Saturday, June 26, 2010

Short Takes

Whole Foods University Heights: Monday afternoons from 3:00 to 7:00 until October 25th
Whole Foods on Waterman: Wednesday afternoons from 3:00 to 7:00 until October 28th

WINGS OVER PROVIDENCE (725 Hope St, Providence  401-272-9464). There is seating but basically Wings is a take-out place. Conventional fried chicken and ribs are on the menu but the main events are wings, french fries and onion rings. From Honey Mustard to West Texas Mesquite, wings are served in many variations but I went strictly to sample the Buffalo-style and chose "Red Alert" for the heat level - it is exactly midway in the range between "Wimpy" and "AFTERBURNER." The wings are cooked to order, not ahead of time, and mine were pretty good. Among our friends (which include a contingent of western New York wing aficianados with MANY years experience, not to mention actual trips to the original bona fide Anchor Bar) there is the old debate about which is better, crispy or wet ("wet" means you dip the wings in sauce after cooking).  This matters. I'm for crispy and Wings is a wet place. Since Wings offers so many flavors (their word not mine) they almost have to serve wet because you can't add the cayenne before frying if somebody wants Terriyaki.  Still, the wings were very good. And the onion rings (fat ones, alas) were fabulous. It's not exactly health food you're getting here but it's cheap and it's cooked to order.

Across the street and down the block in the upper Hope neighborhood is BLAZE (776 Hope St, Providence  401-277-2529). I had a great piece of coconut cake there once, and an okay salad, so my positive feeling about the place wasn't based on much. Testing two entrees recently, my feelings turned negative fast. The menu is a weird mix of big-calorie items: Steak Frites Caesar, Chicken Taco Pizza, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, burgers, etc. Not a lot of room for nuance here: the burger was not good and neither was the jerk chicken.

re JULIAN'S (see April 8): Going for dinner on a warm night, I thought  the menu had a definite winter feel - on the heavy side, not a match for the weather. Reminder: except for the Monday-night Scrabble players, the crowd is young, lots of body art.

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