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Go Truck Yourself: Winter is coming!

Done, done and done… yup, my season is over. I’ve been around long enough to know rolling ice-cream in the snow just doesn’t work. I gotta tell ya though, there are a number of trucks out there despite the weather, fearlessly facing the woes of the winter season. You can bet that if they’re not serving crispy fried fingers and grilled people feet these winter warriors are freezing their nuts off. 

My friends at The Hot Potato and Farm to Sandwich tell me they survive doing mostly catering, pop-ups, breweries, and scheduled events when summer fades and turns into the cold, icy friend of Jack Frost. Die-hards like Rocket, Nanu, Incredibowl, Saugys and Reds man a small brigade of trucks who brave the snow and ice at events like The Providence Flea on Sims Ave every Sunday but I’ve done that a few times myself and can say from experience: Nope, nope, nope. If you happen to see them along with any other truck that might be out there please stop and support!

Cause you can trust and believe these people are more than “colder than a well digger’s ass,” more than a tid bit nipply, hell they are down right brass monkey baltic in there! Even with a heater, a hot grill, a highly volatile fryolator, and an Alaskan parka, the window is still open and the icy spindles of winter find their way through the floor, over the counter tops and into their bones… A day on a food truck in winter is like a day with the Snow Miser bringing on the freeze of the century and singing over the river and through the woods to the land of frostbite.

You can find lovable Eddy from Modesto out when the temperatures run around 40 degrees but you’ll be hard pressed to find a 40-degree day in Jan and Feb. I gotta give them props, these people live for this stuff. They make their living serving good food and drinks day after day, season after season hoping you’ll frequent their rolling restaurant of yumm and enjoy their delicious edible wares….

Sometimes, working outside is great, but sometimes, it really sucks… Hell, don’t take my word for it, get out there people! Support! 

And check out my blog at atomicblondeblog.com to find out more about “The Winter Trucks.” Or don’t, tell you what, how about you just “Go Truck Yourself!”




Go Truck Yourself: La Birria’s Tasty Tacos

Growing up, the carnival was one of my most treasured adventures. A summertime tradition filled with fun, fright, and fantasy! My best memory of that sacred event was the food! Caramel apples, fried zucchini and Doughboys! I suppose that’s why I’ve always found food truck events to be a bit carney. Carney cool, obviously: Think drive-in movies or Coney Island (minus the tattoo-covered barker, the scary clowns and the rides, of course). You do get a few sideshow freaks though which always add to the fun! 

I’m convinced these outdoor picnic party events have become a necessity though, with COVID lockdown, social distancing and the threat of nuclear disaster, what’s better than a truck that serves you outside with beautiful open sky, live music and delicious food? I spend a lot of time around food trucks so I’m excited to tell you a little about them. The most interesting ones to me are the ones where you’re not quite sure what you’re getting. I know of a few of these strange and wondrous trucks – Lucky for you, I’m also adventurous and have tried a few of these non-traditional street eats, whose gourmet food items are truly something to go out for… I’m talking, “This sh!t is GOODAH!!!” When I say “BEST EVER,” you can trust and believe this picky little bitch is spot on with her choice of chow. 

One of my favorites is a fairly new truck… Carlos Guillen is the chef and owner of La Birria Gourmet.. You’ll find La Birria the rest of the season at Mulligans Island in Cranston on Fridays, and I believe he will be trying Broad Street for the winter season: With the sub-zero temperatures, snow-covered sidewalks and arctic winds, even your flat-top grill and fryolator full of blistering oil will strain to keep your toes from turning into pudgy little blocks of ice. I’ve tried it and wish him luck. You can also follow labirriagourmet on Instagram and Facebook, of course.

Look for the long line at the window if you happen to find him out somewhere because the street tacos are kick-ass! Chewy corn tortillas, meat, onion and cilantro. Carlos has perfected his beef taco recipe, which he calls La Birria tacos with a short rib, ribeye and flank steak combination he created using his DR heritage and Mexican food training, These savory little street tacos come with a juicy little pot of consume for dipping delight. La Birria has other menu items like empanadas, street corn and burritos with flavor that will blow your mind.

Check out the full menu: @labirria2021 or fb.com/labirria2021

Lara Sebastian is a new writer for Motif and co-owner of the Atomic Blonde Ice Cream Truck, found at many regional food truck events. You can see and learn more at atomicblondeblog.com




Ra Ra’s: Cheesy fun

I think men who can cook are sexy! Don’t care what it is, where they do it or how long it takes. Now the taste is a matter of scrutiny and I can get a bit hostile when it comes to what goes in my mouth… 

As I argue with my friend Joe about the difference between Blue and Yellow corn tortillas, I realize that one of my favorite food truck temptations is taquitos! Rolled tacos, if you will – or “a quick delicious meal I always go for when I come across the award winning taco truck RaRa’s Surf Shack…” I talk about sexy men because Joe Boisvert, the owner of said truck, can always be found on the truck cooking away and serving these amazing little packages of love. He’s one of those guys who’s been in the business since he was a youngster, from ice-cream trucks at age 18 to fry shacks with shakes in 2022.

