rhode island – day two

More East Coast goodness! On our second day in Rhode Island, we roamed around to check out what Rhode Island had to offer. Let’s begin!


We wanted to start the day off with a hearty breakfast and headed to a place called the Modern Diner.

The look of the diner should seem familiar as the design was inspired by streamlined trains. Roland Stickney designed the diners to be the same shape as the trains back in 1939. This particular diner was built in 1940. This style of dining cars ceased production in 1942 when America got involved in World War II. It is one of two Sterling Streamliners still in operation – with the second one located in Salem, MA.


The Modern Diner was the first diner accepted into the National Register of Historic Places back in 1978. It was originally in a different location and moved to its current spot in 1984 to avoid demolition. We sat in the actual diner itself, though the grey building behind it (you can spy it on the right in the photo above) offers overflow seating for busy days.  


Here’s a peek at their menu: Menu Page 1 | Menu Page 2 | Menu Page 3 | Specials Page 1 | Specials Page 2


In addition to the regular menu, they have a whole bunch of specials that are posted around the door. Luckily they also made a separate laminated “specials” menu (see links above) so you don’t have to stand and stare and try to read every sign in the doorway.


The inside of the actual diner was roomier than I thought it would be. There are booths along one side/half and some countertop seating. We snagged a booth in the middle of the action.


Jake and I shared a few things – we didn’t want to order too much since there were more things to try later that day! A nice woman with her baby was sitting next to us in another booth and struck up a conversation with us, asking if we were from out of town (and if that was why I was taking photos). We got into a conversation about food blogging and she told us about some of her favorite spots in town. We didn’t get to try any of them, but it was great to get suggestions!


[side of linguica hash / $4.70]

In addition to regular old corned beef hash, they also make linguica hash on the weekends and holidays. I’d never heard of or tried linguica hash before and wanted to give it a shot. It had a similar texture to corned beef hash but with different spices. It had a tiny bit of a smokey flavor from the linguica sausage that I really enjoyed. 


[grilled polenta / $8.95]

We also shared the Grilled Polenta plate. This breakfast plate comes with a cheese polenta topped with italian sausage (which is being hidden by the eggs), eggs, Parmesan cheese, and served with home fries. The polenta was delicious – it had a good crispy crust and was cheesy and creamy on the inside. There’s a MOUND of sausage under the egg and I totally forgot to do the “reveal” shot. The home fries were just okay but we’re not particularly big fans of home fries. To me it’s just a fancy way of saying “plain old pan fried potatoes”. 


[grilled bagel / $1.80]

We got a nice grilled bagel to eat with our meats and eggs. I loved how this was perfectly grilled and every bite was golden brown and crunchy. Yum!

Modern Diner
364 East Avenue
Pawtucket, RI 02860
(401) 726-8390

Old Slater Mill


After breakfast, we headed out to do a little sightseeing. It was Labor Day so we weren’t totally sure if things would be open and mostly just planned on walking around and checking out a few sites. The first place we stopped at was the Old Slater Mill. 


The Old Slater Mill is named after Samuel Slater, the founder of the mill which was the first water-powered cotton spinning mill in America. At the time (late 1790’s), is was illegal for any textile workers to immigrant to America. England did not want the technology available in America. People in America has been struggling trying to figure out a way to industrialize and to make powered spinning machines. 


Slater basically snuck on a boat and sailed to America, hooked up with some dudes and showed them how to make the designs and created the mill. Back in England, he was referred to as “Slater the Traitor” for exporting the knowledge and technology to America. This first mill kicked off the Industrial Revolution in America and the textile industry started to boom with more mills being created. 


Here’s a view of the Pawtucket Falls which helped to power the Slater Mill. Cotton spinning was active at Slater Mill until 1895 and then the mill was used for other industrial purposes until 1923. 

Pawtucket Hollywood Walk of Fame


Next up was trying to find the infamous Pawtucket Hollywood Walk of Fame! Back in July of 1995, a crew working on the movie American Buffalo started the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Pawtucket’s Times Square. 

