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virgo20

Providence-"Off the beaten path"

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I just thought I'd share a couple of the really nice places in Prov. that are not widely known , but are nevertheless GREAT!!!I thought it would cheer people up after hearing @ the Brewed Awakenings close.

1.)Yun Nan Chinese Restaurant(corner of Smith & Orms)-a small place but the

best CHINESE FOOD I ever had...cheap and not crowded...It's been there a

long time.(Smith Hill )

2.)Panaderia Mocana( Broad St. across the street from the future Pearl St.

Condos)-the best Cuban sandwiches,desserts,and pies for those that have a

sweet tooth-also a very short walk from Downtown...Mocana Bakery

3.)Patrick's Pub-(Smith St. near corner of Chalkstone)-very friendly

neighborhood pub that has been there since Smith Hill was predominantly

Irish..very gay-friendly and fun

4.)St. Anthony's(Charles Street across from Foodland market after Ledge St.)

Located on the 2nd floor of a triple decker on the main street,this is great

Italian food cheap and without a F. Hill crowd..This also has been here a long

time.

5.)Sal's Bakery(Chalkstone Ave. near the Mt.Pleasant Ave.intersection)

This is quite arguably the best real Italian bakery in Prov....quite a variety

and been around for a long time!!!

6.)Classis Watch(Atwells Ave. and Manton Ave.)-they have a wide selection

of designer watches,colognes,clothes and novelties all way below market

proce..This has also been open a very long time.

As a native of our Biggest little, I hope this encourages people that we have a lot of little gems in an arund our city.We have so many positive things coming up.I encourage everyone to get out and explore what we have.Prov. is made up a lot more than the East Side and Federal Hill.If anyone can think of anywhere else, please post...I think it would be great for newby residents and prospective residents to know that there is such a cultural diversity here....and any of these places is worth a drive to even if you don't immediately live in the vicinity

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I thought it would cheer people up after hearing @ the Brewed Awakenings close.

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I needed some cheering up. :(

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I needed some cheering up.  :(

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I think that site should be a tourist info center.If I'm not mistaken,the current one, is in the Convention Center.It's hardly visible.Also, any "coffee spot" needs to be in a high traffic location to really survive here in Prov. with all the competition from our 8 million Dunkin Donuts...a new one was just built in the former Lasalle pharmacy site @ Academy Ave. and SmithSt.

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Virgo, great post...

    1.)Yun Nan Chinese Restaurant(corner of Smith & Orms)-a small place but the 

        best CHINESE FOOD I ever had...cheap and not crowded...It's been there a 

        long time.(Smith Hill )

You know, I've been here before, and thought it was "OK." In my humble opinion, Asian in Providence (especially Chinese, since the local population is so small) seems to be quite weak compared to other places I've lived before (the trend in Minneapolis when I left was towards hyperauthenticity amongst Asian restaurants, a trend certainly not the case here...).

What dishes do you recommend getting there?

For Chinese, my hands down favorite is Lemi's BBQ on Pontiac Ave in Cranston. It's authentic Hong Kong style that I'd put up against any place anywhere else I've lived. Check it out http://www.lemisbbq.com/. Close behind is Lucky Garden in North Providence, at http://www.luckyandpearl.com. They also have the best local dim sum.

    2.)Panaderia Mocana( Broad St. across the street from the future Pearl St.

        Condos)-the best Cuban sandwiches,desserts,and pies for those that have a

        sweet tooth-also a very short walk from Downtown...Mocana Bakery

Sounds great. Are they a lunch place only, or also do dinner?

    5.)Sal's Bakery(Chalkstone Ave. near the Mt.Pleasant Ave.intersection)

        This is quite arguably the best real Italian bakery in Prov....quite a variety

        and been around for a long time!!!

Also sounds great... I'll have to try this one...

- Garris

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Garris, do you secretly work for Lemi's?

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Hehe, of course not... I just love authentic Chinese food, and as one of the few sellers of such, Lemi's has taken up a disproportionate part of my dining spending :).

It, like so many other places, is a victim of how "nooked and crannied" the Providence metro is. With the exception of Federal Hill and Thayer in Providence, there are few "restaurant districts" and you need to really go looking for great food in this area. How many places have you found that you consider a favorite that others haven't even heard of?

Lemi's is a great example. When I recommend it to people in Prov, they hear the word "Cranston" and say, "Oh, I was actually looking for a place closer by." It's like 5 minutes away! Similarly, I know people who live down the street from the place in Cranston and haven't heard of it.

That's why lists like Virgo's are so great. Without seeing recommendations for those places, I'd probably never have heard of them otherwise...

- Garris

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The first time I ever had Thai food was in Providence. I can't remember where (a friend took me there, and it was like 15 years ago, so who knows if it's even still there). It was a litteral hole in the wall, I want to say it was in Elmwood. I've never found a Thai place anywhere since that compared.

I had heard in the past that Pho Pasteur and Elephant Walk from Boston were looking to come down here, but I don't know what ever happened with any of that.

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I had heard in the past that Pho Pasteur and Elephant Walk from Boston were looking to come down here, but I don't know what ever happened with any of that.

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I'll never forget the first time I had pho and nim chao, also about 15 years ago. My life has not been the same since.

My frank opinion is that Pho Pasteur doesn't hold a candle to the SE Asian restaurants in Providence, and Elephant Walk is over-priced and over-rated. The appeal of those two is that they bring SE Asian food out of the inner-city, and present it as much more accessible to non-Asians. So I guess that's good, if you're into that. I'd just like to see some of the already existing great Asian restaurants (and Latin American restaurants, and anyone else) in Providence move downtown.

