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Frankie811

What I miss about RI

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As a half-the-year resident of RI now (I go to school in Albany), I can agree with a lot of these posts. NY System Weiners, God I love them, and I've never seen them in New York oddly enough...

Here's a list of what I miss for those 8 months I'm in Albany every year:

-doughboys (in Albany they call them fried dough, and they're weird)

-NY System Weiners

-Clamcakes from Iggy's

-the beach

-the accents (I can't stand how everyone in upstate NY not only pronounces R's, but over pronounces them)

-Caserta's pizza

-pizza strips (you know, the deli pizza that's cold and has no cheese on it, nobody in Albany has ever had it)

-Italians

-Dunkin Donut's every half mile or less

-Cannoli's from Scialo Bros.

-the bigger city flavor of living in Providence-this might sound odd but if you've been to Albany, you'd know why living in Providence seems livelier and just bigger, especially since we're so close to Boston and much more densely populated.

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-Dunkin Donut's every half mile or less

I hated Dunkin Donuts when I lived in New York City. Of course in New England, everyone knows that a regular coffee is with cream and sugar, but in New York, that is not the case. Fine, so I just order my coffee with cream and sugar. No, not fine. For whatever reason, most people in New York seem to take their coffee with milk instead of cream, so even when I'd ask for cream, half the time I'd get milk, annoying. And forget trying to get a regular ice coffee, I don't know why they thought I would want half cream, half coffee, but at Dunkin Donuts after Dunkin Donuts, that is how they would make it, I'd even ask for a little cream, and it would still come to me looking like dirty milk. :sick:

Au Bon Pain in New York was my best friend, the coffee was good, and I could fix it myself.

I nearly kissed the ground in front of the first Dunkin Donuts I went to here in Rhode Island.

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NY System Weiners, God I love them, and I've never seen them in New York oddly enough...

NY has some fairly great hot dog places of its own... See the great New York Times article from this week online about it...

-the accents (I can't stand how everyone in upstate NY not only pronounces R's, but over pronounces them)

This drives me fairly crazy in RI, but since I'm from NY's Hudson Valley, it's all about perspective...

-pizza strips (you know, the deli pizza that's cold and has no cheese on it, nobody in Albany has ever had it)

I hadn't heard of this until you mentioned it. Where do I find good ones in Providence? I kind-of do this at home myself already...

-Italians

Ok, here's what you need to do... Drive an hour and 20 minutes down to Putnam County, New York where I grew up. It felt like 70% of everyone there was Italian Catholic (everyone else is Irish Catholic). Carmel, New York is way more Italian than Providence... There's usually two "Italian restaurants/pizza joints" competing in each strip plaza in Putnam :-).

-the bigger city flavor of living in Providence-this might sound odd but if you've been to Albany, you'd know why living in Providence seems livelier and just bigger, especially since we're so close to Boston and much more densely populated.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yup, Providence is a much livlier place. I have relatives in Albany, and we've discussed this in other forums, but I fear for that city. I can't imagine what's going to kick off a Renaissance in Albany anytime soon...

What, after living in Providence for year, I miss every time I travel elsewhere:

- Our amazing architecture and urban vistas (does anyone else get misty eyed when, after a long trip, you first see the necklack of lights atop the One Financial Plaza?)

- Waterfronts everywhere.

- You can't walk 10 feet in any neighborhood anywhere in the city without tripping over at least one great restaurant.

- Speaking of food: Apsara, Barney's bagels, Garden Grille, Maximillian Ice Cream, NY System, Mill's Tavern, Little Chopsticks, Bombay Club, Not Just Snacks, Twist, and the list goes on and on...

- Providence's perfect scaled size...

- For its size, tons of cultural opportunities

- Vacation destination quality diversions (beaches, islands, resorts, events, etc) you can reach in the time it takes most Americans to get to their local Walmart

- The Providence Police (I love how they seem to be everywhere all the time... I've never lived anywhere the police have been so visible)

- Garris

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COFFEE MILK!!!!!!!! I had never heard of it before moving to Rhode Island. Not even when I lived in Massachusetts had I heard of this delicious elixir. Of course, I learned very early on from a hardcore native that the best way to enjoy this tantalizing liquid is as a chaser to the best wieners on earth in Olneyville. I don't ever see me leaving Rhode Island, but if I did for some bizarre circumstance I will become one of those people that will require you to ship a case to me from time to time to wherever I am. I am truly addicted to it. Damn Autocrat and damn you Rhode Islanders. You should have put a warning label on the "Welcome to Rhode Island" signs on the freeway about that. "Home of the Special Olympics", got it. "Home of one of the most powerfully addictive beverages on the planet," nothing!

