Ive seen a couple of mentions of Lemis BBQ on the board, but I wanted to give it another plug as the best Chinese restaurant in the Providence area, bar none. Id been living in Providence for four years already and had resigned myself for the standard Rhode Island Chinese faregreasy, generic, and catered toward the western palate (takeout places even going so far as to give you a loaf of Italian bread with your meal). Then I discovered Lemis, this little restaurant over on Pontiac Street, off Route 2, by the Providence-Cranston line. And lo and behold they have authentic Chinese food at very reasonable prices.
Their trademark, of course, is their Hong Kong/Chinatown style barbequed meats. Chicken, duck, roast pork (cha siu) and, my personal favorite, roast pig (with crispy skin)all served with hoisin sauce (but other sauces, like a scallion/ginger blend, are available upon request). You can order the meat of your choice by the pound (they do half pounds or quarter pounds too) both for takeout and for eating in. You can even order a whole suckling pig, though I imagine youd have to give them some advance warning for that. If Im dining with someone else, Ill usually just order a quarter or half pound of barbeque to go with whatever else Im having for dinner.
While there is some standard Americanized fare on the menu, I steer towards the more authentic stuff (including all of the specials), and Ive never been disappointed with anything Ive ordered. Some favorites include the clams with black bean sauce, the crab or lobster with ginger and scallions (a bargain at $11.95), and any of the wide selection Chinese vegetables (ton-choy, o-choy, peapod leavesits hard to describe these, but you can take my word that theyre tasty). My girlfriends favorite is the minced beef congee, a sort of rice soup with beef and ginger in itI prefer the version with preserved egg, but its all good stuff (I think Lucky Gardens the only other place in Rhode Island Ive seen congee offered). The house specialty is peking duck, and since they specialize in barbeque meats anyway, they make an excellent peking ducknice crispy skin, served with scallions and sliced cucumber and steamed buns instead of the traditional crepes.
The icing on the cake is the wide selection of specialty drinks and desserts that Lemis offers. If you like bubble teas or milk teas they have many to choose from. And just last week I had a really tasty red bean grass jelly freeze that they put on the menu for the summer.
Unfortunately, business at Lemis seems pretty terriblemy girlfriend and I have been the only ones eating dinner there a number of times, even on a Friday night. It got to the point that the owner decided to close the dining room and only do takeout for a while. They finally just reopened the dining room, but with limited hours (now its only open until 8:00 at nightId call ahead to make sure theyre open). Part of the problem seems to be the restaurants out of the way location, but thats no excuse. Im tired of people complaining about the Chinese food in Rhode Island, when theres such a great spot (and believe me, Im pretty picky about Chinese food), and Id HATE to see the place close down because there isnt enough business. Go check it out!