I imagine that’s where he developed his culinary skills that create an awesome blue corn tortilla taco, yummy nachos and tantalizing taquitos. And the extra grilling he gives to cheese overflow in his Quesadillas is magical. The funky, nostalgic graphics on the truck always draw me in as well. Joe’s empire, along with RaRa’s truck, includes Axelrod’s Fry Shack in Warwick, and a brick and mortar RaRa’s Surf Shack on Pontiac Ave, in Cranston. He’s a big burly guy with a nice smile, luminescent eyes and a fair sense of taste. As you might know, he won the Favorite Taco Award at the Motif Food Truck Awards, where you (perhaps) voted.

He’s also one of the organizers of the Ocean State Food Truck Festivals so if you’d like to TRUCK YOURSELF, check out his social media @osfoodtruckfestivals.

See Lara’s blog at atomicblondblog.com to get more info, pix and maybe a recipe or 2.




Back to School Meals and Snack Guide

As a recent alumnus of the Johnson & Wales University Culinary Nutrition program (2018, but adjusted for Covid-19 years), I learned that eating during a busy day can be tough – and cooking even tougher. There’s only so much mental capacity you have after a busy day of class or work to dedicate to feeding yourself. More often than not, if campus dining isn’t an option, people resort to going out to eat, which can squeeze the budget and lead to unhealthy eating habits.

That’s why I want to share some quick, low-cost, and (mostly) easy eating tips for a busy day. Lots of these can be prepared ahead of time on the weekends and enjoyed through the week so you can keep your focus up without letting your blood sugar drop.

For a snappy breakfast, I’ve always been a fan of soft-boiled eggs made ahead of time. In a lidded saucepot, bring 1 inch of water to a boil and gently place in 6 eggs. Cover and boil in the shallow water for 8-10 minutes – the shorter time producing a jammy yolk and longer making a set yolk. Remove and place in ice water to stop the cooking process, peel and eat with salt and pepper or any other sauce you enjoy! You can also get fancy with it and make them ramen-style with a soy sauce, sugar and water marinade. 

Next there’s the joy of granola bars and fresh fruit for breakfast when cooking isn’t an option. A wide variety of protein-packed granola bars and seasonal fruit are available. An apple a day keeps the hangry away!

For lunch, I prepare bean and grain salads ahead of time with whatever is in the fridge. Leftover sauteed vegetables – GREAT; a half-full bag of spinach – PERFECT; cooked barley – ON A ROLL! Mix together 1 can of drained and rinsed beans, ~2 cups of cooked grains (like barley, quinoa, or brown rice), bite-sized cooked or raw vegetables, chopped herbs (like parsley or cilantro), and your favorite prepared salad dressing. If you don’t have any salad dressing, simply dress the salad with vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

If you have 15 minutes to cook something for lunch, I love grilled cheese sandwiches. However, I make it even better with spicy, flavorful, and probiotic-packed kimchi! I always gravitate towards Pawtuckets’ own CHI Kitchen Vegan Kimchi, sandwiched between white cheddar slices (or any melty cheese) and two slices of a country-style loaf, grilled in a skillet on both sides until the cheese is melty. You have to taste this!

For snacks, sometimes the simpler the better. I have been ravenous after a long day and make a whole bag of microwave popcorn for myself. It’s actually pretty low-calorie and high in fiber, plus I use seasonings like Japanese Furikake or Sriracha salt to make it taste even better! If the day really got you down, sometimes just a simple bowl of cereal with milk makes a quick comfort snack. Take a quick nap, you deserve it.

When I was a freshman, we technically weren’t allowed any cooking equipment in the residence halls (no kitchens at a culinary school — go figure), but I snuck in a slow cooker. This is perfect for slow-cooking a pork loin with Mexican spices like cumin, coriander, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, all day on low, before shredding to make carnitas. For dinner you can craft tacos, quesadillas, tortas, rice bowls, and more with some homemade (or jarred) salsa, chopped cilantro, and minced onions.

If you forgot to start your slow cooker this morning or the prep is still too intensive, one of my favorite quick dinners is fancy silken tofu. I have a fully written recipe on ForgeToTable.com, however, you can make the abbreviated version by scooping out a whole 14-ounce package of silken tofu and dressing simply with soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, garlic powder, and chili crisp or hot sauce. Most people haven’t tried soft silken tofu but it’s pretty much all protein and is an excellent flavor absorber. 

Hopefully, some of these options will inspire you to cook more and budget better while balancing everything else on your plate. Cooking for yourself can truly be a lot of fun and it’s best to start with a small rotation of favorites and expand your culinary horizons slowly with a new cookbook or the ever-popular TikTok recipes. Maybe one day you’ll be hosting your own dinner parties! Happy cooking.




There’s more to life than pumpkin spice: Fall latte alternatives to warm your senses

It’s no secret that Autumn brings with it a bunch of delicious flavors to keep you toasty and calm during those chilly nights once the summer sun begins to set.

