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 Duck & Bunny – A Snuggery

Scott’s Review

(Snŭg’ə-rē) n. a cosy and comfortable place

DB LogoThe Duck and Bunny was a fun review because I always enjoy going to Wickenden Street. The Coffee Exchange is probably one of the few places that I regularly gravitate towards, and I’m pumped that I’ve found another one! If you’re familiar with the East Side, you’re aware of the many great restaurants for which to choose. I’m not sure how the Duck and Bunny came onto my food-hunting radar, but I’m glad it did.

As with much of the Wickenden Street landscape, the buildings are older and historic. The area was home to a large Portuguese-American community starting in the 19th century, and as a result, some of the homes on the Street are still painted pastel colors in the Portuguese style.

Duck and Bunny Entrance

Duck and Bunny Entrance

The pink colored Duck and Bunny restaurant was impressively interesting inside and out. The interior layout and furnishings could be best described by imagining if a Victorian Martha Stewart attending Brown University had opened up a snuggery to expose all of her “good things”!   This is one cute place, or maybe romantic is the better adjective. I am glad we hadn’t read any prior press before going because we like the surprise. Open minds and big appetites are the general criteria!

We arrived on a weekend afternoon where brunch menu is offered. As you may be aware, ForkintheRhode publishes an annual New York System Weiner Challenge where we rate Rhode Island’s Top 10 Weiner joints. So when we came upon 2 menu items, the “New York System Hot Weiner Omelette” and the “Ultimate New York System Crêpe”, we knew that ordering it was fait accompli. The other two dishes were the Eggs Benedict on a Potato Pancake (multiple variations) and Portuguese French Toast with Bananas.

The Ultimate New York System Hot Wiener Omelette

The Ultimate New York System Hot Wiener Omelette

The Ultimate New York System Omelette was exactly like what you would expect: homemade meat sauce, chopped onion, yellow mustard, and, of course, celery salt. It tasted just as a New York System should taste – but in an omelet! My only concern is that I’m so familiar with that unique taste after 9 PM with a beer or two on-board; the whole experience was slightly surreal! Regardless, this was a surprisingly respectful “nod” to a Rhode Island favorite.

Poached and Ham  - DB

Latkes Eggs Benny

The Latkes Eggs Benny we ordered  included Black Forest ham over a potato pancake with two poached eggs on top. We chose to have the Hollandaise sauce on the side. As with all Eggs Benedict  I prefer the yoke running like a fresh volcanic lava stream. The slice of ham was good; the eggs were perfectly poached and the potato pancake was scratch-made. My only suggestion would have been that the potato pancake be at least the size of the English muffin. I like to enjoy a little poached egg, ham and muffin (in this case – potato pancake) in every bite. We were however, so thrilled by having Eggs Benedict on a potato pancake that we forget to use the Hollandaise sauce. We’ll catch it next time.

The last item we ordered was the Portuguese French toast (local sweet bread dipped in cinnamon with maple berry compote or bananas foster with pecans). You can’t beat Portuguese sweetbread for French toast (or Challah bread French toast for that matter) and the taste was both divine and heavenly (by the way, what guy uses words like divine and heavenly?). When I order it next time I’m going to ask for the whip cream to be put on the side. Whether it was the heat lamp from the kitchen or most likely the heat from the entrée, the whip cream arrived mostly melted.

The tea selection delivered in pots versus tea bags is as varied as it is adventurous. Gourmet cupcakes like Banana Nutella, Guinness Cake, Portuguese Sweetbread Pudding and Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel grace the menu begging for a tea accompaniment.

We extend our sincere thanks to the Duck and Bunny proprietors for gracefully excluding both a duck and/or bunny crêpes from the menu. In certain restaurants, it might be a winner, but at the Duck and Bunny – the smoked salmon may be a less horrifying thought!

This is a great East Side spot to unwind and indulge. We know the RhodeCrew was just scraping the surface of all the pleasures this little restaurant has to offer. The Duck and Bunny is a place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life. Grab a good friend, a good book or both – tuck in and find your serenity!

312 Wickenden Street Providence, RI 02903 (401) 270-3300