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Worst of Rhode Island

j
joe777cool Dec 30, 2010 08:33 AM

To help spur on some discussion of RI cuisine I thought I would copy a popular post. Worst food, most overrated, the place everyone else love to go and you hate....whatever your definition is feel free to share.

My fiancees family and friends of our are constantly dragging us to Marchettis in Cranston. I admit that there are a few things I dont mind on the menu but I really cannot stand the huge portions of mediocre food. The pasta sauce doesnt taste like anything!

The worst meal I may have ever eaten was at Fire & Ice at the Providence Place Mall. Long lines, sub-par food, tastless sauces, unsanitary cooking areas. Inedible.

My best friend and his wife love the Grille on Main (East Greenwich) and despite several attempts there I have yet to enjoy a meal the way they do.

Your worst of the worst?

-----
Marchetti's Restaurant
1463 Park Ave, Cranston, RI 02920

Fire & Ice
48 Providence Pl, Providence, RI 02903

  1. invinotheresverde Dec 30, 2010 08:56 AM

    We've had crappy experiences at most of the Elkhay places, especially for the price.

    One friend loves Rue, but it stinks every time I go there for something other than brunch.

    Pizzico used to be great, but once it changed hands, it went wayyyyy downhill.

    1. f
      Frank Terranova Dec 30, 2010 08:57 AM

      Marchetti's

      I do agree one of the worst if not the worst But Joe, I live in Cranston and drive by there on my way home from school and its packed to the hilt. Now only 2 things can achieve this. 1. Tons of food,2, cheap prices. I think I hit them both. Fire and Ice I cant figure out how they are still operating.

      -----
      Marchetti's Restaurant
      1463 Park Ave, Cranston, RI 02920

      8 Replies
      1. re: Frank Terranova
        Bob W Dec 30, 2010 03:02 PM

        Frank, I know you are too blunt for many people, but even though I have never eaten at Marchetti's, you have nailed their secret -- many Rhode Islanders are "quantity" diners. Fortunately there are now many more "quality" diners as well. But still, a big plate of food will usually pack 'em in.

        -----
        Marchetti's Restaurant
        1463 Park Ave, Cranston, RI 02920

        1. re: Bob W
          f
          Frank Terranova Dec 30, 2010 03:45 PM

          Bob,
          computers dont have tone and things seem brash or blunt but the fact remains they pack them in and you cant beat success I guess. The burb's are starting to have quality restaurants where people just want good food.The only place where I would not go is a Steak House. Doesnt make sense. More people than ever grill even year round. So if the craving hits for a steak do it.

          1. re: Frank Terranova
            Bob W Dec 31, 2010 04:57 PM

            I'm guessing Twin Oaks still packs them in too, and the proprietors probably don't give a **** about what people on Chowhound think about their food.

          2. re: Bob W
            j
            JaneRI Jan 4, 2011 07:52 AM

            That is certainly not a RI phenom.....what about Vinny Testa's? Same format. Boil up a pound of pasta, cover it w/mediocre sauce and a hunk of chicken or eggplant or whatever, and people will rave. Pasta that you could buy for .89 at the grocery store on sale, so it's really not even a bargain.

          3. re: Frank Terranova
            j
            joe777cool Dec 30, 2010 05:06 PM

            Every time I am there there is a 45+ minute wait. My MIL LOVES the Chicken Parm, especially the fact that it comes with a pound of pasta with it. If the pasta sauce actually tasted like something it would be ok but I have to douse it with so much parmesan to give it flavor it barely tastes of tomato anymore. GIve me a place like Mikes kitchen anyday!

            1. re: joe777cool
              a
              Alica Dec 31, 2010 05:49 AM

              We did not like the Hemingways in E. Greenwich.

              1. re: Alica
                invinotheresverde Dec 31, 2010 06:28 AM

                Hemenway's*, just so there's no confusion.

                1. re: invinotheresverde
                  a
                  Alica Jan 1, 2011 08:01 AM

                  I stand corrected!

          4. atheorist Jan 1, 2011 06:22 AM

            RI's boundless love for Dunkin Donuts is frightening. The coffee is barely drinkable and everything else, especially the greasy little snacky things, is nauseating. The prices of those toxic smelling concocted beverages are shocking considering that the cup probably costs them more than the sugar and artificial flavoring inside. It would be funny except for the fact that if present trends continue, in a few years no other dining establishments will remain.