And we all know too well which one takes the cake every year: Pumpkin spice anyone?

The Pumpkin Spice Latte, launched by Starbucks back in 2003, has been all the rage every Fall during the last decade. Coffee shops far and wide bring back the tasty concoction far ahead of the first day of Autumn due to customer demand.

And while this foamy, fragrant drink is undeniably tasty, I can’t help but think about all the potential alternatives that deserve the spotlight too. There’s gotta be more to Fall than pumpkin spice, and I took it upon myself to explore what else is out there.

Local Shops Weigh In

As part of my futile quest to find pumpkin spice’s potential successor, I hit up a few PVD coffee shops for some leads. While some dare to test the waters with new creations, others are kicking up the coveted pumpkin flavor in new ways.

Brew Grindz calls the shots

Brew Grindz in North Providence is serving up hot lattes with pumpkin cheesecake, pistachio, or cookie dough shots, which patrons are not complaining about. Katelyn, a Barista at the cozy shop on Mineral Spring Avenue, said it’s all about becoming a mixologist to start someone’s morning right. “There’s so much more than [pumpkin] spice,” she said. “We just like to mix flavors to create those alternatives for the Fall.”

The Nitro Cart’s Rival Drink

While pumpkin spice is the contender for lattes at The Nitro Cart in Providence, it has a rival best-seller. “I would say the Maple Sea Salt Latte is pretty comparable to the Pumpkin Spice Latte,” said Jake, Barista at The Nitro Cart. “People buy it as much as they do pumpkin spice and seem to really like it.”

Keepin’ it Spicy at Latte Love

Pumpkin spice remains the go-to at Latte Love in Johnston as well, with customers requesting it in early August, but there are other flavors working their way up the ranks. Alternate flavor requests include honey cinnamon and brown sugar as well as maple, per Barista Sarah.

For those with an aversion to pumpkin, simple spiced chai is the best bet. “Spiced chai is also very popular with customers, mainly selling from September to January,” said Oliver, another Barista at Latte Love. Oliver has also gotten word about other cafes experimenting with squash flavor. Hmm, not too sure about that one.

White Electric Cookin’ Up Maple/Apple, Caramel Delights

When it comes to innovation, White Electric in Providence takes the gold. They currently have a brand-new maple/apple flavor in the works, which has gotten the green light from the shop’s staff after initial taste testing. 

Although not a latte per se, the drink includes apple butter, maple syrup, apple cider, 

cinnamon, and your choice of milk for a creamy texture. “It’s a sweet, creamy, apply-y beverage that I think rivals a hot apple cider or even a hot cocoa in the winter,” said James, Barista at White Electric.

The eclectic shop on Westminster Street may also introduce a Salted Caramel Praline Latte with salted caramel, hazelnut and brown sugar, which will become official once vetted by staff. “If enough people like it and are enthused about it, we’ll put it on our specials menu,” he said.

In the meantime, White Electric currently offers “The Cereal Killa” on their specials menu, which Barista Chloe considers a good latte alternative. It’s made with Oat Milk along with house-made lavender and hibiscus herbal syrups that are “good for the soul.”

They have yet to decide if they are bringing back their house-made pumpkin spice syrup for their Fall line-up, which will probably start by the Autumn Equinox on September 22.  “I think it’s very likely it will make an appearance here again since I hear it was very popular last year,” said James.

Word on the street

I was surprised (and maybe a tad pleased) to find that most of the people I spoke with on the streets of PVD are NOT Pumpkin Spice enthusiasts (it was pure coincidence, I promise) and had other go-to’s they turn to for the season ahead. 

Natasha from Providence would take a cappuccino or matcha latte any day over pumpkin spice. Lucas from Somerville, Massachusetts is all about the Americano, as is Stan from Smithfield, who also goes for the classic cup of Joe served black, which best captures a coffee’s natural flavor. 

So, there you have it – there IS more out there than pumpkin spice. Mission accomplished.




The In-Cider Scoop: 3 local destinations for unique cider this fall

Summer is coming to a close and many are packing up beach chairs to trade in for fall activities. Autumn is known for crisp air, exceptional foliage — and cider. In New England, cider has been a staple since the first apple seeds were brought to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Looking for unique cider this season? Here are three spots for a one-of-a-kind experience you can only find locally. 

#1: Sowams Cider Works Company 

If you ask for cider at Sowams, you’re going to get an alcoholic drink. “What I’m doing is part of a resurgence of the cider making practice in this country,” said Sowams’ owner Spencer Morris. Located in Warren, Morris not only ages the cider in his own cellar, but grows his own apples. “I am a grower first. I would not make cider if I didn’t grow my own apples. If you want the best ciders, seek out cider makers that grow their own fruit,” Morris said. Growing more than 50 types of apples, the fruit is also bound to Rhode Island history. The Rhode Island Greening is just one variety you can find at Long Lane Orchard in Warren, which provides the Sowams apples. “These are old apples, and with them come these wonderful stories.” Consumers see cider as a beer alternative, but Morris sees his product differently. “In terms of both the palette and the way it can be consumed, it is more similar to grape wine.” The cider has no added sulfites, sugar or carbonation. 

