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Apr 26, 2013 11:37 AM

Providence food & restaurant blogs?

I'm so excited to be moving to Providence this summer, and I'm trying to find out more about the Providence dining scene. Having lived in Boston and DC, I relied heavily on DCist, the late Bostonist, Eater, etc. Are there any Providence-based food or restaurant blogs that I should be reading? So far all I've found is the Providence Journal food blog.

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  1. Welcome to Providence and to Chow! I love the restaurant and dining scene here and rarely ever feel the need to venture to Boston now that the city has filled some holes in its offerings (like Ethiopian, tapas, Korean, etc). We only go now for some high-end sushi and niche ethnic.

    Regarding local blogs and food media, the answer is, sadly, there isn't really much out there. Some restaurants and food concerns have their own sites and blogs and I'd bet Farm Fresh RI may have a blog, but otherwise, not so much. There was a Providence Palate site and forum for a while, but I believe that went down some years ago and some of those folks were going to launch Rhody Palate, but I haven't seen any progress on it of late (they were using terrible forum software).

    This site used to be hands-down the best source of information and discussion for the PVD/RI area, but it's slowed down greatly in the last few years. Part of that has been an internet-wide move away from forums in general and towards blogs, and part of it is the rise of banal ranking sites like Yelp (where everything in PVD gets a 4/5 score and comments are heavily influenced by the college demographic),

    Part of the decline has to be at the feet of, though, whose heavy-handed forum moderation frustrated long-time prolific local posters. A good many of those I know personally here in the real world just gave up and never came back. A post like yours, some years ago, would have just been deleted outright for not being a restaurant Q&A topic (such as, "I'm coming into PVD for Waterfire, where should I eat?"). They seem to have lightened up in recent times, however, but chat has still been slow.

    I do a monthly posting topic here asking everyone what's newly opened or closed that has been, I think, pretty successful. I've learned a lot from others who have contributed to those about what's going on restaurant-wise in the area. There is also a good decade-plus worth of outstanding forum chat from the forum's golden age that is searchable in the Chow archive, and much of that is still relevant to what's going on today.

    I look forward to hopefully seeing your own posts and impressions once you arrive. Welcome!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Garris

      Thanks Garris for such a comprehensive response! And for the welcome! I'll definitely keep a lookout for your monthly threads. It's really a shame that the PVD/RI board isn't as active as it used to be. I'm so used to hearing about restaurants on Yelp or local blogs and then searching Chowhound for what people -really- think. :)

      I'll search through the archive here, and I'll definitely be posting about what I find once I arrive! Thanks again! Can't wait!

      1. re: Garris


        You speak the truth as to why site traffic has slowed here considerably over the past few years. So many prolific posters have either slowed down, or left all together for the very reasons you mention. Shame.

        To the OP, there's a nice little Rhody-centric blog which has given me some good tips over the years. Here's a link: http://rhodeislandismyoyster.blogspot...

        1. re: Garris

          Thanks, CapeCodGuy! This is great!

          1. re: ineemeeny

            I'm hopeful things here will eventually bounce back and become active again given the lighter moderation (evidenced by the fact this thread is still here and is mentioning other sites), no real competition for RI food chat, an improving economy allowing for more movement in the restaurant scene, and newer users finding their way to the forum.

            Other subcommunities in the SE New England forum (Cape Cod, MetroWest, Fairfield, etc) are orders of magnitude more active and it's not unusual for a hot Fairfield topic, for example, to pull down 40+ messages. That hasn't happened in RI or PVD chat for at least 4-5 years and it makes me hopeful it can happen again.

            To CapeCodGuy: Thanks for that blog link. I had not seen that before. It seems very solid, if a bit infrequently updated. There are one or two more blogs out there I don't follow that I didn't bother to post since they're somewhat, ah, suburban. You know, posts like, "Oooh, we tried Seven Moons and were so impressed at all the exotic menu options besides our usual General Tso's chicken and crab rangoon, so we decided to be adventurous and give that red bean bun a try." But the one you linked I think I will definitely follow...

        2. I have found Urbanspoon to be helpful for my unfortunately rare visits to RI.

          1. I find the reviews on TripAdvisor to be helpful.

            Thanks, Cape Cod Guy, for the link to the Rhode Island blog.
            It complements Chowhound nicely.


            1 Reply
            1. re: shutterbugRI

              You're welcome. I find Open Table reviews are generally credible.