“All right, Hunt. Enough is enough. You have bribed, cajoled, and killed, and you have done it using loyalties on the inside. You want to shake hands with the devil, that’s fine with me. I just want to make sure that you do it in hell.”
–Eugene Kittridge, Mission: Impossible
Although something along the lines of The Bucket List might have made more sense, our hatred of Jack Nicholson post-A Few Good Men and our utter but respectful indifference towards Morgan Freeman precluded that possibility. So instead we refer to that seminal delineation, that list of lists, that Rosetta Stone of enumerations: the NOC List of Providence Food and Drink. Specifically, we discuss here the practice of maintaining a list, wherever you are, of local destinations to investigate. In principle, these could be anything, but after last week’s debacle we’ve been forced to limit ourselves here to food and drink.
It’s a good idea to keep your very own NOC List (especially if you can put it on a series of floppy disks). When a surprise opportunity for a meal out arises—parents in town, friends in town, hot date, you wind up on the good end of a drug deal gone bad—it’s good to have some exciting non-Thayer locations for whose success or failure you can’t be blamed (but for which you can hold responsible the two douchey food columnists who recommended it). It also keeps you from going back to Sawaddee over and over. Here is our list for you guys (we know it’s mostly repeats, but since we also know that none of you heeds our advice, we’ll go for it anyway):
Olneyville New York System Wieners: Nestled in the bleak landscape of Olneyville, this bastion of “Rhode Island cuisine” is famous for their signature presentation, in which wieners are stacked along the “chef’s” arm while he applies condiments. We can’t wait to order “tree all da way and a coffee milk.”
Chez Pascal: Somehow we’ve managed not to go here. Market Menu Mondays, “passionately house made” charcuterie and pâtés, sausage of the day, and their perfect locale (North Hope) make our lapse inexcusable.
Tini: A literal hole-in-the-wall offshoot of Al Forno, this downtown drinkery offers (we’ve been told) great martinis and solid small plates.
Gracie’s: If it’s in Providence and it offers a seven-course tasting menu, we’re interested.
Angkor: Maybe we’re bad critics for not yet having dined here, but we’ve heard that the chef is some sort of Cambodian royal something. Plus, it’s Cambodian food in Providence—it’s not going to be bad.
Nick’s on Broadway (breakfast/brunch): If you don’t make it here before you graduate, your Brown experience will be worse for it. The eggs benedict are beyond words.
Nick’s on Broadway (dinner): Artfully prepared classic cuisine with an eye towards sweet accents stands out on an otherwise Italian-dominated hill. Traditional flavor sets and combinations are shunned in favor of innovation — something that can be a bit hard to encounter in Providence. Go here and you’ll feel taken care of.
George’s Deli: Duh. Try the Spartan, or the chicken salad, or both, or anything else. Just go, tip well, and feel entirely content.
Providence Oyster Bar: Go between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. any day of the week for $1 oysters. Chat up the raw-bartender, order a dozen with a martini, and indulge in pure ecstasy for the cost of a week’s worth of Safewalk salary.
Graduate Center Bar: Best known for its wide selection of cheap beers, this hidden gem of a secret watering hole, bastard brother of the Bear’s Lair (with a chlorine odor to match), social nexus of upperclassmen you wish you hung out with, real-life equivalent of Platform 9¾, also makes fine cocktails. Try a Hendrick’s and soda with a dash of bitters and a wedge of lemon.
It’s easy to let lists grow and grow without ever going anywhere. If it means having to make that necessary blue sangria-fueled Kartabar lunch a biweekly event, it’s worth it to save up enough to venture somewhere new. Anywhere but Kartabar.