If you were to peek in our window on any given evening, here is what you’d see:
Rich, endlessly channel-surfing through guy-oriented programming: "World Combat League," Fox News, "Man vs. Food," "Dirty Jobs," the Godfather series, 162 Red Sox games (seriousy, 162?!), the History Channel or any show having to do with vehicles of any kind.
Me, sleeping on the couch, bored by the endless channel-surfing– though on rare occasions, I commandeer the remote to watch a chick flick or awards show.
There are two exceptions to this rule – NFL football (we both love everything about football) and the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.” This is our common ground. We love that show - watching Guy Fieri tour the greasy spoons of this country is not to be missed. I love how happy the food makes the guests.
Right alongside my desire to go to every Patriots game (home and away, in a Super Bowl year) is my wish to visit all of the places Guy has featured in his show. I mean, what a fun job he has! One episode inspired me to make a breakfast of crushed-Cap'n-Crunch-cereal-crusted french toast. Wow, do people eat like this every day?
Here are a few places in Rhode Island that make a great escape culinary adventure.
From the “Seaside Eats” episode, there is Evelyn’s Drive-in in Tiverton which is a couple of miles from my aunt’s house, so I have stopped there for some excellent "Rho-dye-land chowda" and clamcakes.
Featured on their “Stacked, Stuffed and Loaded” episode was Narragansett's own Crazy Burger Cafe & Juice Bar, on Boon Street in Narragansett. I have been twice and their food is crazy good. I normally get something vegetarian because it’s healthy and delicious. Note: we tried to escape here one Friday night on a whim and there was a line out the door. Go early!
In the spirit of local news, here are a list of places we like in South County, though Guy hasn’t found them...yet.
Wickford Diner, Brown Street, Wickford Village - Rich and I sometimes steal over here for a quick bite after we drop the kids off at CCD on Sunday mornings. Their breakfast burrito always get you off to a good start - eggs, avocado, salsa, cheese, in a wrap - healthy and delicious. Rich goes for the Western Omelette and coffee and is never disappointed.
Jigger’s Diner - My dad took me here last year. It was closed for awhile, but just re-opened. The food is tasty, the portions are huge and the price is right. It is another diner-car gem.
Beacon Diner and Snoopy’s Diner, Route 2 - I haven’t gone for breakfast, but have stopped for a quick lunch at these oldies but goodies. Snoopy’s Diner actually has WiFi, so you can have an omelette for lunch and check your email. Beacon, of course was the location of the hangover breakfast scene in the movie "27 Dresses" after Katherine Heigl and James Marsden sang "Benny & the Jets" at a local dive bar. (Name that bar? I can't...) Hopefully your breakfast there is more enjoyable than theirs.
Allie’s Donuts - While we’re in that neighborhood, does Allie’s Donuts count as a drive-in? Many a box of assorted donuts have graced the front seat of our car on the way to the beach. They are “off the hook,” as Guy would say.
May I lament for a moment that there is no drive-in movie theater or A&W style drive-ins down here in South County? I used to enjoy the Rustic Drive-In and an occasional burger and fries when we lived “up north.” Maybe that is a good use of some of the properties on Route 1 that sit empty these days. Know any fun entrepreneurs up to the task?
One of my favorite "Triple-D dives" was featured in the “Bringing it Home” episode, there is Cafe Citti, a little hole-in-the-wall building on the outside, but an Italian food mecca on the inside. Having been spoiled by my Italian mother-in-law’s heavy, dozen-egg lasagna recipe, this lasagna amazingly fluffy and light. I ate almost an entire bowl of buttery green olives. Unfortunately for Rhode Islanders, this one requires a cross-country escape. We went there while touring Sonoma Valley. That lunch was worth the cost of the entire trip!
I am not sure naming any local establishment a “dive” would be a welcome tag, so I will ask you readers. What are your favorite dives (leaving the scuba gear behind)? What defines a “dive,” anyway? As my man Guy always says, “If it’s funky, we’ll find it!”