The Right Spot in Pawtucket
One of the things that comes with a blog like this are those times when we come across a restaurant that serves a breakfast we just don’t like. It’s difficult to review. Not because we mind being critical of the food (though Ray waffles a lot…get it…waffles?) but because the people who serve us are genuinely very nice. That’s the position in which we found ourselves today after visiting The Right Spot Restaurant at 200 South Bend St in Pawtucket. Great old classic diner. This place is very clean, bright and well maintained and must be a favorite summertime destination as it is adjacent to McCoy Stadium. But our breakfast was sub par. We were both disappointed with the coffee. We each enjoy our coffee while deciding what to order. Who doesn’t? It’s the morning standard for a lot of people. It just wasn’t good. Most mornings we will have at least one refill, sometimes two. Today, neither of us finished our first cup. It was a poor beginning. I ordered my unusual and Ray a western omelet. Both of us noted how bland the homefries were. Just heated, cooked potatoes with almost no seasonings. Meh. Ray discovered his western had no peppers in it. Salt and pepper helped but couldn’t save this meal. Someday we may revisit The Right Spot but it won’t be for a long while. I will give the diner just 1 3/4 cups.
I really enjoy the hour or so when Mike and I go out to breakfast. Our conversations will range from family to sports, to food, to games, to that nagging ache or pain ( I’m old but he’s getting there). Seldom do we have nothing to say, and rarely do we argue. It is fun and friendly time. So much for Mike and me. As you might tell by my unusually long intro, I’ve been avoiding talking about our breakfast stop this morning, The Right Spot. I’ve been to McCoy stadium many, many times but have never stopped into this quaint little diner. It advertises “Breakfast All Day” as well as having a walk up window for summer crowds entering or leaving the games. ( I’m stalling with my comments.) the waitress was very nice….Did I mention it was a quaint diner? Ok here goes… the toast was very good, it was better than Jimmy’s in Taunton, the coffee filled my cup, the eggs were yellow, and the home fries were potatoes. Let’s put in another way. Neither Mike or I had seconds on coffee, I left more than my usual amount of my meal on the plate. 2 cups is generous. Did I mention that it was a quaint diner?
This was not my first choice for breakfast today, that one was closed ( on Wednesday, really??), but each of us knows that we have to have a plan “b” and the Sunset Café was only about two miles from my first choice. The Sunset Café, 499 Hope St. Bristol, is one of those local places that you would miss if you were not looking for it. The store front blends right in with the other stores here in the downtown area of Bristol, right on the 4th of July Parade route. This place is going to make my top three list. Starting with a giant mug of coffee, that was really good, continuing with a great waitress ( Mike we keep forgetting to ask for a waitresses name…), and finishing with a terrific breakfast. My choice was the “The Anchor Omelet” which includes house made chourico hash, caramelized onions, broccoli, and cheddar cheese along with home fries and toast. This was a great omelet. The eggs were perfectly done with a nice fluffy texture and not dried out. The chef prepared the ingredients separately and did and especially good job keeping the broccoli florets to bite size. The hash was just so smooth and just enough spice. Nothing was overpowering in the omelet, and that is the way it should be, well balanced. The home fries were nicely seasoned and had that crispy texture that I like. Apparently this location was originally the Sunset Bakery which was established in 1929, and on the way out I saw some delicious looking cinnamon buns…maybe next time. 3 ½ cups of coffee. I will definitely be back and hope our readers will try this nice little breakfast spot.
Ray and I have settled into a routine…like an old couple we know each other’s quirks and habits and we put up with each other because, hey, who else would put up with us? So I was not surprised at all when Ray mentioned “road trip” and “GPS” in the same sentence. Nor was I shocked to discover that, no, the restaurant was not open when we finally got there. The lights Ray saw on belonged to the next door business! We chuckle about these things and take it in stride…the conversation is always good. And, as always, fortune smiles upon us because we always seem to find an amazing new place to write about. Today was no exception as we found ourselves at the Sunset Cafe in Bristol. Very, very nice. Coffee? You bet! Served in absolutely the largest mugs we’ve ever seen in any restaurant and filled with really good coffee. Nice! I had a breakfast sandwich; homemade hash, scrambled egg, bacon, cheese and homefries on a Portuguese sweet bread roll. The homefries were in the sandwich! Of course I couldn’t even see myself picking this sandwich up. It would have been disastrous. Knife and fork. What a lot of amazing flavors all at once. I enjoyed that sandwich (meal in a bun, actually) immensely. Ray could tell I liked it. I rarely spoke, which itself is rare, because I was too busy eating. Overall 3 1/2 cups, easy. Side note. One of the pleasures I get from going to new places is simply checking out the things that make each restaurant unique. Today I sat beneath the gaze of a beautifully painted cow. Another bovine stared at me from across the room. Never had that experience before. If anyone goes there try to figure out what these cows have in common with all the license plates about the ceiling…one from each state, many from RI, and some from outside the country. I need a theory. Are these traveling cows? Do they have relatives across the country? And how do they drive without hands? These things keep me up at night.
