Looking for something (or some place) new and different? You are most definitely not alone. I say this because I have lots of people messaging me these days for restaurant recommendations. For brunch. Lunch. Or just wanting the scoop about any 'hidden gems' in the OS that I've come across in my travels. At the same time, I also have other peeps feeding me tips about local restaurants, bakeries, etc., for which I'm #grateful, believe you me. With all of this in mind, I was back on the road (definitely more Nora Ephron and Illeana Douglas circa I Blame Dennis Hopper than Jack Kerouac or Neal Cassady), crisscrossing the state all week, searching for, and testing out, more under the radar spots for food and drink. Here then is my short-but-impactful-and-road-tested list for February and beyond:
- Sushi Express on Thayer for their Bubble Tea - If you have a tween daughter, you're probably already aware. Take her there and grab an iced tea for yourself.
- Ebisu on Pontiac Ave. in PVD (really just over the line from Cranston) for their Japanese tapas - True story, someone I will only identify as 'the Mayor of Garden City' suggested Ebisu to me a few months ago. That's how and why I went back, after having tried it a few years ago with a friend who doesn't enjoy eating in restaurants (We all have at least one of those.), and ended up becoming a convert.
- Phil's in Wakefield for their breakfast or brunch, especially if you're a fan of HUGE portions - Go and order the hash browns and pancakes. If you go in the nice weather, sit out on their rooftop deck.
- JP Spoonem's in Cranston for breakfast or brunch - Not only did local writer Heather Rigney recommend it in her recent My RI Life, but another RI It Girl, who wishes to remain #anonymous, says it's highly underrated and underappreciated. She also says to try their French toast special which changes daily. (Click here to see the vlog we did from JP's last year with the one, the only Anthony Sanders of We Run This Town.)
- Phantom Farms in Cumberland for their pies - The apple we bought the other day was one of the best we've ever had. Like. Ever. In addition to pies and other baked goods, they also have coffee, hot chocolate, jams & jellies, and a lovely adjacent gift shop area to browse. (One more thing...we couldn't help but notice how great, aka, pothole free, the roads in Cumberland were. #Impressed)
- Scialo's in Riverside (Yeah, we crossed the bridge to research and verify.) for their cupcakes - My friends on the other side of the bridge tell me that absolutely everyone frequents Scialo's for these sweet treats and now, I know why. The line, for pastries, pizza, and bread, was almost out the door the afternoon we were there. Now, are you going to continue to miss out on their ridiculously good cupcakes? Sure hope ⚓️ not.
Ciao for Now,
Photo Credits: Bubble tea photo courtesy of YELP; French toast one courtesy of Getty Images; All other photos from the PattyJDotCom Instagram