Leon’s, Barrington

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mike  After all this time it’s still fun to meet up with Ray, talk and laugh and solve the world’s problems while we travel to a new restaurant, and then continue our conversation over, hopefully, a wonderful, new breakfast discovery. We’ve always used three elements when rating a meal; coffee, homefries and the main part of the breakfast. The fourth, tacit element is the camaraderie…that always gets a ten. Since we start our day with a ten it’s extra nice when we find a place worthy of our friendship. I’m so very happy to report that we have found another gem, Leon’s, 230 Waseca Ave., Barrington. This is one of those places you might drive by without thinking to stop. It’s just there in the midst of a residential neighborhood. Do stop. We were very impressed. The menu was not extensive but we’ve come to see this as a good sign as we feel the chef can concentrate on doing a few things well. Like Ray I got one of the specials. My choice was biscuits and gravy which came with homefries and two eggs. I love biscuits and gravy. And I loved this take on this classic breakfast comfort food. (On a side note, isn’t most anything for breakfast comfort food?) There were nice bits of sausage in the gravy (yum!) and the biscuit was phenomenal…homemade and loaded with herbs. What a nice take on the traditional buttermilk biscuit. I’m with Ray on the homefries, though I wished the portion on my plate (see the picture) was greater. However, since Ray had ordered a side, I could swipe some from him. The coffee was meh. How does the song go? Two out of three ain’t bad. A big shout out to Colby, our waitress, for answering a whole lot of questions and being a really good server. And as with most places like this be prepared to pay more for your meal than at your local diner. So. Coffee, 6, homefries 8.5 and the biscuits and gravy 9. Overall, I will round up to 8. Very, very nice!

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ray  Leon’s is very untypical. First of all, it was Mike’s A plan no B plan needed. Second, Leon’s is not in your average location. I think this is the only breakfast place we have found in Barrington. To top it off it is in more of a residential neighborhood than where we usually find our breakfast places. But, for two weeks in a row we found a winner. Leon’s is small, with about a dozen tables and a few counter seats. Décor is black and white, but although this may sound stark, Leon’s is quite nice and comfy. Our waitress was very pleasant, and was right there to provide a list of daily specials, and to answer my coffee question. So let me start with the coffee. I am inclined to use the word robust. It was a French Roast from a local Rhode Island coffee roaster, as our waitress told us. I have to say it was not my favorite. I am more of a Full City Roast which has less of a harshness to it. The coffee was ok, but not at the top of my list. Now for the breakfast itself. I had one of the specials, a pulled pork with sweet potato hash, two eggs over easy, and a side of home fries. Without reservation this hash was the best I have had in the last two years that we have been doing this. The potatoes were perfectly cooked, not small pieces of both sweet and russet potatoes, but nicely cut and cooked bite-sized morsels . The pulled pork did not overpower the hash, but that barbeque sweetness really complimented every bite. I ordered a side of home fries just to have them to taste, and they were great. The chef uses both red bliss and russet bite-size potatoes, cooked and spiced very well. They may have been a little dry, but still a great side. Coffee, 6; home fries, 9; meal 10+. Overall rating is an 9 because the hash was just so good.

 

 

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Amy’s place, Providence, RI

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ray  I’ve been wanting to try Amy’s Place, 214 Wickenden St, Providence, RI for awhile, but never got to it. Glad we went today. Often Mike and I have adventures heading to, or just finding a breakfast place. Today was just perfect. I needed coffee at home for my cold brew, and my coffee place of choice is The Coffee Exchange on Wickenden St. which just happens to be right across the street from Amy’s Place! AND guess what, I found a parking spot right in front of The Coffee Exchange, and did a perfect two point parallel park, much to Mike’s amazement. Amy’s is a very small place with some unique seating arrangements. Tables, counters at the windows, outdoor seating in front or in the little back yard. Their menu is not extensive but I think that allows the chef to concentrate on a few dishes, prepared and cooked well. Orders are taken and paid for at the counter. Coffee is bottomless and serve yourself. A very pleasant waitress took our order. I had the California omelet which is a 3 egg omelet with mushrooms, spinach, & tomato topped with Greek yogurt. Home fries were a side dish. Starting with the coffee which they purchased, not from across the street, but from another vendor in Rhode Island. It took a couple of sips, very hot, to get the flavor, but once I got some in me, I really liked it. It is a bold coffee, not bitter, but strong, and unexpectedly there was no after bite which usually comes from a strong coffee. The home fries were rough cut, some bigger than others, and sometimes this makes for uneven cooking, but not in this case. They were both perfectly cooked, and had a light but effective seasoning. The omelet was prepared beautifully, folded over making the eggs nice and fluffy. The plate was garnished with a small sprig of red grapes and two, fresh, black raspberries. I liked that touch of sweetness after the meal. Excellent choice for breakfast or lunch. Coffee, 8; home fries, 9, overall meal 9. I give Amy’s place a 9 ( yes I rounded up !! )

 

