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Costa Rica--Hot Sauces and Condiments to Bring Home

The only sauce that I recall, from my trips and conversations with a good friend who lives there, is Salsa Lizano. And it's everywhere - on every table at every restaurant. I love Salsa Lizano. It's a savory sauce - not hot - with a hint of sweetness. I'm sure there are other local sauces (maybe even some hot ones) that you can find at specific retailers, but Salsa Lizano is the most ubiquitous. It's great to bring home when you want to create pico de gallo, the national beans-and-rice dish.

In Search of: Asian Market in RI/Southern Coast Mass

Asiana Market on Warren Ave. in East Providence is great for Korean and Japanese specialties. And there's a great Korean restaurant, Sun and Moon, across the street.

May 17, 2010
janeoh in Southern New England

Anyone tried 195 Franklin St in Bristol?

I agree with OOliver. About both 195 Franklin (expensive, tiny portions, plus an atmosphere that left a lot to be desired) and Redlefsen's. I've lived in Bristol for four years and visited Redlefsen's just a few times until recently. They've always had good, quality food and an interesting selection of German beers. However, recently, I feel they've increased their appeal with a new bar menu. Last night, I ordered the Kobe sliders ($3.95 each, though I question the "Kobe" claim) and the pomme frites. The sliders were great -- simple with a few pieces of bright red tomato and fresh lettuce and topped with a skewer of tasty olives. You could actually taste the beef. Redlefsen's has always served great fries with certain dishes, but the presentation in a Belgian-style cone with an herb aiolli definitely made it a special treat. My husband had the Red's Wurst on a Roll (a sausage sandwich) and really liked it. The selection of mustards is great.

They aren't breaking new ground, but I prefer quality and consistency over innovation. Plus, I'm a pushover for tiny burgers and European-style fries.

Just Moved to Providence RI...LOST

You might also try Red Stripe (recommended above) for the mussels. They have quite a few preparations on the menu and I haven't found one yet that isn't fabulous.

Le central in Bristol

I've eaten there three or four times, as I live within walking distance. The first time was a few weeks after they'd opened and I think they were still working out kinks in the service and food. However, we've been back a few times in the past couple of months and were impressed.

Our first trip back was a baby step: we stopped in for dessert after a dinner elsewhere. The creme brulee was fabulous and I had a kir royale that was very festive.

Our next trip was for a full meal. They have great bread (Bristol Bakery, I believe) and we both really enjoyed our entrees. I had the cassoulet, which wasn't at all traditional. Instead of white beans, it was cooked with lentils. Really quite tasty and hearty on a cold night. My husband had a steak special -- also very tasty! We also discovered a new (to us) wine on their specials list that has since become a favorite: Crios Malbec Rose.

Our third trip was for the "tapas" menu, which is served until 6 or 6:30, Monday-Thursday. The small plates were mostly tasty, and incredibly small. But for $2-4 per plate, that's to be expected. However, you don't get the yummy bread with the tapas menu.

Le Central is still working to develop a clientele, I believe. Every time we've been there, it was less than half full. We felt a bit awkward each time, as it seemed like the entire wait staff was watching us as we walked in. My hope is that traffic will increase along with the summer crowds and it will become a more popular Bristol destination. It's certainly worth a try!

pho paradise on broad in providence

Thanks so much for the rec, im hungry! I'm a bristolian, too, but have a weekly dinner date in Providence on Mondays. Your review was just what I needed, as I feel like I've been to every low-priced restaurant near downtown.

We shared the beef kabab appetizer, the pho (without tripe), and the pork bahn mi. All were great. The kabab was perfect -- shiny, glazed meat with a bit of char on the edges, served with a tiny salad of shredded lettuce, carrots and green onions topped with a tangy dressing. The pho was great -- comforting and spicy, though the meat was a tad too fatty. The bahn mi was good, as well -- I loved the flavors but I thought the sandwich could have been put together a bit better. One bite was pork, the next was carrot, the next was something gooey. Also, it was definitely not served on a baguette, but a sort of chewy roll. But it was a great experience overall.

