Ov’s, Allens Ave, Providence

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ray  I planned to go to the Baker St. Café in Providence, this morning but there was a closed sign on the front door. I found out later that they had a special event they were at on Thursday and Friday this week and were not open. Luckily for me, as we were driving down Allens Ave, Mike spotted another breakfast place, Ov’s, so that is where we wound up. Now Mike and I had eaten breakfast place named Ov’s in East Taunton, last year and really liked it. Mike, the bold one of us, asked the waitress about that and come to find out both are owned by the same family. And that the East Taunton one is owned by a son and his mother owns the Providence one. Didn’t ask who owned the Smithfield one… The diner is smallish but not too small, with counters and a number of tables. It was not very crowded and we found a table quickly. Unique menu in that the omelets are listed as a nationality. I chose the “Chinatown”. Which was just a veggie omelet, Huh?? Coffee was served promptly and this was a very good coffee. I tried to figure out what the lingering taste was but could not. Mike thought it might be chicory. Whatever, it definitely was above average. Lots of refills. Enjoyed every one. Unfortunately that was really the only thing I enjoyed at breakfast. My three egg omelet was woefully small, and undercooked in places. Meanwhile the onions, green peppers, and mushrooms were overcooked. I tried salt and pepper with no upgrade. I actually left about a third of it on the plate. For someone who is cutting back on portions, and this breakfast was to be my big meal for the day, that said something. The home fries were hot, but that was the only thing really positive about them. They lacked flavor, seasoning, and, like the veggies were overcooked. Sorry but Mamma’s Ov’s takes a back seat to her son’s Ov’s. Coffee, 8; home fries, 3; meal 3, 4.8 overall.

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mike Things are so weird! Someone switched the Ray I know for Ray from the past! The Ray that took me to breakfast this morning was a lot like the Ray would drive for hours to a place that wasn’t open! The horror! Once again I had to use my RAE (restaurant acquisition experiment) before we starved. I had spotted a likely backup on our trip to nowhere and boy I’m glad I did! OV’s! We had gone to an OV’s in East Taunton awhile back and liked it. This will have to be the same right? Well, nice place and the coffee was served up pretty quick. Good coffee, too! I was already for a refill when the waitress came for our order. I got the Dominican Diva…an omelet with Cajun shrimp (shrimp for breakfast!), mushrooms, roasted red peppers, spinach and cheese. Sounded great! It was great! I really, really enjoyed that omelet! The Cajun spices were a taste sensation! Great word…Great omelet! Everything was incorporated with the egg perfectly. Nice, nice, nice! The homefries weren’t too bad either. I liked their flavor and a bit of crisp as well. I liked them. Now, I never read Ray’s review before it’s posted but I know his experience was different from mine. So, coffee a 7.5 with the homefries a 7. The omelet gets a 9.5! I really, really, really liked it! I give OV’s an 8!

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Mel’s Diner, Raynham, MA

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mike Couple of things. First is that I was going through a list of area restaurants and saw “Mel’s Diner” and thought, “I must go there! It’s named Mel’s!” Wouldn’t you? Second, Mel’s is located in Raynham at 686 Broadway. The question is, “How do you pronounce Raynham?” Is it rain-ham or rain-um? Discuss. Once again a rainy day and a bit of a ride could not dampen the great conversation on the way there. First impressions are very important and the first thing we noticed entering Mel’s was that it was full of people! Usually, because Ray and I go out a little later than the normal breakfast crowd, there are plenty of seats for us. Second thing we noticed was that everyone, and I mean everyone, looked up at us when we came in the room. I’m used to a lot of attention from my huge fan base but Ray was a little uncomfortable. Any place with that many regulars has got to be pretty good. I got my current usual; the hash benedict. Coffee came early and often and was better than average. I’m finding that I like the second cup better than the first each time we go out. Anyone have a theory? Are my taste buds adjusting? I’m serious. The waitress was great! The only one I saw during this busy time yet she greeted us quickly, served us coffee and took our order in quick succession. She also put up with Ray. Nuff said. So. Look at the picture. Again, why is my helping of homefries smaller than Ray’s? Hmmmmmm. I liked the homefries very much. They weren’t all that crispy but were evenly well cooked and spiced lightly but nicely…I didn’t have to add salt! Enjoyed them as they were. The benny, not so much. The hash was ok but not very flavorful and the hollandaise didn’t seem to have any flavor at all. I mentioned to Ray that the overwhelming taste was that of the English muffin. I don’t know if was toasted too long but there was definitely a strong flavor which overrode that of the other components of the benny. Oh well. Despite this, though, I liked Mel’s. It doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. Nothing fancy and nothing fancy on the menu. We’ve had better meals but this was a good solid breakfast…just, for me, an English muffin between ok and good. So, coffee a, 7 homefries a 6 1/2 and the meal a 5.5 which averages 6.3