Sowams also sells apples by the bunch, locally made honey and cider soap. They offer packaged cheese, and Morris encourages people to bring takeout from local restaurants. They remain open year-round Thursday through Sunday and offer events for groups. 

#2: Hard-Pressed Cider Co. 

If you’re not afraid of change, the cider here will not disappoint. Hard-Pressed Cider Co., located at Windmist Farm in Jamestown, offers non-alcoholic mulled cider, hot or cold, and cider slushies. “Our cider kind of changes with the season,” said co-owner Jaclyn Swanson. “You’ll definitely notice a difference if you were to come three times in the season — once in September, once in October and another time in November… flavor differences just based on seasonal apples.” Inconsistency in the flavor changes week-to-week, depending on what local orchards have in season for apples. “We really do love celebrating the difference.” 

The business started in 2011, but in 2015 the company introduced apple cider doughnuts.  “It was something that we had been wanting to do for quite some time,” Swanson said. ”We’ve got a little bit more time [now] because we’re not packing up and moving every weekend. And who doesn’t love a good cider doughnut?” 

Hard-Pressed Cider Co. moves twice a year, setting up at Windmist Farm from Labor Day until the week before Thanksgiving, relocating to The Farmer’s Daughter in South Kingstown for the Christmas season. They are open seasonally, and opened for business this year on September 2.

#3: B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill

Located in Mystic, CT, Clyde’s is the oldest steam-powered cider mill in the United States, and the last. This national historical landmark began operating in 1881 and has remained family-owned for many generations. Fifth generation owner Annette, and husband Harold Miner still press cider in the original mill, creating 14 different apple wines and eight hard cider varieties. Visitors can try hard cider in the tasting room on weekends. If you’re looking to enjoy a treat with some cider, Clyde’s has many options: Take home a few dozen freshly baked old-fashioned apple cider doughnuts covered in cinnamon sugar, or try other bakery items, jams, dips and more. Cider demonstrations are scheduled on the weekends, but patrons are not permitted in the mill when pressing is active. However, they are allowed to watch from the open doors.  

Clyde’s is open seven days a week in September and October from 9am – 6pm, and November and December 9am – 5pm. Scheduled pressings and tasting room visits are offered on Saturday and Sunday only. Hard cider is sold starting at 10am Monday through Saturday, and at 11am on Sunday. Their season started September 1.




Mane Character Energy: Leo season’s fiercest, fanciest foodie finds

Like it or not, it’s Leo Season, y’all! From July 22nd to August 22nd every year, the planet becomes just a little bit more extra while those of us lucky to be born under this leonine sign all declare as one that “It’s MY birthday month!” Face it: for Leos, this stretch of time is a full blown party, and not just any spot will do for these ferociously fickle felines. As a Leo myself (August 15th, a national holiday, and the date of Motif’s food truck awards!), here are some of my faves for when I just need to celebrate and channel my Main Character Energy – which is stronger than normal around this time of the year.

Porch Dining at The Clarke Cooke House

Leos are all about getting glammed up and having a fabulous time, and what better way than to indulge at one of the last spots where a dress code is (thankfully) enforced? Yes, guys must don sport jackets, and gals are expected to reach similar levels of #fashion, but your efforts will be rewarded with effortless service by handsome, tuxedo-clad gentlemen (ok, purr), a menu of locally inspired delicacies (the Lobster with Sauce Poivre Rose is winsome without catering to the masses of seafood zombies on the wharf below), and of course, the Snowball in Hell, everyone’s favorite Newport dessert – a wine glass filled to the brim with house-made chocolate mousse, devil’s food cake, Callebaut chocolate, fresh vanilla ice cream and toasted coconut. Watch all eyes turn to your table as this towering trifle is presented, complete with a birthday sparkler — but don’t worry, Leo. You’re the sparkliest one in the room.

24 Bannister’s Wharf, Newport

The Boombox Karaoke

The overlap between manic theater kids and August birthdays is unsurprisingly common, and where else can one belt out “Little Girls” from Annie while sipping on a fruity, guava-y Love Cat sake cocktail served in an actual ceramic cat glass? The Dean Hotel is already a total vibe — the 52-room boutique hotel boasts a fantastic location and distinctive decor right in the heart of downtown PVD — and the swanky subterranean lounge is the perfect place to channel your inner diva. Private karaoke rooms are available, but in true Leo fashion, the main room is where the spotlight will truly shine on you. Also, “Little Girls” is my karaoke song of choice. #MissHanniganDeservedBetter #SorryNotSorry

122 Fountain Street, PVD

Secret Garden at Ocean House

Nothing says excessive like a champagne and crepe garden, and even though Westerly is a bit far, Ocean House is a total Leo mood, and I am so here for it. The Secret Garden pop-up runs all summer long, and no birthday visit is complete without a Smoked Salmon Crepe with a generous scoop of Royal Belgian Osetra Caviar and a Veuve Clicquot Rich Rosé Watermelon Crush Swimming Pool cocktail, featuring fresh watermelon and Pop Rocks! They’re even open for private dining in their lush waterfront realm, and honestly, that sounds like an ideal birthday party to me!

