Archive for the ‘Warwick’ Category

Fried chicken, cole slaw, fresh corn, creamy mac and cheese - this isn't the TV dinner I remember.

Fried chicken, cole slaw, fresh corn, creamy mac and cheese – this isn’t the TV dinner I remember.

Remember those mushy, gravy-coated TV dinners made in the microwave that ‘revolutionized’ cooking? Well, the TV Dinner meal at The Shanty in Warwick is actually nothing like that — rather, it’s what you had wished a TV dinner could be.

Geoff opted for the burger and fries - another fine choice.

Geoff opted for the burger and fries – another fine choice.

Delivered to your table on a stainless steel plate, you’ll receive two pieces of crispy fried cornish game hen, creamy mac and cheese topped with sprinkled breadcrumbs, coleslaw, fresh buttered corn, and a biscuit with whipped cream and stewed raspberries.

The Shanty
3854 Post Road
Warwick, RI 02886
(401) 884-7008
www.theshantyri.com

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Admiring the trains in action

Admiring the trains in action

When our youngest daughter said she wanted a train set for her birthday, Geoff started researching and stumbled upon the Providence Northern Model Railroad Club.

A model of the original Providence train station.

A model of the original Providence train station.

Located in a nondescript building near T.F. Green airport, the club has spent six years building miniature — in HO (1:87) — railroad tracks that weave through a model of the original Providence train station, the Framingham station, a miniature lumber yard, a Vermont town, tunnels, forests (complete with deer, bears and moose), and more.

The club opens to the public for a few hours most Saturday afternoons, and on our recent visit, a volunteer took us through the detailed work-in-progress (volunteers get ‘permits’ to work on sections).

Providence Northern Model Railroad Club
1175 West Shore Road
Warwick, RI
www.providencenorthern.com

Public hours are typically noon – 4 pm on most Saturdays. Call or check website to verify.

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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

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The final hole at Monster Mini Golf in Warwick.


Madeline loves Halloween so much that she decided she wanted to have a Halloween birthday party — in April. So, we decided to test out the Monster Mini Golf in Warwick as an appropriate place for a spooky (but not too spooky) costume birthday party.

The indoor course glows with neon colored monsters and clowns, and they have chairs set up outside the course so parents can sit and watch. It can get crowded (especially the skee ball and other games in the front), but it wasn’t too bad last Sunday afternoon. Geoff’s only complaint was that the golf course isn’t actually designed to make a hole-in-one physically possible. Of course, Madeline didn’t care. Most of the time, she swung a few times at the ball and finally wound up dragging it into the hole.

Monster Mini Golf
33 Lambert Lind Hwy (Rte. 5)
Warwick, RI
http://monsterminigolf.com

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Jerry and Rose take the bus to Foxwoods Casino when they're in Rhode Island.

My step-mother’s parents, Rose and Jerry (aka Bubbie and Zadie), retired to Florida over 17 years ago. Every year, they return to Rhode Island — the state in which they were born, raised their children, and lived most of their lives.

Of course, they come to visit family, but their journey has also become a pilgrimage to their old favorite restaurants and sights. Their carefully culled picks have nothing to do with hot spots that may rise and fall from the Best of Rhode Island lists. Instead, these are the places that have persisted through the generations and have come to represent a moment in time in Rhode Island.

1. At Twin Oaks in Cranston, they always order the baked stuffed shrimp. They say the shrimp are “scrawny” in Florida compared with the five jumbo shrimps at Twin Oaks. But it’s the stuffing they crave. They also like that when you order a cocktail, like a Black Russian, you get “a drink and a half.” Other favorites here include the house salad dressing and the homemade chocolate pudding.

2. Florida may be the “Sunshine State,” but Rhode Island is still the “Ocean State.” Every year, they plan a beach day at either Narragansett Town Beach or Sand Hill Cove (Roger Wheeler). They love the way the land gradually slopes out to the ocean rather than the abrupt way the land drops at the Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale beaches. (Although they admit the Gulf waters on the west coast of Florida are warm, and the beaches have a more gradual dip.) Still, nothing is better than sitting on the sea wall in Narragansett as the sun is rising or setting. Clam cakes and chowder (which they call chowda) are a must at either Aunt Carrie’s, Champlin’s, or George’s of Galilee.

