SoulFull: Southern-Fried Chicken, French Fries, and Collard Greens in Providence

Fried chicken wings and french fries at Soulfull in Providence.

Fried chicken wings and french fries at Soulfull in Providence.

Soulfull is currently in Kennedy Plaza, Providence for lunch on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Soulfull is currently in Kennedy Plaza, Providence for lunch on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The new SoulFull food truck is now serving up delicious, organic southern-style fried chicken, hand cut fries and seasonal sides including collard greens, mac and cheese, red beans and rice.

Geoff and I made our way down there today to sample the chicken, fries and collard greens for ourselves, and, let’s just say, it’s as good as it looks.

And as if you needed more incentive, SoulFull also donates part of its proceeds to The Tomorrow Fund and research for pediatric cancer.

SoulFull will be in Kennedy Plaza for lunch on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon til 2 pm, and for dinner Friday evenings. See their schedule at https://www.foodtrucksin.com/soulfull-fried-chicken or keep up with them on their Facebook page or on Twitter.

Tricycle Ice Cream: Ice Cream Sandwiches

Tricycle Ice Cream at the Hope Street Farmers' Market.

Tricycle Ice Cream at the Hope Street Farmers’ Market.

Gourmet ice cream sandwiches. I’m glad someone finally had this genius idea, and even happier that they’re in Providence. Last weekend, I had the chance to try Tricycle Ice Cream at the Hope Street Farmers’ Market, nevermind that it was only 11 am, and I hadn’t yet had lunch.

Strawberry ice cream between two vanilla shortbread cookies.

Strawberry ice cream between two vanilla shortbread cookies.

Their flavors change regularly, but apparently that day the strawberry ice cream between two vanilla shortbread cookies (made with local strawberries from Salisbury Farm) was so popular they brought in an extra delivery during the market. Its popularity was well-deserved too, tasting as good as one of my summer favorites, strawberry shortcake.

The only downside: you have to wait a minute or two for the ice cream to melt when you get it. That can seem like a long two minutes.

Tricycle Ice Cream

At Farmers’ Markets throughout Providence, Pawtucket and Newport. See www.tricycleicecream.com for their list.

Swiss Valley Farm Foundation in Newport, RI

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’ve driven by the Swiss Valley Farm (SVF) in Newport, RI dozens of times, marveling at how Newport packs a quaint New England town, rocky ocean cliffs, and rustic farmland into a few miles.

Yesterday, we made it to their Annual Visitors Day. The Foundation is part science lab, part conservation organization, and part farm. They specialize in the preservation of rare and heritage breeds and livestock, like the critically endangered Arapawa goat and the rare Leicester Longwool Sheep. Although the farm is only open to the public once a year in order to protect the animals’ germplasm (semen and embryos) from outside contamination, you can purchase their heritage lamb, beef and honey year-round.

The farm’s architecture is reminiscent of a European village with its rolling hills and old stone structures (which have been impressively restored inside and out). The Visitors Day attracts people of all ages who come out to watch llama and sheep shearing; try out some of their heritage lamb, beef and pork; and explore some of the buildings across the foundation’s 45 acres. They even had some John Deere tractors and vehicles for children to pretend to drive.

This year, Julians arrived with their traveling omnibus, a double-decker bus where they cook on the ‘ground floor’ and have booths for dining on the upper open deck. Of course, the menu at SVF featured heritage meats including whiskey cola pulled pork sandwiches, lamb bratwursts and hamburgers (they did also have one vegan option, but we didn’t order it).

Now, if only I could figure out how to get invited to one of their visitor cottages… veterinarian school?

Swiss Valley Farm Foundation
Newport, RI
www.svffoundation.org
Annual Visitors Day typically in mid-June

Julians 
Travelling Omnibus: www.juliansprovidence.com/omnibus

Restaurant: Providence, RI www.juliansprovidence.com

Pat’s Pastured To Go: From Farm to Food Truck

Chickens roam free and eat grass at Pat's...

Chickens roam free and eat grass at Pat’s Pastured on Briggs-Boesch Farm.

For the past several years, we have been purchasing Pat’s Pastured products at our local farmers’ markets. From their farm in East Greenwich, RI, they raise pigs, sheep, chickens and cows to produce grass-fed beef and lamb, free-range eggs, pastured-raised pork, and, of course, sausage and bacon.