            3 Replies
            1. re: atheorist
              f
              Frank Terranova Jan 1, 2011 06:53 AM

              D/D is a no brainer. You have not seen anything yet in the next 10 years more chain places will abound this is according to industry standards as because of all the companies we work with. I like almost everyone in RI had been to D/D I drive by 2 of them in 1 mile radius on my way home from work I have stopped only for coffee and the taste difference is quite different because of the way they do the grinding setting. My favorite coffee places are Bon Ami in Cranston and Felicias in EG. In RI there are more restaurants then people.

              1. re: atheorist
                Pipenta Jan 2, 2011 11:29 AM

                While doing the Thanksgiving thing with family in Brookline (not RI, but close enough), I ran into the same thing. Got busted on for not liking DD coffee, was told I was a snob.

                You know what? I used to work at DD. It was, in fact, my first real job. Worked the closing shift for a summer or two when I was in high school waaaaaay back in the seventies. THEN the coffee was good. THEN we offered only two kinds: coffee or decaf. THEN we kept an eye on the clock and if a pot hadn't sold in 17 minutes, we poured it down the drain. And the donuts, while still pretty junky, were baked on site. Mind you, even in 1975, the only actual fruit in any of the doughnuts was apple. Everything else was dye and artificial flavors. I know. I went in the back and read the ingredients of EVERYTHING. And those donuts were gourmet compared to the synthetic industrial crap they put out now. And the coffee drinks? I shudder, I shudder! Because I drink coffee, not some frou-frou dessert in a cup that they call coffee.

                At least Starbucks makes an effort to have actual food in their food. And their coffee is decent. And their staff is well trained. Given the choice, I'll take a good independent over anything. But given that I've been on the road a lot, I have to make some strategic calls. If, after trying the local options, there's nothing drinkable in a town at the indies, oh yes, I will find a Starbucks.

                But Dunkin Donuts? I go there when I have to GO. And then I buy a small black coffee by way of rent for the facilities. And that is it.

                1. re: atheorist
                  j
                  jdwdeville Apr 7, 2011 05:16 PM

                  y'know, as a former RI'er who lives in Los Angeles (a city without a single DD), when I come back the first thing I do is go straight to DD for a "large regulah" and it damn well tastes like the caffeinated nectar of the gods.

                2. g
                  GSM Jan 1, 2011 12:02 PM

                  Many of the more frequently touted RI restaurants would make my worst list, including Twin Oaks, Sienna, Hemenway's, and Pizzico.

                  -----
                  Hemenway's
                  121 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: GSM
                    j
                    joe777cool Jan 1, 2011 01:17 PM

                    Twin Oaks was my parents favorite. I go there every so often and have veal parm and pasta but the food really is just a step above mediocre in my eyes. I do enjoy the house salad dressing, however.

                    Honorable mention goes to Tortilla Flats - maybe the worst mexican in the state and Wes's Rib House - 2 "Best of RI" picks.

                    -----
                    Tortilla Flats
                    355 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

                    1. re: joe777cool
                      invinotheresverde Jan 1, 2011 03:47 PM

                      Good call on T. Flats.

                      1. re: invinotheresverde
                        Bob W Jan 2, 2011 06:14 AM

                        Can one of you locals tell me how Tortilla Flats has remained in business for 35 freakin' years? I remember when it first opened and thought, how cool, a Mexican restaurant in Little Rhody, but the entrance seemed so unwelcoming that I never ventured in, and from all I read for you guys the food sucks too.

                        -----
                        Tortilla Flats
                        355 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

                        1. re: Bob W
                          atheorist Jan 3, 2011 10:02 AM

                          Here is how they stay in business.

                          Think of it as a friendly bar where you can bring the kiddies and they can eat.

                          To be in the heart of 02906, yet not overrun by a Thayer Street crowd and also without the stuffiness of Wayland Square or upper Hope street is a solid niche.

                          Most of the food is abysmal but the salsa is pretty good. Never order anything besides the fajitas or a veggie burrito, which are pretty lame but at least not crappy.

                          1. re: atheorist
                            invinotheresverde Jan 3, 2011 11:01 AM

                            True that their spicy salsa isn't awful.

