Destiny, Bristol, RI

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mikeRay put my 38mpg Echo to the test today as he navigated us on a tour around and about the upper East Bay region of Rhode Island. I asked, “Can you get us to Hope St. in Bristol?” “Of course!” he said, and it only took us several hours to end up at 22 Gooding Ave in Bristol. Destiny’s Hometown Diner is in a large strip mall type of setting. Inside it’s bright enough and roomy and clean but it doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. It’s decor seems to mimic a classic diner, like Al Mac’s or the Modern Diner but it’s interior is laid out oddly with a whole section to the left of the island cooking area that seems isolated and under used. Still, it’s about the food, so…Coffee! Promptly served and often refilled the coffee was definitely better than average but not a threat to break into the top ten this year. I went with a red pepper, spinach and feta cheese omelet. It was pretty good! The veggies were good and I always love feta so this would be something I would get again. And the omelet was prepared in a unique way. The veggies we’re put on the grill first, the eggs poured on top and the cheese put in the middle when the omelet was folded. Don’t think it made any difference in the taste but it was interesting. I liked the homefries as well. They were mainly on the small side but I liked the seasoning and crispiness. Like the coffee, I felt they were better than average but not in the top ten. A side note: Ray got a side of “Portuguese Fries”. Exactly what I was thinking. I had one. If you want your taste buds burned off in the morning, try these. Or, if you’re like Ray, take some home and then text the sane one in this duo updates as to your water intake throughout the day. Moral of the story: Don’t get the Portuguese Fries! My people should stick with cacoila! So, coffee 7, the omelet 7 and the homefries a 7.5 for a 7.2
The look on Ray’s face when he popped to many fries into his mouth was easily a 15.

 

ray Mike has a habit of falling into some really good restaurants when his first choice goes down. Today, not so much. Two creaky old guys traveled the road to Bristol, passing a number of breakfast places we have been to in the past. Some really good and others not so. Our first try was not really a full breakfast place, more of a bagels and light breakfast, so we headed back thru Bristol toward a place recommended by one of our friends from church. The name seemed to mean something special was in store, Destiny. There were a good number of customers seated and a steady stream came in for sit down or take out. At first blush, the coffee was pretty good, and our waitress, the only one, was ready with the refills. I looked at the specials menu and was tempted to try the quinoa and spinach hash omelet, but I chickened out and went for a standard, the linguica omelet. My mistake. Mike saw on the specials menu, Portuguese fries, and I thought I would try them instead of the home fries. To her credit, the waitress did warn me that they were spicy, actually she said “quite spicy”, but I figured, why not. I struck out twice with the meal. The omelet was very dry. Not just the eggs but the linguica hash even with provolone. A little too long on the flat top. Now for the Portuguese fries. She was right. I tried one, and enjoyed the initial spice, but then it hit. I asked for water. I’m brave and have had spicy foods all my life, so after a few bites of the omelet, I jumped in and had a small clump of the fries….whoooo. More water, omelet, water, water….repeat. The waitress asked if I wanted to take the fries home, and for some stupid reason I said yes. I think they burned a hole in the container. Twelve hours later, I still have the aftertaste. Coffee, 6; Meal 3; overall 4.5.

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Van’s Spa, Bristol, RI

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mikeWOW! I just had what is most likely THE BEST breakfast experience I have had since Ray and I began this blog. Van’s Spa, 359 Wood St, Bristol is not a spa…no clue who/what Van is. Hole in the wall, breakfast dive, greasy spoon: Van’s will never be mistaken for Julian’s or The Grange or fit in with any picture perfect neighborhood restaurant. Go, go, go there anyway! Go with the above descriptions, place this place firmly in the 60’s, with no “modernization” what-so-ever, throw in a short, ball-busting senior citizen, Manny, and his (he says) much younger wife, and I haven’t even begun to describe this place. Breakfast? The first cup of coffee just plain sucked. One of the regulars, hearing our assessment, agreed, said no two cups ever tasted the same and that’s why he always drinks Coke with his breakfast, Manny heard him and said something rude, and when we tried a second cup found it was much better. My unusual was all around excellent! Nice! Three links of big, tasty sausage and well seasoned, crispy deep fried homefries. We have to rethink our aversion to deep fried homefries. These were great! Very nice! A great breakfast, yes, but what elevated Van’s to mythical stature in our eyes was Manny and the awesome interaction between he and the customers. And we were included the moment we walked through the doors! He struck up a conversation, wanted to I know everything about us and had a story or anecdote about, well, about everything. Coke guy engaged us with Manny stories, everyone treated us like regulars, and we couldn’t stop smiling at our luck finding this place. If you like low humor, mismatched silverware, good food at very reasonable prices and feeling you’re with old, close friends run to Van’s Spa. My rating? Despite the coffee having a split personality I have to take everything…everything into consideration. One score…9.5! Go, go, go!

