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Jan 14, 2008 05:36 PM

Andrea's and Blaze on Thayer, Providence

My husband and I headed down to Thayer for a late lunch on Saturday (~1:30ish). We are foster parents for an organization that raises and trains assistance dogs. We often dine out with the assistance dog and he was with us this weekend. We stopped in at Andrea's and I requested a seat that was big enough for him to fit under (ie - not a two top). We were escorted through the restaurant, passed diners and available set for service tables into an empty back room where none of the tables were set for diners. We were seated at a four top and presented menus. At this time, we were abandoned. We waited ~15 minutes, then decided to leave the restaurant. My husband informed the manager, and host we were leaving because nobody waited on us. There was no apology or attempt to correct the situation. I'm hoping that this was just a misunderstanding because I requested a table the dog could fit under and not how they conduct their business when dealing with clientele that are not their norm. I have heard great things about Andrea's but this experience left a very bad taste in my mouth and I would probably not return even if I didn't have the service dog with me.

We walked a few doors down to Blaze. They seated us immediately. Our waiter was prompt and friendly. My husband and I split the spinach and feta salad and a steak wrap. The salad was very good and a perfect size for sharing. The waiter had the sandwich split and plated on two plates (we did not request this and it was a nice surprise). I thought the wrap was ok, but the fries that were served with it (we got the regular fries) were phenomenal. Our drinks were never empty and our waiter couldn't have been nicer. Despite the just okay wrap, I will likely return to Blaze to try a few other things that caught my eye.

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  1. That is not surprising given the reputation of the owner of Andrea's, I grew up in the area and was a frequent customer. However, generally the service is good and the food is usually very good, particularly the Souvlaki (for me anyway). My wife and I had dinner there on Christmas day and it was a very pleasent experience. In my opinion I would give it another shot on another day, although it can be hit or miss, as is the case with a lot of Providence restaurants, it is generally woth the effort...

    4 Replies
    1. re: Sean

      Been to Andreas about 3 or 4 times and boy was I dissappointed. Their middle eastern food is so mediocre I could cry. If you have had the authentic thing you would be amazed at the difference in taste and quality.

      1. re: Jenkins

        Jenkins, I totally agree. I can't understand why people like this place so much....the tzatziki is a joke - and the gyro meat frozen... the saganaki I've gotten there a couple times - has always come to the table cold...I'm over this place.

        1. re: HungryHipster

          Really? Other than eating there this past Christmas day, one of only places open, I had not been in about ten years. For Authentic my wife and I go to this whole in the wall in Narragansett called Marko's.

        2. re: Jenkins

          I agree with Jenkins as well... It's very average/mediocre. The only reason I've gone is when I've been with people on/near Thayer, we're starving, and we haven't wanted to do the usual college-targeted takeout joints (and Blaze's music has been too loud). That said, our service has been quite good every time I've been there.

          The food would be acceptable for small town suburban diner, perhaps, but not for Providence.

          - Garris

      2. Hey Sean, tell me more about Marko's - I constantly crave anything under the mediterranean category...

        1 Reply
        1. re: HungryHipster

          It is located about two buildings down from Crazy Burger on Boone Narragansett. It is a small restaurant with about five tables. Owner Mark Awad is a Syrian-American who makes all his food from sratch and authentic Middle Eastern recipes dominte the menu. He has the best Hummus I have personally ever tasted. There is an article/review in the Providence Pheonix.