I was in the Providence area recently for a three day weekend (to close on my condo there - yah!) and, based on recommendations on the board all of you so generously gave me, here are some places I stopped:
1) Eastern Pearl: In Cranston for dim sum. Well, we were the only caucasians there (a good sign) and I must say I was really, really impressed. It's the first time I ordered dim sum off a menu (no carts) and we ended up ordering WAY too much food. The quantities, for dim sum, were huge. Everything we tried was really tasty, including the second best lotus leaf wraps I've had in the US. The buns were a little chewy but that's OK. Prices, if we'd ordered appropriate amounts of food, would have come to between 7-10 dollars per person, which is outstanding and cheaper than I have here in Minnesota. The hardest part was finding the restaurant (behind Bad Ass Coffee).
Is there any other dim sum in the area this good (or any dim sum with carts)?
2) Mill's Tavern and Pizzico: Lots of praise regarding these two places have already been written. I concur with everything said.
3) Gourmet House Restaurant: In Hope Village, this appears to be owned by the same people who own Bangkok Gardens in New Haven, and it has some of the same problems. It's a Thai/Chinese hybrid and apparently thinks it's food needs to be bland to sell to the uninitiated. We ordered a lot of food and nothing particularly stood out. The Pad Thai (a good test of any Thai restaurant's orientation) was fairly flat and tasteless and the steamed vegetable dumplings were thick and really chewy. Some other dishes that usually depend on subtle flavors (chinese broccoli in garlic sauce, for example) were surprisingly over-flavored and simplistic.
4) Davis Deli: We stopped by Davis Deli after going to Gourmet House and only had a little bit, but everything we had was tasty and well done. A real find that's easy to miss.
5) Kay's NY Deli: CLOSED!! They're now the Town Hall Deli or something across from the North Providence Town Hall according to the sign on the door. Are there any New York or Jewish style deli's in the area anymore? I heard there was something near the airport in Warwick or I guess I'll need to drive to Brookline or the Mohegan Sun.
6) Maximillian's Ice Cream: I only sampled one flavor (Mint triple chip), but it was excellent and the interior was a nice casual place to sit.
That's all! I look forward to exploring more when I move there.
Rochester, MN (nope, nothing to eat over here)