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

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Dave’s Bar & Grill

Don’s Review – Spirits in the Rhode

Sixty micros on tap! Where? At Dave’s Bar & Grill on Post Road in Warwick, that’s where.

We were looking to try something from Stone Brewing Co., and discovered that Dave’s Bar & Grill had the goods. We were pleasantly surprised by the diverse offering of micros that Dave’s has on tap which included some terrific selections from all over the country.  Stone Brewing Co., out of Escondido, is the largest brewery in Southern California. They have been awarded Beer Advocate’s “Best Brewery All Time Ever” award twice, so this must be some serious stuff!

Mike, who was bartending when we arrived at Dave’s Bar & Grill, happily gave us a rundown of the three varieties of Stone on tap. First up was the Levitation Ale. This beer had a subtly sweet floral aroma and upfront taste, with a mild hoppy bite that finished crisp. Although malty, it was well-balanced, with hints of citrus. Very nice, and at 4.4% ABV, you could drink this one all evening.

Next up was the Arrogant Bastard Ale which Stone writes, “This is an aggressive ale. You probably won’t like it!” However, it was delicious and not surprising, this is one of Stone’s more popular beers (Be careful with this one at 7.2% ABV, it will sneak up on you!).

Rounding out the trio of Stone beers, we tried the Russian Imperial Stout . This one is a monster! It’s sweet and malty with the aroma of coffee, and has a somewhat syrupy consistency. At 10.5% ABV, you can definitely taste the alcohol, and it’ll warm your bones on a chilly pre-Spring evening! If you are a stout lover, give this a shot.

After thoroughly enjoying each elixir by Stone, and mesmerized by all these taps of beer, we figured we would each do a “flight”- which is a sampling of your choice of 4 beers served in 4 oz. glasses housed in a cool little wooden rack. Working the bar now was Josh, originally hails from Minnesota (don’t ya know) but is now a full-fledged Rhode Islanda (as evidenced by his wicked forearm Anchor tattoo). He highly recommended the Triple Black IPA 8.7%ABV by Victory Glory, and man was he was right. This micro rocked. It was malty, spicy and very well-balanced – an excellent example of this very popular style of beer.

Another impressive beer was the Double Mocha Porter  8.2%ABV by Rogue. I’ve been really diggin’ coffee beers this year! The chocolate really comes through on this one.

Dave’s Bar & Grill is a score. Their beer selection is an international adventure, the staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the craft micro menu is reasonably priced. Most micros are $5/pint and a flight is $6.50. Check ‘em out!

Dave’s Bar & Grill 2339 Post Rd. Warwick, RI 02886 401-739-7444

The Abbey

Chris’s Review

The cuisine in the good ole’ USA often gets the proverbial “black-eye” from our international counterparts. In comparison to French and Italian cooking methods, American fare is often criticized for being uninspired. As Americans however, we can be enthusiastically proud that the humble hamburger has found an everlasting home in the U.S. – with a very loyal and loving family. We can dress that hamburger up for any event and it’ll be the envy of every diner. Let’s see the French serve a foie gras to celebrate the West Warwick Fireman’s Retirement Dinner!

As I have gotten older and grown (in many ways), my burger preferences continued to evolve. Originally, I was a strictly plain cheeseburger-with-ketchup kind of guy, and then in college an epiphany struck, and “chili” on a hamburger lit my culinary path for the next four years. Upon a move back to “The Rhode” in 2000 with my fiancé, it became apparent that my beloved Chiliburgers were no longer as exciting as I once remembered. Recently, I ventured off to a place that satisfied my craving for high-quality creatively prepared burgers.

The Abbey” on Admiral Street in Providence offers up an exciting variety of 10 oz. burgers as well as an impressive 92 beers –  need I say anymore? Don’t answer that because I have much more to say about this burger Taj Mahal. While at work, I decided to ask my colleague Jeff to join me for “Operation Burger Feast.” After looking at the extensive listing of burgers, we agreed on two burgers for which to split. With the first one, we went relatively safe with the Smokey BBQ Burger (Bacon, Cheddar Cheese and homemade BBQ sauce). Initially we needed to try a burger that was familiar and knew would excellent. With only three toppings, the quality and juiciness of the hand pattied beef was on full display. The Smokey BBQ Burger delivered on every level, and could have given any other BBQ cheeseburger a run for its money.

Our second burger choice was not for the cardiac challenged.  It was designed for a hung-over college student, or at least a chemically enhanced one with the munchies.  Although we were neither of them, it didn’t matter because on this hungry afternoon we were busy pillaging our digestive systems with the “Hair-of- the-Dog That Bit You” burger. It of the most adventurous and rewarding culinary choices I have ever made. This monstrosity contained 10 ounces of beef topped with American cheese, two strips of bacon, a sausage patty, grilled onions and a sunny-side up fried egg. With the delivery of this carnivorous delight, Jeff and I gave each other a brief look of amazement before diving into it.  Everything about this burger worked like a symphony.  The country sausage was the surprising star because of the peppery flavor that came through extremely well in the beef. The perfectly runny egg yolk provided additional moisture and mild flavor which allowed the crisp bacon, onion, and beef to stand out. The freshly toasted roll stood up well to the challenge in keeping this oversized masterpiece together. Jeff and I were so glad that we ate out of our comfort zone because we were treated to a memorable combination of deliciousness.

Not to be forgotten were the Abbey’s fresh-cut shoestring fries.  They were perfectly crisp with a strong potato flavor and some of the best fries I’ve eaten. With 92 beers from which to choose, the options for a belly wash-down were gut busting. The Abbey delivered one great burger at an unbelievable value. At the end of our meal, we discovered that their burgers were half-priced Monday thru Thursday during lunch service only. The Abbey was a pleasant surprise and I can’t wait to work my way through the rest of their menu. God Bless America!!

The Abbey 686 Admiral Street Providence, RI 02908-1442 (401)351-4346