Three Sisters, Providence

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ray Three Sisters, 1074 Hope St, Providence is one of those small breakfast, lunch dinner places that caters to a lot of walk in trade, as well as take out. I’ve has this place on my list of breakfast stops for almost a year, and finally got there. The menu is right there on the giant chalkboard on the wall. They take your order and you pay, and your meal is delivered to your table, inside or al fresco! Since it is a busy street I prefer not to have carbon monoxide with my meal, we ate inside. Coffee is served in three sizes and is the terrific New Roasters Coffee that we had last week at Howies, and it was just as good. My meal was the unique one on the menu, the Southwest Omelet with home fries. Disappointing! Plentiful serving but the home fries were deep fried and too crunchy. Clumps of potatoes were stuck together. The omelet could have been much better but the ingredients were not spread out very well. My first bite had this great crunch of tortilla with cheese, egg, and pico de gallo and the swirl of sour cream which was spread over the top. Trouble was the cheese was not melted, the tortilla was only on one side of the omelet, and the egg was barely warm. That first bite almost had me, but it went downhill fast. Coffee, 9,5; home fries, 4; meal, 5; overall, 6.2.

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mikeEvery week a new place! How great is that? Three Sisters. Great location at the intersection of Blackstone and Hope. Lots to see and many, many restaurants to try within easy walking distance. Funky place with the multi-colored chalk menu on huge blackboards. Much to choose from and a bunch of stuff had a southwestern vibe going for it but they also had traditional breakfast fare so the unusual it was. Order at the counter type of place, so… Coffee was awesome! We have a new favorite brand (expensive, too, as we went to where they roast the coffee in Pawtucket, Ray will tell you, and found it to be in the $18 a pound category. Yikes!) and can definitely taste the difference when the restaurant grinds its own coffee. Homefries? Well, deep fried. Nuff said. French fries? Really good tater tots? Didn’t know what to think about them. They were fine, really, but not homefries that you would get off a flattop at a traditional dinner. (Sigh) The sausage was a treat, two large, tasty patties…big enough to overlap a hamburger bun. VAn unexpected value and treat as many places skimp on the meat. Alas, the eggs were a flop. I usually say, ” eggs are eggs” and move on but my sunnyside up eggs were not at all in a happy mood. The eggs were overdone. The edges were brown and crisp (I hate that!) and the yolks were cooked solid. What’s the use of sunnyside up eggs if you can’t break open the yolk and dip everything into its delicious goldenness? Seriously! (Deep sigh) So, mixed review. Coffee a 9, homefries a 6 and overall a 5. Just under a 7

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Howie’s, North Providence

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mikeA HUGE shout out to Meghan, my daughter, for suggesting Howie’s restaurant at 1525 Smith St., NProvidence. Ray and I have been by this place several times before and never noticed it. What a great place! New. Clean. Bright. Very nice! Nicole brought us the best coffee! Our new favorite! I’ll let Ray do the details but, wow! Fresh ground and she left the carafe on the table! Nice! And the menu was pretty amazing. They feature locally sourced and sustainable foods. This is not a vegan, no meat, kind of place. There are many healthy options and classic fare as well. I got the Rustic Truffled Fritatta. Go ahead…say that three times fast. Roasted Crimini mushrooms,tomatoes, carmelized onion, truffled goat cheese crema. Yikes! If there is to be any complaint about this amazing melding of flavors is that I wish there were more of the mushrooms and crema. Their flavor was truly amazing but the fritatta was bland without one or the other in a bite: I noticed their absence from time to time. Never the less, pretty awesome. Homefries? Superb! We thought they were top shelf even before Nicole explained the five-step cooking method that left them perfectly cooked on the inside with a nice even crust on the outside. Nicely spiced, though a little bit salty for the two old guys, these are easily the best this year! Lastly, we split a side of homemade corned beef hash. The two main components, meat and potatoes, which are usually combined, were not…they served their awesome homefries with the brisket meat and a sauce made with the renderings…the sauce was phenomenal! Very, very nice! So, coffee a 9.5 and homefries 9.5 and overall a 9. A very well deserved 9.3!

