We paid a visit to ABE'S (302 Wickendon St, Providence 401-751-4900) the other night. It's a real bar, somewhere in the middle of bar territory, way to the right of dingy but to the left of consciously cool. Abe (no actual Abe; he just removed the B from Babe's) has a few events, music, trivia contests, book groups, but when we were there it was just tables of talkers drinking mostly from the excellent selection of beers. Really comfortable. NO FOOD but you can order out from Abe's UNITED BARBECUE (146 Ives St, Providence 401-751-9000 www.unitedbbq.com) and they'll bring the ribs, wings, slaw etc right to the bar.
After a leisurely hour at Abe's talking with the owner and a Providence fire fighter we headed down to my friend's most-loved pizza place, FELLINI'S (166 Wickendon St, Providence 401-751-6737), to shamelessly indulge in numerous slices. My friend is a fan of the Philly cheese steak option and I try any sausage combination. This time I also chose a slice laden with garlic, white cheeses and what I think was broccoli rabe. The thin crust is excellent. Salads and desserts look very good too but who's got room? One disappointment was the whoopie pie which I had been lusting after for months, imagining a delicious whipped cream or marshmallow center (either okay by me) - instead it was too-sweet icing. So gorge yourself on pizza and split a cannoli. fellinipizzeria.com
JUST A THOUGHT (Subtitle: RANTING)
We ought to read food labels. Even if a product says "natural," even if it's sold in Whole Foods, it doesn't mean that the flavor comes from the combination of basic ingredients. If the label lists "natural flavors" on the ingredients list it means that if you mix up the cream, the cherries, and the chocolate you will not get that famous ice cream flavor unless you add the "natural flavors," which of course are under lock and key at a giant flavor and fragrance company. Adding "flavor" probably means you can play around with the quality of the components.
Next time you buy butter read the label.