                          2. re: Bob W
                            w
                            wormwood Jan 5, 2011 04:23 AM

                            the food at tortilla flats has actually gotten a lot better recently (new chef/kitchen manager). i have to say i kind of find it funny when people complain about it though. it's total "gringo mexican" at best, what were you expecting? i just think of it as a bar where i can get a burger or a taco if i get hungry while drinking.

                            as for why it's been in business so long? great location, friendly bar, a ton of loyal regulars, and most of the people dining there wouldn't know (or want) "good" mexican food anyway.

                            1. re: wormwood
                              j
                              joe777cool Jan 5, 2011 04:39 PM

                              "i kind of find it funny when people complain about it though. it's total "gringo mexican" at best, what were you expecting?"

                              Nobody kids themselves into thinking Tortill Flats is authentic Mexican. Their "gringo mexican" or tex mex or whatever you want to call it just isnt that good! Id rather go to a place like On the Border for fajitas or tacos, at least it will be consistent......the complete opposite of TF's. (But I will still choose one of the many wonderful mexican restaurant around Providence 9 times out of 10)

                              1. re: joe777cool
                                g
                                GSM Jan 6, 2011 09:22 AM

                                I'm not advocating Tortilla Flats but mere mention of On the Border makes me heave.

                                -----
                                On the Border
                                19 Commerce Way, A Woburn, MA

                                Tortilla Flats
                                355 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

                    2. b
                      brokentelephone Jan 1, 2011 02:48 PM

                      Was just in RI visiting my g/f's parents in East Greenwich, and we had a pretty bad meal at a place called Junction Trattoria in North Kingstown (i think). It got great reviews on yelp, but was damn lame.

                      1. schoenfelderp Jan 1, 2011 04:37 PM

                        My brother and I were on Block Island last summer and happened to be near The Beachead and decided to try it given the good things we've heard. I had the baked haddock which was so obscenely overpowered by thyme I almost had to force it down. I enjoy thyme, but don't try to drown a beautifully delicate piece of white fish in it.

                        1. g
                          Garris Jan 1, 2011 09:28 PM

                          Worst in RI?

                          Fire and Ice, absolutely no doubt at all. I agree with the poster who asked how they've stayed open all this time. I've had 3 terrible meals there with people who have insisted upon going. It's easily the worst implementation of the "Mongolian BBQ" concept imaginable.

                          Second in my eyes? Paragon, on Thayer. The food is achingly mediocre. I mean, it's the king of mediocre. There's nothing I've had there that's any better than edible... They've messed up a stunning variety of simple dishes. Nothing tastes fresh, there's barely any seasoning, not a hint of subtlety of flavors, and zero originality. Add to that a young wait staff that is indifferent on the best day, and outright hostile on the worst, plus a restaurant owner who is absolutely determined to keep any other eatery off Thayer and doesn't hesitate to sue anyone coming in on the grounds of ridiculous and arcane zoning trivia, and it becomes an easy restaurant to hate.

                          Third, and most controversial, in my eyes is Angelos on Federal Hill. I've been many times and don't understand why people love it... It has barely diner-level of ambiance (which I know is one of the reasons some find it has some appeal), isn't the screaming value people make it out to be, and it's food is barely, if at all, above the level of what we can nuke in a microwave. In fact, I've had meals that tasted that way... Is it nostalgia of people who grew up here?

                          Fourth: India, off of Hope Street. Wonderful interior and wait staff, but with bland Indian food that, like Angelos, feels like someone bought a microwavable dinner from the supermarket and served it. With outstanding Indian restaurants within a stone's throw (hello Rasoi), there's no excuse.

                          My award for "Most Disappointing Restaurant I Hope Gets Better:" The Liberty Elm. I want to love it so badly... The old-time diner, the "beat-the-odds" owners... Sadly, though, everything I've ever had there was disappointing, especially lunches, with some really odd flavors. I've taken guests here for brunch expecting Modern Diner levels of meals who couldn't finish their dishes they were so off-put by food they thought they could cook at home (in a fraction of the long wait it took especially). Please get better! I want to love you guys!

                          I can understand how some may feel that Pizzico (fine, but overpriced), Siena (a personal favorite, but loud), or Hemenways (not as good as it could or should be) are the "worst,' but compared with the first two especially? No way...

