I had a lovely time exploring Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (the full name of the state!) this weekend with my high school girlfriends. Here is a breakdown from city to city:
By the time we got into the city, we were ready for lunch. To Kennedy Plaza it was, a little park in the Financial District with a group of food trucks.
I chose Mama Kims Korean BBQ, it was great food and a great deal. They have a variety of sliders, wraps, and rice sets. I got a chicken gochujang slider with sweet potato fries and enjoyed them by a fountain in the sunny park. The slider was covered in a tangy sticky paste with a mild spice to it, and came on a fresh bun. When paired with sweet potato fries which had a gooey simple syrup and sesame seeds, it was quite a filling meal for only $6!
After lunch we were on the move and heading uphill towards Prospect Terrace. This was a very small park with some big features. The most striking feature of the park itself is the larger than life statue of Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island. He is looking over the city, and you can as well. There is a phenomenal view of the capital building. This is a quiet and peaceful spot on top of the city.
We continued walking down to Thayer Street, a strip with lots of shops and restaurants. This area seemed to draw a young crowd, it has a close proximity to Brown University. With only the possibility of 2-hour parking at our meter, we headed back towards the car and strolled around Westminster Street. If you like to shop an interesting boutique is Queen of Hearts. We headed to Hope Street to visit the Seven Stars Bakery, this turned out to be a kitschy part of town as well. My friends and I got raspberry Danishes and lemon cakes to have for dessert later, because the bakery closes at 7pm. There were lots of little shops and my favorite was the Frog & Toad, which had many eclectic and local items such as coasters and earrings made of old skateboards! Very cool.
On our way to check into our hotel we spotted the World’s Largest Bug named Nibbles Woodaway off I-95, he’s a termite!
We made dinner reservations for Los Andes Restaurant. Judging from the exterior one might drive right by, but once you go inside you’ll be very pleased. There is a huge salt-water fish tank with clown fish, damsels, and all sorts of vibrant life. The walls of the restaurant are brightly painted and beautiful artwork is hanging from them. The wait staff is friendly and attentive. The menu is exciting. The food is prepared creatively, but most importantly, deliciously! The joint offers Peruvian and Bolivian cuisine. There were lots of interesting choices, but I decided on two different appetizers. First was a traditional Peruvian dish called Causa Limena which consisted of chilled whipped potato filled with avocado and shredded chicken. It was uniquely flavored and a bit spicy, the consistency was soft and interesting. The display was beautiful, and it was reminiscent of sushi! I was very happy to have tried it. I also ordered an authentic Bolivian Saltena which is a chicken pie. The dough was soft and tasty, the chicken very well flavored with sweet note, evened out by the sporadic hot peppers. I really loved my meal, the atmosphere, and enjoying it with my friends! I’d highly recommending eating at Los Andes if ever in Providence, but make sure to call for a reservation.
Our next stop was to the Providence river. Here we had reservations for a truly amazing experience, a Gondola ride with our fantastic gondolier Ivano. La Gondola offers 40 minute rides on the river. There are different options to choose from, and we go the basic one. We brought our own wine, and they provided an ice bucket and some biscuits for us. We loved seeing the sights of the city from the river, and learning facts about them from Ivano. After we were more acquainted Ivano offered to sing to us in Italian, it was the closest to Venice I’ve ever been! After we returned from our beyond wonderful ride, we finished our wine by the riverside. We now had our delicious dessert that we picked up from the Seven Stars Bakery.
After a great day we enjoyed some drinks and a great live band at a bar called Ri Ra. It was a fantastic day. Brunch the next morning was at The Duck & Bunny, a really fantastic joint. It was decorated with many ducks and bunnies in an adorable fashion, but this place wasn’t all about looks. The menu was very impressive as well. I noticed there was a large Portuguese influence in the area so I decided to get a Portuguese Sweetbread Pudding which was award winning, and I can understand why. It was delicious! Both sweet and savory with caramelized onions, bacon, and scallion topped with a healthy portion of cloumage. I always struggle deciding between sweet and savory, this dish hit both and really rocked. I also tried their truffled home fries which were fantastic as well, and got a nice strong iced coffee. A great meal in a ‘snuggery’ which is defined as a cozy and comfortable place. Very true. Wickenden Street, where it was located, proved to be another interesting part of the Providence neighborhood.