1 Bluff Avenue, Westerly

Cara at The Chanler

IMO, Leos are the pickiest sign of the Zodiac, so when you subject us to a tasting menu that is completely Chef’s choice, you’re either in for an Oscar-winning tantrum, or a happy kitty, nibbling contentedly on foie gras. At Cara, it’s definitely the latter. With only four tables, guests are truly the stars of the show as they indulge in five or eight course menus of bespoke culinary creations. Executive Chef Jacob Jasinki is at the helm of this impressive Forbes Five Star dining experience, and between the seaside views and gastronomic greatness, this experience is not to be missed.

117 Memorial Boulevard, Newport




Motif’s 2022 Food Truck and Drink Award Nominees

RI has no shortage of fantastic food trucks, breweries and distilleries, and we at Motif can’t wait to celebrate them at our Food Truck and Drink awards this month. With nominees spanning 45 categories, we hope you can discover a new favorite food truck or brewery to try on your next night out. While we encourage voting for your favorites and there can only be so many winners, we appreciate each and every nominee and the creativity and craft they bring to RI’s food and drink scene.

Food Trucks

Burgers

Haven Brothers

Pit Stop

Rocket Fine Street Food

Everything “AN”

Atomic Burgers

Hot Dogs & Sausages

Big Dog Eats

Dogs on the Go

Plouffe’s

The Sausage Guy

Muzzled Hot Dogs

Saugy’s

Sam’s NY System

BBQ

GottaQ BBQ

Smoke & Squeal

Supa Dupa

Little B’s BBQ

Binge BBQ

Cheese & Cheesesteaks

Fancheezical

Dinolicious

Championship Melt

Big Dog Eats

Red’s Street Food

Rhodies Food Truck

Seafood

TrapBoxPVD

Newport Chowder Company

Shuckin’ Truck

Gansett Poke

La Costa Lobster & Tacos

Blount Seafood

Julio’s Gourmet Food Truck

Hometown Poke

Tacos

Tacofied

La Costa Lobster & Tacos

One2 Taco & More

Poco Loco Tacos

Macs Screaming Corn & Tacos

RaRa’s Surf Shack Beach Wagon

Latin & Caribbean Influences

Matilda

Gonzalez Food Truck

La Carreta

Gnarly Vines Food Truck

Spanglish

Burrito Bowl

La Guaguita Del Sabor

Bajas Enterprises

JA PATTY RI Catering & Events

Tacos Mi Rancho

La Birria

Asian Influence

Incred-A-Bowl

Nanu the Burmese Fusion

Lotus Pepper

Ming’s Asian Street Food

Italian Influence

Hook N Ladder Pizza Co.

Bird’s Nest Italian Street Food

Nonnie’s Kitchen

A Mano Pizza + Gelato

Moving Dough Wood Fired Pizza Co.

Mike & Lenny’s Bar Pizza

Vegan/Vegetarian/Cruelty-free

Nanu the Burmese Fusion

Vegan Suga

Lotus Pepper

Ming’s Asian Street Food

Like No Udder

Basil & Bunny

Juice Junkie

Potatoes

Hot Potato

Friskie Fries

Cluck Truck

ButterHead

Red’s Street Food

Breakfast & Brunch

Lu Lu’s Little Pancakes

Sunnyside on the Street

Oatmiel Café

The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles

Lemmiegetuhhh

Presto Strange O Coffee

Coffee

On the Rhode Cafe

The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles

Café Modesto

The Daily Grind

Presto Strange O Coffee Truck

COFFEE 911

The Salty Brew

Rise and Grind Coffee Truck

Dessert

Sarcastic Sweets

La Fruta Loca

Lu Lu’s Little Pancakes

Black Dog Donuts

The Cupcakory

Nessa’s Snack Shop

Jo Jo’s Cupcakes

O Boy

Twisted Churros

Shishkaberry’s of New England

Frozen Dessert

Kay’s Ice Cream

Atomic Blonde Ice Cream

Kona Ice

New England Frozen Lemonade

Chelsea’s Creamery

Tizzy K’s Cereal Ice Cream

Palagis Ice Cream

Hawaiian Jim’s Shave Ice

Mumsy’s Ice Cream

Cosmo’s Fresh & Frozen Treats

Milk Caffe & Catering

Alien Ice Cream

Food Truck with Storefront

Smoke & Squeal BBQ

GottaQ BBQ

Red’s Street Kitchen

Poco Loco Taco

Like No Udder

Friskie Fries

Graphics

RaRa’s Surf Shack Beach Wagon

Friskie Fries

Championship Melt

Hot Potato

Alien Ice Cream

New Truck

Coffee 911

Hook N Ladder Pizza Co.