 

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ray Mike hit a home run with his choice this morning ( I actually have to thank his daughter Meghan ). Although Howie’s is on a street we have been up and down a number of times in the past few weeks, Mike’s GPS took us on an amazing circuitous route, through the hills and dales of North Providence, and right by Providence College. Howie’s looks rather new, and it’s fresh and bright interior are not what you might expect in a strip mall. Quick with the coffee, and a carafe of it left on the table, we were impressed from the start. It took awhile to look at a very simple but quite unique menu, along with a list of local businesses where they get most of their food items. IMG_0190Back to the coffee, first sip, fantastic! Each one after that was as good. They get their coffee from New Harvest Coffee Roasters in Pawtucket and what makes it special is that they grind their own coffee. As we have found out this makes a huge difference. Probably the best coffee I’ve had yet. My choice was a Veggie Omelet with tomatoes, crimini mushrooms, spinach, tomato, caramelized onions, and peppers and cheddar cheese. Tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and peppers were evident, but I didn’t taste any onions and the cheddar didn’t add much to the flavor, a little salt and pepper made an improvement. But let me say that I finished every bit of it. Their home fries were very good, and when we asked about how they were prepared, our waitress, Nicole, said that they were par boiled, seasoned, roasted in the oven, and finished on the flattop. They definitely were above average. We ordered a side of home made corned beef hash which was a true, simple hash with potato chunks and pulled corned beef in a small casserole with the drippings from the corned beef poured over the top. It definitely was a treat. I looked at their lunch menu and I have to take my wife here, she would love the “ Two Napkin Burger”, Coffee, 9.9; home fries, 8; meal 8, Overall, 9.

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Highland Luncheonette, Fall River, MA

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ray Back to Fall River to a neighborhood staple for many years. Back and forth to several nearby hospitals, I’ve passed the Highland Luncheonette, 757 Robeson St, Fall River, many times.  There are only 6-8 parking places but being at the corner of two other streets, there seems to be ample places to part, and we saw a couple of walk-ins probably from the neighborhood. No specials for breakfast were presented but here were quite a few choices for breakfast. Mike guessed that I would have the Portuguese omelet with home fries and I ordered a side of chourico hash to share. Starter coffee was different. Not sure right away if I liked it, but as I had more sips it was obvious that it was really good but “different”. We asked Christina, our cheery waitress who promised to remember our order for future visits, what kind of coffee it was and lo and behold it was North East, one of our favorites. The distinct difference was that they grind coffee beans for each brewing! Very fresh! One unique thing about Highland was the way our meals were served. I got my omelet, about two or three minutes passed, and Mike got his, and another few minutes passed before the hash was served. Not sure if it was a very small flattop or the chef only had one pan. I liked the omelet very much. The chourico was ground, not sliced so it was well incorporated with the peppers and onions, and the provolone cheese binding it all together. The spices on the home fries were fantastic!! There was as great crunch to the outer part to many of the potatoes, and the onions were chopped small and perfect. My only criticism of the home fries was that the larger pieces were a little under cooked. Not enough to stop me from eating almost all of them. I thought the chourico hash ( Spanish style, lots of cumin) was both hot and spicey, overall quite good. The tradition goes on in Fall River. Coffee, 9; home fries, 8; meal 8; overall, 8.7. Very nice work, and Christine we may be back to test your memory.

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mike Fall River, breakfast capital of the world!
Went to a luncheonette! Really don’t remember going to a place which advertised itself as such but THERE WE WERE! AND, because it was in TBCOTW it was (of course) really good. Coffee? See Ray’s review. Again, we don’t see each other’s comments before they are posted but I guarantee that I agree with him. Amazing coffee! I got the Greek omelette. Very, very nice! The tomatoes and spinach (no olives…Mike doesn’t do olives) were incorporated into the egg, which looked great (see the picture) but the feta was spread out before the egg was folded. Nice! This meant, unlike other omelettes I have had, that that amazing feta tang was in every bite! Yum! Very nice! The homefries were above average but won’t make my top three, or five, even. There was no crisp and some of the pieces were slightly underdone. However, they were nicely spiced and I did enjoy them despite the onions. (Mike doesn’t do onions) Not bad, overall, but not completely to my liking. Ray was curious about chourico hash, Spanish style, which seemed to be a contradiction of terms. It was. To me it was just a strange tasting taco meat sauce. Don’t get me wrong: I still ate more than Ray because it wasn’t that bad, just a combination of flavors I’ve never tasted. All-in-all a really good breakfast on the strength of the coffee and omelette. One criticism on an otherwise fine morning. The pacing was set to tortoise. We were the only customers there and it was a longer than average wait for Ray’s meal to be served. I estimate a minimum of four minutes after Ray was served before my plate arrived and easily another five before our side of hash. Even for good food there shouldn’t have to be such poor timing for dishes to be coordinated at a table. So, my rating will be for breakfast but with a caveat about the slow prep time. Coffee 9, omelette 9 with the homefries a 7 for an 8.1

RCC May Breakfast and Bake Sale, Rehoboth, MA

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ray Not the usual review. Just me. Mike is going postal someplace. Now this quaint little breakfast spot is truly unique. It is only open once a year and has a limited menu. No omelets, or benny’s. No out of the ordinary breakfast specials. No counter with a sassy waitress. But what they have is truly special. People.