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mike Really, really liked Ray’s choice of restaurants this morning. Went to Amy’s and I would love to go there again. The coffee, first off, was outstanding. Bold flavor. Can I say bold without sounding pretentious? I would say strong but that wouldn’t be quite right. This was not a shy cup of coffee. Can I call coffee shy without sounding like a dork? Am I a pretentious dork? (PD) Anyway, I thought the coffee was great. I had a breakfast sandwich, a first, as I usually go for something more sit-down traditional. But the menu was not very extensive and the hash sandwich on a bolo sounded very interesting because it was garnished with sriracha mayonnaise. Mmmmmmm. And yes, it was mmmmmmm. Let me say that this was a meatless hash. More like a large hash brown pattie and I’m good with that. The bolo was nice but it was the sriracha that brought the flavors together and made a very tasty sandwich. I enjoyed it a lot. I admit to swiping a couple of homefries from Ray. He fell for the old, “Hey look over there!”, a few times…never noticed a thing. I agree with Ray’s assessment. They were outrageously good. Can’t find much to quibble about. Coffee 9, homefries 9, sandwich 9. Overall, you guessed it, 9.

 

Farnsworth Cafe, Riverside, RI

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mike  To all our Blog Food Followers, or, BFFs, Ray and I, as you know, do our best to approach our review with an honest but gentle hand. So, here goes. Well, to be honest, the first taste of coffee was pretty bad. It was bitter or burned or who knows. It was bad. So I drank it (the things I do for our BFFs) hoping it was a bad pot. Nope. Ray and I like our coffee black but I even added sugar then cream to try and save it. It helped. I ordered the hash Benedict. It came with homefries which were ok but there weren’t a lot of them. And the eggs were fine (eggs are eggs) but the hash was not very flavorful. The best part was the bolo bun. I don’t think we’ll be back. Maybe it was just this one time. If you want to try your luck, Farnsworth restaurant is at 302 Willett Ave in Riverside. Tell us what you think.

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ray  This morning Mike’s plan A worked!! Sorta…We went to the Farnsworth Café in Riverside. Now I have to say up front that I have never asked for a glass of water after trying the coffee. It was really bad. But we were offered refills multiple times which translates to good service. My omelet was names Ruth, and it consisted of tomatoes, onions, basil flakes, and cheddar cheese. The basil was a really nice touch to an almost average omelet. Home fries were part of the order, and were tasty, but nothing special. I was very disappointed in the small amount of home fries which I think I could actually count without taking off my shoes. I really don’t like giving bad reviews but the best part of this meal was the glass of water. Coffee, 3; home fries 5; meal 5. Overall rating 4. Sorry Farnsworth but as we try more an more breakfast places, our standards are getting higher.

Harry’s , Fall River

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ray  You would not expect a restaurant named Harry’s, to be a Portuguese influenced place, but then again it is at 270 South Main St. Fall River , it’s rooted in the traditions of the town. Mike and I were being real Wordsmiths this morning, using words like viscosity, and verbose ( and those were only the “v” words ), so I will use the term eclectic to describe Harry’s atmosphere. The menu included chow main, and veal parmesan as well as American and Portuguese dishes, you don’t see that combination very often. Coffee was served promptly and was really hot the way Mike likes it. I had to wait a little to try it, but by the second or third sip it was good, not great but good diner coffee. I ordered the Portuguese omelet with linguica, peppers and onions, along with home fries. Let me tell you, I want to get a set of plates that they use, for my Thanksgiving meal. It was platter-like, and it needed to be to accommodate the omelet and home fries that were served. These home fries were great. A nice color and spiced lightly but enough that you could taste it. Of course just a little salt brought it up even more. Mike and I discussed the way our omelets were cooked. It was unique in that it appeared that there were two halves to the omelet, like two pancakes, with the filling in the middle. Whatever the way the chef makes them, my omelet was great. Linguica was ground, onions were well cooked, and the green peppers were cooked just enough to make them not crunch, but retain the flavor of the pepper. Before getting to the review, let me tell you about the waitresses. Twice in the half hour or so that we were there, that I saw them go after a customer who left something behind. One time she actually ran across S.Main street to bring a customer, a container he was taking home with what he could not finish from breakfast. Where do you see that! Coffee: 5; Home Fries: 8.5; meal and ambiance 😉 9. Overall, 8.

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 mike Wow! We have a winner! Of course, with a name like Harry’s, I knew it had to be good! On the way into the city Ray mentioned that Harry’s was known for its Portuguese food. So, naturally, I went with the cacoila omelet. I’ve had this type of omelet twice before and enjoyed it each time but this one was exceptional. There’s a certain taste to Portuguese food. I can’t describe it, can’t recreate it at home, and really haven’t experienced it since my childhood at home with my mom’s cooking. This had it. I mentioned to Ray how the taste brought back memories I had forgotten. The homefries had it too. Again, I can’t tell you what it is, but wow! The only downside to the meal could have been the coffee. And honestly, with the first few sips, neither one of us was impressed. However, the coffee was hot, which I like, and drinkable, and after our first refill, as we were finishing our breakfast, Ray said he’d like another. We drank that cup while we waited for the check and lingered for awhile. I can’t remember doing that too many times. Other thoughts…the portions were very generous (on a side note Ray finished his breakfast!) and the price very reasonable. We also noted how clean and modern and bright the restaurant was and its restroom was immaculate. So, coffee was a 7.5, the homefries were an 8 and the omelet a 9. Very nice! Overall, I give Harry’s an 8+!