Mumsy’s Ice Cream

Vegan Suga

Lemmiegetuhhh

Rise and Grind Coffee Truck

Everything “AN”

Nonnie’s Kitchen

Cosmo’s Fresh & Frozen Treats

All-Weather Warrior

Farm to Sandwich

Red’s Street Kitchen

JA Patty

Rocket Fine Street Food

Other Ethnic

The Village Greek

Pit Stop

The Ish

Pierogitory

Bem Bom Portuguese

Flip N Roll

Fieldstone Kombucha

Location/Festival

New Bedford Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival

Hope & Main’s Schoolyard Twilight Party

Food Truck Friday at Mulligan’s Island

Warwick Food Truck Nights

Food Truck Friday at Carousel Village

Food Trucks at Narragansett Beach

Providence Flea

Pop-up

The Perfect Sweet Shoppe

Mamma Lasagna’s

Biggest Little Easy Catering

Kenza’s Delights

Dips Dips

Butterbang Croissants

Bites by Bre

Sarcastic Sweets

Portable Not-Quite-Truck

Wally’s Wieners

Sweet B’s Donuts

Newport Chowder Co.

Tricycle Ice Cream

Poppin Minis RI

Outdoor Treat

Lemon

Iggy’s Doughboys (Various)

Sandcastles Sundaes

Gray’s Ice Cream (Tiverton)

Cold Fusion Gelato

The Inside Scoop

Three Sisters (Hope St, PVD)

The Wright Scoop

Blount’s

Locally Manufactured Food

Rhed’s Hot Sauce

Yacht Club Soda

Ocean State Pepper Company (spices)

Hustlers Swing Sauce

Beautiful Day Granola (granola)

Sacred Cow Granola (granola)

The Backyard Food Company (salsa)

Venda Ravioli lobster ravioli

Del’s Lemonade

Granny Squibb’s (iced tea)

New RI Food Product

Lost Art Kraut-Chi

PVD Pies

Sarcastic Sweets Beernuts

Anchor Toffee

Bootblack Syrup

Farmer’s Market

Lippitt Park (PVD)

Farm Fresh RI (PVD)

Brooklawn Park (New Bedford)

Burnside Park (PVD)

Burrillville Farmer’s Market (Burrillville)

Greene Farmers Market (Coventry)

Armory Farmers Market (PVD)

Goddard State Park (Warwick)

Fishermen’s Memorial Park (Narragansett)

Schoolyard Market at Hope & Main (Warren)

O’Connell Field (Attleboro)

Pawtuxet Village (Cranston)

