Blount's Clam Shack Providence
I will preface this post with the fact that I have been shopping at Blounts Market in Warren for a little over a decade now, love their soups that you can also have if you eat Legal Seafoods chowder because Blounts makes it for legal.
I noticed about a week ago that the Stanley's in the Jewlery District is now a Blount Clam Shack. I had the opportunity to stop in today to take a look and have lunch. www.blountretail.com/providence/home
Where do I start?
1. I walked in the door and was half way into the dining area before I was greeted so I just headed to the counter to sit down.
2. Waitress came over promptly handed me a menu asked if I wanted anything to drink and then said are you ready to order? "I had not even opened the menu how am I going to order.
4. They did a nice job renovating the place and have a wall of reach in coolers with all of their soups for sale to go cold.
3. I decided on the Fish Rueben. The description on the menu reads: Fired Haddock topped with swiss cheese, cole slaw and tarter served on a grilled bun.
The order was placed and here is where it gets interesting. The girl at the front on the grill "I am assuming old flat top from Stanley's" grills a hamburger roll puts on a plate and puts it up in the window to the back kitchen. From my seat about 3 stools down the counter I can see the microwave featured prominently along the back wall. Oh No, not the microwave.
4. The person that I would assume was the manager proceeds to sit down at the counter next to me with his yellow pad and proceeds to have a conversation with the waitress about what they need to order from Patricia. If you are interested they are getting new hats, red, blue and green T-shirts. The waitress does not like the white shirts. She also thinks they need name-tags. "I agree because nobody introduced themselves so now I can only refer to them as I think he is this and she was that rather than Bob (sic?) the manager.
5. The waitress proceeds to yell into the back, that reuben is for here just in case you were wondering. So naturally I look up and see the cook placing my fish with a piece of swiss cheese on top into the microwave, I guess melting the cheese on the bun while it was on the grill never entered their minds.
6,5,4,3,2,1, "BING" your fish is done and out it comes onto the bun in the window. It gets pulled into the back for slaw (this was the best part of the meal.), tartar sauce and cold fries from under the heat lamp.
7. I get the sandwich and yes the cheese is melted and greasy as all of the oil has been pulled to the surface by the microwave and the breading on the fish is soggy. The fish itself was fresh and tasted decent enough but OH THE MICROWAVE, why oh why did it have to go into the microwave.
8. As, I sit there and make my way through lunch the waitress yells to the manager that she is taking her 15 minute break, proceeds to grab a drink sit at one of the tables and has a conversation about the qualities of yogurt as a substitute for sour cream with another staff member that I will call the bearded one. Oh she is eating the yogurt because she wants to lose her gut.
9. The positive, the menu looks good and it is nice to have a clam shack in Providence. They have an all you can eat soup bar, did I mention I like their soups and you can buy their soups in bulk to go. Did i mention they have good soup?
10. Will I go back probably, will I have the reuben again maybe but will be sure to ask that the cheese not be melted in the microwave. Am I emailing Blounts with a link to this post absolutely, it is not fair to post and not let them know of the issues.
Here is a long overdue update on Blount's.
The day after I posted this review I received a voicemail from Patty at Blount's; she was very apologetic regarding my experience. We played phone tag for almost two weeks and finally touched base, Patty assured me that they are working out the kinks and are even making physical changes to the kitchen because they did not feel the flattop out front was working. I was pleased to see they were taking the issues seriously.
I have been back to Blount's twice since the original post.
The first trip in I just grabbed a cup of chowder to go but I must say the atmosphere had changed immensely. I was greeted as I walked in the door with a nice hello and an explanation of how things worked; you can order at the counter and sit down and they will bring it to you or you can sit at the counter and they will wait on you.
The cup of chowder was delivered quick, I took it to go and when I arrived at my destination five minutes later it was still steaming hot the way a soup should be.
On my second return trip I arrived at about 11:40ish. I was greeted to a friendly hello as I walked in the door. I sat at the counter again and was waited on by Jami,
I ordered a cup of chowder, once again very hot and delicious.
I opted for the whole belly clam roll. It is served on a large grilled New England hot dog roll, with fries and slaw. The portion of clams was large, they were hot with a light breading that was crispy and in no way greasy. The fries were hot and crispy as well. The slaw was also one of the better slaws I have had in a while, the cabbage was nice and crunchy with just the right amount of dressing.
At noon the place really started to fill up with folks from the area, it appeared that most were opting for the soup bar. The three gentlemen that were sitting next to me each had a different soup and were very pleased with their selections.
Service was very friendly and attentive enough without being intrusive. I do have to say having a better food experience the friendly appropriate banter between the staff and customers gave the place a more authentic clam shack feel.
Jami also mentioned that they were working on ordering bread from Olga's to serve with the soup bar.
Guaranteed I will be making additional trips back to Blount's for some great clam shack food soon.