June 1st, 2007

On the road: Around New England

Sometimes I feel like I need a vacation to recover from my vacations. I’m back and off to a very slow start (it’s Friday already!). Trip went well, although I never made it to the museum. I mean, I did, but to my disappointment, it was closed for the entire weekend. I did, however, eat quite a bit of food. Here’s the recap:

SATURDAY

Breakfast in Providence at Reflections Cafe (8 Governor Street), a coffee-house style hangout complete with couches and WiFi. I ate an egg, ham and cheese wrap and drank a latte. The muffins looked amazing and their lunch menu featured Zodiac-sign inspired sandwiches. Other novelties: the Snickers Latte and Raspberry Mocha.

It was hot in Rhode Island, probably hotter than in Miami on that day, so we took off to Newport. I had a lobster salad sandwich at Vincent’s on the Pier (10 Howard’s Wharf, Newport).

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We later visited a fish market by Bannister’s Wharf. They had lots of lobster pretty much just out of the boat.

“What kind of fish is this?” I asked.

“We call it dead,” fish market guy replied.

Silence.

“Let me guess, she asked you what kind of fish that is,” said fish market guy #2.

To which market guy # 1 said, “I’m an a**hole.”

After that little exchange — and a little blushing on my part — he told me the fish in question was called scup, also known as porgy.

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Before heading back to Providence, we stopped at the Black Pearl (Bannister’s Wharf, Newport), which I had read about in a Providence guide book that claimed the tavern/restaurant had the best clam chowder in Newport. I can’t support that claim, but the soup was tasty and delicate, not too thick or chunky. It was worth the stop.

Later at night, back in Providence, we hit a Haven Bros. Diner for hot dogs. The diner was first established as a lunch wagon in 1893, then replaced by the trailer that now sits nightly on Fulton Street at the corner of Providence City Hall.

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SUNDAY

Breakfast was at Cafe Zog (239 Wickenden), an organic cafe. The highlight was definitely the omelet. For $6.75 you get an omelet, served with a bagle, with anything you want. They also have freshly squeezed juices. My only complaint was the service, which was a little scattered, otherwise a fine spot for a Sunday morning.

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After Cafe Zog, we picked up coffee down the street at Coffee Exchange (207 Wickenden St.). We drove past that place every day we were there and it was never empty. While we were sitting there, a parade started going by. It was strange. Members of a Portuguese church around the corner, some, mostly girls, wearing crowns and prom-looking dresses, walked to a marching band. We weren’t quite sure what it was but after a little research I have a feeling it was a Festival of the Holy Ghost celebration.

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At the end, a lady walked by giving away Easter bread. We ate it the next morning for breakfast. It was sweet and fluffy. Reminded me a little bit of panettone without the fruit.

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For dinner, we headed to Federal Hill (a.ka. Little Italy) in Providence. This area is inundated with cafes, restaurants and small markets mostly Italian. Providence’s Italian influences were unknown to me before this trip.

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A friend’s coworker recommended Siena (238 Atwells Ave., Providence) The restaurant brands itself as serving Tuscan soul food. I ordered the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese. The sauce, made with prosciutto, sirloin, pork, pancetta, tomatoes and other diced vegetables, was light. Not what you expect when you see all its ingredients. It was just right, no one ingredient stood out more than the other.

MONDAY

Off to Boston. We lunched at Stephanie’s on Newbury Street (190 Newbury St., Boston). It was another beautiful day and we ate in their outdoor patio, under the trees. Stephanie’s menu is varied, salads, sandwiches and entrees that range from the simple — mac and cheese�– to the sophisticated. I ordered the Chinese Chicken Salad�– chicken, baby corn, mandarin oranges and fried wonton strips. But my favorite from the table was the colorful beet, asparagus and goat cheese salad that my friend’s sister ordered.

Later that afternoon, we made our way to Fenway Park, where they’re not hurting for good food.

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I had heard my boyfriend rave about the food outside the park “better than the one inside,” he said so the first stop upon arrival was at Best Sausage & Co. for an Italian sausage. They’re huge! We shared one. The spicy sausage and the sauteed onions and peppers on top make for a nice combination. Inside, we helped ourselves to soft serve ice cream, a Fenway Frank and peanuts. And with that — and maybe a few extra pounds on us — we closed our travels around New England.

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[tags] Providence, Newport, Boston, Rhode Island, lobster, clam chowder, New England, Fenway Park [/tags]

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One Response to “On the road: Around New England”

  1. Wow…you can talk about RI better than I can and I live here!!! Great entry…I feel so proud…

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