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May 27, 2007 07:54 PM

Best coffee cabinets and meatball grinders?

Some of my fondest memories as a child visiting Rhode Island were wonderful cofee cabinets and meatball grinders----neither of which can be found in my native Michigan.
Are they still available and where can I find the best?

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  1. Lol, I read the Topic line and first thought, hum, equiptment...then saw the board you are posting in! Even tho' I lived for over 15 years in MA at the RI border, I still cannot get used to that regional use of cabinet. But it brought back chuckles!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Quine

      My favorite meatball grinder is at Mezza Luna pizza on 146A, Park Square, Woonsocket-North Smithfield line.

    2. Similarly, last night I made it a point at one of the ice cream stands on Rt 1 (Ice Cream Factory, I think) to order a coffee cabinet, just to show my SO that nobody would even raise an eyebrow.

      When I was a kid and would visit, if you were foolish enough to order a "chocolate milkshake", you'd get chocolate milk and not a frappe/cabinet.

      1. Gray's Ice Cream in Little Compton have the best coffee cabinets in the universe

        1. For those of who know little, is a RI 'cabinet' the equivalent of a frappe in Mass?

          8 Replies
          1. re: trufflehound

            Not sure if there are subtle differences, but as far as I know (being a native to Massachusetts who has a few RI friends) they are the same.

            Someone from RI - can you clarify?

            1. re: Keithel

              yes, they are the same - milk, syrup and ice cream

            2. re: trufflehound

              As a non-RI person, I'd say they are the same. I'm sure some RI members of the extended family might argue otherwise, however. :)

              1. re: kaszeta

                Lifelong RI'er here. They are one and the same.

                1. re: JaneRI

                  also, just to clarify for non-New Englanders, a Mass-Maine frappe is pronounced frap, not frap-pay.

                  And a query for everyone: We always called a tall glass of coke or ginger ale with a scoop of ice cream an "ice cream soda." Is that term still in use or has "float" taken over? Or is a "float" something else? Does one have syrup? Help an ex-Rhode Islander!

                  1. re: Bob W

                    Hmmm. Good question. I've always said ice cream soda. Not sure about the issue of syrup and whether that is what makes an ice cream soda a float.

                    1. re: JaneRI

                      When I was a kid my standard order at Newport Creamery was something that in retrospect is utterly revolting: A chocolate mint soda with chocolate chip ice cream. The mint was provided by a shot of neon green syrup. Interestingly, I never saw anyone else order a chocolate mint soda at the Creamery.

                      I was also a big fan of their cream cheese and olive sandwiches.

                      1. re: JaneRI

                        I spent several years as a teenager soda jerking in CT. For an ice cream soda, you mix milk and syrup, then adds seltzer. Top with a scoop of ice cream (sort of like an egg cream with ice cream on top - - for you NYers). A float (usually rootbeer or -- gaggh -- coke) is just the flavored soda with a scoop of ice cream on top (usually vanilla). Of course, there were milkshake floats too (in CT milkshake = frappe), which decadently add a scoop of ice cream on top of the frappe!!!

              2. As to the grinders, Firehouse Pizza in Newport remains my all time favorite. Anthony's Deli on Admiral St. in Providence and Rocco's, also on Admiral, do a good job as well.