Drinks

DIPA+

Ocean Loft by Shaidzon

Rhode Rage by Newport Craft

Stiff Sheet by West Passage

Captain’s Daughter by Grey Sail

Warren G by The Guild

Tonebender by Rejects

You Thirsty by Revival

The All Seeing Eye by Long Live

Liquid Hugs DIPA by Ragged Island

IPA

Evolver 4.0 by The Hive

Tiny Truck IPA by Ragged Island

Crawl, Walk, Run by Apponaug

Musik Express IPA by Narragansett

Object Permanence by Buttonwoods

Cranston Thug Life by Union Station Brewery

Galaxy Elixer by LineSider

What Even Is This? By Origin Beer Project

Trendy Name by Moniker

Tendril by Proclamation

Mayday NEIPA by Bravo Brewing

Tropical IPA by General’s Crossing

Kolsch

Ruby by Six Pack

Canal Street Crushable Ale by Grey Sail

Another Room Without A View by Proclamation

Koelsh by Trinity

Lager

Japanese Lager by Rejects

Meander Through by Apponaug

Irresistible Delicious by PVD Brewing Company

Is This Still Lawn Boy by Titled Barn

Chair 2 Light Lager by Sons of Liberty

Slater by The Guild

Burnout by Taproot

Donde Esta La Biblioteca by Ragged Island

Small Victories by Origin Beer Project

Mexican Dark Lager by General’s Crossing

Pale Ale

Rise by Whalers

Anthem American Pale Ale by Bravo Brewing

Observatory by The Guild

Doug White Ale by Union Station Brewery

Fox Point Ale by Narragansett

Independence American Pale Ale by The Hive

Sea and Sand by Shaidzon

Honey Hibiscus Wit by General’s Crossing

Flavored

Pumpkin Spice Ale by Lops Brewing

Blond Jovi by Linesider

Belgian Strawberry by Trinity

Blueberry American Wheat by Crooked Current

Blueberry Ale by Newport Craft

Light Ale

Debut Single by Moniker

Saison Des Fraise by Ravenous Brewing

Fresh Catch by Narragansett

House by Buttonwoods

Golden Ale & Blondes

Blueberry Blonde by Coddington

G’Day Mate by Buttonwoods

The Meg Blonde Ale by Twelve Guns

Golden Ale by Coddington

Pilsner/Pilsener

Station 3 Pilsner by Lops Brewing

Pilsner by Buttonwoods

Pawtuxet Pilsner by Apponaug

Bohemian Pilsner by Narragansett

PVD Pils by Long Live

Kōwhai by Tilted Barn

West Fountain Street by Beer On Earth

Buffalo Czech Pils by Shaidzon

State of Flow by Moniker

Grassroots Italian-Style Pilsner by The Hive

Lenni by Six Pack

Porter

Espresso Peanut Butter Porter by Lops Brewing

Blueport by Taproot

Marzanna by Beer On Earth

Reds & Browns

Bienvenu by Ravenous Brewing

Irish Red by Twelve Guns

Neopolitan Brown Ale by Crooked Current

Full Keel Brown Ale by West Passage

Sour

Lava Monster by Smug

Pinky Swear by Revival

Mango Vango by Foolproof

Flower Sour by Taproot

Monchito by Whalers

Frozie Cup Donut by Long Live

Sunrise Over Sea by Tilted Barn

Pastry Sour Key Lime Pie by Twelve Guns

Oyster Gose by Newport Craft

Stout

Coffee Milk Stout by Ravenous Brewing

Marshmallow Imperial Stout by Lops Brewing

Barrel Aged Imperial Stout by Rejects

White Stout by Crooked Current

Echo Lake Sunrise by Apponaug

Wear It Out by PVD Brewing Company

Wheat

Summer Sol by Tilted Barn

Summer Wheat by Coddington

Make This Romance Last by Proclamation

Cherry Wheat Ale by Bravo Brewing

Screaming Viking by Trinity

Easy Company Hefeweizen by Bravo Brewing

Holy Mountain by Beer on Earth

Miscellaneous Beer

Oak Aged Cask Barleywine by Norey’s

Stereo > Mono by Proclamation

Big Red Goat by Foolproof

Prosecco by Gooseneck

Malted Barleywine by Malted Barley

Ollie by Six Pack

Cabin Fever by Smug

Seltzers+

Peach Seltzer by Ravenous Brewing

Cannon & Anchor Hard Seltzer by Twelve Guns

Drift by Whalers

Cider

Orchard Blend All In by Sowams

Rhody Coyote by Newport Vineyards

Blueberry Vanilla by Tapped Apple Cider

Whiskey/Bourbon

Honey Chamomile Flavored Whiskey by Sons of Liberty

Puppy Bourbon by White Dog

Cornucopia Whiskey by White Dog

Bourbon by Working Man Distillers

Gin/Vodka

Rhodium Coffee Black Walnut Vodka by RI Spirits

Ornamental Gin by ISCO

True Born Gin by SOL

Rhodium Forager’s Gin by RI Spirits

Rhodium NRG Gin by RI Spirits

Other Spirits

Lella’s Limoncello by White Dog

Coquito Tropical by Papi’s Coquito and Tropical Juices

Battle Cry Single Malt by Sons of Liberty

Agave by South County Distillers

Favorite Beer Fest

Beervana (Cranston, October)

Craft Beer Races (Newport, July)

Newport Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival (Newport, October)

RI Brew Fest (PVD, January)

Witches Brew Fest (Smithfield, October)




I’m Literally Screaming: The scoop on great Rhody ice creams

Summer is officially here, and that means it’s time to venture out after dinner and grab a scoop of ice cream! Oh, what? You don’t do after-dinner ice cream? You’re weak and I don’t want to be friends with you. For those of you who are strong enough to enjoy an apres-cookout nosh, here are some picks for the most fabulous frozen treats!

The Wright Scoop

Who could actually say no to ice cream so farm-fresh that you may potentially get to shake the hoof of the cow that produced it before you dig in? The Wright Scoop’s Insta-friendly vintage airstream trailers at the North Smithfield flagship and at Warren’s Blount Clam Shack turn out some of the most delicious scoops in RI (Black Raspberry Oreo, anyone?), but what really sets Wright’s apart are the mounds of homemade whipped cream that top these icy confections. I have been known to just get a bowl of this with toppings. Seriously. Run, don’t walk! #MooMoo

200 Woonsocket Hill Road, North Smithfield

335 Water Street, Warren

The Inside Scoop

Nothing says Americana like a good ol’ fashioned roadside ice cream shop, and The Inside Scoop in North Kingstown would fit right into a modern day Kerouac novel. Your head will actually explode over the dizzying array of over 50 house-made flavors, but my personal pick is the Cookie Dough Parfait, featuring layer upon layer of dreamy soft serve ice cream, cookie dough and whipped cream. With so much to choose from, you really can’t go wrong.

30 Ten Rod Road, North Kingstown

Sandcastles Sundaes

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical the first time I visited Sandcastles — as a make-your-own sundae shop, I was like “there’s TOO much freedom here. This is basically a Chipotle for ice cream!” Boy, was I quickly proven wrong! Yes, there’s so much to choose from (Even bacon. Get the bacon.), but everything is super yummy. If you’re not in an adventurous mood, they have several handcrafted selections for sundaes and milkshakes (The Coffee and Donuts Milkshake is a whimsical riff on Rhode Island Coffee Milk), but make-your-own is the way to go. Be sure to snap a selfie with Chip, their costumed mascot, before heading out to people-watch on the patio.