We also hit the grocery store next door. Definitely cheaper than Asiana, but with a different focus (and freezing! I could see my breath!). We got great deals on produce. I would have loved to have found a selection of frozen foods (pot stickers, shui mai, etc.), but I guess I could stop at Asiana on my way home...

Thanks again for the recommendation. We usually go to Phonatic, off Thayer, so it's nice to have another option so close to downtown.

clambakes in ri

Compton Clambakes is also really good. They have a lot of add-on options that are fun. My favorite is the cheese display from the Milk & Honey Bazaar in Tiverton. And the seafood is great.

Providence Wintertime Farmer's Market

Cool, thanks for the heads up. I haven't been, but found this link from the AS220 site:

The have Narragansett Creamery cheese, which is fun. I just read about it in a newsletter from Farmstead/La Laiterie, so I'm excited to see this new cheese already getting some local play.

Jackie's Galaxie Bristol RI

I second the nime chow recommendation. I also went recently and had good mu shu pork, gyoza and a Vietnamese beef dish. The only thing I've had there that I didn't like was shrimp shui mai, which seemed way too salty to me (and I like salt!).

Beautiful burgers @ Ugly American, Fall River

They don't serve beer -- it's BYOB. There's a People's Liquors a few blocks away on President Ave., though. They have a good selection of microbrews, but I'm not sure how many of them are kept cold.

It is NEVER to early to be craving a burger and a beer!

Nov 19, 2007
janeoh in Southern New England

Beautiful burgers @ Ugly American, Fall River

I think griddled. I didn't notice grill marks on my burger. It was thoroughly seared on the outside, pink in the middle (I ordered medium).

Nov 19, 2007
janeoh in Southern New England

Beautiful burgers @ Ugly American, Fall River

Just visited Ugly American in Fall River for the first time. I don't know how long it has been there (I live in Bristol, RI and was in town for a pilgrimage to Daou Market -- another food dork's dream), but it is exactly what it advertises on the sign: Real Burgers, Dogs and Fries.

Perfect burgers: all appear to be seven ounces, with a variety of toppings and a focus on exact preparation (they list the temperatures to which they cook for rare, medium rare, etc.). Seven ounces appears to be the ideal amount of meat for a burger, even though it looked small when it arrived (too many visits to restaurants that prize size over quality?). I had the black and blue burger (blue cheese and caramelized onions) and my husband had one with sauteed mushrooms and Swiss cheese. We both ordered a side of fries; mine was half french fries and half onion strings; his was half french fries, half fried zucchini. The potatoes were just right, the onion strings were awesome, the zucchini fries tasted like... fry. But they were zucchini -- there isn't much taste involved.

Service was good. We were helped by a man who appeared to be the owner and he was attentive and helpful. They don't list the sources of their meats and other ingredients, but I saw a flier for Great Hill Blue Cheese behind the counter and there was a collection of food magazines on the counter for customers to read -- I think the owner enjoys the good stuff and nothing tasted like less than the real thing. The decor is funky, with plywood paneling on the walls and some fun quotes on signs on the ceiling. We were there less than an hour and many people came in for eat-in and take-out in that time -- so I'm hoping it will be around for a long time. We'll certainly be back!

Ugly American - (508) 672-4427
240 New Boston Road, Fall River

Nov 17, 2007
janeoh in Southern New England

Nat Porter Reopening

So, the new Nat Porter opened a few weeks ago. Has anyone eaten there? We stopped in for a drink last night and the menu looked interesting. Lots of seafood, steak and pasta options. If you've been, please give us the scoop!

Nat Porter Reopening

Here's a little information about the new owners and the menu: "upscale New England-style seafood, pasta and surf and turf fondue platters at reasonable prices."

I've never had a surf and turf fondue platter!