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ray        Move over Fall River, there is a new top diner in the mix. When Mike told me we were heading back to Bristol, where we have had some mixed reviews, I was a little skeptical since I thought we had been to all the diners in town. I can’t really identify whether it was the food or the setting ( I can’t use ambiance to describe this place, that would be just wrong ). The place is small, probably 20 feet wide, with seating for about 30 including the counter, and the walls are totally covered with pictures of everybody from Louis Tiant to local pols to old family members. At first it reminded me of one of our first diner reviews, Louis on the East Side of Providence. Totally old school. “Menus are on the walls”said Manny as gave us coffee. Lots of lunch dishes that I will have to try, but the breakfast menu was pretty simple. Eggs, or omelets with sides. You all know we love good coffee, but this was really unique. We had our first cup and kinda turned up our noses, believe it or not the second cup was totally different and very good. Two guys sitting near us, part of the appeal of this place, overheard our comments about the coffee, and said it was always like that. That’s why he had a Coke with his omelet. A politician of unknown name came in and ordered breakfast, and the two guys started telling him what he better do when he gets elected, then Manny steps in and gives the guy a plate of toast and sweetbread, telling the pol what he should change. Meanwhile a baker comes in with torpedo rolls and Manny starts arguing with him about his order. What a fun place. The meals came with unique utensils, and we both commented on the home fries which were not very plentiful and were deep fried, not our favorite. However, these were the exception. I really liked the crispness and just the right spices, no need for salt or pepper. My western omelet had amazing ham which was cut right off the bone, with random sizes but just delicious. The whole omelet was perfect with no skimping on the eggs or ingredients. We noticed one other thing about Van’s Spa, the only woman was Manny’s wife, the chef. Never heard her utter a word. If there were such a thing as a “guys diner” this would be it. No one pulled any punches. ( Manny wanted to know where we were from, and when we said, Rehoboth his comeback was, “rich guys”.) A few F bombs were heard and no shortage of “ball busting”. Coffee, ranged from a 5 to an 8, so I will give it a 7; home fries, 8, Overall meal and experience 10; Average 8.8. The numbers may not be the best we have had this year, but it was the best experience of all of the places we have been to in 2018.

Country Kitchen, Tiverton, RI

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ray Just on the outskirts of the Fall River boarder in Tiverton, RI, is this little out of the way restaurant, serving breakfast and lunch. Since this was not actually in Fall River, our streak of great breakfast places in that city was not broken. The Country Kitchen is similar to Percy’s place which we reviewed earlier, in that it has both a dining area and an adjacent gift shop. After talk of David Price ( yuk), Patriots ( hopeful) and the use of technology on our classrooms ( never going to be settled between us ), Mike and I settled in to this cozy diner. Lots of tables, most of the empty ones had tips and had not been “bussed”, but chose one. Coffee in nice size mugs was offered along with the menu. Coffee was eh, just ok, barely average. Out waitress pointed out the specials and left us to decide. After a bit of a wait…………., we ordered. I had the basic Western Omelet with cheese and home fries. I’ll start with the home fries which were fantastic! Great seasoning and just enough crispiness to make them delightful. My omelet fell to the same issue many do which is the chef put in so much cheese it took over everything in the omelet. I’d like to order “light on the cheese” but if I did I would not be reviewing the meal everyone got. Sorry to say not one of my best choices. Coffee, 5; home fries 9; meal,6; overall, 6.6

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mike What a very, very confusing day! Ray told me yesterday he knew where we were going and, surprise! found it with no problem AND it was open! What!? I don’t remember how we got there, actually, but I love quirky places and this is one of those places. What’s not to like to about a restaurant which opens into a funky little convenience store? Nice! Even had to pay the tab in the convenience store! What’s up with that? The meal? Again, I was confused. I ordered the hash benny. Canned hash (ugh) but OUTSTANDING homefries. Middling coffee. It kinda throws me when one element if the meal is so, so, so good that it warrants caps in the review and then it’s not complimented by the other two elements. That’s too bad. That said, I place these taters as the best of the year. Well deserved praise. Coffee 6, benny 6 and a 9.5 for the homefries. Seven.