225 Goddard Row, Newport

Cold Fusion Gelato

Mmkay, so gelato is not TECHNICALLY ice cream (it has less cream and more milk, resulting in a richer flavor – I think I just helped you win trivia — #You’reWelcome), but Cold Fusion has been a Newport staple since 2004, and as I always say, if you can survive the early 2000s, you can survive anything. Sure, all of the classics are present and accounted for (the stracciatella is particularly masterful, with a creamy base and dark chocolate flecks dotted throughout), but my new fave for summer is the bright purple Ube Gelato. This tuber is the new kid on the block in Newport (peep the Nitro Bar’s Ube Latte right across the street!), but is quickly becoming a fan favorite no matter in a cup, cone or sensible coffee beverage.

389 Thames Street, Newport

The Perfect Sweet Shoppe

I stumbled upon this actual hidden gem while on a pilgrimage to the adjacent Taco Box Truck, and it’s still one of my favorite foodie finds! Not only does The Perfect Sweet craft incredible desserts, such as actually the best cupcakes I have ever had (that buttercream frosting, tho) and French-style macarons, but they also have a year-round (!!!) Scoop Shop, so you can get your sundae fix even in the dead of winter. And you’ll definitely want to, because there’s a Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich, and what’s better than that?

16 Joyce Street, Warren




Stop at the Sign of the Lemon!: RI frozen treats to cool you off this summer

Whether you call it a slush or frozen lemonade, it’s impossible to call it anything other than delicious. 

It’s impossible to think of a RI summer without sipping a Del’s. Del’s has been a state staple since 1948, becoming a must-have for locals and tourists alike, making the green and yellow cup with the lemon logo as recognizable as the Big Blue Bug. With storefronts located throughout the state and trucks filling the gaps in between, you can’t go far without running into this iconic company.

As popular as it is, Del’s isn’t the only place in town to enjoy a frozen beverage. There are many local places to feed that frozen beverage urge; we encourage you to try all the ones below, just not all at once for risk of a brain freeze!

Helger’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Tiverton has been family-owned and operated since 1989. They have everything you would expect from an ice cream shop, but it’s their inclusion of “Snowballs” on the menu that really makes them stand out. 

A little thicker than other frozen beverages, the Snowball is meant to be eaten with a spoon and feels similar to biting into freshly fallen winter snow, but with delicious syrupy flavors, watermelon being owner Maryellen Helger’s personal favorite. “It cools you off fast,” she shares.

Helger’s Ice Cream Shoppe is located at 2475 Main Rd in Tiverton. Call 401-624-4560 or check out their Facebook page for more information.

Lemon King is a “Royal Treat” on Plainfield St in PVD. Their menu offers hard ice cream, milkshakes and other quick frozen treats in addition to an assortment of frozen beverage flavors. The frozen beverage features a thicker ice, which adds a fun crunch. 

Lemon King is under new management and is coming up with creative treats and listening to customers’ feedback. This led to the addition of tables and chairs for people to sit and enjoy their snack.

Lemon King is located at 616 Plainfield St, PVD. Call 401-654-5214 or visit their Facebook page for more information.

Mr. Lemon has been refreshing customers since 1974. Located on a side street off of Admiral St, it is a hidden but popular gem in PVD. Run by “Mama Lemon” and her family, they use a family recipe for their flavor syrups. There are staple flavors (lemon, watermelon, vanilla) as well as featured flavors, which they announce on their Facebook page and sell until gone. The flavors can be combined into a variety of custom flavors, which are always a treat.

The texture of a Mr. Lemon frozen beverage is much finer than its peers: Think sand at the beach fine, which makes the drink go down with extreme smoothness. This gives a better taste of the flavors, with no chunks of ice getting in the way.

As tasty as Mr. Lemon is, the service is even better. Customers are always greeted with a smile and friendly welcome. Staff always take a few seconds to talk to the customer and make sure they’re aware of how appreciated they are.

Mr. Lemon is located at 32 Hawkins St in PVD. Follow their Facebook page for updated flavors and other information.

New England Frozen Lemonade has become a local institution of refreshment since first opening in 1960. Their philosophy of providing the highest quality product with professional and courteous service continues to this day, now with the third generation operating this family-owned business. 

New England Frozen Lemonade prides itself on using only real lemons when making their frozen beverage. “Our product is truly the only 100% natural product in the local market,” Owner Bob Lombardi says.

In addition to lemon, watermelon and cherry flavors are also popular. Cherry is a personal favorite of mine because it tastes like a blended cherry popsicle. New England Frozen Lemonade has two brick-and-mortar stores to go along with a large fleet of trucks and over 50 mobile units. They plan to be all over RI this summer.

“We have always worked close in the community supporting all causes: sporting programs, non-profits, school functions and all kinds of local community events,” Lombardi says of giving back to those that have supported New England Frozen Lemonade for so long.

New England Lemonade is located at 280 Douglas Ave in Providence. Please call 401-274-3255 or check their Facebook page for more information.