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Providence near 95 lunch

Does anyone know a good lunch spot in Providence, easy to get to from I95 N and S....meeting someone coming down from Boston. Any type of food, just good, casual and ok for kids.

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  1. Given those parameters (easy to get to and kid friendly) you might try Chelo's. It is a family style place, a RI chain, a bit like Applebee's. From 95 north 25B (Smithfield Ave.) At end of exit ramp go right. Chelos is about a tenth of a mile down on the left. From 95 South take exit 25, and follow same directions as above.

    1. I second the recommendation from hound Jenkins but please, wipe the thought of Applebee's from your mind. Chelo's (AKA the Beef Hearth) is beloved in RI, for good reason. Get the steak sandwich. It's not like a cheesesteak sub; it's a real steak on a crusty roll. Save room for dessert too.

      1. I would get off 95 @ the downtown exit and head up Atwells Ave to Federal Hill where there are a lot of Italian restaurants. For a family I would recommend Angelo's. http://www.angelosonthehill.com/

        Atwells Ave is right off 95. Good food, low prices.

        1. I would highly HIGHLY suggest Angelo's over Chelo's.

          1. If food is more important, or even as important, as ease of 95, parking, etc., then sure do Angelo's.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Jenkins

              Jenkins: Don't give in so fast! While I have long been an Angelo's fan, there have been several postings on this and other boards to the effect that it ain't what it used to be. The parking situation on the Hill is also quite dicey.

              1. re: Bob W

                Come to think of it I have never actually even been to Angelo's, but live about 2 blocks from Chelo's, so I suppose I should stick up for my hood a bit more!

            2. Also near exit 25 is Pho Horn in the dismal Shaws Plaza. It was almost superb under the old management and only yesterday the Projo gushed about the new management. The tall Chili's sign (yech)is visible east of the highway to help you find the plaza. And make sure you do not get confused enough to go into the China Buffet.
              As easy to reach as Atwells is Broad street, 4 lights south, where you can go to Pho Paradise a block past the high schools west of 95. Easier paahking than Atwells.

              3 Replies
              1. re: atheorist

                My very elderly Italian neighbor refers that sad Shaws Plaza as "the hole". Less than a mile from my house and I NEVER go there. Might make an exception for some very good Vietnamese though, one ethnic dish I really miss down here in Providence. Would love if Pho Pasteur from Boston made its way to RI.

                1. re: Jenkins

                  North Main St. in general is sad indeed these days BUT the superlative Sandwich Hut is still alive and well! That is a place I ALWAYS hit when I visit RI.

                  Since you live close by I hope you hit the Sandwich Hut every so often.

                  Also, is City Line Pizza (across the street from the entrance to Shaw's Plaza) any good? I ask because my brother Lurker W. found out that they have our old phone number! 723-2130, a venerable Pawtucket number that I hope is in good hands.

                  1. re: Bob W

                    I heard somewhere else Sandwich Hut was excellent, but I have never gone, always thrown off by the ugly exterior, and generally avoiding North Main Street for dining options. Which means I also have not been to City Line Pizza. I do make it to Hero's deli over here on Smithfield Ave now and again, and they make some nice sandwiches.

              2. VERY good point about the parking. Chelo's has a lot. On Atwells, you get into the whole "city mess".....valet, ride around looking for a spot, etc.

                  1. re: JaneRI

                    Ok, there are next on my list for lunch options.

                  2. The interior isn't any prettier than the exterior but at least there's plenty of seating (in addition to very good sandwiches). I always used to get some version of mozz/tomato/basil on a baguette.

                    1. One more thumbs up for Sandwich Hut. I thought Susanstar was looking for more than grinders.

                      1. She is - we just got off track (I think).

                        1. What about Olga's Cup & Saucer at 103 Point Street? There's a way to loop around from the Thurbers Ave. exit from 95 north. Or you could take 195 east from 95 north, staying to the right, then take the first exit--I believe it's Point Street or Wickenden?--to get to Olga's. Anyway, the place is easy enough to find if you map it out in advance. I’ve eaten at both Chelo’s and the Sandwich Hut. In my opinion Olga’s is a much better lunch option.

                          At Olga’s they bake their own wonderful breads and desserts, which they supply to restaurants around town. I used to be a big fan of their pane francese and Pullman breads. For lunch, you can enjoy inventive, well-executed sandwiches, pastas, side dishes, and salads. Some dishes that I recall fondly are a rich wild-mushroom risotto, a simple side of grilled-until-it-blackened asparagus, and a lovely seared-salmon salad with a citrus-sesame dressing. Many of the soups are good, too. And all come with a generous slice or two of their fabulous bread.

                          You’ll want to double-check the hours, but I believe they're open until 5 Monday-Saturday, though they only serve hot lunch items from 11 until maybe 2 or 2:30. Actually, on Saturday, they have mainly brunch items.

                          1. I like the food at Olga's but I don't think I've ever had good service.....anything from rushed to bordering on rude. IMO, the food isn't good enough to overcome that.

                            Also, I think part of the appeal of Olga's - a large part - is their really cute outdoor seating area....the inside seating is really just a place to gobble down a sandwich...not relax and enoy a meal.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: JaneRI

                              That hasn't been my experience, though things do get crazy at Olga’s during the middle of the lunch rush. Of course, Chelo's can get really crowded, too, particularly during dinner. And I wouldn't say that I ever enjoyed a relaxing meal at the Sandwich Hut, either.

                              In my opinion, Olga's is an interesting, delicious choice. Their bread and desserts alone are worth the detour from 95. It just depends on what’s most important to the OP.