RHODY LIFE

The fabulous food of Edgewood

Posted 6/30/21

By DON FOWLER Studies show that a majority of people do not venture more than five or 10 miles from their home to dine out. For Edgewood residents, that opens a plethora of great restaurants in Cranston, Warwick and Providence. It also offers some fine

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RHODY LIFE

The fabulous food of Edgewood

Posted

Studies show that a majority of people do not venture more than five or 10 miles from their home to dine out.

For Edgewood residents, that opens a plethora of great restaurants in Cranston, Warwick and Providence.

It also offers some fine dining choices within walking distance.

JP SPOONEM’S

The best breakfast restaurant in the state lies in the northern section of Edgewood. JP Spoonem’s, at the corner of Broad Street and Wheeler Avenue, is the neighborhood favorite when it comes to innovative breakfasts and lunches.

It is also the place where “everybody knows your name.” Pat greets you when you enter and serves your coffee while asking how the kids or parents are. She probably knows the name of your cat or dog.

Husband Joe is in the open kitchen, cooking those eggs exactly how you ordered them. When things quiet down, which is usually at closing time, around 1:30 or 2 p.m., he makes up more of the best corned beef hash in Rhode Island.

The restaurant is small, and the tables (inside and outside) and counter are usually filled, but the short wait is worth it for Joe’s innovative and delicious omelets and home fries. Everything is cooked to order and served “right off the griddle.”

There are specials every day and a multitude of specialty breakfasts to choose from, most in the $9-$10 range. You will not go away hungry.

I favor the Texas French toast and waffle combinations, while Joyce goes for the omelets.

Her brother comes up from Connecticut to order the Big Daddy – three pancakes two eggs, bacon, ham or sausage, home fries and toast. He adds a side order of hash.

If you want the best corned beef Reuben you’ve ever tasted, ($8.50), the sandwich is one of many that will satisfy your luncheon appetite. The pastrami is as tender as the corned beef, and the ham is sliced right of the bone.

Check them out on Facebook or call 941-3550 for take-out.

If you are new to Spoonem’s, have no fear. You will be warmly welcomed by the friendly staff and regulars. When they closed briefly during the pandemic, Joe spent the time making improvements on the space and opening as soon as it was physically possible.

Pat and Joe take Mondays off, but they are there from 7:30 to closing the other six days.

VIVALDI’S

My Greek friends at Vivaldi’s, located at 1826 Broad St., have been serving up the best pizza in town for as long as I can remember.

This is not your cookie-cutter cardboard pizza. They make it fresh, scattering the toppings at will and adding their delicious sauce.

Our favorite is the Vivaldi’s Special ($9.95) – pepperoni, sausage, pepper, onion, mushrooms meatball and black olives.

Vivaldi’s is much more than a pizza place.

Their fish and Chips ($10.95) is Cranston’s best-kept secret. While you may not think of getting fried fish at a pizza parlor, I suggest you give it a try. The fish is huge, served with French fries and cole slaw, with a crispy coating and piping hot.

Vivaldi’s menu is extensive, including salads, appetizers, wings, calzones, wraps, grinders, stuffed breads, spaghetti, complete Italian dinners and a terrific gyro served on pita bread with lettuce, tomato and their special sauce ($6.95).

You could take out from Vivaldi’s every week for a year and not have the same thing twice.

Their phone number is 461-7495.

WAI WAI HOUSE

Chinese take-out in the Cantonese and Mandarin style is kept simple in this tiny restaurant at 1850 Broad St., located in a former auto repair shop.

Open every day until 10 p.m., Wai Wai serves inexpensive lunch specials with pork fried rice every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Chow Mein, chop suey, lo mein and egg foo young dishes are only $5.50, with the most expensive dish being their popular “Tidbit” – boneless ribs, chicken fingers, beef teriyaki and chicken wings ($6.25).

The same combination dishes are available after 3 o’clock.

