1150 Oak Bar & Grill

Review by Jay Costigan –  Special contributor to Fork in the Rhode

1150 Oak Bar & GrillDue to limited time, planning and a desire for a beer, I luckily found myself at the 1150 Oak Bar & Grill Wednesday evening. Being familiar with the group that formerly owned and operated the Rock Junction in Coventry, I assumed the quality of the food would stand the test of relocation.

 

1150 OB&G  maintains a respectable beer selection of about 12 on tap, as well as some varied bottle choices. I ordered my “go-to” Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA to help me think better as I perused their pub menu.

When narrowing down my burger selection to two, I made the only rational decision a foodie could make – by ordering them both! It made complete sense because why deprivation is not in my DNA. The first selection was the Oak  Burger;  a perfectly prepared medium, well seasoned  ground beef burger with bacon, Cajun mayo, onion rings and jack cheese. The other was their 50/50 Burger which combined ground beef and chorizo with red peppers and jalapeño mayo. The Portuguese gods were smiling down on me with this one! Both burgers were full flavored, juicy and grilled to the correct temperature. It is surprising that the issue of internal temperature  presents such a challenge to many chefs/cooks, but I’m happy to report that 1150 OB&G got it right!

 

All burgers are accompanied with a choice of fries or onion rings. Notably, the fries were freshly cut Idaho potatoes and well seasoned. The onion rings were even better; fried crispy, not greasy and tasty.

 

1150 Oak Bar & Grill has become my “go-to” place for affordable, quick and well prepared dinner on those crazy  Wednesday nights that I play chauffer to my kids while shuffling them through the city of Cranston.

 

Oh, did  I also mention that they book some pretty solid music acts? Check this venue out and bring friends!

 

 

1150 Oak Bar & Grill |1150 Oak lawn Ave|Cranston, Rhode Island|(401) 654-4466

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

 

The American

One of Rhode Island’s many 19th century contributions to the 2nd Industrial Revolution was a steam locomotive manufacturing company located in Providence. Historically, Rhode Island Locomotive Works produced more than 3,400 locomotives between 1867 and 1906.

The American - Providence

The American – Providence

It is within the walls of this impressively restored building that the Adirondack Restaurant Group has opened their third restaurant. The American embraces the history of its location by meticulously preserving some of her artifacts, and artfully incorporating them into the woodwork.

Our visit to The American was a happenstance. While on a break from a class we were attending in the same building, the lunch whistle sounded loudly on Valley Street, and curiosity got the better of us.

The Steakhouse

The Steakhouse

The aristocratic atmosphere inside The American is delivered to diners with a few significant exceptions;   the staff is warm and welcoming, and the lunch, dinner and drink menus are far from being pretentious. In addition to several daily specials, a mixture of classically named burgers, salads and clubs are available.

We ordered The Steakhouse salad (filet tips marinated and grilled over mixed field greens, crispy bacon, hard-boiled egg, gorgonzola cheese, and poppy-seed vinaigrette). The steak was perfectly grilled to the requested temperature and full flavored. The salad was slightly overdressed, but its components were fresh and delicious!

The Stanford

The Stanford

On the recommendation of our waiter, we ordered The Stanford (marinated blackened chicken breast topped with Wisconsin Cheddar, lettuce, beefsteak tomato – served on a fresh-baked sourdough roll with a homemade Cajun mayonnaise).  Although the slightly over-grilled chicken breast could have been disappointing, it was aggressively seasoned the way a piece of chicken should be! The ripened tomato and spicy Cajun mayo added the needed moisture, taste and heat to make my mouth hum!  Additionally, the sandwich arrived with homemade tater-tots! In the past, I’ve overpaid for poorly executed and previously frozen tater-tots with truffle oil.  Thankfully The American cares enough to shred fresh potatoes and perfectly fry them into something worthy of remembering.

American Bacon Burger

American Bacon Burger

It should come as no surprise that since The Abbey , a sister restaurant to The American which specializes in innovative burgers, also does a fine job in serving the same. Our Roosevelt with bacon and Wisconsin cheddar, served on homemade toasted bread was a noteworthy standout.

The American Bar

The American Bar

About two hours later, as our class was letting out, we headed back into The American to belly up to the bar for a couple of beers. We couldn’t resist an opportunity to make another appearance in a place where we felt so comfortable.

Train Light - The American

Train Light – The American

Many of the wealthy and powerful 19th-century American Industrialists (aka robber barons) such as Cornelius Vanderbilt,  J. P. Morgan,  Jay Gould and John D. Rockefeller adorn the walls of The American as if to keep  watchful eyes on the place.  I wondered if they would have approved having spent an afternoon at The American, and then it came to me … who really gives a damn.

All Aboard!

The American 311 Iron Horse Way Providence, RI 401-865-6186