Ray and I continued our trip down memory lane by visiting another pre-blog restaurant, the Country Kitchen, 469 Taunton Ave., Seekonk. Our first trip there, about a year ago, was an eye opener. Each of us had been there in the past but it had been awhile for Ray as he had left there with a bad taste in his mouth. Get it? Bad taste? Anyway, we were impressed with our breakfast that day and looked forward to another visit. Spoiler alert: We were disappointed. The coffee just wasn’t good. For us it takes a lot to overcome sub-par coffee. I had ordered my unusual. The home fries and the sausage were over heated…on the dry side and bland. Best we could figure is that the pre-cooked stuff had been sitting for awhile. We had wondered why our meals had come out so fast. It just seemed that the eggs were the only item cooked fresh. The other stuff had just been kept warm for too long. Once again, and this has been discussed on the blog before, I wonder if the time we head out for breakfast is a little late for “normal” breakfast time. I don’t know. But the stuff was heated for too long. My take on this…2 1/2 cups.
Back to a restaurant that we had been to before we began the blog, Country Kitchen in Seekonk. Small restaurant with about 10 tables, a little crowded but cozy. I had a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs, home fries and hash, with coffee. I’ll make this one simple, the coffee was ok ( no refill for me), the eggs were….. ahh, scrambled. The hash was a little crispy on one side ( good thing ), but was not home made. In this case I was in the mood for “Hormel” and it was fine. Home fries were a little mushy to start with and not much flavor, even adding salt and pepper didn’t help much. A funny thing happened. Mike and I, almost at the same time, said the crispy pieces were better than the rest of them. Sorry Country Kitchen, can’t give you more than 2 ½ cups of coffee out of 4.
This restaurant has been a staple in Fall River for more than 40 years. It changed locations about 20 years ago and ownership 3 years ago. Mike and I came here shortly after the owner change and before we started this blog, so I thought we would give it another try. Very surprised to enter and see no other customers at 8:30. The waitress brought coffee, very good, with a generous cup. I had a corned beef has with eggs over easy and home fries. Everything was really well done. I loved the flavor of the home fries, which had only a few onions. The corned beef was ‘real” and had a nice flavor with a hint of the brine it was cured in. One thing I noticed was that the griddle behind the counter, where I remember seeing all breakfasts prepared, was not being used for our meals. Our eggs and plates were prepared in the kitchen in the back. As we were eating, several more customers came it, and French Toast was prepared on the griddle behind the counter. That made sense. Eggs, and omelets should be cooked on a different surface than pancakes and French Toast! This was a pleasant step up from the last time Mike and I were here. ( Nice touch with fresh roses on each table.) Looking forward to trying Al Mac’s again. 3 ¼ out of 4 cups for Al Macs
Ray and I are running out of places to review within a 3 Seekonk radius so we’re beginning to revisit places we went to before we started this blog. That’s why we ended up back at Al Mac’s in Fall River. Classic diner. It has the whole, shiny, railway dining car thing going. Our first time there was less than satisfying. So…second chances. I’m glad we went! Honestly, though, our first impression was, “Where is everyone?” There were no customers and just two employees. It’s not surprising that we had prompt service! But, the coffee was good, above average. The menu stated that the corned beef was “not canned” so we had to try it. I had eggs Benedict with hash and homefries. Ray already mentioned the whole grill thing, which is kind of neat, so we didn’t get to watch how the food was prepped, but, boy, was my meal good! I liked everything about it. Cleaned my plate with Ray’s toast! (FYI, if you ever go out to breakfast with Ray don’t order toast. Ray never ever ever finishes his toast. Just saying.) There were more people in the place when we finished. Don’t know why it was so slow when we got there. We noticed that Al Mac’s doesn’t open until 7, which seems late for a breakfast place, but their sign said they’re open late. It might be nice to check it out some late night if I’m ever in Fall River at that time. I would go back, definitely give it a third chance. 3 1/4 cups from me.
Have you ever been to Shannon’s? Go! What a cool place! In my mind, this is the quintessential neighborhood place to meet and hang out over breakfast and a cup of coffee. And though I’ve had better coffee elsewhere there’s plenty of it and the refills are offered frequently. Shannon’s is small and cozy and had its regulars at the counter and the tables. Like I’ve said before, I like restaurants with regulars. I had my irregular and loved the sausages. They had a really tasty and interesting spice that both Ray and I liked though we couldn’t figure out the flavoring. The homefries were good, not the type of potato we prefer, but nicely cooked and spiced. Also, our portions were very generous. Now, although there were a good number of people eating when we got there (we got the last table) and though we saw only one waitress our orders were taken quickly and then brought out very quickly. We were impressed! At one point, a man came around with a pot of coffee in each hand pouring out refills. We think he was the cook. I like that too. Here was a place, full of customers, (and when we go out, at around 8:30, most restaurants have very few people in the seats) and the only two people working were working well, as a team, and we never noticed a drop in service…well done! Shannon’s is at 737 Broadway, Pawtucket. I give it 3 1/4 cups.
Mike’s choice was a nice little restaurant in Pawtucket, Shannon’s. Cozy place with a counter and about a dozen tables which were almost all filled when we arrived. Coffee was served promptly as we looked over the menu. I generally take two sips before I judge the quality of the coffee, but even after three or four sips, the java was not very good. It was not just strong, but had a bitter aftertaste. From the generous menu I chose the Breakfast PuPu plate. Ham, bacon, sausage, home fries and eggs. The ham was perfect, and very generous, a nice thick slice from the shoulder. The sausage was the hit for me, with a spice that neither Mike or I could identify. Bacon was crispy and the scrambled eggs were…. Scrambled. I was a little disappointed in the home fries. The Yukon Gold potatoes were a little too soft, however they were nicely seasoned and plentiful. Overall a very good breakfast, three cups of coffee.