Cal’s, North Providence

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ray  Friday morning Mike and I headed to North Providence to try a restaurant recommended by Professor Chef. Mike and I, our wives and another couple took a terrific risotto class with Professor Chef and his wife Malinda, and they recommended Cal’s, 1538 Smith St, North Providence. Cal’s is a comfort food place. Our coffee was served in holiday cups, and as I looked around at the other tables I saw that the cups were all in a different holiday setting. The chef was constantly coming out to talk to regulars and having a wonderful time. To start with the coffee was well above average. I don’t like my coffee as hot as Mike does and this was j..u..s..t.. right. Unique menu. Something we had never seen. All of the omelets were four egg dishes, however, you had the option of choosing a half portion. Great idea! So too was something I am not sure we had seen on any other menu, frittatas. The frittatas, were also a four egg dish and you got to choose up to five ingredients and a cheese. I added ham, onions, and roasted red peppers, with a provolone, and got the full size, just because I had to see how it looked, and I was hungry! After a second refill of the delicious coffee, the meal arrived. I always try the home fries first, and these were good, better with a little salt added, but good. However the focus of this meal was the frittata. It was huge. The provolone was melted perfectly on top. This was just delicious. A wonderfully baked frittata with the ingredients perfectly blended. I especially liked the ham which was cut off the bone, with hearty bite size pieces. The flavors of the eggs, ham, onions and peppers, melded beautifully with the provolone. I was only able to finish half and brought the rest home, to Barbara, and she enjoyed a nice little lunch, leaving half of the half for my next day breakfast. I did not get our waitresses name, but she was great, very personable and not afraid to trade a friendly comments with Mike and I. Coffee, 8; Home fries, 6; Overall meal 9:   Averages out to a 8+

 

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mike  Good thing Ray drove the Prius today as our trip to North Providence became a journey. Shoulda brought snacks. We were MILES away from the restaurant when Ray mentioned we were almost in Canada. The GPS kicked in so we didn’t have to put up with Canadian bacon: That’s not bacon…I hate that. So, we ended up at Cal’s. I liked Cal’s. Nothing fancy, just a really nice neighborhood restaurant where the coffee is good, the food is good and the prices are reasonable. Added bonus…very generous portions. My eggs benedict came served over very thick slabs of off the bone ham. I’m not a big fan of ham but I know when something is good. This was good. Already mentioned the coffee. Good coffee served promptly with refills offered as often as we liked. The homefries were the only thing I had any complaint about and needed lots of salt. There’s always one thing that comes up short, it seems. Still, I would definitely come back. I really liked Cal’s. The decor is oddly unique and it’s fun to look around and “discover” something funny or nostalgic. And our waitress was funny and sharp and fun to banter with. She even used a local word to describe me that I took to understand meant “helluva great guy”. She gets me! And on the way out the chef thanked us for coming! Nice! Honestly, if Cal’s was nearby I would be a regular. Coffee 7.5, benedict 8 and homefries 6. Rounded up, 7.2

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Liberty Lunch, Pawtucket, RI

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mike Today was back to basics. This morning Ray and I traveled to Liberty Lunch at 732 Central Ave. in Pawtucket and I’m so very glad we did! I think we have had our fill (get it…our fill…it’s a food blog, we “fill” up on food, oh, never mind) of high priced and sometimes pretentious places that just aren’t worth going to. This blog is about breakfast not coffee grounds hand scrub in the restroom or prepaying for our meal and then carrying an animal figurine to our table so the waitress could find us after we served ourselves our water or spending forty minutes waiting in line to be told where we could refill our own coffee. No, breakfast is when you want good food, in good quantities at a good price. So go to Liberty Lunch! What a great “discovery”! Just walking in we knew we were home! Classic diner; booth seating on one side with counter seating on the other. There were menus at the table but lots of (laminated!) specials signs on the walls. Our waitress was prompt with the coffee. Nice. And we ordered and were served quickly. Very nice. I had my unusual with patties instead of links. A side note: I noticed in the menu that a breakfast with bacon or sausage comes with four of each, not three as at most places and even, we have experienced, two. Honestly, everything was good. The homefries really needed salt (a common complaint) but were cooked through and evenly. The coffee was hot and not bitter until we got a third cup. Have no idea what went wrong with that pot but we each had gotten a third cup which says just how much we enjoyed the first two. And I really enjoyed the spices in the sausage patties. Again, everything was good, not great, but also not pretending to be something it isn’t. Finally, the price. Nice, nice, nice! We paid less than half of what we paid last week! What’s not to like? Coffee 7. Homefries 6.5. Meal 7.5. This averages 7 but I’m going to give Liberty Lunch an extra point just
because this is what I think a breakfast, and breakfast place, should be. I give Liberty Lunch an 8.

 

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ray   Mike hit a home run today. Great choice of what would I would call a traditional New England diner, the Liberty Lunch. I’ll bet I have gone past this place 100 times and didn’t even notice it. The storefront is probably 12 feet wide and tucked in with a few other stores, almost across the street from one of our earlier breakfast places, Kip’s. When we arrived the place was full. The counter, with about 15 seats, and all but 2 booths had customers. The atmosphere was very friendly and the setting was just plain comfy. Not much in the way of specials, but all of the traditional fare was on the menu. Coffee came quickly, and it was a good cup of coffee, a little above average. No raves, but no bitterness, or aftertaste, just a good cup of coffee. I do have to say that the third refill which came as we were finishing the breakfast, was not as good as the first, maybe the bottom of the pot. Anyway, I went back to a traditional breakfast for me, the western omelet, with home fries. The omelet was huge, and loaded with cheese, onions, green AND red peppers, and great ham which was probably right off the shank, not sliced from a deli ham. Home fries were well cooked, and tasted much better after salt and pepper. This is another of those restaurants that are open for breakfast and lunch, and I would really like to come back to try their lunch menu. Coffee, 7; Home fries, 7, overall meal 8. Average, 7.5