Archive for the ‘Pawtucket’ Category

Sandra-Feinstein Gamm Theatre

A still from the play Far Away by Caryl Churchill at Gamm Theatre.

A still from the play Far Away by Caryl Churchill at Gamm Theatre.

At the recent prompting of a friend, we decided to buy season subscriptions to the Sandra-Feinstein Gamm Theatre. Last weekend we attended the first of five shows, and the theatre immediately reminded us of the Lyric Stage in Boston — an intimate space with modest, but cleverly designed sets.

The first show of the season features two short plays by Caryl Churchill, The Number and Far Away. I preferred the first, and Geoff the second, but honestly both presented an eerie story about the decreasing value of humanity and individuality in a post-modern world. Ok, that makes them sound a bit depressing, which was only partially true. They were also funny, and the actors handled the shift between tragedy and comedy seamlessly.

Although this show ends October 13, there are still four more in the season to attend  (and you can get a reduced-price subscription for just those four). The rest of their 29th season includes Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire (November 7-December 8, 2013); The Big Meal by Dan LeFranc (January 9-February 9, 2014); Macbeth by William Shakespeare (March 6-April 13, 2014); Blackbird by David Harrower (May 1-June 1, 2014).

The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre
172 Exchange St.
Pawtucket, RI
www.gammtheatre.org

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Our six-year-old has been asking to go fishing since last summer, and this weekend we finally got around to it. As it turns out, Rhode Island has several waters stocked with trout exclusively for children ages 14 and under.  However, for this trip, we headed out to Slater Memorial Park in Pawtucket.

The trip began with a stop at Benny’s — Rhode Island’s answer to Wal-Mart, Benny’s is a small store that often has exactly what you’re looking for (fishing poles, kid’s bikes, school supplies, large storage bins, automotive supplies, gardening equipment and seeds, etc.) There, Geoff bought two fishing poles and some fake bait. The next stop was the R.I. Aquarium and Pet Center for some lively worms.

The reaction shot after catching the fish.

The reaction shot after catching the fish.

We then staked out our spot along the pond at Slater Memorial Park. The first few hours involved our repeatedly twisting the fishing line, twice catching our hook in some tree branches, and reeling in our line repeatedly to discover the fish had once again taken the bait and escaped unhooked. Our two-year-old seemed to think we were simply feeding the fish and exclaimed excitedly each time the hook came back from the pond emptied. Perhaps that’s what made it so surprising when we got pull on her rod and reeled in an actual bass. You can see by the photo how enthusiastically she posed with her fish.

Even without such success, it would have been a great day at the park — we also took a swan boat ride (a bit pricey at $5/person), several carousel rides (only 25 cents each), and found a large playground. The park also contains a children’s zoo at Daggett Farm, a gallery within the Rhode Island Watercolor Society, and a seafood restaurant, not to mention tennis courts, baseball fields and a bike trail. Apparently, we’ll need more than a day to complete our exploration.

Slater Memorial Park
Pawtucket, RI
www.experiencepawtucket.org/bVisitbPawtucket/Recreation/SlaterMemorialPark/tabid/216/Default.aspx

RI Trout-Stocked Waters for Children 14 and under:

  • Frosty Hollow Pond in Exeter
  • Geneva Brook & Pond in North Providence
  • Lapham Pond in Burrillville
  • Lloyd Kenney Pond in Hopkinton
  • Seidel’s Pond in Cranston
  • Silvy’s Pond in Cumberland

More information at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/fishwild/troutwaters.htm

Benny’s 
www.hellobennys.com

RI Aquarium & Pet Center
905 North Main Street
Providence, RI
(401) 415-0455
www.riaquariumpet.com‎

RI Fishing Licenses (Note: children do not need licenses)

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Reggie's Raw Heaven salad: ugula – Mango – Grapefruit – Avocado Beet Infused Jicama – Cashew Gamasio – Pomegranate Dressing

Reggie’s Raw Heaven salad at Garden Grille.

I am quite publicly not a vegetarian (Exhibit A: hamburger, Exhibit B: corn dog, Exhibit C: meatball). In fact, when my sister decided in high school to become a vegetarian, I immediately took her to Westville West telling her they had great salads (they do), but knowing she’d never be able to resist their hamburger (she couldn’t). Perhaps that’s what makes Garden Grille in Pawtucket especially impressive–it can turn even an avid meat-lover into a vegetarian (at least for a night).