 

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ray  Not a home run today, maybe a long double. A nice homey restaurant just down the road in Raynham, Mel’s fit the bill this morning. Sometimes breakfast with Mike can be an adventure, like when he took me to a great restaurant in Norton that was a paint store, or one in Riverside that was closed, permanently, or when the place he chose happens to be closed on Monday and he says he doesn’t have a backup. Well he was all set today with his choice of breakfast places. I almost missed it when we were driving, as it is set in a small strip mall, and the sign was black with light colored lettering. Mike said it was my old eyes. My eyes are fine, and I can still walk up stairs. About Mel’s. It was a little strange on entering, as the place was crowded and almost everyone turned to look to see who came in. I thought we were crashing a private party. A very nice décor, simple, with plenty of seats and a few counter places. Looks like a real favorite of the locals. Several specials on the chalkboards but I stuck with the veggie omelet. I have to have several sips of coffee before I can tell how good it is ( meaning, do I want refills ) and Mel’s has a nice, above average coffee, and we were served refills quickly. Tough to do justice with one home fry, but 23 pounds later, I think I’ll keep at it. Unlike a restaurant we visited two weeks ago, The Restaurant in Warren, the potatoes lacked an crisp. They had seasoning, probably mostly paprika and salt, with butter on the flattop, and so had a decent flavor. My omelet was nicely prepared, and it had a slight crisp to the bottom. I liked that. Also, the veggies were very nicely mixed in with the egg. I especially liked the spinach which was folded into the eggs and therefore you got the flavor of the spinach without having leftovers ‘bedding down’ between your teeth. Coffee,6; home fries, 7; meal,8; Overall 7. Good job Mel’s, hope my Raynham daughter and her family give it a try.

Somerset Grille, Somerset, MA

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ray  Second time ‘round for this breakfast/lunch restaurant on Somerset Ave ( 138 ) in Somerset. Mike and I had breakfast hear about 3 years ago, before we started this blog so I thought it might be a good time to revisit this and a few others that the Breakfast Boys tried early on. I look forward to a nice ride and great conversation with Mike. The day and conversation was up to our usual standard. Not so much my meal. Coffee has lots of components, including the mug it is served in. No self respecting diner serves coffee in a “cup”, it must be a mug, and Somerset Grille has a great mug. Good size for a good amount of coffee, and a nice heavy feel. A more important part of the coffee experience is the quality of the coffee. This coffee was average, maybe a little below. Only one partial refill. Sometimes a good coffee comes from when it was brewed, obviously the fresher the better, but we cannot ask them to make a fresh pot every time we come in, so we take what they serve. As you can see from the picture, my veggie omelet was FULL of green peppers. Way too many, in that they overpowered the mushrooms, a few onions, and a sprinkle of broccoli. I had to leave most of my omelet on the plate. The home fries were ok, simple, with butter and paprika, a sprinkle of salt made little difference. If my fading memory is true, the first time we had breakfast at the Somerset Grill we really liked it. Maybe our bar has been raised since then. Coffee, 5; Home fries, 5; meal, 3; Overall 4. Sorry Somerset Grille, maybe a third time will be a charm.