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NY has some fairly great hot dog places of its own...  See the great New York

Ok, here's what you need to do...  Drive an hour and 20 minutes down to Putnam County, New York where I grew up.  It felt like 70% of everyone there was Italian Catholic (everyone else is Irish Catholic).  Carmel, New York is way more Italian than Providence...  There's usually two "Italian restaurants/pizza joints" competing in each strip plaza in Putnam :-).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Garris, is Recchia talking about the people or the SANDWICH! Ooo, see what all that coffee milk talk did to me? It's not even 8am yet.

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This drives me fairly crazy in RI, but since I'm from NY's Hudson Valley, it's all about perspective...

I hadn't heard of this until you mentioned it.  Where do I find good ones in Providence?  I kind-of do this at home myself already...

Ok, here's what you need to do...  Drive an hour and 20 minutes down to Putnam County, New York where I grew up.  It felt like 70% of everyone there was Italian Catholic (everyone else is Irish Catholic).  Carmel, New York is way more Italian than Providence...  There's usually two "Italian restaurants/pizza joints" competing in each strip plaza in Putnam :-).

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I usually buy pizza strips from the Italian Bread Box in Warwick (right on West Shore Road at Hoxsie 4 corners, across from Fleet), I'm sure almost any bakery in Providence has them too, I know Scialo Bros. does. THEYRE AMAZING, better than anything else. You can even get them at Stop and Shop, but they're not as genuine.

And yes, I know a few people from Carmel at school...neither are Italian but I'll take your word for it.

I guess there are quite afew Italians in Albany, but their presence is nowhere near as felt as it is here.

Where in Putnam County are you from, I know tons of people from Mahopac, Beacon, Carmel, etc.

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^^ Oh yeah, they're everywhere here. Don't tell me I'm the only one who binges on them constantly. They even sell them in the coffee shop at my work. We take them for granted, but try to get them anywhere else, you'll be amazed and pissed that you can't. When my roomate from NY came to my house and saw them, he looked puzzled, and I said it was pizza he went to stick it in the microwave. :rolleyes:

Try to get good zeppole anywhere else too. In NY, zeppole is what we would call a doughboy-just fried dough with sugar on it, not the amazing thing with creme in the middle of it with a cherry on top that we eat here in RI.

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I moved to connecticut almost five years ago now and currently live in Manchester. Since I only moved about an hour and one half west I didnt expect any major changes. But there are some major differences

1. Immediately upon arrival I noticed a huge difference in driving. In RI if you are taking a left, if situations allow, you let people pull out in front of you...its kind of curtosy thing (IE you are taking a left into a street in which a driver is attempting to take a left). Not it the greater Hartford area...you never ever ever let anyone go.

2. Yes RI has some poor drivers. Here in manchester people run red lights on a consistent basis and the police are no where to be found. Its unreal, but I think it has to do with the delays...if you catch a red light you are sitting for a long time.

3. Not that people have southern hospitality in RI, but people are miserable basterds here in manchester.

4. I miss the character of people in RI. There are tons of outgoing people with flavor at home, but it is pretty boring here in CT.

5. In RI people will tell you how they feel....they tend to wear there feelings on their sleeves. In the greater hartford are (Im sure many of you can attest) too many people seem to be putting on an act. I think this is related to Culture...the one thing I have noticed is that gay people here arent very open about being gay. Im not gay, but I have incredible gaydar and have noticed this over the years.

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COFFEE MILK!!!!!!!!  I had never heard of it before moving to Rhode Island.  Not even when I lived in Massachusetts had I heard of this delicious elixir.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think Rhode Island was trying to colonize Cape Cod through the public school system, because my elementary school cafeteria served regular, chocolate, and coffee milk. You can sometimes find coffee milk at Dunkin Donuts on the Cape, and Autocrat syrup is pretty easy to come by there, but not so in the rest of Massachusetts.

