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Places to eat in and around Narragansett


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#1 karlos

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 02:06 PM

I lived, for one very fun year- 2002, in Rhode Island and will be renting a house on the beach in Narragansett for a week. For old times sake I will be sure to get my fill of Del's, stuffies and NY system wieners. I'm bringing a cooler so I can get a big box of Saugy's to bring home. Since I haven't been in some time, any recommendations for things to search out? I'll have a car, a wife and a non-adventurous (food-wise) 9 year who knows how to behave properly in a restaurant. The house is equipped and I will happily cook if someone gives me an inside angle on fresh off the boat seafood. Of course, we'll visit Flo's, Carrie's and Evelyn's (unless something's changed and we shouldn't). Seafood shacks, sit-down restaurants, food trucks are all appreciated. Not bringing a blazer so the formal Newport type places are out. We will likely head to Providence at least once, thinking Federal Hill but open to some downtown places as well. What don't we want to miss? And for NY system wieners, I always used to go to Olneyville because it wasn't that far from the hospital. Any decent places closer to Narragansett?

#2 Emily_R

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 03:08 PM

I was just in Narragansett this past week, and a friend took me to this place -- http://www.crazyburger.com/ -- which was a total treat and a real local gem. The menus is gigantic, and included so many things I wanted to try it killed me to only order one meal. Not to be missed are their cinnamon rolls (and apparently, their cinnamon roll french toast is to die for). My friends also said their milkshakes are legendary, but I was too stuffed to order one. Also be sure to try sitting out in their backyard garden, which is great on a beautiful day.


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#3 vice

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 03:58 PM

Definitely check out Matunuck Oyster Bar, on the west side of Point Judith Pond (Succotash for you locals). Sit out on the deck, enjoy the beautiful setting, and down some oysters grown by proprietor Perry Raso and other local oystermen. Rock solid cooked seafood dishes, too.

I'm also enormously fond of Ocean View Chinese Restaurant (in the back Mariner Square plaza on Rte. 108). It's a little husband and wife joint, very shall we say, idiosyncratic. Recommended dishes: dumplings, hot and spicy chicken wings, vegetarian Thai-style shrimp (noodles rolled up to mimic shrimp, even down to the pop when you bite into them), fried scallop and shrimp with chili sauce, General Gau's chicken, lamb with green garlic. In particular, the chili sauce with the seafood and the Gau's will haunt your memory for a long while.
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#4 Catherine Iino

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 07:17 PM

I second both Matunuck Oyster Bar and Ocean View. Matunuck Oyster Bar is in a building that has housed several restaurants since we began coming to Rhode Island, all of them lousy and all of them failed. The Oyster Bar has been packed for two or three years running; it amazes me. The best thing is the raw oysters, which are fantastic, and reasonable.

#5 TimS

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 10:43 AM

I lived, for one very fun year- 2002, in Rhode Island and will be renting a house on the beach in Narragansett for a week. For old times sake I will be sure to get my fill of Del's, stuffies and NY system wieners. I'm bringing a cooler so I can get a big box of Saugy's to bring home. Since I haven't been in some time, any recommendations for things to search out? I'll have a car, a wife and a non-adventurous (food-wise) 9 year who knows how to behave properly in a restaurant.

I live in Narragansett, so maybe I can help. I concur with the Crazy Burger recommendation; a funky place with a funky menu that I'm sure you'll love. I haven't had a chance to get to the Matunuck Oyster Bar, but I've only heard great things about it. There will definitely be a wait, so the only issue is if your son will mind or not. I'd recommend the Mew's Tavern in Wakefield if you like beer (something like 69 varieties always available). The menu there is American fare (burgers, steaks, wings, pizzas, etc.), but all of it is nicely done. It is a loud place that attracts a young crowd, but it's a good family place. A locals hangout with decent burgers and seafood is Twin Willows, in the north end of town. Close to Twin Willows is arguably the best ice cream in the area: Brickley's. Down by the beach is another ice cream place that has very good gelato--Nana's.

The house is equipped and I will happily cook if someone gives me an inside angle on fresh off the boat seafood.

You can get fresh lobsters off the boats down by the Block Island ferry terminal. There's a fish market down there too (Champlin's), but I've never bought there--I live in the north end of town, and use Clipper Seafood--a much smaller selection, but decent prices and convenient to me. If you end up in Wickford (a great little walking town with shopping, cafes, etc.), there's a great seafood market there--Gardner's Wharf seafood.

Of course, we'll visit Flo's, Carrie's and Evelyn's (unless something's changed and we shouldn't). Seafood shacks, sit-down restaurants, food trucks are all appreciated. Not bringing a blazer so the formal Newport type places are out.