RCC has an annual breakfast and bake sale in early May. Put together by an amazing Missions committee, they not only serve eggs, hash brown potatoes, bacon, sausage, pancakes, fruit cup and coffee, but it is the fantastic feel of love and friendship that emanates from the kitchen, right through the hall where breakfast is served.

This year they included a Blessing of the Bikes ceremony officiated by Rev. Sarah Weaver. There were bikers, about 25, and bikes in the parking lot. Most enjoyed a terrific breakfast beforehand.

RCC May Breakfast and bake sale, gets a 10+ from this Breakfast Boy. Hope to see you next year at this terrific event.

Poppy’s Family Restaurant, Cumberland, RI

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mikeGo north, young man! Once again to the wilds of Cumberland. Poor Ray cannot complain about the long ride after some if the expeditions he’s commanded. Oh, wait! Yes…he can complain! Blah, blah, blah, I’m hungry. Geez! Bring a snack like I have to! We traveled to Poppy’s, 3344 Mendon Rd. Nice place! Very homey and nicely decorated. The place says, “Welcome!”. Pretty interesting menu and specials…I was not brave enough to try the chicken Parmesan omelet. Maybe next time. Ray was so hungry (see above) that he ordered for me; my unusual. I must say, first, the coffee was very good. Turns out they use New England Coffee, as do many restaurants, but you still have to brew it well. Poppy’s does. This was a three cup morning! Nice! Unfortunately, the homefries were a let down. They looked great and we’re seasoned well, actually, but I envision they were piled on the griddle and never touched until served. There were amazing crusty parts that were the bottom of the pile but the rest was just mushed together. There were no individual pieces of potato! (sigh) The sausage were great, the kind I like, lightly spiced and cooked well. If it weren’t for the homefries…So, coffee a well deserved 8 the homefries 5 and the over all a 7. Final score 6.9

 

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ray Long drive….I thought I took Mike on a long drive when we head out to North Providence, but this was really long, at least 5 Seekonks. Poppy’s Family Restaurant is quaint. Lots of room for a small site. Coffee was excellent, New England Coffee, and plentiful. Portuguese omelet was my choice and was unique. The omelet, as expected, had linguica, peppers, ( red and green ) , onions and cheese. But what made it different was a tomato sauce over the top. At first I was skeptical but soon loved it. The sauce was not just a marinara, but had a little kick to it. Very good. The home fries were a disappointment. They served it with a choice of onions or not, I chose the onions which were the best part. The potatoes were very mushy, and had been on the flattop awhile. Coffee, 9; Home Fries, 5; meal, 7; overall 6.9. This review took less time to write than it took to drive there…..just sayin’.

Harvest Kitchen, Pawtucket, RI

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mikeActually used gps to find Harvest Kitchen…could have gotten there quicker on my own. It’s right where it’s supposed to be…2 Bayley St., Pawtucket! Harvest Kitchen is a culinary training kitchen which partners with the Rhode Island DCYF to provide work experience in the food industry for 16-19 year old young adults preparing, serving and marketing product. Food is locally sourced and then prepared on site for diners or packed for sale at the restaurant and other outlets. What a great idea! The restaurant is very new looking and nicely appointed. I hate to say this but it seemed out of place for Pawtucket. It would fit in nicely in the Brown area of Providence on Thayer St. Good for Pawtucket! Harvest Market is also not our typical breakfast place…it’s vegetarian/vegan. We’ve done this before, so. Food and coffee are ordered at the counter and brought to the table in take out wraps/containers. I liked the coffee a lot…when it was very hot. It had a very strong, almost bitter taste (but not quite) though as it cooled to RTT (a thermal temperature know as Ray Tepid Taste) it lost much of its flavor. I had opted for a breakfast burrito with rice and egg frittata and roasted potatoes. It was huge! Not bad but really kind of bland. If I go back I will know to order this with salsa, like what Ray had on his meal, to jazz it up. It was a bit disappointing at it was. Mea culpa! Actually, I should have known better. I have found many vegetarian/vegan meals to need added flavor. Should have asked. What do I think? I think, definitely, I will go back. I like the concept of the program offering real-world work experience to young people. I like a restaurant which locally sources. And I like healthier alternatives from which to choose. Nice. I will just give Harvest Market an overall grade of 7 but hope to give a better score when I return.

