GPub

Gastronomy literally means “the art or law of regulating the stomach.”

Gpub SIgnageThe term “gastropub” is a mash-up of the terms gastronomy and pub, coined by David Eyre and Mike Belben when they took over The Eagle pub in Clerkenwell, London. At that time British pubs were primarily drinking establishments and little emphasis placed on the serving of food. The idea of elevating the quality of the beer and food menus in order to secure existing customers, as well as attract new ones, reinvigorated the dining culture.

The gastropub phenomenon took off in the United States in the early 1990s as an artful alternative to the gut filling, alcohol absorbing cold Ploughman’s lunch (cheese, chutney, bread and pickled onions). The appeal of the gastropub is its ability to provide a comfortable, casual and welcoming atmosphere where socializing, laughing, eating great food, drinking micro-brews, shooting pool, throwing darts, and game day cheering is standard!

GPub  Smokerd BBQ Wings

GPub Smokerd BBQ Wings

Providence’s exciting down-city dining scene has been further enhanced by its newest ultra-fun, ultra-cool gastropub – GPub. The restaurant occupies the basement of the former Providence Gas Company and designed around the buildings original 1920′s framework. The speak-easy type atmosphere adds an exclusiveness you’ll feel while walking into the mysterious underground abyss. Take heed however, because that solemnness is quickly eliminated by the wicked party going on below street level!

GPub maintains an impressive beer selection broken down by taps, bottles and tins! I appreciated the fact that each beer had a corresponding brewing location and an ABV% (alcohol by volume). It makes sense to know which state is determined to wreck me by round three!

The menu pays homage to traditional pub food through its inclusion of snacks, starters, burgers and hot dogs, but in a completely artistic way.  The Chips & Spread are house made, with smoked paprika and cheddar ale spread.  The Slider Trio include a pulled- pork, lobster roll and a burger.  The Pigs in a Blanket is wild boar sausage, Kansas City mustard, pickled shallots, camembert cheese, and black pepper on a biscuit. Take that Cheers!

GPub Smoked Turkey Sandwich

GPub Smoked Turkey Sandwich

The Eiffel Tower Burger would make Parisians weep with pride. A double patty burger with mushrooms, caramelized onions, truffle mayo, gruyere cheese, and topped with a fried egg that delivers a win for the French! By contrast, the generally ordinary Smoked Turkey Sandwich turned out to be a shining example of what an excellent chef can create with simple ingredients. The fresh roasted turkey with smoked bacon mayo and camembert cheese was an excellent combination within a perfectly buttered -grilled sandwich.

From the location, to the celebratory atmosphere, to the outstanding food and beverage menu, GPub is the reason why people get excited about going out for the evening! I’m not sure if the “G” in GPub stands for Gastro Pub or for the Gas Company building in which it operates, but to me, the “G” stands for “GO!”

61 Orange St. | Providence, Rhode Island 02903 | Tel. 401-632-4782 | Speak Easy + Eat Well

Providence Coal Fired Pizza

I’m not entirely convinced that just because you can put any topping on pizza, you necessarily should! Additionally, I remain contemplative on whether certain ingredient combinations balance more harmoniously when subject to the wrath of a coal-fired inferno. And finally, is the quality of pizza crust really so damn important?

Providence Coal Fired Pizza Signage

Providence Coal Fired Pizza Signage

Well, the owners at Providence Coal Fired Pizza clearly take these questions to heart. Utilizing an eco-friendly, custom-built oven that fires up at a face-scorching 900°F, their chefs can lock-in flavor complexities, while producing an envious crispy crust that maintains a terrific chew. Most of the cooks working the ovens have no eyebrows, but facial hair is overrated anyway.

Pumpkinhead

Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead Draft

Providence Coal Fired Pizza is a welcome addition to the downcity restaurant landscape because it maintains several very appealing qualities. The atmosphere is energetic and fun. The knowledgeable staff is welcoming, attentive and extremely proud of their entire operation. The menu price points are exceedingly reasonable for its location, and most importantly, the food is absolutely worth writing about!

Coal-Fired Wings

Coal-Fired Wings

Our party of four started the evening off with some drinks and the Coal-Fired Wings (sea salt, rosemary, and roasted onions). I spotted another table getting this starter and was immediately drawn to the fire roasted caramelized onions blanketing the wings as if it were sheltering them from the light. The wings were perfectly spiced and a bit smoky. The onions were mild, sweet and had just enough char to remind you where you were eating.