                          -----
                          Liberty Elm
                          , Providence, RI 02903

                          Modern Diner
                          364 East Ave, Pawtucket, RI 02860

                          Rasoi Restaurant
                          855 Worcester Rd Ste 24, Framingham, MA 01701

                          Hemenway's
                          121 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: Garris
                            j
                            Joltingjoey Jan 2, 2011 05:07 AM

                            It's interesting that many of the places mentioned on this thread have been around for decades: Tortilla Flats, Twin Oaks, Angelo's, India, Marchetti's, Paragon, etc. Were any of these places ever decent and declined over the years, or did they suck from the beginning? In the case of Tortilla Flats, it's definitely the latter--it's a mystery how a place so mediocre has survived so long. Haven't been to Twin Oaks since the early 1970's, but even then the only memorable thing about it was the size of the portions. I probably eat half what I used to, and huge portions gross me out these days. Agree with Garris about India--bland and boring. Thanks for mentioning Rasoi which is my favorite Indian in the state. And although Fire & Ice is not that old, I shudder when I recall a birthday dinner I endured there about 6 years ago. I look forward to further postings on this topic. Thanks for starting it, Joecool

                            -----
                            Marchetti's Restaurant
                            1463 Park Ave, Cranston, RI 02920

                            Fire & Ice
                            48 Providence Pl, Providence, RI 02903

                            Tortilla Flats
                            355 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

                            1. re: Garris
                              invinotheresverde Jan 2, 2011 07:21 AM

                              Perhaps I've lucked out, but I always get the avocado salad at Paragon and, honestly, I really like it. The service, on the other hand, leaves plenty to be desired. I once had to open my own bottle of wine there because my cute-as-a-button waitress didn't have any idea how to. That's just terrible management.

                              How did I forget India? God, it's sooooo bland. Bombay Club on Dean or Rasoi for me, please.

                              -----
                              Bombay Club
                              145 Dean St, Providence, RI 02903

                              1. re: invinotheresverde
                                g
                                Garris Jan 3, 2011 07:29 AM

                                For people new to Indian food who are afraid of the spicing, I send them to "India" to use as "training wheels" for the real thing.

                              2. re: Garris
                                g
                                GSM Jan 4, 2011 03:56 AM

                                I have to cancel out Fire & Ice as it's a national chain and would seem therefore not quite to count as "worst in RI."

                                I agree about Liberty Elm being a disappointment but I also found Modern Diner to be a real downer for similar faults-- overpriced, overcrowded, surly service and bland food.

                                -----
                                Fire & Ice
                                Providence, RI, Providence, RI

                                Liberty Elm
                                , Providence, RI 02903

                                Modern Diner
                                364 East Ave, Pawtucket, RI 02860

                                1. re: GSM
                                  j
                                  joe777cool Jan 4, 2011 07:40 AM

                                  F&I started in the Northeast (I believe) and is SO bad that it must be included!!!

                                  1. re: GSM
                                    g
                                    Garris Jan 4, 2011 11:11 AM

                                    I agree that since it started in NE and half of its six restaurants are in the Boston area or Providence we can include it. Plus, it's just SO terrible and in such a prominent location downtown that it has to take the prize.

                                  2. re: Garris
                                    w
                                    westside pvd Jan 22, 2011 07:40 AM

                                    Add Parkside to the list right next to Hemenway's. I just don't get it. Both incredibly average at best.

                                    -----
                                    Hemenway's
                                    121 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903

                                    1. re: Garris
                                      Harmy Mar 21, 2011 06:57 PM

                                      I also hate Paragon. Everyone thinks of it as the nice restaurant. But what do they serve? A gross of flavorless permutations of "classic american," with terrible service.

                                      1. re: Harmy
                                        g
                                        Garris Mar 21, 2011 07:39 PM

                                        Yup... I'll repeat my comment of above for emphasis, "Paragon, on Thayer. The food is achingly mediocre. I mean, it's the king of mediocre. There's nothing I've had there that's any better than edible... They've messed up a stunning variety of simple dishes. Nothing tastes fresh, there's barely any seasoning, not a hint of subtlety of flavors, and zero originality. Add to that a young wait staff that is indifferent on the best day, and outright hostile on the worst, plus a restaurant owner who is absolutely determined to keep any other eatery off Thayer and doesn't hesitate to sue anyone coming in on the grounds of ridiculous and arcane zoning trivia, and it becomes an easy restaurant to hate."