When I lived in New York I missed Portuguese food, you cannot find linguica to save your life in New York, which seemed odd. There's a large Portuguese/Brazilian/Azorian population on the Cape so I grew up with linguica and Portuguese sweet bread and malasada. The first thing I bought at the grocery store when I moved to Rhode Island was linguica and sweet bread.

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I think Rhode Island was trying to colonize Cape Cod through the public school system, because my elementary school cafeteria served regular, chocolate, and coffee milk. You can sometimes find coffee milk at Dunkin Donuts on the Cape, and Autocrat syrup is pretty easy to come by there, but not so in the rest of Massachusetts.

When I lived in New York I missed Portuguese food, you cannot find linguica to save your life in New York, which seemed odd. There's a large Portuguese/Brazilian/Azorian population on the Cape so I grew up with linguica and Portuguese sweet bread and malasada. The first thing I bought at the grocery store when I moved to Rhode Island was linguica and sweet bread.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There's no problem getting Portuguese food like linquica in Toronto which has a Portuguese section.

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4.  I miss the character of people in RI.  There are tons of outgoing people with flavor at home, but it is pretty boring here in CT.

5.  In RI people will tell you how they feel....they tend to wear there feelings on their sleeves.  In the greater hartford are (Im sure many of you can attest) too many people seem to be putting on an act.

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Being a native RIer, I am amazed by this observance. I noticed this too, but kind of figured that I hung with an exceptional group of open, creative, honest people. Hearing someone else say it makes me realize that not everyone is like this. I have a client who just moved here after being in Seattle for 30 years, and she says the same thing, the New Englanders are generally more "real". I thought the weather made us more real, but apparently, it is an east coast thing.

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-Didn't know that pizza strips were local, go us. I've taken them for granted because they're in almost any store that sells food but I can't imagine not having them available. It's understandable that somebody that wasn't raised on them would heat it up, funny but understandable.

-Who doesn't have a bottle of coffee syrup in their home? Really.

-I couldn't find chourico in Idaho and the linguica was made in Mexico (que?), it drove me nuts. We take for granted not only the abundance of Portuguese food and customs but the quality as well. I don't know if you can find better portuguese food anywhere in the country outside the Providence/Fall River/New Bedford area but I'd be willing to make bets.

-We need to rally for a change to the NY System wiener's name.

-I think New Englanders are nicer for the same reasons everyone thinks we're cold-shouldered pricks. It's too cold most of the year to stop and chat with any random stranger on the sidewalk but we appreciate the connections we do make even more for it. I've heard from southern friends that "southern hospitality" is just a social expectation and that it's rare to know how genuine it may be. In contrast, I've been told that it's more relaxing to not have to speak to a single person on the street if you don't want to and not look like an ass. Personally, I don't trust anybody that spends more time putting on a friendly face than they do thinking quietly to themselves but I suppose it's because I am a New Englander.

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I dont like when people smile all the time. Makes me suspicious.

Rhode Island is hard scrabble land. Its been worked over so long that it's much harder to make it here than most other states. More competitive, incredulous, dense, difficult. I once read an interview with a Louisiana police chief, who said RI exports the most sophisticated crooks!

When I leave RI and visit a coffee shop out of town, it always pisses me off when I order a medium ice, milk no sugar, and they say "ice?" Stupid questions make my sarcasm meter red line.

RI people will tell you what's up, unlike most elsewhere. I get in trouble with this often when out of town. The midwest is awfull for their inability to communicate. You can actually see their faces twitch as they slowly spiral in towards the point. And they talk slow, but no amount of helping them along accelerates the conversation. You just have to take a deep breath and let them finish their own sentences.

The food is better here. I attended the Boston North End resaurant/New Eng Aquarium event a couple months ago. All Italian resaurants, but dont bother. On the flip side, our Chinese food sucks. Boston's is radically superior.

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The food is better here. I attended the Boston North End resaurant/New Eng Aquarium event a couple months ago. All Italian resaurants, but dont bother. On the flip side, our Chinese food sucks. Boston's is radically superior.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ironic... I'd say we have to be near the top of stack when it comes to Chinese Restaurants per capita. You can't fling a cat without hitting one..... :rofl:

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I usually buy pizza strips from the Italian Bread Box in Warwick (right on West Shore Road at Hoxsie 4 corners, across from Fleet),

Where in Putnam County are you from, I know tons of people from Mahopac, Beacon, Carmel, etc.