Rocket Pizza - Pancetta and Peppers

Rocket Pizza – Pancetta and Peppers

 

Our entrees included the sharing of two pizzas that seemed to speak to us. You could say that the pizzas chose us, but that’s neither here nor there.  The first was a Nightly Special which included rocket (arugula), pancetta and banana peppers. The second was the Broccoli Rabe (EVOO, sausage, ricotta and provolone cheeses).  The rocket was fresh and peppery, the rabe was not bitter, the ricotta cheese was creamy, and the sausage was scratch made.  Ring the bell, we have winners.

Broccoli Rabe - Sausage and Ricotta

Broccoli Rabe – Sausage and Ricotta

The desert menu was limited, but we were quick to order the oven-fired Fresh Berry Cobbler special, topped with crunchy sweet oats and a side of whip cream. Simple fresh ingredients that imparted a beautiful sauce under intense heat – made the desert a standout.

So, in response to my own initial questions; just because you can put any topping on pizza doesn’t mean you should, holds true.   Providence Coal Fired Pizza will harmoniously balance the combinations for you, and trusting them to do so might be the best decision you’ll make the entire evening.  And finally is the quality of pizza crust really so damn important? Perhaps you should stop by Providence Coal Fired Pizza and make the damn decision yourself!

 

Providence Coal Fired Pizza  385 Westminster Street Providence, RI 02903 401.454.7499

The Elephant Room

Beach Flower Bloom  - The Elephant Room

Beach Flower Bloom – The Elephant Room

In Rhode Island’s wild and lawless latte landscape, there exists an evolving community of Chá devotees. Whether placing the blame on British merchants for purposefully reducing tea imports sailing into Boston Harbor in 1773 had anything to do with the bitter taste left in our mouths, New Englanders can sure hold a grudge!

I am happy to report however that tea drinker lineage dates back to 10th century BC, thus kicking some “perk posterior” by centuries – just ask the Chinese, they’ll confirm the whole thing!

The Elephant Room

The Elephant Room

Now we can talk about the “elephant in the room,” a.k.a. The Elephant Room. This absolute gem is nestled in the heart of historic Pawtuxet Village. In a neighborhood that prides itself on quaint, The Elephant Room stands as the welcomed missing puzzle piece in the community.

 

Menu Board - The Elephant Room

Menu Board – The Elephant Room

The Elephant Room emanates serenity in its minimalist décor and simplicity in its menu board. The overall feel is warm and inviting. Lingering is encouraged as evidenced by the available magazines and Wi-Fi for perusing, and comfortable couches to appreciate both.

Beach Flower Bloom - The Elephant Room

Beach Flower Bloom – The Elephant Room

The Tea menu is well laid out and not complicated, but varied and exciting. There are well described White, Green, Black, Tisane/Fusion (herbal) and Oolong tea varieties for which to select. The menu also provides individual caffeine strengths, and a Premium/Exotic/Rare rating scale. Additionally, there are Pu-erh teas (pǔ’ěr chá) which is a variety of fermented dark tea produced in the Yunnan province, named after the trading post for dark tea during imperial China. In some Chinese cultures, this tea is believed to counteract the unpleasant effects of heavy alcohol consumption – did someone say hang-over cure!

Chandalier - The Elephant Room

Chandalier – The Elephant Room

The tea menu also offers several Ayurveda teas that are rumored to remove toxins in our bodies as a result of improper diet, chronic stress and impurities from the environment. My suggestion is a cup of the Pu-erh and Ayurveda the morning after you’ve “tied-one-on” – just sayin…

My tea selection was a blooming flower tea – Beach Flower, infused in a large glass pot. This light and flavorful green tea tasted of lychee and cantaloupe. Tasting notes that include fruit and floral are excellent choices for this time of year.

Bunutty Crepe - The Elephant Room

Bunutty Crepe – The Elephant Room

A visit to The Elephant Room cannot be concluded without Crêpes – it should be a rule!  I ordered the Bunutty Crêpe (banana, peanut butter, honey & Autocrat coffee syrup glaze) and it was superb. The crêpe was perfectly prepared, and the fresh ingredients added in perfect combination and quantity.

Crepe  - The Elephant Room

Crepe – The Elephant Room

I was especially impressed that the peanut butter was not overpowering in contrast to the delicate taste and texture of a crêpe. Additionally, the coffee syrup was a creative and delicious alternative to maple – not to mention a nice “nod” to a hometown favorite!

The Elephant Room - Signage

The Elephant Room – Signage

It’s natural to feel the allure when drinking tea. There’s something satisfying and mysterious about enjoying a natural drink with healing qualities that are produced in exotic regions around the world. There just has to be truth in that which has been used for thousands of years to sustain life. But even at the very least, tea just makes me feel warm, relaxed and at peace. I’d say that alone is worth a trip to The Elephant Room without question…

Dave –

The Elephant Room.2170 Broad Street.Cranston, Rhode Island 02905.(401) 461-2170

https://www.facebook.com/ElephantTeaRoom