Eggs-Up Family Restaurant, Cumberland, RI

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mikeROAD TRIP!!! The tables were turned as Ray had to sit through a four hour trip up north to the wilds of Cumberland RI. “Should I have brought a snack?”, he whined. Welcome to my world, bucko! Actually, the trip was about five Seekonks away… not too far away but not that close. Eggs Up, 2378 Mendon Rd is a local favorite. And by the front page copies of the Rhode Island magazine on the wall a multiple winner if winner of ” best breakfast, Blackstone Valley, multiple times. I’ll be the judge of that! Lots of parking, clean, bright and lots of seating. Nice. We were offered coffee quickly. Nice. Pretty good menu selection and, one of Ray’s things to look for, a specials board. By the way, it’s pumpkin everything season. I went for the homemade hash benny. I’m glad I did! The hollandaise was very flavorful with a nice “zing” to it. The hash was very very good. Amazing combination of flavors! The homefries looked better than they tasted. Well cooked but meh. Salt helped. When they were mixed with the hash and yolk and sauce, well, yum! But they couldn’t stand on their own. The coffee was just ok. We each had a second cup but only to give it a chance to change our minds. It didn’t. So, I will give the hash benny 8.5 with the homefries getting a 6 and the coffee 5.5 for an overall score of 6.6

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ray  There was a lot of, “slight change of plans” from Mike this morning, but he forgot to ask me to bring a snack, and coffee. I don’t even want to guess as to how many Seekonks we traveled through, but I swear I saw a sign saying “entering Vermont”. The long ride did give us an opportunity to discuss the Patriots and their woes, at length. Couldn’t solve them, but agreed that this is a must win week. Eggs-Up Family restaurant in Cumberland, Vermont, I mean Rhode Island, is a hometown kind of place. Nice atmosphere, lots of Red Sox pics and many wall hangings identifying it as “Best in Rhode Island, Blackstone Valley” for quite a few years. I guess that we did not have a vote, or maybe this was the best in the Blackstone Valley and we just have not had a chance to visit other breakfast places in the area. I would like fair warning from Mike if he decides to take me on this trek again, so I can prepare. Anyway, the coffee was hot and good, nothing special, good. I chose the Greek Omelet with home fries. I pointed out to Mike that the menu listed a couple of additional special home fries that you could have, both of which had lots of added ingredients like melted cheese, peppers, and onions. I really wondered if this was a way to cover up the flavor of the home fries. My omelet arrived, and so did the home fries. On first look they had some promise with a coating of something red. But the something red had little flavor and adding salt did nothing to improve them. Maybe I should have opted for the “special” home fries. My omelet was ok. Lots of fresh spinach and feta with a few tomatoes thrown in. I was a little disappointed by the size which did not look like a three egg omelet ( spoiled by the East Side Diner a few weeks ago). Maybe it was the long ride out and promise of a long ride home, but I was a little disappointed after reading of their many “Best of Rhode Island” wall hangings. Coffee, 6; home fries, 6; meal, ( you guessed it ) 6. Average meal, 6

East Side Diner, East Providence, RI

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ray WOW! We thought that the only place to get a great breakfast was in Fall River. This morning Fall River diners got a run for their money as we visited the East Side Diner 615 Waterman Ave, East Providence, RI. This place has only been open for a few weeks and I hope that it can stay afloat long enough for everyone in the area to have breakfast here. Only a few customers were there when we came in and we had no problem finding a table. Our waitress, was really friendly and ready with the coffee refills. Speaking of coffee, it was really good, not the best I have ever had but, some call me a coffee “snob”, this was right up there with flavor and quality. Three cups! There was a chalkboard with daily specials including something called crispy French Toast, sounds very interesting. Their regular menu had traditional breakfast options as well as an insert with Specialty Omelets. I chose the Federal Hill Omelet which was like a Western but substituted the ham with Italian sausage. A really great omelet has quantity, fresh well cooked ingredients, cheese that is added to the dish without trying to cover up all of the good things in it, and lastly it must be moist without being wet ( under cooked is a definite no-no), This one had all of the above. As you can see in the picture, the omelet actually was bigger than the plate. I was almost finished when I commented to Mike that I didn’t even need to reach for the salt. I guess the chef realizes that seasoning the dish as it cooks is really important. Now about the home fries, Abundance and quality. As you can see these home fries filled a good portion of the plate. They were not overly spiced but had a great buttery flavor with a little oregano to back it up with some paprika thrown in as well. This is a very good breakfast place and I do plan on visiting it again. Coffee, 8.5; Home Fries, 9; Meal, 9.5; overall, 9.