Where can I pick fresh berries in RI or nearby?

The Nat Porter closing?

They aren't actually going anywhere... just closing. Sad.

Persimmon vs. Chez Pascal for anniversary

I haven't been to Chez Pascal, so I can't vote either way. However, the cheese plate at Persimmon is festive and unique. Plus, the attentive service makes the evening feel special.

Meltdown in Culver City

Any news on the hours? The website doesn't mention them. I know it's supposed to be a lunch-only place at first, but I'm wondering what those specific lunch hours might be...

May 09, 2007
janeoh in Los Angeles Area

Much uncharted territory, R.I. Hounds

I'm a big fan of Stella Blues in Warren. I would never attempt to compare it to Nat Porter, though. They are in totally different realms. Stella Blues is more of a casual bar and grill while Nat Porter is an upscale restaurant. Strictly Chow speaking, though, I guess you could compare... you get what you pay (more) for at Nat Porter.

At Stella, I generally stick with the burgers (both the standard Stella Burger and the blue-cheese-stuffed Doolin Burger) and the littlenecks in garlic and wine. The littlenecks are wonderful, but they're serious about the garlic. If you're a garlic lover like me, you'll be happy. Stella also has what they call "Tuscan Bruschetta" but I think of it as more like pizza without the red sauce. I've only gotten the prosciutto, tomato and mozzarella version (there are two others) but it's always good. My only issue is it is so filling for two people that I don't have room for my other favorites.

I've also seen a table of eight people ALL order the lobster rolls. So either they were serious first-time-in-New-England tourists who stumbled across Stella Blues, or the lobster rolls must be pretty good. Perhaps I'll pass on the burger one day and find out!

Mexican in Island Park?

I've been to El Parque and was less than enthused. The chile relleno was bland and the burritos were boring. I also ordered a rocks margarita and found it ridiculously sweet. I'm from California, so I'm probably more picky about my Mexican food than most Rhode Islanders, but I just didn't see the point in ever returning.

New Restaurant Each Week - Providence

I love sangria and wouldn't want to miss out on such a treat just because of the "school night" mentality that we tend to have on these outings. But it will be in our near future! We live in Bristol, so it isn't like a trip to Providence is a burden in any way. We can't wait to try it!

New Restaurant Each Week - Providence

Thanks, tomatosoup. I've read your blog and am itching to go to Blaze, but I don't think our tight schedule on Wednesday nights will allow for the time we should take to appreciate it... so we're saving that particular restaurant for a weekend night, I think.

Your suggestions all sound good, too. These three replies might just carry us through the semester. Thanks everyone!

New Restaurant Each Week - Providence

Just to clarify: we aren't kids! We're mid-30s food lovers who are taking advantage of time in Providence each week. And, yes, we try to stick to downtown or the East Side.

New Rivers sounds interesting, as do the others. Thanks!

New Restaurant Each Week - Providence

My boyfriend has school at URI (Providence campus) every Wednesday night, so we have a standing date in downtown Providence once a week. Last semester, we were stuck in a rut of three locations -- Bravo Brasserie, Trinity Brewhouse and Cuban Revolution -- depending on our mood and how much time we had before class.

This semester, we decided to get out of our rut, so we're going to a new restaurant every week. And we're opting for "new to us," not just "new to this semester," so Bravo, Trinity and Cuban were all out automatically, as were some other Providence haunts (Andrea's, RiRa, Union Station). We've had some great experiences -- many of them inspired by Chowhound threads -- and a couple of so-so experiences, but we're running low on ideas for the next several weeks. Can anyone help us out with suggestions for the next month?

Since I'm asking for help, I'll at least give a breakdown/review of where we've gone so far:

Not Just Snacks - loved it. The only place in RI I've been able to find dahi aloo puri, my favorite Bombay street food (not that I've ever been to a street in Bombay).

Red Fez - fabulous. I was especially pleased by the curry cashews sprinkled on the salad, but everything was quite tasty.

