Flatbread Company in Providence

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We haven’t been as excited about a new neighborhood offering since Gourmet Heaven opened last year. A few weeks ago, Flatbread Company, which has restaurants in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, opened its first location in Providence on Cushing Street.

Flatbread offers a simple menu of organic salads and a variety of ‘flatbreads’ which, back in New York, we call pizzas. Theirs are made with their own organic tomato sauce (which you can actually see brewing in their giant cauldron) and cooked in their wood-fired clay oven.

Part of Flatbread’s mission is to integrate with the region’s farms and producers which begets great results, both in community-building and in the quality of the food. Plus, the restaurant space is enormous, which makes it ideal for families, parties, and events. They offer kids both crayons and paper (which turn into their menu covers), and they’ll even give them a bit of dough to work themselves. If anyone gets antsy, they can also head over to their library which now has several couches and shelves of books for all ages, or, of course, to their bar.

We’ve been here four times since they opened a few weeks ago, and nearly every time, we ran into friends (with kids in tow). And next Thursday February 6 from 5-9 pm, they’re hosting a fundraiser for the Providence Children’s Film Festival (see details). What’s not to love?

Flatbread Company
161 Cushing Street
Providence, RI

Bavarian Pretzels from Foremost Bakery Co. at White Electric

Foremost Bakery's pretzels can be found at the café at the Providence train station.

Foremost Bakery pretzels can be found at cafés throughout Providence.

Foremost Bakery received a write-up in Edible Rhodyand I was surprised to discover we’d already been enjoying their breads at places like Garden Grille, Small Point Café and Loie Fuller. And I was even more surprised that you can get them with your tea or coffee at cafés like White Electric and Coffee Exchange.

Foremost’s version of the Bavarian pretzel is a bit more bread-like than my ideal (which I found located in Ulm, Germany). Basically, it has the texture of challah bread with an unmistakeable pretzel flavor. Today at White Electric, I asked for one with more rock salt than the others — a common request, a White Electric employee informed me. Apparently, I’m not the only one on a special high salt diet.

Foremost Bakery
Providence, RI
on Facebook

White Electric
711 Westminster Street
Providence, RI

Coffee Exchange
207 Wickenden Street
Providence, RI


zipcar and Uber, or How to *Not* Buy a Car

A zipcar in Downcity

A zipcar in Downcity

When I moved to New York City in 2001, I sold my car and Michele put hers in storage in Connecticut. When we moved to Boston, hers came out of storage, but I remained car-free, and I’ve persisted that way in Providence too — thanks to zipcar and Uber (and the occasional taxi).

There’s a zipcar lot 100 feet from my driveway, and gas and insurance are included in the cost of the rental. With a zipcar account, you simply reserve and rent a car by the hour ($8.50/hour and up) online or via your phone, then head to the car, using your zipcar card as the ‘key’. And Providence has an impressive array of zipcar choices — pickup trucks, minivans, luxury cars and hybrids.

For times when I want a car and driver, I use Uber. With my phone, Uber can know where I am, and when I enter where I’m going, Uber responds with how long it will take a vetted driver to pick me up (usually a few minutes). Since you sign up for an account with a credit card in advance, there’s no haggling and no tipping.

With these referral codes, you get a deal when you sign up:

$20 referral bonus: https://uber.com/invite/ubermeek!

$25 referral bonus for Zipcar: http://s.zip.cr/46fFU3G

The Old-Fashioned Coconut Cake from Pastiche Fine Desserts

The Old-Fashioned Coconut Cake from Pastiche Fine Desserts.

The Old-Fashioned Coconut Cake from Pastiche Fine Desserts.

It’s day four of the New Year, and I’m already tired of the media stories on how to lose weight and get in shape in 2014.

My personal favorite: the coconut cake.

The slice.

So for all of you who have made it their New Year’s resolution to eat more cake, here’s one of my personal favorites–a generous slice of the Old-Fashioned Coconut Cake from Pastiche Fine Desserts in Federal Hill. It’s made with coconut and almond flour and topped with light cream cheese frosting and shredded coconut.

Or select your personal favorite from their extensive menu. Enjoy.

Pastiche Fine Desserts
92 Spruce St
Providence, RI