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Bert’s Breakfast and Lunch

Good breakfast just over the border

By Gabrielle Lafond

Bert's Breakfast and Lunch in Uxbridge, Mass.Sure, it may look like an ordinary breakfast diner, but Bert’s Breakfast and Lunch over the border in Uxbridge, Mass. is sure to surprise you with its excellent food. My family and I usually go on Sunday mornings for breakfast and we always leave happy.

The restaurant is named after the owner, Bert, who is often the person cooking the food. I’ve been coming here since it opened in 2003, and I really treasure Bert’s appearances in the restaurant, as I view him sort of like celebrity. Don’t laugh, but, I couldn’t help myself and I even bought one of the shirts that Bert sells upon request. It’s got a black and white image of him on the back and everything.

One thing you should know before going to Bert’s is this: They have the best omelets around, hands down. There are many types of omelets that you can order, and there’s also the option to create your own. I like to get mine with broccoli, cheese and onions. The broccoli is always fresh and there’s always just the right amount of cheese. Bert’s also offers breakfast sandwiches, wraps, pancakes, French toast, freshly baked muffins, waffles, oatmeal, cereal and more. The home fries, bacon and toast are to die for…so make sure to get them. The home fries are soft and seasoned to perfection. Your taste buds will go crazy when you taste the bacon, which is both crispy and soft. If you’re interested in a healthier option, you can ask for wheat bread instead of white or a side of fruit. COFFEE DRINKERS—don’t worry about being stuck with a cold cup of coffee that tastes stale. Rather, waitresses are always walking around, making sure they refill coffee cups with fresh, hot coffee that tastes excellent with any breakfast selection.

If you’re an early riser, you’ll appreciate knowing that Bert’s is open at 5 a.m. every day of the week. They also serve breakfast until closing to accommodate those who prefer to sleep in.

Swing by Bert’s for their lunch selections as well, which include burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads, clubs, soup, and much more. My dad has been there for breakfast more times than I can count, but he also enjoys eating lunch there on occasion. His favorite dish is the chicken cutlet dinner, which he claims is absolutely delicious.

Bert’s provides the customer with an atmosphere that is perfect for people of all ages. I have seen parents with their young children, teenagers stopping in for breakfast before school and many adults who crave warm coffee and a muffin on a cold morning before heading to work. The staff is always nice and I feel like I’m related to some of the waitresses there simply because of how kind they are to me.

If you’re looking for an exceptional meal at a low cost, Bert’s is the place to go. It’s only five minutes outside of Rhode Island and it’s guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest eater.

Bert’s Breakfast and Lunch, 492 Quaker Hwy, Uxbridge, MA, 508-278-2130

If you have a tip or think we missed something, shoot us a message, tweet us at @InsidersGuideRI or email Kaitlyn Murray at kmurray@rimonthly.com.

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The Boombox at the Dean Hotel

The Boombox has thousands of songs for all musical tastes.

Karaoke is King Downtown

By Joshua Aromin

When it comes to going out, some nights are great for beers and apps, others for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and then there’s that once-in-a-while evening that’s destined for the melodic noise singing of karaoke. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then karaoke may be the most fun way to express it. Enter the Boombox in Providence. The downtown bar at the Dean Hotel is the cool kid at school, the one that says “Hey man, check out my massive widespread collection of music. Want to sing some songs?” In other words, the karaoke happening here is a long way away from your uncle’s collection of Barry Manilow laserdiscs.

The toughest lyric in all the land, the "8 Bar Instrumental Break."

The toughest lyric in all the land, the “8 Bar Instrumental Break.”

I went with a few friends on Saturday and while the karaoke bar’s lounge area has plenty of space, we opted to rent one of the available rooms for unabashed and uninterrupted singing. That meant going for every song I – at one time or another – said I’d sing at karaoke but never had. Think the “Ignition Remix” by R Kelly, “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by the Darkness and the list goes own. From the growl of Ja Rule on “Always On Time” to the scream/singing chorus of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy,” the night’s song choices ranged from the best of the ’80s to the early 2000s to modern day hits (“Shake It Off” was sung twice). With a selection of thousands of songs, they have everything there. And by nature of only sharing the room with just my compadres, we were singing a lot. I was out of breath after about three songs because clearly I’m a renowned cardio legend.