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I went to the Italian Bread Box today... Closed over weekends :(... I then popped over to Mousie's Deli, supposedly a good NY style deli around the corner... Closed for the weekend, and it closes during the week at 4 PM!?!? There's one place I'll never eat...

I'm from Carmel, NY... Well, the Town of Kent to be exact, but it's almost entirely in Carmel's sphere of influence. I went through the Carmel public schools (and survived!). The area is seriously beautiful, but it's also seriously provincial (in bad ways), seriously lacking in typical urban (or even suburban) amenities, and it's seriously not ethnically diverse (although this is slowly changing, I hear). Again, it's a hugely Italian and Irish area. I think it's the most Roman Catholic county in New York State, upwards of 95-98% Roman Catholic. It's got some jaw-droppingly beautiful landscapes, especially in Philipstown (Cold Spring, Garrison) along the Hudson River. I love visiting my folks there, but I wouldn't like to live there again...

- Garris

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Ironic...  I'd say we have to be near the top of stack when it comes to Chinese Restaurants per capita.    You can't fling a cat without hitting one.....    :rofl:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Maybe a better statement would be good Chinese restaurants. Also, many of our "chinese" places are these 4 cuisine hybrids (chinese, thai, cambodian, vietnamese, for example) that only seem to exist in RI.

For chinese, I've sampled quite a bit, and here's the pick of the litter in my book:

Best authentic Chinese standalone: Lemi's BBQ, Cranston (by a mile!)

Runner up standalone: Lucky Garden, North Providence

Best 4 cuisine: Apsara, South Providence

Runner up: Apsara Palace (not related), Hope Street, Hope Village

Best Americanized Chinese: Little Chopsticks, Smith St., Smith Hill

Runner up Americanized Chinese: China Inn, Pawtucket

Honorable mention Americanized Chinese: Phoenix Garden, Broadway, Providence

In my opinion, of everywhere else I've been, none are worth returning to.

I also have to say that while Boston has a lot more and varied Chinese than we do, I haven't been impressed by any of the big, famous dim-sum places I've been to. Again, more and varied, but none much better than, say, Lemi's BBQ in Cranston. Can someone recommend some standout Boston Chinese places to me? I've heard Taiwan Cafe is great, but haven't made it yet... Also, additions and recommendations for my "Best of Chinese - Providence" list above are welcome.

- Garris

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I went to the Italian Bread Box today...  Closed over weekends :(...  I then popped over to Mousie's Deli, supposedly a good NY style deli around the corner...  Closed for the weekend, and it closes during the week at 4 PM!?!?  There's one place I'll never eat...

-Garris

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ahhh damn Bread Box, I forgot they were closed on the weekends...its family run (and its a small family) so their hours are limited. Never been to Mousie's...

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Just where is this Apsara, and what type of cuisine is it?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's one of RI's unique 4 cuisine combos... Cambodian, Vietnamese, Thai, and Americanized Chinese, heavier on the first two than the last two. It's really outstanding for SE Asian food. Everything is prepared in a light and fresh fashion like everyone from Asia says their food should be made, not dripping in heavy-handed, cornstarched sauces like we've been conditioned Asian food should be like. I actually know people from the Boston area who come to Providence to eat at Apsara!

Note, though, that Apsara is somewhat deep in an "edgy" part of South Providence and not easy to find for the uninitiated. Its area on Public St. does some funky directional stuff near the restaurant that had me totally confused the first two or three times I went too. Consult a map closely. It's not a place you want to get lost in the canyon-like maze of dangerous feeling triple deckers that surround the restaurant's area.

- Garris

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It's one of RI's unique 4 cuisine combos... Cambodian, Vietnamese, Thai, and Americanized Chinese, heavier on the first two than the last two.  It's really outstanding for SE Asian food.  Everything is prepared in a light and fresh fashion like everyone from Asia says their food should be made, not dripping in heavy-handed, cornstarched sauces like we've been conditioned Asian food should be like.  I actually know people from the Boston area who come to Providence to eat at Apsara! 

