Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Disappointment of Donuts

I tried a new to me donut place recently, Paradise Donuts & Coffee. I was looking forward to enjoying their made fresh donuts.

I'm old enough to remember Dunkin' Donuts before they went to centralized donut baking; when each store made their donuts fresh several times a day. The memory of those donuts are why, when I dragged out of bed on a recent Sunday morning, I was expecting to be rewarded with warm, fresh donuts. Nope. Sad face emoji.

I was there a half hour after opening. My selections made, box packed, I looked forward to giving these a try.

Sadly, this brightly colored box held a bakers dozen of disappointment. More sad face emojis.

Not a warm fresh donut in the bunch. Not only that, they all tasted like day old donuts. What? I've come to find out that the donuts at this Paradise Donuts are NOT baked fresh in the store. No, they're baked at another location the night before and then delivered to this location. A dozen sad face emojis.

To be fair, the donuts were ok. They tasted almost as good as any SuperMom's donut or grocery store donut I've had. Almost.

My takeaway? When it comes to donuts I should have quit while I was ahead. Smiley face emoji!

Hot and fresh!

Happy dining!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Cassarino's Ristorante - Providence, Rhode Island

One of the last places I dined on my trip to the East Coast was Cassarino's Ristorante. Cassarino's is an old school Italian-American restaurant located on Federal Hill in Providence, Rhode Island. For those who don't know, Federal Hill is Providence's little Italy. There you'll find lots of great dining, shopping and depending on the time of year a great Italian festival. 

I love a good red-sauce, Italian-American restaurant and Cassarino's delivered. We started out with a drink at the bar...
A vodka martini? Yes, please!
Once we were seated we ordered a few appetizers to share. All of them were good but the the Burrata Salad was outstanding. Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. All I can say is if you see it on a menu somewhere, order it.
Burrata Salad - Creamy fresh mozzarella with Prosciutto di Parma & sliced tomato, finished with olive oil, sweet balsamic vinegar & black sea salt
We also had the stuffed mushrooms and the bruschetta.
Mushroom Caps - Mushrooms stuffed with a Ritz cracker & vegetable stuffing

Traditional Bruschetta - Toasted Italian bread layered with sliced fresh mozzarella & marinated diced plum tomato
For our main courses we decided on the filet mignon and, what I believe were two specials, the papardelle arrabiata and a fillet and stuffed shrimp dish.

Filet Mignon - Grilled filet, portabella mushroom demi glace, with a sprinkle of gorgonzola cheese. Served with asparagus & potato

Papardelle Arrabiata

Grilled filet with mixed veg, potatoes and stuffed jumbo shrimp
Dinner was great. Just what you'd expect from a joint that's been serving local diners since 1988. Great company and good food. No better combination for a fabulous evening.
After dinner we walked over to Pastiche Fine Desserts for a couple of cannolis and a few other treats. A wonderful end to a great evening.

A box of goodness - Cannolis!
If you plan to visit Providence you have to make Federal Hill one of your stops. So many great restaurants, places to get traditional Italian pastries and other yummy goodies.I can't recommend it highly enough. It's touristy but in the best possible way. It'll be a highlight of your trip.

Happy dining!