We’ve been to Garden Grille at least a dozen times, and we always leave having eaten well and feeling great. Our favorite salad is Reggie’s Raw Heaven (pictured above) with arugula, mango, grapefruit, avocado, beet-infused jicama, cashew gamasio and pomegranate dressing. We also love the nachos (which we order with ‘real’ cheese although they have a vegan version), the chipotle seitan (which the girls call ‘chicken’), and the sweet potato wedges with barbecue sauce. They always feature unique specials inspired by fresh produce from local farms, and they carry drinks from local breweries and wineries.

Some surprisingly delicious cookies from Wildflour Vegan Bakery.

Some surprisingly delicious cookies from Wildflour Vegan Bakery.

If you want to stick with the theme, you can have dessert a few doors down at Wildflour Vegan Bakery. I was so sure that vegan desserts couldn’t taste good that I didn’t even order one.  I was wrong. I’m not sure what witchcraft they use to replace butter and eggs, but my daughters’ chocolate chip cookie and corn muffin were both surprisingly delicious.

Garden Grille
727 East Avenue
Pawtucket, RI
(401) 726-2826
http://gardengrillecafe.com/

Wildflour Vegan Bakery
727 East Avenue
Pawtucket RI
(401) 475 4718
http://www.wildflourveganbakerycafe.com/

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The chicken arepa with sliced avocado, black beans and cheese.

The chicken arepa with sliced avocado, black beans and cheese.

After a trip to Rock Spot Climbing, we all seem to work up an appetite (even though only one of us climbs).  Luckily, La Arepa, an unpretentious Venezuelan restaurant, happens to be on our way home.  We’ve now been there a handful of times and have always loved what we ordered.

This time, I chose an arepa (like a tortilla, but thicker) with shredded chicken, sliced avocado, queso cheese, and black beans, along with a side of fried plantains. Our two-year-old wanted only rice (she’s on a strictly all-carbs diet), which she proceeded to eat while sprinkling all over the table, chair and floor so that the waiter asked politely if she needed a bigger plate. Still, even she ate some of the chicken that we ordered for her–it was that good.

La Arepa
574 Smithfield Avenue
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
(401) 335-3711
www.laarepari.com

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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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June 2014: Farmstead has been sold and will no longer be run by Chef Matt Jennings


Badge - Podcast 150x113
Recently, I was interviewed for Mystery Meet’s Find Dining Podcast to share my restaurant recommendations in Providence. To listen to the podcast, visit Mystery Meet Podcast Episode 26: Farmstead Inc. in Providence.

Also, check out some of the links to our blog posts for some of the places mentioned:

Farmstead, Inc.
Nick’s on Broadway
Plouf Plouf Food Truck
Pawtucket Winter Farmer’s Market
Waterfire
Delekta Pharmacy’s Coffee Cabinet
Diners/Delis in RI
Flo’s Clam Shack
Siena

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Madeline joins the riders on the Flying Horse Carousel in Watch Hill.

There are a handful of things that Rhode Island can claim to be the “oldest in America” — such as the oldest synagogue and the oldest lending library. Apparently, we also have the oldest carousel.

The Flying Horse Carousel in Watch Hill originated in 1876 and is named for the fact that its 20 horses are not attached to the floor but remain suspended from a center frame, swinging out or “flying” when in motion. There is an age limit — no one over 12-years-old may ride, and I particularly liked the sign recommending you re-consider if you are over 100 lbs or over 5 feet tall. Rides are $1 for an inside horse and $1.50 for an outside horse.

The Easton's Beach carousel makes for a great rainy day activity.

Madeline chose an inside horse, and after two rides appeared sufficiently mesmerized so I figured she’d had enough. Our next stop will be either the Crescent Park Carousel in East Providence or the Slater Memorial Park Carousel in Pawtucket…

Carousels in Rhode Island

Flying Horse Carousel
Westerly, RI
www.visitrhodeisland.com/what-to-do/amusements/458/flying-horse-merry-go-round/

Atlantic Beach Carousel
Westerly, RI
www.atlanticbeachpark.com/amusements

Easton’s Beach Carousel
Newport, RI
www.cityofnewport.com/departments/economic-development/beach/home.cfm

Carousel Village, Roger Williams Park
Providence, RI
www3.providenceri.com/parks-and-rec/carousel-village

Crescent Park Carousel
East Providence, RI
www.eastprovidence.com/content/668/830/834/default.aspx

Slater Memorial Park Carousel
Pawtucket, RI
www.pawtucketri.com/about/pointsofinterest.php

For more information on Rhode Island carousels, see http://sos.ri.gov/kidszone/carousels/ or KidoInfo’s list.

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