                                    2. Bob W Jan 2, 2011 06:19 AM

                                      I notice that neither Camille's Roman Garden nor the Old Canteen have been mentioned on this thread. I have gotten the vague sense that both of these venerable eateries have managed to reinvent themselves at least somewhat after really hitting rock bottom.

                                      When I was a kid (late 60s), birthday parties at either place were a really big deal, but when I ate at the Old Canteen with my father in the late 70s the food was tasteless (perhaps it had always been) and the service was awful -- our waiter was so bad that my father said, "He's wacked out" -- probably the first time I ever heard that term not used in connection with a Mob hit.

                                      -----
                                      Old Canteen
                                      120 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Bob W
                                        Pipenta Jan 2, 2011 11:33 AM

                                        our waiter was so bad that my father said, "He's wacked out" -- probably the first time I ever heard that term not used in connection with a Mob hit.

                                        LOL, so VERY VERY Providence!

                                        1. re: Bob W
                                          g
                                          GSM Jan 4, 2011 03:58 AM

                                          Second the Old Canteen. Add Blue Grotto to that list as well.

                                          -----
                                          Blue Grotto Restaurant
                                          210 Atwells Ave., Providence, RI 02903

                                          Old Canteen
                                          120 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903

                                        2. j
                                          joe777cool Jan 2, 2011 07:19 PM

                                          It kills me to see Angelos added to the list. I remember the black and white checkerboard floors and the long community style tables....long before they added a 2nd room. I still go there once every few months and honestly still enjoy the food. I will agree, however, that I do find some of the food bland and the prices are not as cheap as they used to be, but it still has a special place in my heart. When you grow up eating something and your tastebuds acclimate to it, its hard to change!

                                          Another place that came to mind is Gregs. I keep thinking that eventually their clientele will die off but they continue to stay in business? When you get $20+ for an apple pie I guess the profit margins are there, but people actually EAT MEALS there on a consistent basis! THe pickles arent THAT good!!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: joe777cool
                                            g
                                            Garris Jan 3, 2011 07:31 AM

                                            Your Angelos comment indeed confirms to me that it's a nostalgia issue :). I still recommend the place for parents of young kids as a place where they won't care about bothering patrons and the patrons won't themselves be bothered, but for anyone else? No way...

                                            Greggs wouldn't be a worst of RI for me because it is what it is, nothing more, nothing less. And some of those overpriced cakes and pies *are* pretty good...

                                          2. t
                                            tanker64 Jan 3, 2011 12:11 PM

                                            How about Julians on Broadway?
                                            I've eaten there several times and want to like it but never do. Service is poor on a good day, the food non descript at best. The staff's attitude is always condescending .

                                            14 Replies
                                            1. re: tanker64
                                              invinotheresverde Jan 3, 2011 12:37 PM

                                              Awww, I love Julian's, horrific service and all. What do you tend to order? They have really good benedicts and hashes.

                                              1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                t
                                                tanker64 Jan 3, 2011 05:42 PM

                                                I tend to be there for dinner; never made it to breakfast. And why should i set aside the service aspect of the experience. If I want surly service and poor treatment I can always go to Al Forno.......

                                                1. re: tanker64
                                                  invinotheresverde Jan 4, 2011 07:28 AM

                                                  I think the service is almost comical. I've grown to have a soft spot for it. I agree that dinner is not especially strong there. Breakfast really shines, though.

                                                  I think service and food are two separate entities. I can definitely overlook shoddy service for great food, and, breakfast at Julian's really tends to be great.

                                              2. re: tanker64
                                                g
                                                Garris Jan 3, 2011 01:13 PM

                                                I have to say my Julian's meals, service aside, were all excellent.

                                                1. re: tanker64
                                                  j
                                                  JaneRI Jan 4, 2011 07:55 AM

                                                  Huh? I think Julian's food is really really good. Gingerbread pancakes and broccoli swiss & sweet potato hash. Yummmmmm.

