What they bake each day changes, but think of the deluxe salted caramel brown butter cookies, Hollandaise apple pies and French macarons – chocolate ganache, cake batter, snickerdoodle, honey lavender, S’mores – freshly baked cookies – peanut butter chocolate chip, midnight snack, chocolate almond biscotti, and yes, ginger – chocolate chip muffins, cinnamon donuts. Get your Golden Girls with a mini cheesecake – peanut butter, Oreo, turtle, blueberry. If you have a sweet tooth, this is your first stop.
182 Front Street in Lincoln, 401-475-2587, gingersnapsbakeryri.com.
SHANNA’S COUNTRY KITCHEN
If you love breakfast – and you know who is – head to Shanna’s. This is where you might find specialties such as Skillet Potato Benedict – poached eggs, skillet potatoes, bacon, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, jalapeños and cheddar cheese topped with Hollandaise sauce – French toast topped with blueberries , raspberries, banana – burritos or Belgian waffles or a stack of “crispy” pancakes with cooked granola, a rib eye Benedict with roasted peppers, mushrooms and onions, or a banana waffle sundae topped with ice cream, strawberries, nuts, strawberry sauce and whipped cream. A classic old fashioned breakfast: cash or check only, opens at 6am and no official website.
1517 Old Louisquisset Pike to Lincoln, 401-725-5670, facebook.com/ShannasCountryKitchenRI.
For the authentic Colombian: La Casona. Opened by “professional chef and Colombian mother” Doña Gloria in Central Falls in 2006, the restaurant serves authentic Colombian cuisine at their seats outside. You could have Huevos Revueltos for breakfast – scrambled eggs with hogao sauce served with corn arepa and cheese – or Calentado Casona – rice and beans, scrambled eggs, arepa corn with cheese and grilled beef, pork or chicken. Pair a cocktail with tapas — maybe chicken or beef empanadasChorizo Picado (Colombian sausage with corn arepa) or Montaditos (shrimp, sausage, beef and pork rind on fried plantains with fresh guacamole.) Appetizers include parrillada — bites of beef, pork, chicken, chorizo, blood sausage, fried pork rinds, fries, plantains, fried cassava and cheese — and Minibandeja — beef, pork, chicken or ground beef with rice, beans, chorizo, fried pork rinds, sweet plantain, corn arepa and egg. Or go for something sweet: they have a pastry shop.
768 Broad St. in Central Falls, 401-727-0002, lacasonaus.com.
You don’t have to go to Federal Hill for good Italian in Rhode Island. Hit Parma Ristorante. Think live music and prime rib evening. In this family restaurant, you can start with Point Judith calamari, eggplant rollatinis or fried zucchini. Grilled pizzas include langoustines with prawns – grilled prawns, garlic butter and mozzarella – or Parma — goat cheese, caramelized onions, truffle oil. Gnocchi lovers rejoice: try brown butter, alfredo, cream of lobster, blue cheese and bacon, among others. And of course, the pasta: Lobster Mac and cheese — orecchiette with a cheddar cheese sauce, crispy bacon, grilled asparagus and freshly cracked lobster meat then topped and cooked with a panko breadcrumb topping — cappellini di mare — cappellini in a Spicy san Marzano tomato sauce with white wine, prawns, small necks, mussels and calamari. Appetizers include Lamb di Casa – grilled rack of lamb encrusted with Dijon mustard and panko breadcrumbs, then placed on a butternut squash risotto, topped with prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and served with mashed potatoes garlic – and cioppino – cooked shrimp, scallops, baby necks, mussels, haddock, calamari and lobster meat in a chicken broth, white wine and San Marzano tomatoes.
266 Putnam Pike in Smithfield, 401-349-0079, parmaristorante.com.
For Cali vibes in Pawtucket, head to Wildflour Vegan Bakery & Juice Bar. Think Kilimanjaro coffee – cherry and chocolate flavors with hints of blueberry, whiskey and a bit of smoke – cardamom lattes, espresso and lavender syrup tonic. Smoothies range from Dino (spinach, kale, banana, blueberry, almond butter, almond milk) to Sgt. Pepper (avocado, pineapple, lemon, ginger, cayenne, orange juice) or Elvis (banana, peanut butter, granola, coconut milk, ice.) Add anything from spirulina to hemp seeds, and pair it with a blueberry scone, cinnamon knotbanana bread, maybe a cupcake s’moresWhere peanut butter brownie.