3. At Crow’s Nest in Warwick, they enjoy the lobster salad sandwiches and their sugar-free blueberry pie.

4. Chello’s by the water in Warwick is a must for the Jim Dandy Burger and the banana berry pie, served only in season.

5. Their trip to Rhode Island is not complete without a Conway Bus day trip to Foxwood Casinos in Connecticut. For 24 dollars a ticket, you get bus service to and from the hotel along with food and gambling vouchers. They give you more in vouchers than the price of the ticket expecting that visitors will wind up spending more gambling. But for Rose and Jerry, it’s a deal.

6. They adore the chocolate walnut ice cream from Brickley’s in Narragansett on route 1A. You can also get Brickley’s in Wickford served in the former Ryan’s market.

7. They love to quench their thirst on a hot beach day with a classic Del’s lemonade. Now with locations in over a dozen states, Del’s started in Cranston. Rose still remembers the owner, Mr. Delucia.

8. They love events like the East Greenwich Main Street stroll; concerts in Wickford and Cranston’s Garden City; and tours in Newport, RI and Mystic, Connecticut.

9. They can’t resist the coffee “cabinets” from Newport Creamery.

10. And no trip is complete without some Walt’s roast beef sandwiches.

Twin Oaks (since 1933)
100 Sabra Street
Cranston, RI
www.twinoaksrest.com

Aunt Carrie’s Seafood (since 1920)
1240 Ocean Road
Narragansett, RI
www.auntcarriesri.com

Champlin’s Seafood (since 1932)
See previous post

George’s of Galilee (since 1948)
250 Sand Hill Cove Road
Narragansett, RI
www.georgesofgalilee.com

Crow’s Nest (since 1966)
288 Arnolds Neck Drive
Warwick, RI
www.crowsnestri.com

Chelo’s on the Waterfront (since 1955)
1 Masthead Drive
Warwick, RI
www.chelos.com

Foxwoods Resort Casinos (since 1986)
www.foxwoods.com

Brickley’s (since 1995)
See previous post.

Del’s Lemonade (since 1948)
www.dels.com

Newport Creamery (since 1940)
See previous post.

Walt’s Roast Beef (since 1957)
www.waltsroastbeef.net

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Peanuts, raisins, pretzels and chocolate make up the lumpy Rhode Island Rocks.

I’ve never been a huge fan of chocolate-covered pretzels, so I was pleasantly surprised by the simultaneously chewy and crunchy, salty and sweet candy called Rhode Island Rocks. Invented by two out of work siblings and based on their mother’s recipe, the candies have grown in popularity over the last few years and can be found at dozens of locations in the state (as well as some stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts) and ordered online. If only every Rhode Island job loss story could end this way — and by that I mean, with candy.

Rhode Island Rocks
Tesoro Confections Inc.
Headquartered in Warwick, RI and available throughout the state (see locations)
www.rirocks.com

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Melody, Rhythm and Harmony - the Rock-a-Baby puppets.


Combine a live band, familiar rock-n-roll songs, and three clever puppets, and you get Rock-a-Baby, a musical learning experience for babies and toddlers. The classes originated in New York City, although watching a video from one of the NYC classes makes me glad I live in the much more low key (and less populous) state of Rhode Island.

Madeline and I joined one of the first Providence sessions this fall with about a half dozen other children ranging in age from six months to three years. Each class, hosted by singer Kate, pianist Marc, and guitarist Benny, focused on a different ‘theme of the week’ with songs to match and a new instrument in the spotlight to explore. The format perfectly balanced the repetition kids need (starting class with the same song and ending with bubble time, for example), while offering some new exposure to instruments or musical concept. Even adults were entertained by the repertoire of songs and the Henson-like humor of the Rock-a-Baby puppets.

Alas, as much as I loved Rock-a-Baby, Madeline is getting a bit old for it so we may try some classes at the RI Philharmonic this spring. I mean, she could be playing Beethoven’s waltzes at four-years-old. As for our new addition, Lucy, I’m sure she’ll be a Rock-a-Baby fan as soon as she can stay awake long enough to attend a class.

The 2011 classes begin in January, but for a preview you can see the Rock-a-Baby group perform as part of the Bright Night celebration in Providence, RI on December 31 at 1:30 and 3:30 pm at the Providence Children’s Museum.

Rock-a-Baby
Classes in Providence and Warwick, RI
www.rock-a-baby.net

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