Taqueria Pacifica - our only cheat night because we'd been there before, but we got totally different orders than we did last time. We're California transplants, so Mexican is our comfort food and we only had 20 minutes until class. As a Californian, I'll say their food is not bad at all, but I prefer other locations (Chilango's and Mexico in Providence, Caliente in Fall River).

Phonatic - really good. Loved the pho and loved the shrimp crepe.

East Side Pockets - awesome. We both had the falafel sandwich and it was perfect. Loved the tangy red sauce that came with it.

Providence Byblos - not as good as East Side Pockets, but fine.

The Strange Little Dumpling Place That Has Been Added to Geoff's Superlative Sandwiches - not very good. We got dumplings and noodles, both of which were served with the same too-sweet sauce. I wish I had gotten a sandwich.

Nice Slice - great slices! We got the margherita and pepperoni and both were perfect once we added some garlic and peppers.

I'm sure there are more, but the semester has gone by in a blur. Any suggestions for new places would be much appreciated! We're open to all kinds of food, we just generally need something that can be experienced in an hour or less.

cocktail party near PHX convention center?

Thanks, Kirsten. I think we'll actually be staying at the Hyatt (as will many of the conference attendees), so that might be an option. If anyone has had catering there or at the Hotel San Carlos, I'd love to hear reviews.

I'm also going to look into the Bentley Gallery. Thanks so much!

Mar 23, 2007
janeoh in Southwest

Antonio's - New Bedford

I went to Jack's (Warren) a year or so ago and the food was mediocre at best. Very basic, bland red sauces and nothing exciting on the menu. The atmosphere was quite Chow-ish, so I was hoping for a hidden gem, but it was not to be...

There are a ton of Providence recs on this board. I don't want to re-hash what everyone has written so well...

Foods you love at Trader Joe's that got discontinued? [OLD]

I can't tell if they discontinued the Thai Chicken Pizza or if their supplier is just sporadic and regional. I used to get it frequently when I lived in Los Angeles, but there were plenty of times when the stores were out. Now that I shop at various Massachusetts locations, I never see it. And it wasn't in any stores when I visited California last, either. [sniff!]

If you never had it, it was a GREAT version of the Thai-style pizzas they make at CPK, but with a thinner crust. The peanut sauce was my favorite element. It was rather small, packaged just like the BBQ Chicken Pizza that is still around.

Mar 23, 2007
janeoh in Chains

Providence Butcher Shops

I think Sambossanova is thinking of the Central Meat Market at 113 Gano. While the outside is rundown, it's actually a good market. Not top-of-the-line meats, but a great place to go for everyday meats. They have several good "package" deals where you buy a selection of meat (so much chicken, so much ground beef, etc.) for really good prices. I live in Bristol so am obligated to throw a Fourth of July party each year. We get one of the package deals on meat and are always really satisfied with the quality and the price. The steaks are especially good!

They also have a nice selection of Latin American and Brazillian products -- spices, sauces and the like. We get our Tapatio there!

Vietnamese in Rhode Island

I recently went to Phonatic, off Thayer in Providence. The pho was great, as was the shrimp crepe. It's BYOB, so definitely an affordable option!

cocktail party near PHX convention center?

Thanks so much for all your input! My event isn't for a year (Mar. 18, 2008). It may seem that I'm planning too far in advance, but we like to book locations and services early for planning and budgeting purposes. In the past, we've always thrown our parties at a location that provides the food. A venue with a separate caterer would add some complications, but they might be very worthwhile complications. I love the idea of a museum or the library. I will start to research some of the sites and caterers and post again if I have questions. Then, of course, I'll post a review!

And, while I prefer the idea of choosing the best location in the area, regardless of proximity to the Convention Center, it won't work in this case. We won't be the only company throwing an event that evening and our guests will likely want to be able to come and go as they choose. But thanks for the transportation suggestions!

Mar 19, 2007
janeoh in Southwest