The menu is basic and available within 10-15 minutes after your order. We like their shrimp lo mein and moo shu shrimp.

Note: Wai Wai, like many take-outs, has just raised their prices, but they are still very reasonable. Call them at 941-3360.

KEANE’S WOOD-FIRED BBQ TAKE-OUT

Keane’s BBQ is basically a caterer, but at the request of many neighbors they take individual orders every Friday with pick up from 4 to 8 p.m.

The young couple and their staff prepare their meats on site.

Their Brisket Sandwich with pickled beets and BBQ mustard ($16) is my favorite. Joyce likes the Hanoi Chicken sandwich, grilled chicken, chili mayo, pickled veggies, cilantro and scallions ($14).

Pulled pork with red slaw, pickles and BBQ sauce is $15. Smoked kielbasa with caraway sauerkraut and BBQ mustard ($13) is my second favorite.

All sandwiches come with a side of coleslaw, cornbread, potato salad or greens. We’ve tried them all, and they are all freshly made and delicious.

They also have a smoked portobello mushroom sandwich ($12) and mac and cheese ($9), plus occasional specials.

To place an order or check out their catering, call 437-6933. Located at 1850 Broad St.

POCO LOCO

This wonderful little Mexican restaurant and take-out started as a food truck and has become a staple for the neighborhood and beyond.

Everything is cooked fresh and delivered by the time I leave my house and walk the two blocks to its door.

Tacos at $2.50 each, like their grande tacos, burritos and quesadillas, come with your choice of adobe chicken, slow roasted pork, seasoned ground meat or chorizo and potato (my favorite).

The sheet pan nachos at $8 is more than I can handle, while their crispy tostada is a particular favorite.

Poco Loco’s prices are less that you would pay at a fast food burger joint, and the food is a heck of a lot healthier.

Located at 2005 Broad St. Call 461-2640 to order.

EDGEWOOD CHEESE SHOP & EATERY

Customers come from all over Rhode Island to buy this little gem’s local and imported cheeses.

From a small plate with three types of cheeses for $10, to “The Works” – a five cheese/four meats platter for $32 – you can make up your own combination after tasting the delicious samples.

From charcuterie to gift items, there is something for everyone, whether buying for the family or platters for a house party. Platters include meat, cheese, jams, dried fruit, nuts and crackers. An $80 platter will serve a dozen, while 30 can be served for $175.

The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Located at 1828 Broad St. Phone is 941-2400.

You can also purchase a pannini of roast beef, smoked duck and turkey.

EDGEWOOD CAFÉ

This intimate, cozy restaurant was a former pharmacy and then ice cream parlor. Some of the remaining wood paneling still remains.

Hours may change because of the pandemic, but they are usually open Wednesday through Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m.

Chef John Walsh, a Johnson & Wales grad, cooks everything to order and does not take reservations.

The upscale entrée menu is limited to a half-dozen items and changes frequently. There are also some interesting appetizers and desserts on the menu.

The café is at 1864 Broad St. Telephone is 383-5550.

EDGEWOOD MARKET

Located at 1043 Narragansett Blvd., this former corner grocery, store founded in 1958, is the hidden gem of Northern Edgewood.

It is a favorite stop for firemen, police, Johnson & Wales students and neighbors.

Whether it is pizza, Italian dishes, sandwiches, chicken wings, burgers, calzones, or a variety of lunch and dinner items to eat there (a popular stop for the men in blue) or take-out, you can count on the quality and large portions.

Try their 2-foot-long Boffa Italian grinder with everything but the kitchen sink.

Call 941-5060. Hours vary.

BOULEVARD PIZZA

This place has all that you would expect in the average pizza establishment. It is popular with Johnson & Wales students, staying open until 11:45 nightly.

JOSEPH’S PIZZA

This new pizza place opened at 1860 Broad St. I haven’t tried it yet – it’s the only establishment on this list I have yet to try.

food, Edgewood

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