Archive for May, 2013

MootzaDeli

The ABC: cheddar cheese, granny smith apple, bacon and greens on a soft roll.

The ABC: cheddar cheese, granny smith apple, bacon and greens on a soft roll.

MootzaDeli, a new food truck serving “crispy, warm and cheesy” sandwiches has arrived on George Street to confirm what I’ve long suspected — that the lunch offerings from local food trucks have surpassed the quality of food on nearby Thayer Street (no wonder they made them move down the hill a few blocks). On my recent trip, I debated over the menu options from four excellent sources — Plouf Plouf, Sprout, Lotus Pepper, or MootzaDeli–and settled on MootzDeli’s ABC sandwich, made with thin layers of cheddar cheese, granny smith apple, bacon and greens on a soft “pain de mie” roll.

I can’t imagine being more satisfied with my choice — I spared only a morsel of bread for Geoff to taste (I think he knew my offer for a bite was reluctant). And after reading about the founder who, like me, comes from an Italian-Jewish family in New York perhaps I should not be surprised. Nonetheless, I’m quite pleased they’ve chosen to park in Providence. For my next visit, I’ll be trying their signature sandwich, The MootzaDeli made with prosciutto, mozzarella, pine nut pesto, artichoke/olive tapenade and field greens.

MootzaDeli
www.mootzadeli.com

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Opening day at the Providence Alternative Market.

Opening day at the Providence Alternative Market.

As the Hope Street Farmers’ Market continues to expand (it’s now common to park a few blocks away), a new market has arrived.  The Providence Alternative Market launched this past Saturday less than a mile down the road on North Main Street with a small selection of vendors including Ward’s Berry Farm (Sharon, MA),  Baffoni’s Poultry Farm (Johnston, RI) and several more. Although I still find it a bit perplexing why they chose to have the market on the same exact day (and nearly the same time) as the Hope Street Market, I do recognize the need to have an alternative market in order to give an outlet for some of the other wonderful nearby farms.

On our visit to the first Providence Alternative Market, we found radishes, asparagus, rhubarb, and leafy baby kale. And in fact, the onions and potatoes looked more appealing than the ones at Hope Street this week. Although you won’t find nearly the variety as Hope Street, there are some advantages–no lines,  and great quality produce and meat. And you can always go to both. We did.

Providence Alternative Market
Saturdays May 18-October 26, 2013 10 am – 2 pm
http://provaltmarket.com/

Hope Street Farmers’ Market
Saturdays May 18-October 26, 2013 9 am – 1 pm
www.hopestreetmarket.com

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Lao Lanexang Market

More likely romanized as Jaew Bong, a Laotian sweet-hot sauce.

More likely romanized as Jaew Bong, a Laotian sweet-hot sauce.


I happened upon this market filled with a nice, neat array of Asian pantry items, largely Southeast Asian as the name implies. They also offer a selection of house-prepared ready-to-eat items, so I left with this house-made Jaew Gong hot sauce. A general condiment, it is typically made with dried water buffalo skin, but as you’ll see on the label this one seems to “have cow skin. Close enough.”

Lao Lanexang Market
373 Smith St
Providence, RI 02908 (Smith Hill)
(401) 272-2678

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Section 4, Row EE. Notice the grassy lounge area in left field.

Section 4, Row EE. Notice the grassy lounge area in left field.

Although we’ve lived in Providence for nearly four years, we only just made it to our first Pawtucket Red Sox (aka PawSox) game this May. Clearly, we are not the most devout sports fanatics.

pawsox2

Our two-year-old may not have been that attentive on the game itself, but she was a big fan of the stadium snacks.

As it turns out, McCoy Stadium is an ideal size, seating 10,000 people, making it large enough to feel the fans’ excitement while being small enough to actually see the game. And, the the general admission prices are quite reasonable at $8 per adult and $5 per child. It may have taken us a few years to get there, but I’m quite sure we’ll be back again this season.

Pawtucket Red Sox
http://www.pawsox.com

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One of the many stocked shelves at the new Gourmet Heaven on Meeting Street.

One of the many stocked shelves at the new Gourmet Heaven on Meeting Street.

It feels like we willed it into existence. The new location of Gourmet Heaven on Meeting Street near Thayer had formerly been occupied by a string of lousy restaurants, in which no one ever ate. Upon their most recent vacancy, Geoff and I agreed it would be a great space for a little market. And, just a few days ago, that’s exactly what it became. Gourmet Heaven, which has another location in Providence (as well as two in New Haven, CT), recently opened its doors with a full line of convenience store items, a salad and hot food bar, a deli counter, and a small produce section.

salad

A hand-picked salad of arugula, romaine, roasted brussel sprouts and onions, string beans, almonds and fresh mozzarella.

Gourmet Heaven seems to model itself after a New York convenience store/deli — rather than just a place to get a package of eggs or some milk, you can find that and everything from shelled chestnuts, Patsy’s tomato sauce, natural candies, and plenty more. I am generally strictly against salad bars, although I’ve found their line of freshly washed lettuces, grilled vegetables, and tomatoes and mozzarella too tempting. I’ve already eaten there twice. And perhaps the best part: they are open 24 hours.

Next on my wish list: a pharmacy near Thayer Street.

Gourmet Heaven

173 Weybosset St. Providence, RI
(401) 536-9000

Note: Meeting Street location has closed.

www.gourmetheaven.com

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