September 16, 2014
Providence’s Elmwood Diner
We take a look at one of the city’s newer breakfast spots
By Joshua Aromin
I used to be a nonbeliever in breakfast foods. There, I said it. To be clear, I wasn’t against eating food in the morning but just wasn’t sold on the idea of breakfast foods. Why eat eggs or a bowl of cereal when I can devour yesterday’s leftover beef teriyaki combo? Somewhere down the line things changed. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when my taste turned around, but gone are the days of hating on the likes of sausage and corned beef hash and enter an obsession a strong appreciation for extra crispy bacon and perfectly poached eggs.
That said, I visited the Elmwood Diner this weekend, located in the reincarnated spot that once housed the Liberty Elm Diner. I think it’s the fifth or sixth time I’ve been and it’s quickly become one of my new favorites. Right off the Route 10 exit on Elmwood Avenue in Providence, the newish breakfast and lunch destination opened in April 2014 and is a server of all things homey. 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.
Food choices include the sweetness of custard soaked French toast, the comfort of chicken and waffles and the intrigue of Nutella and strawberries grilled cheese. My choice this weekend: the bacon and cheese omelet with French fries and coffee milk. Served with a generous amount of bacon sandwiched in the middle of the egg, every bite was a reminder that “yes, it is in fact Saturday today” and every sip a reminder that Rhode Island knows a thing or two about choosing a state drink. Though I’d be more likely to pick the chicken and waffles or one of the two burgers, the bacon and cheese omelet was perfect for my appetite, which was somewhat subdued by snacking while waiting for a couple friends to wake up.
Aside from the main choices, Elmwood also offers a section for small appetites, a nice alternative from gargantuan portions. Also, where else can you get brown sugar baked bacon as a side followed by a cake batter cookie for dessert? (Let me know if you find a place. Seriously, I’d want to go.) No booze here but in addition to coffee milk, beverages include bottomless New Harvest coffee, a more than worthy consolation.
Elmwood Diner, 777 Elmwood Ave., Providence, (401) 781-0777, elmwooddiner.com
For more breakfast places in Rhode Island, click here.