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I'd just like to see some of the already existing great Asian restaurants (and Latin American restaurants, and anyone else) in Providence move downtown.

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I think that that would be amazing if Westminster St. could become a venue for these kinds of restaurants. Some more jazz clubs (nothing too loud and raucous) would be great too to complement Tazza and Xxodus.

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I like greg's idea of having small authentic ethnic restaurants fill all the nooks and crannies of downtown. The problem is ducting and venting for restaurants. You need all sorts of expensive labor and equipment to get a building up to restaurant code, including hood systems, vents, etc etc. Most landlords don't want to take it on.

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Hey, anybody have any ideas where I might find a great, local fish market (aside from inside a supermarket?)

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I've never been but I've heard good things about the ones on Warren Ave. in East Providence. There's one called St Peters, I think. There are also a couple of others on that street as well. How about Mekong Market on Broad St., right near Pearl St. lofts. Also Quito's in Bristol. And if you pack a cooler there's Zeek's in Jamestown.

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Hey, anybody have any ideas where I might find a great, local fish market (aside from inside a supermarket?)

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There was a Dias Fish Market on Narragansett Boulevard in the Washington Park area...Narr. Blvd. is an extension of Allens Ave. by the water.(portuguese)

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Virgo, great post... 

You know, I've been here before, and thought it was "OK."  In my humble opinion, Asian in Providence (especially Chinese, since the local population is so small) seems to be quite weak compared to other places I've lived before (the trend in Minneapolis when I left was towards hyperauthenticity amongst Asian restaurants, a trend certainly not the case here...). 

What dishes do you recommend getting there? 

For Chinese, my hands down favorite is Lemi's BBQ on Pontiac Ave in Cranston.  It's authentic Hong Kong style that I'd put up against any place anywhere else I've lived.  Check it out http://www.lemisbbq.com/.  Close behind is Lucky Garden in North Providence, at http://www.luckyandpearl.com.  They also have the best local dim sum.

Sounds great.  Are they a lunch place only, or also do dinner?

Also sounds great...  I'll have to try this one...

- Garris

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@ Yun Nan, I had the Chow Ho Fun which not many Chinese restaurants have serve here in Prov....It was delicious!!Panaderia Mocana is a bakery and not a restaurant....great dessert!!!!Sal's has the best calzones,pizza strips, and zeppoles...more so than Scialo's on the Hill

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Thai food is definitely my favorite thing to eat. I feel like there are different classes or tiers of Thai restaurants, a few of which are represented in my neighborhood. I think Sawadee by the corner of Hope & Arnold does a really good job, and the prices are great (that's one of the best things about ethnic restaurants). Pakarang down on South Main St. is also a really good choice.

As far as Chinese, I have definitely eaten more than a few meals from Yan-Nun. Also, the new place on Thayer called Shanghai was pretty decent the one time I got food there.

In terms of fish markets, I know that Hemmingway's has a little retail section, but I haven't gone there in a long time so I'm not sure what it's like. The Fish Company used to be a great spot, but for the most part it's full of meat-heads these days. (I'm not knocking it, I watched the Pats win the Superbowl there this year...)

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Try "The Sandwich Hut" at 1253 North Main (near the hospital).

Great Italian sandwiches, both hot and cold.

The meatballs are AMAZING!

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WOW! That place is still open? I haven't been there in years.

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for those who mentioned thai food. the best i've ever had was at this little place on chalkstone... thai star. it's between river ave and academy ave. the area isn't the best (i went there to pick up take out one time and as we walked back to the car the people in the car next to me were smoking a bowl, quickly closed the window when i walked by... 2 min later a cop pulled in). the place is small, but the food is really good and the menu is a pretty good size.

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for those who mentioned thai food.  the best i've ever had was at this little place on chalkstone... thai star.  it's between river ave and academy ave.  the area isn't the best (i went there to pick up take out one time and as we walked back to the car the people in the car next to me were smoking a bowl, quickly closed the window when i walked by... 2 min later a cop pulled in).  the place is small, but the food is really good and the menu is a pretty good size.

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ha, that was me...

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ha, that was me...

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i highly doubt that... i have no problem with pot, i just found it funny... the area can be relatively sketchy... but the food there is awesome...

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Today I discovered "Julian's" at 318 Broadway.  Great breakfast and brunch food, quite unusual food combinations with a cool interior and art on the walls. I thought that the prices were very reasonable.

http://www.juliansprovidence.com/

I'll be going back for more  :D

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Oh Julien's.

I vote stick to breakfast. Good value there, but the service is ridiculously slow unless you get there really early. Perfect then.

Dinner can be alright, but vastly overpriced. When its on its on, when its off, its OFF.

I'll take the taco truck at the Decatur any day.

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Oh Julien's.

I vote stick to breakfast. Good value there, but the service is ridiculously slow unless you get there really early. Perfect then.

Dinner can be alright, but vastly overpriced. When its on its on, when its off, its OFF.

I'll take the taco truck at the Decatur any day.

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Frankly, I prefer dinner at Julian's over breakfast, as long as you don't have anwhere to be and have all night to hang out (and have lots of cash to spare). As for breakfast there, the pancakes are nothing to rave about, the last time I got scrambled eggs they were hard and browned, and the homefries (the test of a breakfast place in my book) are frankly grody, with like a cup of chile powder in each serving. The benedicts and hashes are tasty, though, and it's a nice scene, as long as you have time to wait in line. Julian's is more for the event than for the food.

I'm a much bigger fan of Nick's for breakfast, although its quite cramped with a long wait- I can't wait til they move to their bigger location this winter.

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