The Cambodian population in Providence began to grow during the reign and eventual fall of the Khmer Rouge, in the late 1970s. It's now a substantial immigrant group with more than 10,000 people. The cuisine relies heavily on rice as well as familiar Asian flavors like soy sauce, lemongrass, tamarind, ginger, and coconut milk. Fish is also a staple, though Westerners don't always get behind the fermented and salted preparations. There are two popular Cambodian restaurants in Providence: Angkor and Apsara Palace. I dropped by both to see what authentic Cambodian food is all about.
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On a college campus in the early morning, you may see students running late to class, out for a jog, or rubbing their eyes en route to breakfast. But every Wednesday on Brown University's campus, you'll also see a sloping lawn framed by white tents and pickup trucks filled with young people scurrying around, hauling bushels of apples and baskets of tomatoes. The school awakens to this lively scene outside the main dining hall, and it's my favorite time of the week: farmers' market day.
The area surrounding Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design in downtown Providence is dubbed "College Hill." The name primarily references Thayer Street, a main hang-out for local college and high school students. However, good eats can be found in the surrounding areas as well. I've found that students on the Hill are willing to cast their nets far and wide to seek out some good food. Here's just a small selection of some of the best places to eat in this fun college town.