The last time I visited Ogie’s Trailer Park, the patio seating was deserted except for the crackling of fire in the outdoor pit, and by 6pm the restaurant — and the entire city of Providence — was swathed in all-consuming darkness. Such were the joys of winter.
The bleakness of that time contributed to my initial misperception of Ogie’s, namely that there was something cold or impersonal about this place. Quite contrary: It’s full of bright colors and happy faces, and it truly shines in the peak of summer.
The floor is teal! There are urchin-shaped lights hanging from the ceiling! Cat art decorates the walls! I felt like my universe expanded, and for the first time since moving to New England, a slice of the Southwest had followed me here.
Our bartender, Neal, greeted us with an enthusiasm only sunshine can produce, and he answered my most pressing question: “Is it true that the owners of The Duck & Bunny own this place?” It’s true, he confirmed, which surprises me only because this trailer park décor is the exact opposite of the tea-time cupcake snuggery in the Fox Point neighborhood.
The versatility of the Beckers (the owners) is admirable because Ogie’s is made for the West Side — eclectic to the core, but with a vibe that’s relaxed and welcoming. After sipping (gulping) my Hurricane, my friend and I made executive menu decisions: three sandwiches for two people, plus a side of tots, because how could we not?
It was too difficult to narrow it down further; the menu is full of comfort foods that may fool one into thinking they’re just vehicles for grease, since they come in baskets lined with red and white checkered paper, but actually they’re handcrafted gourmet twists on the classics. To place our order, we headed over to the kitchen window, designed to look like the side of a food truck trailer or a house on The Truman Show, and were given a license plate to let us know when our order was ready (“Montana! You’re up!”).
We took the advice of friends (and strangers) and ordered one of the most popular dishes, the Southern Fried Rhody Chicken Sandwich (with “slab bacon”), along with the Sloppy J’Ogie (a vegan choice), French Canadian style tater tots (hello gravy, cheese, bacon, and a fried egg!), and a Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly with Nutella and Flambéed Bananas.
Do yourself a favor before you die and get that grilled PB&J. Consider it dessert or heaven in a basket, but you won’t be disappointed. In fact, nothing about an evening at Ogie’s will disappoint. It’s the perfect kick-off to a hard-earned weekend, whether you remain inside with the festive lighting and bright colors, or go outside where more silhouettes of trailers adorn each side of the fenced-in area. Much like over at The Duck & Bunny, the back patio at Ogie’s is optimal for small- to medium-sized groups to congregate, whether it’s around the fire pit or not. It’ll feel just like you’re picnicking at an actual trailer park.