Flo's is still good (Island Park location is better than Newport's in my opinion, but a bit of a drive from Narragansett). If you go to Carrie's, you definitely want the doughboys for dessert from Iggy's also right there. I'm not a fan of Evelyn's. Love the location, but not impressed with their fried clams. Much better at Flo's. In Narragansett you have Monahan's seafood shack at the beach. I haven't been this season, but it's generally been decent. I'm not aware of any food trucks in the Narragansett area.

We will likely head to Providence at least once, thinking Federal Hill but open to some downtown places as well. What don't we want to miss? And for NY system wieners, I always used to go to Olneyville because it wasn't that far from the hospital. Any decent places closer to Narragansett?

I can't speak to Providence area restaurants, but I know Chris Amirault on this board lives/works/dines in the area, so maybe he'll post with some info. And as far as the NY system weiners, you just can't replicate that experience in Olneyville anywhere else on earth :huh: That being said, the Kingston Pizza location on 1A in the north end of Narragansett has 'wild weiner Wednesdays' when they sell NY system, but I've never had them there. My oldest son walks there every once in a while for the weiners, and says they're good. If you do go there, skip the pizza. Actually, you need to skip most pizza here--I'm not a fan of most of the local joints. However, the Mews Tavern mentioned earlier does have a wood-fired oven and puts out a good pie (no delivery).

I really hope you enjoy your trip. The past couple of weeks have been gorgeous here. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Edited by TimS, 10 July 2011 - 10:48 AM.


#6 TimS

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 06:12 PM

OK, the two mentions of the Ocean View Chinese restaurant got my attention; I've never been there after having lived here for years. Coincidentally, half the family had commitments last night, and one of my sons asked for Chinese--I figured what the heck, we'll try the Ocean View to find out what the 'idiosyncracies' were all about.

Got there about 6 p.m., no one in the place. Just me and two kids. The waitress, who I assume was one of the owners, was very, very nice. The menu is HUGE, with another separate menu just to cross-reference the 'top 10' customer choices and 'chef's recommendations' with the main menu (and this separate menu was big too). The waitress made a point of repeatedly telling me that we must try the chef's recommendations, as that's what sets them apart from all other Chinese restaurants. I honestly don't know much about Chinese other than the typical things found in generic American Chinese restaurants, and with slightly higher prices than normal and two kids, last night wasn't a night for experimenting. My daughter wanted chicken fingers and white rice; was told they were out of white rice, but had brown. While talking my daughter into the menu change and commenting that daddy often makes brown rice, the waitress exclaimed that we've never had brown rice like this before. My son wanted beef teriyaki and chicken fried rice. No beef teriyaki available. I decided to round out the order with General Gau's chicken. Was told that it's normally made with dark meat (of course), but they were out of dark meat, so it would be a $1.00 surcharge for white. Interesting. And as she was walking away, she mentioned over her shoulder that there would be a surcharge for the chicken fried rice too. I thought this was weird, but was in a good mood and went along with all this.

The chicken fingers were great--super hot out of the fryer and not all dough-y like most places. Brown rice was indeed very good. Fried rice was average, and the General Gau's was unusual. The meat was incredibly tender and moist huge chunks in a yummy sauce. We asked for it spicy (like it's labeled on the menu), but no spice. Oh well.

Went to settle up, and found out no credit cards. Hmmm, must've missed that on the way in. Personal checks OK though.

All in all, I'd go back with my wife and explore the menu a bit more. The waitress seemed genuinely disappointed that we didn't try any of the chef's recommendations, but I explained it was our first time and I wanted to stick with what we knew for the first time. I promised I'd be back and try some of the other stuff.

It was fun. It was good. Just be prepared for a little goofiness.

#7 Catherine Iino

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 08:50 PM

As Vice said above, Ocean View is indeed idiosyncratic. Did you read all the rules posted around the doorway? When we used to take my young daughters, we would all bring books, because no matter how empty the place was, the wait would be interminable. And scolding by the wife was quite common. She's much less of a dragon lady these days. The food is worth it, though. Try one of the noodle dishes with the chef's special green sauce, or the beef and shrimp dish that comes with scallion pancakes. I've never thought their dumplings or their soups were anything special, but there are some really good duck dishes. Good luck!

We've been going to Crazy Burger for a long time, too, and my daughters, now in their twenties, still like it a lot.

Have fun; the weather's pretty good this week.

#8 karlos

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 07:41 AM

Thanks for the recommendations I love having some local knowledge and will be sure to check out the places you all mentioned. I'm surprised Chris Amirault hasn't weighed in, maybe I'll try to email him because I would love to get some inside skinny on Providence dining. Leaving in a few hours. If you see a chubby tan guy trying unsuccessfully to boogie board with a mortfied wife and daughter watching near Major Arnold Road, feel free to say hi!