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mike Last week Kilian and I were coming back from the (real) East Side and noticed a newly opened restaurant on Waterman named the East Side (not really) Diner. I mentioned to her that I would surprise Ray with a new, close breakfast place. Who knew the old dude already found the it? He is retired so he has a lot of time to drive around, apparently.

So, golf, football, baseball, church, Lions Club. We would have talked about more stuff but it was a short trip into East Providence. First impressions are always important and this newly renovated space was nice and clean and bright. The coffee was served quickly and refills were offered often… this ended up being a three-cup morning so you know we liked it. A pretty standard extended menu with a few interesting differences. One that caught my eye was an option to substitute cooked apples, baked beans, fruit or vegetables for the homefries offered with most breakfasts. Nice! What an amazing choice to offer! I got the Greek omelet (sans olives…I just don’t do olives) and really, really enjoyed it! First, look at the picture. Full, three egg omelet with a generous helping of homefries. Nice! The homefries were good with good spices but I still added salt. The omelet was outstanding! I particularly liked the fresh veggies. Fresh veggies always, always, always make a HUGE difference. Feta cheese, yum, and gyro meat! Outstanding omelet! (Seven, if you’re counting) So, coffee an 8 and I’ll give the homefries 7.5 but the omelet deserves a 9.5 for an overall score of 8.2

Flint Village Restaurant, Fall River

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mike Fall River continues to impress! Took Ray to the Flint Village Restaurant at 1270 Pleasant St. On the ride this morning Ray and I talked about how, after more than two years of this blog, we continue to find new places to review. However, we’re almost to the point where we may have to go further afield to find more restaurants to visit. But, dear readers, you can help us stay closer to home! We need your input! Please, please, please send us your suggestions! Of course you must first read Every Single blog entry to ensure you don’t give us the name of a place we’ve already visited. So, get reading! Now, back to the blog! The Flint Village Restaurant was a step back in time. Located on a corner lot the FVR has probably been here forever. Old styling, old fixtures. Formica! I loved this place right away! The menu was simple and traditional and unpretentious. Breakfast doesn’t need to be fancy…it’s breakfast. Got my unusual. First off, the coffee was above average and, to my liking, hot! Refills were offered frequently. Nice. The homefries were well cooked, had some crisp but had too much paprika. Salt helped. And the sausage and eggs were fine. This may sound like a less than resounding review but this is exactly the kind of restaurant and breakfast that I would go to every day on my way to work. I would love to be a regular here. Understand, we were not “wowed” by the breakfast. But it was better than good and the portions were good and the coffee was better than good and the price was very reasonable and the service was really good and I really loved the old time city restaurant vibe. I’m going to rate this a bit differently and just give an overall rating of 7.5 which covers the coffee, food, service and the restaurant itself. Really liked this place.

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rayMike and I stepped into the Flint Village Restaurant and it was like stepping back to the ‘50’s, in a good way. If you were riding down Pleasant St. in Fall River for the first time, you probably would drive right past it. Comfort food. No pretentious menu, with all kinds of Benny’s and crepes, this place has all of the basics, simple egg dishes, omelets, as well as waffles and pancakes. The seats were a little worn, and the sign on the window was pretty faded, but the waitress was cheerful, and prompt with the coffee. I commented to Mike that the brown mug was just like one I had a long time ago. Listening to the waitress and cook, they seemed to know everyone coming and leaving. Real definition of a homey restaurant. I really liked the coffee, with a rich flavor and lots of refills. This morning was another omelet, one that was more unique than the others on the menu. It was basically a western but it had chourico. The onions, peppers and ham were nicely cut into small pieces, and the chourico was not sliced from a sausage style chourico, it was more like spiced pork pieces, a little bigger than the other fillings, but it really hit the flavor spot. Only two things I would critique about the omelet. First it was a little dry on the outside, and second, too much cheese. The cheese was actually spilling out the edges, and took away from the other ingredients. The home fries were OK, but needed more salt on the griddle. These had a good amount of paprika, not too much, but still needed a little more seasoning in the form of salt.This is the kind of place I would visit again if I were in the neighborhood. Coffee, 7; home fries, 6; meal, 7; overall, 6.5.