After a hearty brunch, we traveled down to Newport and followed the Ten Mile Ocean Drive. We passed by Fort Adams which looked interesting, but we got a late start on a Saturday, so we did hit traffic heading in to town so we had to forgo some of our plans. We parked in Brenton Point State Park watched the kites flying and took in the sights. This is a free park, and if you wanted to you could cross the road and lay on the flat rocks instead of paying for parking at a beach.
We decided to split the $20 parking fee at Gooseberry Beach, and it was a nice quiet place. One could walk the entire beach in a short period of time, but since it isn’t in the downtown area it was definitely less populated and you have your space. Mansion are in sight, and if you are weary of poison ivy it is fun to climb on the rocks explore the area further.
Dinner was recommended by Guy Fieri on Diners Drive-In’s and Dives, a joint called Anthony’s Seafood. He tried the Stuffed Quahog (Stuffie), so I did too, and it was really good. A nice mike of clams, breading, onions, peppers, chourico, and spices. I got a hot one, but there wasn’t too much heat. Guy didn’t try the Portuguese Fish Chowder, but many of the people of yelp suggested it, so I got a bowl of that as well. It was great, nice chunks of cod, scallops, shrimp, and chourico with a pretty orange coloration. Very delicious meal and affordable meal.
After dinner we headed downtown to check out the Newport nightlife. There are a multitude of bars to choose from with many different scenes. Some quieter, some really lively. I enjoyed sipping on a Narragansett out of a can for a solid $2.50.
Next morning a good breakfast was in order, and we headed to the Corner Café. I got a breakfast sandwich on delicious sourdough bread, a generous fresh cup of fruit, and home fries with a sweet interesting note to them. It was a great feast to fuel me for the day ahead.
The Cliff Walk was next on the list, a scenic walk high up on a cliff with the ocean on one side and mansions on the other. In its entirety the walk is 3 ½ miles one way, but as of now it is partially cut off on account of damage from Hurricane Sandy.
It is a great walk, and after you’re done you can relax at neighboring Easton Beach. The beach is very populated, but it is clean and still very enjoyable. The water was great, and an all natural Del’s icie was really refreshing.
Dinner was at the Atlantic Grille by recommendation of our friendly cab driver. Just a short walk from the beach, I got a heaping portion of fresh delicious baked scallops, really great sweet potato fries, coleslaw, and a nice big strawberry margarita.
We had a relaxing time at Genie’s Hookah Lounge later that night. This place had a really great atmosphere, and some awesome hookah options. We enjoyed an apple cinnamon mix and I had some wild raspberry tea. They also offer middle eastern cuisine and have belly dancing Friday and Saturday nights!
Our last day in Rhode Island was spent in Jamestown, a quaint and quiet town that I really liked. Breakfast was at Slice of Heaven, and I got blueberry sourdough pancakes with real maple syrup and they were awesome! This place looked like it had really great pastries as well, and was very populated for a Monday morning.
Next stop was Fort Wetherill State Park. It was shocking that this place is actually a state park, because it’s an abandoned fort painted with graffiti and broken glass. It is awesome for urban exploration and photography, and seriously eerie. You just have to watch out for poison ivy, but I had a great time looking around this place.
The second stop was Beavertail State Park, a very different place. Here you will find a coast of rocks and when the tide is out, many tidal pools. It is a very beautiful scene and a fun place to climb and explore. There is a small aquarium with wildlife found in the area, and a lighthouse museum that is open seasonally. This was the spot of the third lighthouse build on the Atlantic coast.
On our way back to New York we saw a windmill and stopped at the U.S.S. Chowder Pot in Branford, CT for lunch. My parents turned me on to this place, the food is fantastic and the décor is fun. They serve you delicious bread drizzled with honey to enjoy before your meal, and their clam chowder is real tasty. It was a great stop to stretch our legs and fill our bellies.
This was a great trip, and I really loved visiting this little state packed with lots of feed and fun!