                                                  1. re: tanker64
                                                    f
                                                    Frobisher Jan 4, 2011 09:06 AM

                                                    To echo the above, I think it is fair to call Julian's flawed, but by no means the worst of RI. In fact, I think its breakfast/brunch are among the best, even factoring in service issues and the wait.

                                                    1. re: Frobisher
                                                      j
                                                      Jenkins Jan 4, 2011 09:26 AM

                                                      Their breakfast rocks. I think there dinner entrees can be strange and misguided attempts at creativity that just turn out tasting unusual, though.

                                                    2. re: tanker64
                                                      c
                                                      crandal02909 Jan 5, 2011 07:02 PM

                                                      Dont think it is the worst, but certainly an honorable mention. Lets put it this way, most of those poor soulds you see hanging outside on weekends dont live in the neighborhood. that should tell you something. Their food is wretched and misguided. Worst of RI though? Probably not.

                                                      Elizabeth's on South Main in Providence is worth a shout out. Dirty, high priced drinks and desserts. No idea how that place survives.

                                                      1. re: crandal02909
                                                        f
                                                        Frobisher Jan 6, 2011 10:09 AM

                                                        We may differ on Julian's, but you are spot on about Elizabeth's on South Main. I have never heard of anyone having a positive experience there.

                                                        It should headline the worst of RI list.

                                                        1. re: Frobisher
                                                          g
                                                          GSM Jan 7, 2011 03:12 AM

                                                          Well, now you have. I've never had a problem with L'elizabeth. As I've said before on these boards, it's expensive and certainly the decor is not to everyone's taste but, works for me.

                                                        2. re: crandal02909
                                                          invinotheresverde Jan 22, 2011 08:54 AM

                                                          Up until two years ago, that was my neighborhood and I recognized almost every person there. There are many, many locals who love Julian's.

                                                          1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                            l
                                                            LMWW Jan 22, 2011 07:43 PM

                                                            Could have written the same reply verbatim (we were the couple out walking the beagle 10 times a day!). Julian's has solid breakfast, and I actually enjoy the lunch offerings as well. The bar is also well stocked with a nice variety of offerings. But unless you have mutton chops and/or lots of tattoos, the service is horrendous.

                                                            1. re: LMWW
                                                              invinotheresverde Jan 23, 2011 07:07 AM

                                                              Comically, I've seen you! That pup is cuuuute!

                                                              1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                                l
                                                                LMWW Jan 23, 2011 05:22 PM

                                                                Ha - thanks! We spent *a lot* of time on the streets of the West Side with our little guy, before heading for greener pastures in South County. But we try to come back pretty regularly for the Julian's, Nick's and Broadway Bistro trifecta.

                                                      2. s
                                                        sarabean Jan 5, 2011 04:53 PM

                                                        i've been loving this thread for a few days but totally drawing a blank till i walked out of my house today..caffe dolce vita! that place is a nightmare! the servers are like mean high school girls (to each other and the guests), the drinks are terrible (sangria, espresso martini) and ridiculously priced, the wine "list" is beyond laughable and the food is barely food. uuggh. all to look at a fountain.. no thanks.

                                                        1. i
                                                          im hungry Jan 6, 2011 02:13 PM

                                                          the east bay has a couple of doozies,the thames st.waterside-whatever its called is pretty bad.the only ,only thing that saves it is the view,bad service,food,everything,ughh!!then the same guy buys up the old "topsider",a classic fried seafood-pitcher of beer biker bar,right on the water,and trys to turn it into an upscale latino restaurant.simply awful...thank goodness weve got a few really good places to make up for it,but its amazing to watch this guy just kill businesses....

                                                          1. t
                                                            Td61 Jan 6, 2011 02:52 PM

                                                            I gotta go with the Blue Grotto.

                                                            -----
                                                            Blue Grotto Restaurant
                                                            210 Atwells Ave., Providence, RI 02903

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: Td61
                                                              b
                                                              Bluebird Jan 6, 2011 03:48 PM

                                                              Blue Grotto? Really? I've found they've been improving in recent years. I like the recent renovations.

                                                              -----
                                                              Blue Grotto Restaurant
                                                              210 Atwells Ave., Providence, RI 02903

                                                              1. re: Bluebird
                                                                g
                                                                Garris Jan 7, 2011 08:24 AM

                                                                I agree. While average certainly, I wouldn't say it's the worst in the state...