The Boombox has thousands of songs for all musical tastes.

The Boombox has thousands of songs for all musical tastes.

There’s a certain camaraderie built between people singing along to the same song, whether they’re longtime buddies or newly made friends, such as the group in the lounge who we invited to our room. Other instances of groups singing together include such classic situations like “Sweet Caroline” at Red Sox games or singing Aerosmith when you get stuck in an elevator. But considering we’re nowhere near baseball season and getting stuck in an elevator is never really ideal, the karaoke bar is the definitive best bet. Along with the singing, the Boombox also has cocktails, wines, beers and awesome snacks like Pocky Sticks. But the star here is the music catalog and well…you.

The Boombox at the Dean Hotel, 122 Fountain St., Providence, 401-861-0040, singboombox.com 

If you have a tip or think we missed something, shoot us a message, tweet us at @InsidersGuideRI or email Kaitlyn Murray at kmurray@rimonthly.com.

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Fall Things to Do in Rhode Island

9 Places to Get Your Cider Donut Fix

October’s just about over but there’s still a bunch of fall activities you can do in Rhode Island

By Joshua Aromin

Fall, or if you prefer calling it autumn, is my favorite season in Rhode Island. Period. To me, it’s the most comfortable season in the state when it comes to temperature, and it’s our last line of defense before the dreaded New England winter. I know Rhode Island has its fair share of winter lovers, but if I lived another day without having to touch a snow shovel or deal with our infamous ice skaters on four wheels, I’d be perfectly happy.

Anyway, aside from the lack of snow and freezing temps, I also really like fall for the different activities. The editors of Rhode Island Monthly have been busy doing and writing about some of the things to do in fall in the Ocean State. Here’s what they’ve been up to.

10 Corn Mazes in Rhode Island and Beyond

10 Corn Mazes in Rhode Island and Beyond
Is there any other occasion when we try to get lost? Maybe not. With the advent of GPS and Googlemaps it’s harder to get lost and the corn maze (and I guess bad phone service) are the only ways to really get lost for an extended period of time. Check out some of the area’s mazes here, but make haste, they’re closing for the season soon!

Five hikes that are still somewhat undiscovered in the Ocean State.

Photo by Ernie Germani

5 Rhode Island Hikes Off the Beaten Path
If you prefer walking outdoors without intentionally trying to get lost, a hike may be more up your alley…err walking trail. While Rhode Island is most certainly known for its coastline, its woodlands are certainly nothing to scoff at. Enjoy the foliage and crunch of the leaves before it gets too cold. Read about five of Rhode Island’s trails here.

Fall Foliage Walk in Rhode Island: Swan Point CemeteryFall Foliage Walk in Rhode Island
Leading into Halloween, a walk through a cemetery is about as seasonal as you can get. But aside from the obvious spookiness from this spot, there’s a beautiful picaresque setting waiting to be seen here at the Swan Point Cemetery. Also, famed writer of the weird H.P. Lovecraft is buried here. Read more.

9 Places to Get Your Cider Donut Fix

9 Places to Get Your Cider Donut Fix
After all that walking it’s important to refuel. What better than with cider donuts? Sure, the fall treat is simple but when it tastes so good, there’s no need to be complex. It’s best to eat them warm so you may as well go to the source to get them. Here are nine places to satisfy your craving.

Brewery Tours on Rhode Island's Brew Bus

Brewery Tours on Rhode Island’s Brew Bus
And if you need to wash down those cider donuts, hop aboard the Rhode Island Brew Bus. Admittedly, this is one activity on this list you can do year round but there’s no time like the present. Leave the driving to the pros as the bus takes you along to various breweries for a new beer experience. Learn more here.

