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

 

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Oak St. B&B

Scott’s Review

The Oak Burger

The Oak Burger

Hey Westerly, we packed a change of clothes and made the journey south! We know…it’s about  time.

Oak St. B & BNot Bed and Breakfast…Burgers and Breakfast” was originally a participant in our Top 10 New York System Weiner Challenge, and we knew at the time that a return visit was a necessity.

We had to sample at least one of their specialties, and today it was their burgers and fresh-cut “Oak Chips,” which are already lovingly known in the Westerly Community.  It appears that Oak St. B & B  burgers have already won some “Best Of” accolades in the past. This converted Gambrel Cape sits modestly on the corner of Oak and Tower Streets – just off the tourist radar.

We ordered the classic Oak Burger (American cheese, pickles and Oak Sauce) and it was delicious. The sweet Portuguese roll, the Oak sauce and the grilled onions really put some distance between this burger as compared to many other so-called “best burger” joints around the Northeast.

It wasn’t an enormous burger, and I liked the manageability from first to last bite. There was no need to hose down my hands afterwards! If we had one minor suggestion, I would be a grilled roll. The originality of the burger menu is one that encourages repeat visits because of the curiosity factor; The Buffalo Bleu, The Popper, The HCL Burger (with ghost chili sauce),  The Fun Guy, and The Elvis (yes, peanut butter and bacon!) to name a few.

We applaud the side of fresh-cut potato chips.  Fabulous, and with names like Naked, Dressed, Smoked and S’oaked, we felt like the meal should be eaten in private!  The Buckhead Diner in Atlanta serves house-made chips with a Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing. We would love to see that show up on the menu because Oak St. B & B chips were better! You can even call them “Singing the Blues!”

And the pièce de résistance, the staff is friendly, attentive, and very accommodating.  It made the whole experience a true “Fork in the Rhode“.  Stop by early and eat breakfast, walk it off, and get back there for in time for lunch – let us know if there is a Swift sighting…..

Oak St. B & B | 87 Oak St | Westerly, RI 02891| 401-315-2520

English Muffin

Tag’s Review

The English Muffin - Fork in the Rhode

The English Muffin – Fork in the Rhode

The latest find that deserves accolades is the English Muffin in Johnston.  This little gem is an open-spaced breakfast restaurant with 10+ booths and tables, as well as a u-shaped counter that seats about 10 eaters.

As I sat at the counter with my significant other Jo-Ann, my knees got weak when I read the daily Special’s board – “White Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Pancakes”!  I didn’t have to read any further.

I ordered two pancakes as described above, and Jo-Ann ordered a plain Provolone Omelet with pumpernickel toast and home fries. The omelet was prepared exactly as requested – no brown spots! Jo-Ann made the yummy sounds. All good things….

Cranberry & White Chocolate Pancakes - The English Muffin

Cranberry & White Chocolate Pancakes – The English Muffin

I’m not confident the owners understand the concept of “appropriate portion size “because at The English Muffin, the dishes were more than generous.  My white chocolate chip and cranberry pancakes were in the neighborhood of 10-12 inches in diameter, and covered the entire dinner-sized plate.  Jo-Ann’s omelet stretched from one side of the plate to the other!

The pancakes were perfectly griddled in both color and consistency, and her omelet was fluffy and generously filled with Provolone.  The hash browns were grilled “extra crisp” as ordered.

Provy Omelet - The English Muffin

Provy Omelet – The English Muffin

Do not; I repeat, do not ruin the perfectly balanced flavors of the White Chocolate Chips and Cranberries Pancakes with syrup of any kind.  Let the smoothness of the white chocolate chips blend with the tartness of the cranberries, which have both been encapsulated with a beautifully rich pancake batter.

Additionally, an over-sized coffee cup (with endless refills) was a perfect accompaniment to our over-sized and satisfying breakfast plates.

Excellent breakfasts for very reasonable prices. Wear your big pants with the elastic waist!

Tags Toilet Talk:

There is nothing like a clean, large bathroom with tiled floors and walls to “powder your nose.”  The automatic paper towel holder and liquid soap dispenser were both full. Additionally it was not only handicapped accessible, but equipped with a step stool under the sink for the kids to reach the soap & water (no excuses here kids!). This wash room would have rated over 4+ TP rolls, but the large waste basket was full of paper towels and needed attention.

 

English Muffin | 1989 Plainfield Pike | Johnston, RI 02919 | (401) 943-6100