Note, though, that Apsara is somewhat deep in an "edgy" part of South Providence and not easy to find for the uninitiated.  Its area on Public St. does some funky directional stuff near the restaurant that had me totally confused the first two or three times I went too.  Consult a map closely.  It's not a place you want to get lost in the canyon-like maze of dangerous feeling triple deckers that surround the restaurant's area.

- Garris

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

http://www.thaicuisine.com/r/1554.html

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It's one of RI's unique 4 cuisine combos... Cambodian, Vietnamese, Thai, and Americanized Chinese, heavier on the first two than the last two.  It's really outstanding for SE Asian food.  Everything is prepared in a light and fresh fashion like everyone from Asia says their food should be made, not dripping in heavy-handed, cornstarched sauces like we've been conditioned Asian food should be like.  I actually know people from the Boston area who come to Providence to eat at Apsara! 

Note, though, that Apsara is somewhat deep in an "edgy" part of South Providence and not easy to find for the uninitiated.  Its area on Public St. does some funky directional stuff near the restaurant that had me totally confused the first two or three times I went too.  Consult a map closely.  It's not a place you want to get lost in the canyon-like maze of dangerous feeling triple deckers that surround the restaurant's area.

- Garris

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I used to go to Apsara fairly often, but the service was so horrible that I stopped. Invariably it would be like 30-45mins from the time we ordered until we got food. Granted the food was wonderful, but dammit, I wanna eat! We usually end up going to Gourmet House instead just because the service is so much better. Apsara also tends to have a lot of loud college kids trying to impress each other with how worldly and witty they are, which kinda drives me crazy. Maybe I should give it another shot though since it's been a couple years.

Also, dont be too afraid of the neighborhood - It's really not that bad since it's right on a main thoroughfair. There are much worse parts of South Providence :-)

Liam

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Invariably it would be like 30-45mins from the time we ordered until we got food. Granted the food was wonderful, but dammit, I wanna eat! We usually end up going to Gourmet House instead just because the service is so much better.

Well, I honestly have to tell you that, in my experience, for really world class Asian food, 30-45 minutes is somewhat fast. Again, I think most Americans have come to associate Chinese food with "fast food." I would wait 45-60 minutes for the best dishes at Asian restaurants in NYC and Minneapolis.

It's interesting you mention Gourmet House, because I personally think they're one of the worst Asian restaurants I've been too. It's very Americanized. All of the favors are very simple and, especially with the Thai and other SE Asian cuisines, they've really been toned down. If I'm not willing to drive for some reason to the top authentic places like Lemi's or Thai Star and want quick, average Asian takeout, I'll go one block up Hope to Apsara Palace (no relation to Apsara), which I think is much better.

Also, dont be too afraid of the neighborhood - It's really not that bad since it's right on a main thoroughfair. There are much worse parts of South Providence :-)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Quite true. I'm usually driving to Apsara from Rhode Island Hospital, though, through back streets, and many of those back streets are the "much worse" parts that you refer to :). Also, I was more warning newbies to Providence about Apsara's neighborhood. They shouldn't think they're heading to College Hill...

- Garris

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Well, I honestly have to tell you that, in my experience, for really world class Asian food, 30-45 minutes is somewhat fast.  Again, I think most Americans have come to associate Chinese food with "fast food."  I would wait 45-60 minutes for the best dishes at Asian restaurants in NYC and Minneapolis. 

It's interesting you mention Gourmet House, because I personally think they're one of the worst Asian restaurants I've been too.  It's very Americanized.  All of the favors are very simple and, especially with the Thai and other SE Asian cuisines, they've really been toned down.  If I'm not willing to drive for some reason to the top authentic places like Lemi's or Thai Star and want quick, average Asian takeout, I'll go one block up Hope to Apsara Palace (no relation to Apsara), which I think is much better.

- Garris

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If it's something like Shrimp with Lemongrass there isnt any reason for it to take long. None of the things we would normally order are all that complicated. Gourmet house has declined drastically since it was sold. Under the old owners I always thought it was decent. Not fantastic, but tasty enough, cheap, and never a wait. If we're going out with the kids speed of service is always key :-)

Liam

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