They currently have a week left to raise money through a Kickstarter campaign (http://kck.st/1ieZOIZ) to bring the pasture to plate with a food truck and cart to sell hot breakfasts, lunches, and snacks this summer. We have already backed the project. We thought you might too…

Support their Kickstarter at http://kck.st/1ieZOIZ

Pat’s Pastured
Briggs-Boesch Farm
830 South Rd
East Greenwich, RI.
www.patspastured.com

Food Truck Bash: New York, Boston and Providence

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/

Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches at Ellie’s Bakery

Espresso ice cream in a chocolate macaron cookie from Ellie's Bakery.

Espresso ice cream in a chocolate macaron cookie from Ellie’s Bakery.

Cookies and ice cream — it’s pretty much always a winning combination, in my opinion, even when it comes in the form of a Chipwich or a Cow’wich.

The ice cream cart is parked outside of Ellie's Bakery most days from noon til 5 pm.

The ice cream cart is parked outside of Ellie’s Bakery most days from noon until 5 pm.

But Ellie’s Bakery in Downcity, Providence has taken the ice cream sandwich to a whole new refined level. They’ve created a “macaron ice cream cart” and parked outside their bakery to serve up homemade ice cream packed into homemade French macaron cookies.

On my most recent visit, I chose a chocolate macaron filled with espresso ice cream — a small, but perfect treat. My daughter chose the raspberry cookie and ice cream, which was gone before I saw her eat it. They also offered a pistachio cookie/ice cream combo, as well as a blueberry frozen yogurt in a blueberry cookie.

Ellie’s Bakery
61 Washington Street
Providence, RI
(401) 228-8118
www.facebook.com/ElliesBakery

Providence Flea

Antiques, handmade crafts, clothes and plenty of food trucks at the opening day of Providence Flea.

Antiques, handmade crafts, clothes and plenty of food trucks at the opening day of Providence Flea.

It’s exactly what Providence has been missing — a weekly flea market. Held every Sunday from 10 am til 4 pm (extended through September 15), you’ll find hand-crafted jewelry, lightly worn clothes, antique furniture, housewares, and the like. And there’s no need to wonder where to find the food trucks on Sundays. You’ll find them at Providence Flea.

Providence Flea
www.providenceflea.com

Rhode Island Frozen Lemonade

Del's Lemonade

The girls usually chose watermelon, although I prefer the 'real' frozen lemonade.

The girls usually choose watermelon, although I prefer the ‘real’ frozen lemonade.

There is little argument that Rhode Island has mastered the art of the frozen lemonade: New Yorkers have imported it, and Martha Stewart has copied it.

You usually don’t have to hunt for one of these sweet and sour frozen treats. In addition to physical locations throughout the state, you’ll find either a Del’s Lemonade or New England Frozen Lemonade truck or stand set up near most beaches, farmers’ markets and summer events. They even sell mixes so you can make your own at home (I’ll bet they’re good spiked).

I can’t say I have a preference between the two, although at either I choose the lemonade flavor as opposed to my daughters who always pick watermelon because it’s (sigh) pink.

Del’s Lemonade
locations in North Providence, Cranston, Johnston and East Providence
www.dels.com

New England Frozen Lemonade
locations in Providence, Cranston, Warwick
on Facebook

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

Taste Trekkers Food Tourism Conference

Farmstead Chef Matt Jennings will deliver the conference's keynote

Farmstead Chef Matt Jennings will deliver the conference’s keynote.

Yes, we can admit that Providence is not the best Spring Break destination, as Travel & Leisure reports. However, we do rank high in arguably more important measurements: #1 for hamburgers and #2 for both pizza and ice cream. As if you needed more than that, Providence also ranks #8 for ethnic food and #9 for micro-beers, among others.

So, it should be no surprise that the Taste Trekkers Food Tourism Conference plans to come to Providence for its inaugural event in September 2013. Organized by Mystery Meet founder and Brown alum Seth Resler, the event, designed for people who plan their vacations around food, will bring together hundreds of chefs, farmers, food bloggers, travel writers, culinary students and others to enjoy a range of cuisines. Farmstead Chef Matt Jennings will deliver the conference’s keynote address, and the event will feature a cocktail reception, a tasting pavilion, a food truck court, and group dinners all around the city.

In anticipation, they’ve launched a KickStarter campaign that will run through March 30 to fund the event. As with all KickStarter campaigns, if the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers’ credit cards will be charged. If the project falls short, no one is charged. So ante up everyone–they are giving away tickets, books, posters and more to contributors.

Taste Trekkers Food Tourism Conference
September 20-22, 2013
www.TasteTrekkers.com
Reserve tickets and more through their KickStarter campaign at www.kickstarter.com/projects/mysterymeet/taste-trekkers-food-tourism-conference