Archive for November, 2013

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We’ve now lived in Providence for over four years, and it would be hard to fit in one blog post all my thoughts about that. So instead, I thought I’d describe an eventful, but fairly typical Saturday, which as it turns out, might be a perfect way to highlight our life in Providence.

8:28 am – We woke up “late” for us, which meant we had to rush to get the girls ready for gymnastics and ballet at Aim High Academy, where dozens of gymnasts were already hard at work.

10:00 am – We head to Allie’s Donuts–an institution for good reason. A donut cake (exactly what it sounds like) has been ordered for one of our daughter’s birthday this month.

11:15 am – We make our way to the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers’ Market opening day. This year’s market has more than doubled, and it is every bit better. We all sit in the courtyard and have Tallulah’s Tacos for lunch. The girls make a basket at ACKpack Basket Studio. Michele buys a giant stalk of brussels sprouts, freshly dug potatoes, onions, and parsnips from the market, along with apples from Barden Family Orchard. Our daughter insists we buy more pickles from Harmony Hill Farm. We get dessert–an almond croissant and an apricot financier–from the French Tarte. On our way out, we discover a new store, Sassy Mama Cuisine, that has rows upon rows of hot sauces. I’m looking for one made with Bhut jolokia, and pick from more than a dozen.

2:00 pm – I nap.

3:30 pm – I take my six-year-old daughter to Cirque Éloize, one of the first shows in this year’s FirstWorks Festival at the Providence Performing Arts Center, while Michele takes our two-year old to the Providence Children’s Museum.

6:00 pm – At home,  I make the kids a pizza with dough from Olga’s and cheese from Narragansett Creamery.

7:30 pm – Michele and I walk downtown to the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Theatre, to see a production of Twelfth Night, or What You Will. Since we didn’t buy tickets in advance, we wait standby and luckily get seats from a few no-shows. Even after four years of shows, it’s my first time in the Pell Chafee Performance Center.

9:30 pm – We get drinks and appetizers at Gracie’s, which turned out to be a meal that would rival the best in recent memory: a sherry-roasted beet salad with Cloumage cheese, pistachio nougatine, wild rice crispies, sour apple, and Aquidneck honey; Hudson Valley foie gras with fennel dusted brioche donuts, roasted peach, pistachio, raspberry gelee; russet potato gnocchi with house cured ham, broccoli, cauliflower, cheddar, buttery herb crumb; and crispy veal sweetbreads with sunny side quail’s egg, parmesan spinach, potato fondue, pickled ramps (this one was a standout).

10:30 pm – Our babysitter needs to leave early tonight, so Michele grabs a cab home. I stay on, for a show at AS220.

12:00 am – The band Melt Banana plays in AS220’s tiny venue, where you can get up close and mingle with the bands.

1:00 am – I take an UberX ride home! Just 2 minutes after calling…

I’ve always thought that a perfect city is one that you can “use” to its fullest regularly. And with that as my definition, I’m in the right place for now…

For more information:

Aim High Academy
3355 S County Trail
East Greenwich, RI
http://www.aimhighacademy.com/

Allie’s Donuts
3661 Quaker Lane
North Kingstown, RI
https://www.facebook.com/AlliesDonuts

Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers’ Market (Saturdays 9 am-1pm and Wednesdays 4-7pm through May 17, 2014)
at Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, RI
http://www.farmfresh.org/winter

Tallulah on Thames
464 Thames Street
Newport, RI
http://www.tallulahonthames.com/

Sassy Mama Cuisine
at Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, RI

The French Tarte
at Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, RI
http://www.frenchtarte.com/

ACKpack Basket Studio
at Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, RI
https://www.facebook.com/pages/ACKpack-Basket-Studio/467747816608744

Barden Family Orchard
56 Elmdale Rd
North Scituate, RI
http://www.bardenfamilyorchard.com/

Harmony Hill Farm
Barrington, RI
http://harmonyhill-farm.com/

Providence Performing Arts Center
220 Weybosset Street
Providence, RI
http://www.ppacri.org/

FirstWorks
http://first-works.org/

Providence Children’s Museum
100 South Street
Providence, RI
www.childrenmuseum.org

Olga’s Cup & Saucer
103 Point Street
Providence, RI
www.olgascupandsaucer.com

Narragansett Creamery
www.richeeses.com

Brown University/Trinity Repertory Theatre
www.browntrinity.com

Gracie’s
194 Washington Street
Providence, RI
graciesprovidence.com

AS220
115 Empire Street
Providence, RI
www.as220.org

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The Wafels and Dinges truck from New York parked in Providence for the Food Truck Bash.

The Wafels and Dinges truck from New York parked in Providence for the Food Truck Bash.

Empanadas from Nuchas.

Empanadas from Nuchas.

I only recall two kinds of food trucks from my childhood–the New York quick breakfast truck (for rushed commuters) and the ice cream truck (for us sweet-craving children).Things have certainly changed.

Last weekend, at the Food Truck Bash, nine trucks from Providence, Boston and New York gathered in the ice rink at Kennedy Plaza to present their offerings. There, we tasted empanadas with ground beef, onions, peppers, scallion, potatoes and olives in a white dough from New York’s Nuchas; a Portuguese thin pork sandwich from Providence’s Portu-Galo; and a dark hot chocolate and several liège wafels (chewy Belgian waffles that need no toppings, in my opinion) from New York’s Wafels & Dinges.

Liège wafel from Wafels and dinges.

Liège wafel from Wafels and dinges.

During our last trip to Belgium, we searched everywhere for a waffle as good as the one you can apparently get from a New York food truck. They even have Spekuloos ice cream, which I’ll be getting next time Wafels and Dinges comes to me or I go to them.

Learn more about the Food Truck Bash at http://foodtruckbash.com/. Wafels & Dinges won the “Best of Maker’s Mark Bourbon” category with their dish “De Bourbon Whip” – which was Maker’s Mark® Bourbon Spicy Salty Caramelized Walnuts, Bourbon-Infused Maple Syrup, and Bourbon-Infused Whipped Cream on a Liege Waffle.

Food trucks participating included:

Nuchas (New York)
http://www.nuchas.com/

Portu-Galo (Providence)
https://www.facebook.com/PortugueseTruck

Wafels & Dinges (New York)
http://www.wafelsanddinges.com/

Fugo (Providence)
http://www.fugofoodtruck.com/

Boston’s Baddest Burger (Boston)
http://www.bostonsbaddestburger.com/

Phil’s Steaks (New York)
http://www.philssteaks.com/

Radish (Providence)
see separate blog post about Radish http://whereisradish.com/

The Chubby Chickpea (Boston)
http://www.thechubbychickpea.com/

Big D’s (New York)
http://bigdsgrub.com/

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