ranging from $1.50 to $6.50 per bottle. A limited wine selection is available as well as a selection of quality spirits.

Since I was havin’ a hankerin’ for a taste of home, I had to give one of their burgers a try. That turned into the simple part of the plan. There are 26 burger tastes to choose from. The Royal au poivre, at $9.25, caught my eye. On sampling, it offered all that a burger can.

Cooked to order, ample toppings and juicy meat on a fresh bun -- all a roadhouse café should offer. Other burger choices with names such as, El Camino, Hobie’s and Crecent City are there to tempt the imagination. Fries were of the shoestring variety, also a throwback to roadhouse days, although I have come to favor the homemade variety prevalent here.

Also sampled were the Memphis Hunk Ribs with “MEAT.” And meaty they were, for $8.75. Not your standard style of side or back ribs, this cut is specially ordered each day and offers one pound of pork. The homemade BBQ sauce is served warm. When staff noticed we were running low, another dish quickly arrived.

For a side, we chose Cheesy Smashed Potatoes. They were cheesy, creamy and a nice complement to the spicy BBQ sauce. Other sides  included sautéed spinach, potatoes lyonnaise, and dirty rice.

The menu’s selection is far too vast to cover here. But offerings should satisfy most taste buds. Lone Pine Café offers soups, salads both big and small, and a variety of sandwiches as well as Po’ Boys. 

The location, No. 14, Street 282, puts it in a higher price zone of the city. But if you are looking for a quality serving of the roadhouse café variety, stop on by.