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Dinner after Brown U. College Tour. Ideas?

ShoshB Aug 15, 2009 05:15 PM

My son and I are going on a college tour of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, but we're unfamiliar with the area. Any advice on where to get dinner? My son loves steak (but all I need to be happy is a great mojito!). Something near campus would be nice, to give Zack a feel for the area. Thanks in advance!

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  1. g
    gala62 RE: ShoshB Aug 16, 2009 04:57 AM

    Hi Shosh, one of the most popular places very close to Brown is Cafe Paragon, right on Thayer St (basically the main drag through the middle of Brown). Good menu and they also have a Sunday brunch.
    Also, for something more casual, try Eastside Pockets - great gyros, falafel, etc.
    Alforno's is probably the most famous restaurant in Providence, with the prices to match so I can't really recommend (but food is good).
    For something a bit different, try Pakarang Thai at 303 S. Main St. Very hip and urban interior and good food.
    Happy eating!

    1. g
      Gin n Tonic RE: ShoshB Aug 16, 2009 02:16 PM

      As gala said, Paragon is popular, as is Andrea's, almost next door. Basically to "get a feel for the area" you have to walk up and down Thayer. But more of the food there is geared toward student budgets. If you want to eat better, you'll have to head down the hill into town (to Main St., or across the river into "downtown"), or even further west to Federal Hill or the west side. Mills Tavern on N. Main is probably the closest really good steak. It's not far, but it's not the university area, either. Lots of options in Providence, just search this board.

      If you go on the tour in the summer, you won't get much of a feel, since the area really empties out. If you go during the school year, be aware that parking will be a real problem. It's a city, not a "campus."

      Oh, and Al Forno is overpriced and overrated. It was "the most famous restaurant in Providence" like a decade and a half ago, but it certainly doesn't get much love here now.

      And good luck with admissions. I think last year they accepted less than 15% of all freshman applicants.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Gin n Tonic
        jandj RE: Gin n Tonic Aug 17, 2009 08:25 AM

        Sorry but Al Forno still has the best business in providence...and the best pizza.Although Al Forno is expensive, there are more expensive restaurants in Providence such as Nuovo, Ruth Chris to name a couple. And BTW, Al Forno has a great patio to enjoy during the summer months.

        1. re: jandj
          Gin n Tonic RE: jandj Aug 17, 2009 09:25 AM

          "The best business in Providence"? Yeah, catering to out-of-towners who read a food magazine 10-15 years ago. Providence has moved on, Al Forno hasn't. Sure, there are more expensive restaurants, but there isn't a more expensive pizza (and anybody who travels to Providence to eat at Ruth's Chris deserves to be ripped off.) But I stand by "overpriced and overrated" and by "doesn't get much love here now." In the last few years comments on this board are probably at least 4-1 against Al Forno.

        2. re: Gin n Tonic
          invinotheresverde RE: Gin n Tonic Aug 17, 2009 08:51 AM


          Al Forno is okay, but it's certainly not the big deal it once was. I think twenty bucks for a Margherita pie, in Providence, is a huge ripoff, even though it's a good pizza.

        3. h
          hzp RE: ShoshB Aug 17, 2009 02:46 PM

          ignoring some of the sillier banter... your son will tire himself of andreas and paragon easily once in school there. based on your parameters.. why not try the trinity brewhouse in downtown, or any of the million pubs, which providence has a lot of? Parkside isn't bad. Hemenway's. Also, double check if you'll be there on a Waterfire night. If so, you absolutely want to be someplace on the river!!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: hzp
            sherry f RE: hzp Aug 17, 2009 05:56 PM


            My son goes to Brown and we have been to many places when visiting. He absolutely loves east Side Pockets on Thayer - it is a very causal middle eastern place, good for a lunch . If you want to take him out for a nice steak, try Ten Prime Steak and Sushi.

            I have attached a thread from our visit last fall during last year's Brown family weekend, and a review of Ten Prime the year before. Best of luck with the college search. It is a great bonding experience with your child.



            1. re: hzp
              thinks too much RE: hzp Aug 18, 2009 06:34 AM

              Because while Trinity has good beer, their food is just not all that great. And their non-alcoholic selections I have known to be stale or flat.

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