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Jul 20, 2008 07:27 PM

South County, Rhode Island / Mystic, CT

Hi all,

After reading many of the posts relating to RI prior to my recent trips, I wanted to report back on where I went.

Pump House - on Kingstown Rd.: went here because of proximity to where we were staying (we were tired of driving!) and were unfortunately disappointed. The food, while not awful, was pretty boring, and the salad bar was a sad sight to behold! The place was mostly empty on a week night.

Duffy's - We ended up going to Duffy's twice. On the first visit, my mom got the bay scallops, which were well-seasoned and fresh, and I got the fried haddock, which was a nice size piece of fish with a generous amount of batter. It was fresh and delicious, though the amount of fried coating nearly put me over the edge. The red-skin potatoes had a very distincitve taste (likely from the fat they used to fry them), but I still can't quite place what it was. The tartar sauce was a stand-out (I think it had relish in it?)! On the second visit, we started with peel and eat shrimp (delicious and very fresh) and I had the broiled flouder, while my mom got the Portuguese Fisherman's Stew. The flounder could have been fresher, and the broiling left it with surprisingly little in the way of flavor. The Portuguese Fisherman's Stew was undoubtedly the highlight for both of us. It was chock full of fish and shellfish (mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops, and chunks of what appeared to be two different kinds of fish) in a delicate yet very flavorful (not fishy) tomato-based broth. WOW.

Crazy Burger - Naragansett: easily our favorite meal of the trip (we wanted to go back but never made it). We went for breakfast and both got egg based dishes. I had an omelette with my choice of fillings. They were very generous with the fillings, to the point that the omelette was actually bursting (and sadly, fell apart!). When I told them I didn't eat gluten, the waitress helpfully pointed out that she thought the home fries might have flour (I don't think they actually did, but since there was confusion, stayed on the safe side). She nicely offered to sub in fruit or french fries, which I took her up on (most places won't do this even if you ask, and she didn't even charge extra). They also had gluten-free toast on the menu, which was a great joy to me! I didn't get to ask, but I think it might have been homemade, too! My mom had the breakfast burrito, which was great, and the home fries that came with were crispy small cubes of deliciousness (the fries going to the next table also looked excellent). Her dish came with a cinnamon bun, which she loved. We tried a mango grapefruit juice (they make all their juices fresh in house), which was excellent. We'd try a smoothie if we went again. Definitely check this place out!

Kitchen Little - Mystic, CT. We were really disappointed with Kitchen Little, which we stopped in on the road back to NY. First off, the service was abominable. The waitress forgot to bring my tea and didn't stop by for about 10 minutes after taking our order, so I couldn't even ask for it. When our plates came, very little was right. My mom's eggs were way undercooked (she'd ordered them over hard) and the waitress microwaved (!) them to get them to a cooked stage, leaving the toast on the plate so that it came back completely soggy. The potatoes on both of our plates were cold, and the cheese on top of my eggs (which was clearly American, though I'd asked for cheddar) was hardly even melted. Not a good showing! I wasn't clear on why this place came so highly recommended because, in addition to the service problems, the food didn't seem like it was anything to write home about..

Two other notes:

I didn't try, but my traveling partners tried, the Wood River Inn in Hope Valley. They said it was pretty good - nothing gourmet, but certainly passable if you're in the neighborhood (and there's certainly not much more around!)

There's a pizza place in Naragansett (whose name I can't QUITE recall, but which I think had "Blue" and "Cafe" in it) that was advertising gluten-free pizza!


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  1. Your experience at the Pump House is typical, they are in the same league as your average chain. Crazy Burger rarely dissapoints, it is a favorite for most on this board that frequent the area, their smoothies are the best I have had.

    1. The pizza place you're thinking of is Blue Wave Pizza on Rt. 1 in Narragansett. Pretty decent pizza, but nothing to go out of ones way for. I like the Pier Pizza at the downtown Wakefield location for South County pizza.

      I don't get all the love on this board for Crazy Burger. I find it a bit too on the hippy/Bohemian side, which goes a long ways toward explaining the slightly unclean state of the place.

      I agree with you on the Pump House - fair food, but not worth the trip. For a much better meal, and inexpensive to boot, try Markos Kabob in Narragansett. It's on Boon St. right down the block from Crazy Burger. Markos makes delicious Syrian/Middle Eastern cuisine. Always a good meal there.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Rhody Dave

        I went to CB for a late bkfast before the beach Sat and wasn't happy about the flies ....they don't have AC so they've got windows open.....but my meal was excellent as usual.

        1. re: JaneRI

          i have had my share of ups and downs with crazy burger over the years, but never bad enough to turn me off completely. on our way back in the morning from a LATE sunday wedding in newport, the first and only place i thought of was CB. it was the old friend we desperately needed, AMAZINGLY fresh juices and clean, wholesome breakfast foods. i'm pretty sure i polished off my breakfast burrito @ 10 pm and went to sleep very happy. i still heart crazy burger 4ever.

        2. re: Rhody Dave

          Yes! Blue Wave..

          Maybe true about better pizza elsewhere, but for the gluten-free among us, it's exciting to have the option to have pizza at all.

        3. I'm sorry that your visit to Kitchen Little was so terrible. I am a local and eat there often and have always had great service and excellent meals. I'm hoping this was just a rare off day for them.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Vizla

            Well, that's encouraging at least... what is normally so great about the place?

            1. re: allieinbklyn

              to answer your question, I've always had fast service and hot coffee. I probably should venture around the menu more but I always get Smedley. It's a big pile of homefries covered with mushrooms, onions, ground sausage and scrambled eggs topped with melted cheese and served with your choice of toast. It's delicious.

            2. re: Vizla

              I've had inconsistent food and service at Kitchen Little for several years. For that reason, I prefer Somewhere in time -- not as quaint a locale but really good breakfast and lunch.

            3. I had a superb meal on Friday at the Cheeky Monkey in the Pier Marketplace in Narragansett. A Moroccan-inspired salmon was great, as was the chicken with portobella risotto. Plus, the monkey theme is cool. Awesome cocktails.

              1. I used to eat at Kitchen Little twice a week for years and always loved the food and down-home service but have noticed a decline as well over the past few years. Now, I hardly go. Perhaps, a $40-a-day Rachel Ray curse turned "K Little" into "K Big Let-down". Coincidentally, I ate breakfast there the 3rd week in July and was very disappointed as well. Everything was served on plasticware, the service was pretty cold and the food was very ordinary. I had to keep on apologizing to my out-of-town guest who is a fellow foodie. Thank God I took him there several years ago so he knew how good it used to be. Hopefully, these are isolated incidents and it will get back its former glory once the busy summer season dies down.

                I also have to eat gluten-free so thank you for the tip about Blue Wave as I have been craving for a pizza. That is on my list now and I will post a review after I go.

                3 Replies
                1. re: NLfoodie

                  Have you noticed a sign right near the new Starbucks that opened up that says something about a new wine bar opening up? Is that what it will be? Any scoop?

                  1. re: Alica

                    I've asked a ton of people but all I can find out is that it will be a wine bar and they will do small plates as well. It is a good idea but I question the location. In my mind, it has two big negatives - it is north of the highway, albeit not by much, and it neighbors a Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. I will still try it out though. I'm hoping they do small tasting menus paired with wines.

                    1. re: NLfoodie

                      Oh thanks for info!! I agree with you on the location, but I am still anxious to see what it is!