The French occupation of Cambodia spawned numerous cultural fusions, from French language in the school system to Cambodian elephants penning vast manuscripts about ennui. Enjoy the culinary side of this cultural equation with today's deal to The Elephant Walk, which gets you $40 worth of Cambodian and French cuisine for $20. Choose one of the three following Elephant Walk locations:
- 900 Beacon Street in Boston
- 2067 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge
- 663 Main Street in Waltham
The Elephant Walk is a family-owned and family-operated establishment that's been running strong for the past 19 years. Explore its vast array of menus, which differ slightly by location and include options for brunch, lunch, and dinner, as well as numerous gluten-free edibles and desserts. The cuisine is broken down into three categories: traditional Cambodian, original Cambodian, and original French. A traditional Cambodian dinner of loc lac ($17.50) includes sautéed, cubed beef tenderloin lightly caramelized in black pepper, garlic, and mushroom soy, while flipping to the French side of the coin will earn a dish of crepe de canard aux poires ($12.95), a crêpe brimming with braised duck, pear, scallion, and crème fraiche. Original Cambodian cuisine such as the Crevettes Amrita ($16.95) rides the line between the two and challenges advanced palates by sautéing shrimp in a light, sweet satay sauce made with a dizzying blend of coriander, cumin, cardamom, galangal, cinnamon, ginger, peanuts, star anise, and lemongrass. Other dishes include soups, salads, and rich entrees of beef, poultry, seafood, and vegetables (for the herbivores and herbivoyeurs of the world). Cap your feast with a little chaek k'tih (tapioca pearls and plantains in a thick, rich coconut-milk sauce topped with roasted mung beans, $8), the second-most traditional Cambodian dessert after birthday cakes baked in the exact size and shape of Angkor Wat.
Founding chef Longteine de Monteiro was born in Cambodia while the country was still part of "French Indochina," and French cuisine played its delectable hand in shaping her tastes. Executive chef (and Longteine's daughter) Nadsa de Monteiro has continued to develop and create original French and Cambodian dishes influenced by her diverse heritage. Savor these complex tastes with today's Groupon while musing on how men dressed as butterflies flapping their papier-mâché wings in New Jersey can cause Antarctic research scientists to spontaneously cook cans of instant soup.
The Elephant Walk is a Frommer's Very Highly Recommended Destination and grabs a good review from the Boston Phoenix and Zagat, where it gets a 23 for the food. More than 230 OpenTable diners and more than 200 TripAdvisors give the Beacon Street location an average of four stars, and 82% of Urbanspooners recommend it.
- Many dishes are available with tofu, and this is one of the best destinations in the Boston area if you can't have gluten. Tip: Sunday brunch, which includes the prettiest omelets I've ever seen, is worth checking out. – Frommer's
- “Still amazing after all these years”, these triplets serve a “well-executed” menu (with many “lovely vegetarian options”) of “mouthwatering” Cambodian and French fare… – Zagat
- Elephant walk is one of my favorite restaurants in Boston. The menu is varied enough to accommodate all tastes, and I have never had a dish that I didn't love. The gluten-free menu is wonderful, I have taken several celiac friends friends here. – An OpenTable.com user who dined on 06/16/2010
- The Cambodian cooking here was beautiful and delicious - less hot and sweet than Thai, richer and more complex than Vietnamese. My Crevettes Amrita (shrimp sauteed in a light Cambodian satay sauce with coriander, cumin, cardamon, cinnamon and ginger, garnished with mushrooms, onions and scallions) was done to perfection. – Adventure Diva, TripAdvisor
The Elephant Walk
No matter what country her family was living in at the time, Longteine “Nyep” De Monteiro—the wife of a Cambodian diplomat—always heard the same thing when she served dinner at one of her lavish parties: “This is so good! You should open a restaurant!” It wasn't until the rise of the Khmer Rouge forced Longteine and her family to relocate to America that she began to seriously entertain the idea. Longteine finally opened The Elephant Walk in 1991, where she filled the menu with a mélange of her favorite Cambodian and French recipes.
Since then, Longteine’s daughter Nasda and her son-in-law Gerard Lopez helped her expand The Elephant Walk to three locations. All three Elephant Walks separate their kitchens into French and Cambodian preparation lines, each staffed with chefs adept at both traditional and contemporary dishes. Each dish makes meticulous use of flavorful, wholesome ingredients such as ripe plum tomatoes, fresh tuna, Vermont goat cheese, and organic tofu. The Elephant Walk also serves up a host of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free variants.
The Elephant Walk loves to feed the mind as much as the mouth. During its regularly scheduled Cafe Science series, Brandeis professors deliver compelling lectures on a variety of topics from the Large Hadron Collider to explaining why science alone cannot turn water into chocolate milk. The restaurant has since given upwards of $200,000 to local, national, and international nonprofit organizations fighting poverty.