                                                                Also, one honorable mention for "worst" may be Three Sisters at the corner of Hope and Blackstone. I don't think the ice cream is as good its predecessor Maximillian and the wraps and sandwiches I've had were quite poor (one portabella mushroom dish was so chewy it was almost inedible).

                                                                -----
                                                                Three Sisters
                                                                1074 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

                                                                1. re: Garris
                                                                  g
                                                                  GSM Jan 7, 2011 10:49 AM

                                                                  Oh this is sad to hear. I was hoping their ice cream might be worth a try. I do wish the east side had good ice cream offerings.

                                                                  1. re: GSM
                                                                    g
                                                                    Garris Jan 23, 2011 06:08 AM

                                                                    Oh, definitely try them. It's been a while for me at this point (I haven't been in an ice cream mode for some time). There's also Mad Earnie's and East Side Creamery for ice cream on the East Side as well...

                                                            2. b
                                                              barfly Feb 3, 2011 11:23 AM

                                                              How about Spain of Narragansett? People seem to think it's the only high end option in the area (ok, there aren't many options), yet I've never had a good meal there.

                                                              -----
                                                              Spain of Narragansett
                                                              1144 Ocean Rd, Narragansett, RI 02882

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: barfly
                                                                j
                                                                JaneRI Feb 4, 2011 05:46 AM

                                                                Agree, I still see if recommended on this board & and I cringe. Years ago it was pretty good, now it's just awful. Last time I went I ordered paella and the rice was really bad, undercooked. If a Spanish restaurant can't cook rice properly, they may as well give up.

                                                              2. b
                                                                bigboy Feb 6, 2011 02:31 AM

                                                                Most over rated IMO is Casserta's pizza. Last few times I went pizza was a soggy mess.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: bigboy
                                                                  Bob W Feb 7, 2011 07:04 AM

                                                                  Interesting. If anything, the problem I have encountered there is burnt crust. Still, I love that pizza but of course YMMV.

                                                                2. j
                                                                  joe777cool Apr 5, 2011 09:44 AM

                                                                  I may have to officially turn in my native Rhode Islander card, buI really dont like Wrights Farm. The salad is oily, warm, and limp, the pasta sause tastes like Prego, The chicken isnt bad but for being roasted it is VERY greasy, and the fries - well I cant say anything negative about them. Yet 1-2 times per year I find myself there, waiting an hour and 1/2 with all the other lemmings.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: joe777cool
                                                                    b
                                                                    billy61987 Apr 6, 2011 04:07 PM

                                                                    I have to agree with Wright's. It is terrible but the worst in RI is Leo's in Bristol. Pizza is flavorless like eating cardboard, italian grinders and any sanwich for that matter come on hard old bread and the meat is not freash at all, burgers are tasteless, and the service is mediocre at best. Marchetti's and Twin Oaks also top the list for me.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Marchetti's Restaurant
                                                                    1463 Park Ave, Cranston, RI 02920

                                                                  2. j
                                                                    jdwdeville Apr 7, 2011 05:26 PM

                                                                    Having grown up on the east side of Providence it pains me to say it, but I'd have to add Louis' to this list. Just went back recently out of nostalgia while showing RI to my wife and god, was that ever underwhelming. And, when I was a kid I used to let Louis yell at me like that, and when I was older his attitude was fine because it was... idiosyncratic... but who the hell are these new people who feel like they can mimic his ways?

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: jdwdeville
                                                                      j
                                                                      joe777cool Apr 7, 2011 05:35 PM

                                                                      Made one visit there after they were on DDD and wow was it terrible. The 2 items that were profiled, the bbq chix ravioli and granola pancakes, were both awful. High expectations, maybe, but even compared to my local greasy spoons it was very sub-par.

                                                                      1. re: joe777cool
                                                                        j
                                                                        jdwdeville Apr 7, 2011 05:43 PM

                                                                        Yeah- I left wondering if it was the same restaurant I grew up with- I'd been eating there since I was a kid and it was one of my absolute favorites! The one thing that was still good was their homefries. Wish I knew how they made those homefries.

                                                                        1. re: jdwdeville
                                                                          invinotheresverde Apr 7, 2011 05:49 PM

                                                                          Dude, the only reason to go there is for the 7am beers. Keep the party goin'!

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