 

If you have a tip or think we missed something, shoot us a message, tweet us at @InsidersGuideRI or email Kaitlyn Murray at kmurray@rimonthly.com.

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5 Places to Get Chicken Wings

Whether you consider chicken wings to be an appetizer or main course

By Joshua Aromin

The chicken wing, it’s a timeless bar snack as well as the finishing move of the pro wrestling great Bob Backlund. And over time, it’s become more than just a food that accompanies sports, beers or an entrée. Instead, the chicken wing itself has become the main event. I’ve been obsessed with wings for quite some time now, and my friends can attest. Proof: I went to Niagara Falls last April, and a pit stop in Buffalo to try the original Buffalo wings at the famed Anchor Bar was one of the main highlights. I even have a souvenir T-shirt.

Anyway, that’s a long-winded way of saying I like chicken wings and constantly seek them out. There are a lot of places to get wings in Rhode Island but here are five of my go-to places. I should also say, I used to seek out the hottest wings (and food in general), but have since mellowed out after trying what were supposedly ghost chili wings. That resulted in pain, agony, bitter defeat and an early retirement from extreme spicy foods. Nowadays, I still like spicy but tend to go for non-Buffalo-flavored wings. This list reflects that.

Garlic parmesan wings from Wings Over Providence

A picture of garlic parmesan wings from Wings Over Providence.

Wings Over Providence Yes, this is a chain, but it’s a chain that I love. Introduced to Wings Over years ago by a cousin, I’ve been regularly ordering their garlic parmesan and Cajun blackened wings. In addition to five levels of Buffalo, Wings Over also has a selection of other sauces and dry rubs, ranging from spicy teriyaki to honey barbeque to Jamaican jerk. For heat lovers, I did try their highest level of Buffalo before, aptly named After Burner. It’s a strong level of heat that still maintains a nice flavor, unlike some of its counterparts. 725 Hope St., Providence, 401-274-9464, wingsover.com

Providence Coal Fired Pizza As the name suggests, Providence Coal Fire Pizza cooks their pizza with coal fire. They also cook their chicken wings, which are surrounded by sea salt, rosemary and onions, with coal fire. Yes, the pizzas here are pretty great, but trying the wings is an absolute must. They only have one style of wing (and that’s all they need) so the decision shouldn’t be very hard. 385 Westminster St., Providence, 401-454-7499, providencecoalfirepizza.com

Bonehead Wings Here’s where the decision making really comes into play. By my count, there are forty-nine sauces and twenty-one dry rubs here. The restaurant is music-themed and so is the menu. Flavors include the standards, but the more unusual choices range from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (candied bacon and maple sauce) to Pump Up the Jam (peanut butter and jelly sauce). The last time I was there I had the buffalo mac and cheese dry rub. Many future trips are in order. 131 Washington St., West Warwick, 401-828-9464, boneheadwings.com

Seven Moons The menu at Seven Moons is huge. The pan-Asian restaurant in North Kingstown has American Chinese food standards like crab rangoon and orange chicken mixed in with Japanese choices like shu mai, edamame and a variety of sushi rolls. Among the menu choices are the crispy Thai-style chicken wings. Breaded, fried and served with peppers and dried red chilies, these wings are the crispiest on this list and let you control the heat level by how many peppers you eat. 6900 Post Rd., North Kingstown, 401-885-8383, sevenmoonsonline.com

Lemon pepper chicken wings from Brass Monkey

Lemon pepper wings from Brass Monkey, the one consolation for my car breaking down outside the office.

Brass Monkey I first came here by chance when my car broke down outside the office, which is across the street, and AAA said it would take an hour-and-a-half to get to me. They ended up coming in ten minutes, but not before I could order their lemon pepper wings. The location that houses Brass Monkey has changed so many times in recent years, I didn’t really know what to expect. The wings are crispy, full of flavor, they’re legit. I’ve since been back, this time with a working car and for their take on garlic parm and got the same result. Other flavors include buffalo, teriyaki, bourbon and more. Here’s hoping Brass Monkey sticks around. 800 Allens Ave., Providence, 401-785-1818, brassmonkeyri.com

Places whose wings I want to try: the Citizen Wing food truck (Providence, 401-440-9987, citizenwing.com) and Thirsty Beaver restaurant (288 Atwood Ave., Cranston, 401-270-7686, thirstybeaverri.com).