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mike Hmmmmmmm. Going to the Somerset Grille today reminded me of our very first blog. It was a long time ago but we went to the Cup N Saucer in Pawtucket. I had selected it because of the many breakfasts there: That and their amazing homefries which are yet to be duplicated. The search continues! However, if I remember correctly, and I am not looking beck through the archives, my review began, “I guess you can’t go back.” I was disappointed. It wasn’t the same. Likewise for the Somerset Grille. Ray and I visited there well before we started our blog,we liked it, and today he chose to “officially” return. I guess you can’t go back. I don’t know. We talked it about while eating this morning and wondered if this was a one time thing or we’ve just changed over the years and expect something different in a breakfast place. First off, the coffee didn’t impress. It was below average. Hot. Plentiful. (Outstanding service from the wait staff.) But meh. Second impression about my unusual was how bare the plate looked. This was mainly due to the scarcity of homefries. It was a very small helping. They were pretty tasteless, despite all that paprika you see in the photo. Three times I reached for the salt. Eggs are eggs. The sausage were pretty good breakfast sausage, cooked well and juicy, not over done, but mild. It would have helped the meal if they were spicier because of the homefries. Honestly, two of the three elements on which we rate a breakfast were sub par. Oh well. Coffee a generous 6, homefries 5.5 and the overall meal a 6.5 making this an average of 6.

 

The Restaurant, Warren, RI

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mike  Oooooh! Homerun! A few weeks ago Ray and I passed The Restaurant and Cafe, 437 Main St., Warren, on our way to Rod’s which is a few blocks away on Washington St. and said, “We ought to try that place”. This past Sunday a woman at church recommended The Restaurant (thank you) so that’s where we went.  Touchdown! Very nice place! Plenty of seating in separate dining areas and, in good weather, outdoor patio seating on Main St. We were waited on very quickly and got to enjoy our coffee right away. To be honest, neither of us were impressed with the coffee initially. However, our opinion had changed by the second cup and improved dramatically by the third. Yes, this was three-cup coffee! Nice! Cannot remember the last time, if ever, we both had a TCC breakfast. Score! Had to try my new favorite breakfast, the Irish Benny, and was very glad I did. First, the homefries were OUTSTANDING! They were lightly spiced and very buttery without being too heavy or overpowering with the butter. And what an excellent crispness. Very, very nice! They are right there in the upper echelon of homefries. Goooooooooal! The benny was very, very good, too. That had to be homemade hash and the hollandaise was the perfect accent to two perfectly cooked eggs. By the way, these were the freshest eggs off the grill I have ever had. This meal did not sit anywhere. Delicious and hot off the grill! Wow! Let’s get to it. Coffee, 8.5 homefries a 9 and the overall meal a 9.  Again, Wow! 8.8!  And just so you’ll know, the waitress was amazing as well. Very attentive. We were greeted and served promptly. Our coffees were filled frequently. And our plates were cleared and our receipt prepared without delay. Outstanding service.

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 ray           A week ago I was getting a little nervous that we had had kind of a bad streak, but that was stopped when we had breakfast at the Athens Diner in North Providence. Here we go, two in a row! Mike made a nice choice, right around the corner from a place we had stopped about a month ago, Rod’s which we did not give high marks to. The Restaurant, in Warren, was so much better. The place is a little deceiving in that when you walk in the front door, there is a chalkboard with breakfast and lunch specials and a nicely laid out dining area. It wasn’t until we started to look around did we notice a whole other room just around the corner. Even before you enter you have to cross an area that looks like it is for al fresco dining in the good weather. Our waitress ( we have to start asking for a name…) was great. Brought our coffee quickly and waited while we looked at the selections. The menu had all the traditional choices. I chose a vegetable omelet with the home fries. First the coffee, very good, above average, and plentiful. We probably had three cups each. Not all omelets are made the same. Some have the ingredients inside like a sandwich, while others incorporate the ingredients with the eggs. At The Restaurant they do the latter and perfectly. I always use the mushrooms as a good guide to freshness, and these were hand cut and sautéed not from a can. The green peppers were sliced paper thin and small, but you could taste the flavor. Perfectly done omelet. Now the home fries are a tough one for me, with my new eating habits, cutting out ALL carbs, but I did have one and it nearly brought me off the wagon. Crispy, buttery, and a hint of garlic powder. This was a great place. Coffee, 8; home fries,9; meal, 9. Overall, 8.9