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ray We have found another treasure trove of breakfast places located in one city. Fall River is the Mecca for us but Pawtucket has become a great place to find some usual treasures. Harvest Kitchen was Mike’s choice this morning. Not really what either one of us expected, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant. As their website states, “culinary job training program for youth ages 16–19 involved with the RI Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). Trainees work to create value-added products using ingredients sourced from local farms, and get hands-on retail experience selling their goods at farmers markets and working in our Local Foods Café in downtown Pawtucket.” It has an open and airy atmosphere, not very crowded this morning as we found our place at the counter where the menus are and where all meals are ordered. The menu is somewhat limited and everything can be ordered a la carte. Coffee was very hot and that is not to my liking as I had a very bitter taste after the first few tentative sips, but as I let it cool a little I really liked it. My choice was the Southwestern Bowl which included rice, beans, salsa, radish and tortilla strips. One of the sides was roasted potatoes which I ordered and came mixed with the other ingredients in the bowl. Honestly I really enjoyed this breakfast. It was very filling, all of the textures were great. Potatoes were cooked perfectly and the addition of the salsa made the meal come together. My biggest critique would be that the salsa was the only spiced item in the bowl. More spices, would truly add the needed “oomph” to the breakfast. I’ll give the coffee a 7 after it cooled. I didn’t really have home fries so I will bundle that with my overall meal, 7. I think as the Harvest Kitchen grows and makes some minor changes, they will see a great following. Looking forward to trying it for lunch. Oh and by the way they also have home made pickled veggies as well as apple sauce and strawberry applesauce, which I’m having as a side dish tomorrow night!!

Emmily’s, Johnston, RI

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ray Ok so it was a ride, get over it. We didn’t do the Appalachian Trail or something. Tuesday morning ( yes, it has been a few days, deal with it!!!) Mike and I travelled the road to Emmily’s, 103 Putnam Ave ( Rt 44), Johnston RI. Just a hop up the road from another of my favorite breakfast places, Cal’s. Emmily’s is a full day restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, with the obligatory bar. Have not had much luck with these type places in the past. As I think about breakfast places, the best ones seem smaller and have cozy, family style feeling. Emmily’s , correct spelling by the way, is rather open with lots of booths as you would find in a dinner restaurant. Coffee was brought promptly and was a little above average, not great. I ordered the Portuguese omelet, which included chourico, onions, tomato, and provolone. This was a terrific omelet! Full of well cooked onions, almost caramelized, lots of chourico, and a great base of provolone. The eggs were perfectly folded over and just moist enough. Home fries were ok, better than average quantity which is always good. Could have done with more seasoning. Coffee, 6; home fries; 7; meal, 8; overall, 7.

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mike I should have known. The signs were there. I just didn’t notice until it was too late. First, Ray beat me to church. That NEVER happens. Second, he BACKED his car into a space. Whaaaat? This is just a normal, local, breakfast trip, right? More signs: 44 West, East Providence, 195 to 95, heavy, heavy traffic.
“Ray, where are we going?”
“Johnston.”
WTF! (Wow, That’s Far!)
Then he set his gps to “wander” and all the clues fell into place. Road trip! Ray was taking me on an unannounced road trip! Aaaaaah! I brought no snacks! I had only half a charge on my cell. No one knew I would be gone FOR HOURS!!! THIS HAD BETTER BE GOOD!!!
So. Emmily’s. (Yes… two ems) This is a breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurant with an all day bar. I always wonder if a restaurant can do the big three well. For starters, the coffee was above average and the waitress offered frequent refills. Nice. I chose a Mediterranean Omelette from a pretty expansive breakfast menu. Roasted red peppers, spinach and feta. Basically a Greek omelette but spelling Mediterranean is more impressive so there’s that. The meal came with homefries. Check out the picture. A LOT of food! Easily the largest portion of homefries ever and the omelette seemed to be bigger than the usual three egg variety commonly served most places. I liked the homefries. Cooked and seasoned well with a nice crisp. They needed nothing. Nice! But the omelette disappointed. The veggies were very good but it took just three bites to confirm something was off. I opened the omelette to show Ray. The interior was almost a feta-free zone! Rats! For me, it’s the feta that makes this type of omelette amazing. I counted five bits of feta. (Sigh) Don’t know what happened but this really brought down a really good meal. Honestly, this was a good veggie type of omelette but that’s not what I ordered.
So. Coffee a 7 and the homefries an 8 but I can only give the omelette a 5.5 for an overall of 6.8