RI Restaurant Stories: Blaze Village Kitchen
After staying up way too late Saturday night (first, finally watching 50 Shades of Grey - The most unrealistic part for me was when Christian Grey upgrades Anastasia Steele's plane ticket to 1st class and she kinda protests. I mean WHO doesn't want to fly 1st class? - followed shortly thereafter by several episodes from season 1 of Gilmore Girls on Netflix...What can I say? I have eclectic taste.) and losing that hour of sleep to Daylight Savings Time, I felt like complete crap Sunday morning. Make no mistake about it, the last thing on my mind was doing any springing forward.
Post probiotic shot, coffee, and shower (The fact that it was sunny and warm outside didn't hurt either.), I felt strong enough to leave the house in search of a meal. I wasn't too keen on going somewhere and standing around waiting for a table for a half hour or more though. (For the record, I am a bear, or worse, when I haven't slept or eaten anything.) With that in mind, I decided to take a chance and head over to Blaze Village Kitchen at Hope Artiste Village* in Pawtucket, their new home, following a move from Hope St. on the East Side of PVD. I'd been there before for lunch a month or two ago and had been wanting to get back for their weekend brunch and the Winter Farmers' Market (more about that in a sec).
*If one more person tries to correct my pronunciation of the word Artiste in HAV, I'm going to scream and throw a full-on tantrum.
So, it's a beautiful space with lots of light, from the many ginormous windows (See photos above.), and then, there's the food. In a word, it's fantastic, as in I'm a fan. I also love the fact that their brunch menu - which is divided up into different categories like Benedicts (I got the spinach one and it was delicious.), Sweet Things (aka, French toast, granola or fruit), Omelettes, Sandwiches, Specialities (such as huevos rancheros, hash, burgers, and pizza), and even a Kids' Corner - features plenty of choices for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. There aren't too many places where you find that locally, except for maybe Julian's on Broadway, with their legendary tofu scramble or their seitan that's at the ready as a tasty meat alternative. Overall, service at Blaze was top shelf and definitely worth bragging about too. The host and our server both checked up repeatedly (Can't stand when people forget about me, in a restaurant and otherwise. #wink) and my coffee cup was never empty, always a great sign.
Speaking of coffee, it was fine (You can get yourself a classic cup of hot coffee with cream and/or sugar.), but if I had my way, I'd want to see an expanded coffee selection with lattes, cappuccinos, etc. I'm guessing though that the limited offering may have something to do not wanting to compete with their neighbor down the hall, New Harvest Coffee, which I get. Believe me, I get it! Unfortunately, New Harvest is apparently closed on Sunday afternoons though because when I walked over afterwards, just to make sure (and possibly grab another cuppa java), they were closed. Cue the maudlin music.
And about that weekend Winter Farmers' Market...I slept in, so we got there too late to catch any of it. If (unlike me) you're a real morning person, then I highly recommend checking it out before brunching it at Blaze. (PS - Once the weather starts to heat up, anything Farmers' Market related moves to Lippitt Park on Hope Street, only a hop, skip, and a jump away.)
Now, I'd go back in a heartbeat, but the thing I'm sorta skirting around is parking. Not gonna lie, near HAV, parking can be challenging, but we were lucky enough to find a spot in the FREE lot across the street. (There's something to be said then for sleeping in and being late to the party.) That's best case scenario. If that's not a possibility, I'd recommend car pooling with a friend who owns a Volkswagen Bug (Anastasia Steele's mode of transportation before she hooks up with Mr. Grey and he buys her a brand new Audi.), Mini (Cooper), Fiat, Prius or other compact that can squeeze into any and all parking spots, sweet talking that friend who loves to show off their parallel parking skills into coming along or maybe, just maybe taking an Uber.
Ciao for Now,
Photos: All photos courtesy of the PattyJDotCom Instagram