For more on wings, I once did a food challenge at Rick’s Roadhouse that I blogged about years ago. Here it is preserved forever thanks to the Web.

If you have a tip or think we missed something, shoot us a message, tweet us at @InsidersGuideRI or email Kaitlyn Murray at kmurray@rimonthly.com.

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GuideRI.com Gets a New Sign

See how it’s made in the video below

If you’re reading this, then you’ve already made it to the brand spankin’ new version of GuideRI.com. For those who haven’t gotten here yet, we’ve got ourselves a new sign on display at T.F. Green airport, and we couldn’t be happier with it. Check out the making of it by OmniColor Printing in this time-lapse video below – from nothing to something in twenty-five seconds. And once you’re done watching that, make sure to check out of our other blog posts and some of the hundreds of listings we have showcasing the restaurants, shops, places to see and things to do in Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts.

If you have a tip or think we missed something, shoot us a message, tweet us at @InsidersGuideRI or email Kaitlyn Murray at kmurray@rimonthly.com.

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Real Breweries of Pawtucket

Pawtucket Patriot Ale of Family Guy is fake, but these breweries aren’t

By Joshua Aromin

Did you watch the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover on Sunday? It’s okay if you didn’t. I haven’t watched either show regularly since the Red Sox won their first World Series of the new millennium. (Did I do the cultural reference aside thing right, Family Guy?) However, the novelty of seeing both iconic cartoon families onscreen in the same universe piqued my interest.

It was entertaining, and you know what? They mentioned Pawtucket, albeit in the context of the fictional Pawtucket Patriot Ale. But for one moment in time, Pawtucket was in the same conversation as Duff Beer. Pawtucket Patriot Ale isn’t real, but Pawtucket certainly is and it has two breweries that produce really good beer. If you visit Rhode Island, don’t look for Quahog (that doesn’t exist), but do look for the Bucket Brewery and Foolproof Brewery and/or their beers at local bars. After all, real beer is always better than the fake stuff.

bucketbrewglass

The Bucket Brewery glass I keep at my desk.

Bucket Brewery
With the closest thing that sounds like Pawtucket Patriot Ale, the Bucket Brewery serves a selection of four beers including the Pawtucket Pail Ale, a beer whose goal is to have more of a full flavor rather than being extremely bitter. Tastings are held on Thursdays and Saturdays while tours are offered just on Saturdays. The brewery also hosts other events such as their Friday Night Sound Check music and art series. 545 Pawtucket Ave., Pawtucket, 401-305-0597, bucketbrewery.com

Foolproof Brewery
Recently expanding their distribution to Vermont, Foolproof Brewery brews beers around certain experiences. For instance, the “Backyahd” IPA is brewed for an afternoon of grilling and leisure, and the “Raincloud” porter is for a lazy day of staying inside through less than ideal weather. Tastings are held on Fridays and tours are offered on Saturdays. 241 Grotto Ave., Pawtucket, 401-721-5970, foolproofbrewing.com

If you have a tip or think we missed something, shoot us a message, tweet us at @InsidersGuideRI or email Kaitlyn Murray at kmurray@rimonthly.com.

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The Malted Barley in Westerly

With pretzels covered in asiago and parmesan and others stuffed with jalapenos and cheddar, the The Malted Barley in Westerly is where the pretzel is king.

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Providence’s Elmwood Diner

Fit with retro booths and tables, the light blue and cream-colored interior, laid back atmosphere and its menu, of course, make the Elmwood Diner a candidate for best way to start the weekend slowly that doesn’t involve going back to bed.

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