Lunch with vegan chili, garlic and herb focaccia, smashed avocado toast, or grab kale quinoa salad, sweet potato pudding or juice go.
727 East Ave in Pawtucket, 401-475-4718, wildflourbakerycafe.com.
GOTTAQ SMOKER BBQ
If you hit #FoodTruckFriday at Roger Williams recently, you may have smelled the smoky goodness. GottaQ is the real deal (not just your friend who claims to be a grill master then microwaves A-1 sauce.) They “smoke our fresh meats daily over pure hickory, low and slow for hours and hours”. The fries are cut by hand and the wings “go through a three-day prep.” Breakfast menu includes BBQ pulled pork or brisket with a cheese omelette, with homemade fries and toast; breast mince omelet; a classic ham, bacon and cheese breakfast sandwich; country biscuits and gravy with eggs and home fries, or maybe scrambled sausage, peppers and onions with cheese grits, toast and homemade fries. It’s not just the meats: they make chocolate chip pancakes, grilled cornbread, pulled pork, barbecued beans.
For lunch and dinner? Come hungry. We’re talking about a full rack of ribs; chicken, pork or pulled brisket, served with anything — chicken chili, collard greens, cornbread, potato salad and more. You could opt for a “Q” Ban sandwich – pulled pork, house-smoked ham, house mustard, Swiss on ciabatta, or a “Mac & Cheese Bowl” with pulled pork, chicken or brisket and bread crumble. corn.
2000 Mendon Road in Cumberland, 401-475-4227. gottaq.net.
WRIGHT’S FARM RESTAURANT
If you only know one restaurant in Blackstone Valley, it’s probably Wright’s Farm & Restaurant. Their family style chicken dinner is a Rhody institution. This is the type of place where you pass the cookies. Think of a table filled with homemade chicken or steak with pasta, fries and salad. Bring the whole team – if you run out of food they will serve you more at no extra cost. To buy fake in the gift shop before leaving.
84 Inman Road in Burrillville, 401-769-2856, wrightsfarm.com.
For creativity trendy pub fare like fried avocado or Mexican street corn dip with tortilla chips, or buffalo macaroni and cheese with bacon, arugula at Rocco’s Pub & Grub in Smithfield. Here, you might start with Philly cheesesteak imperial rolls (hand-rolled, with shaved ribeye, cheeses, peppers, onions, and chipotle ranch), BBQ pulled-pork brioche sliders, cabbage Kung Pao flower with cilantro-lime aioli. Wing people, it’s your dream: boneless or bone-in, with a few dips, from “Big Mac” to mango habanero, from garlic parmesan to Korean red pepper. For sandwiches, you can sink your teeth into a Cape Cod reuben with crispy cod, Swiss and coleslaw with tater tots or sweet potato fries, fried chicken and a waffle sandwich with maple aioli or bacon jam burger – maple bourbon bacon jam, gorgonzola, fried egg, arugula, tomato.
55 Douglas Pike in Smithfield, 401-349-2250, roccospubandgrub.com.
BLACK BAR AND GRILLE
Describing itself as a modern, gourmet bar and grill with outdoor seating and live music, this is not your uncle’s sports bar. Specials can include house-made potato chips, grilled chipotle rib eye with key lime butter, or hand-cut poutine fries topped with local cheddar and gravy. Entrees include pistachio-crusted salmon, fish tacos, a hot or chilled lobster roll, or a Texan burger – Angus beef with Tennessee whiskey barbecue sauce, stacked with cheddar cheese, applewood-smoked bacon and hand-cut onion rings – or fig jam and prosciutto pizza on mozzarella flatbread. For dessert? Maybe a Banana Xango Cheesecake – cheesecake filled with a flour tortilla, fried, rolled in cinnamon sugar, finished with a drizzle of chocolate and caramel.
1697 Mendon Road in Woonsocket, 401-217-9392, blackbargrille.com.