There are no signs directing you to the spot and really it seemed like a pretty run down, abandoned area. Our online guide said it was near the Riverside Diner (above) which was now closed and missing a few letters. After walking around and around, we finally realized it was just to the right of the Riverside Diner. It’s just hard to spot because it’s on the ground (duh).


These are the four original handprints with three stars of the movie (Dennis Franz, Dustin Hoffman, and Sean Nelson) along with the director (Michael Corrente).


Dustin Hoffman. He doesn’t have any body imprints in the real Hollywood Walk of Fame so this is the only place you can see his handprints!


And here’s Dennis Franz’s handprints. I mostly remember him from NYPD Blue. Jake and I didn’t get a chance to watch the movie but hopefully we will sometime in the future!


Last year the Hollywood Walk of Fame got another handprint added by director Woody Allen who was filming Irrational Man in Rhode Island. The town was hopeful that the stars of Irrational Man (Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix) would also lend their prints and signature, but it didn’t happen (hence the two empty tiles above). 

After goofing off and placing my hands in the tiles (it was a close match for Woody Allen’s), we headed south for lunch.

Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House


We went down by the ocean and to a popular place called Iggy’s. This is the line out front! One the cashiers told us that this line was typically much longer in the height of summer. Crazy. 


Jake snagged a table for us on the patio where you can see the ocean. 


[clear rhode island style clam chowder / cup – $2.99]

They offer all three styles of chowder at Iggy’s – Manhattan style (red), New England style (white and creamy) or Rhode Island style which uses a clear broth. I’d never heard of Rhode Island style so naturally I decided to try that. 

It kind of looks like dirty dish water though…

It just tasted okay. It didn’t feel very hearty to me. There was celery, potatoes and a few clams in the chowder. It was a bit on the bland side to me.


And to go with my clam chowder, I got two more clam things! 


[stuffed quahog aka “stuffee” / $2.79]

I was pretty excited to try a “stuffee” which is a stuffed quahog clam. The stuffing is inside one half of a quahog shell (which is massive for a clam). 


It’s a seafood stuffing – kind of like the stuffing you eat at Thanksgiving but with clams in it! The stuffing was on the wet side with a crunchy top. It had a briny taste from the clams and nice big chunks of clams (which you can’t really see in my photo, but they are there). I loved this and wish I just gotten two of these for my whole meal. 


[1/2 dozen clam cakes / $4.29]

But… I also wanted to try the clam cakes. In my mind, I imagined these with tons of clam bits in them, but sadly that was not the reality. There were hardly any clams at all in the clam cakes and it mostly just tasted like a soft bread. I found these to be disappointing as I thought there would be much more clams and clam flavor in them. They reminded me a little of giant hushpuppies in shape and style but with a flour based dough instead of corn. 


[fish and chips / $10.49 (market price)]

Jake got the fish and chips. I don’t remember what kind of fish it was but it was very flaky and fell apart really easily. It was also very oily and neither of us cared for it. 


[1/2 dozen doughboys / $4.29]

And finally the other thing Iggy’s is known for – their Doughboys! Doughboys are similar to doughnuts or zeppoles. They are usually flattened pizza dough that is fried and then covered in sugar. They come in little squares with plenty of sugar in the bottom of the bag. These were gloriously good – light, airy, crispy, chewy – and I managed to get powdered sugar all over myself because apparently I am unable to eat like a normal person. Yum.


[yacht club sodas / $1.89 each]

We also tried a couple of local sodas to wash down our lunch with. I felt a little bad we had a bunch of leftover food but fried food doesn’t keep well and we weren’t going back to our room anytime soon. I was forced to abandon quite a few doughboys but I was happy we could try them out. Too bad you can’t just buy one or two (not that I even asked… heck, it probably is possible if I had asked – oh well).

Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House
889 Oakland Beach Ave
Warwick RI 02889
(401) 737-9459

Oakland Beach


After lunch we walked around Oakland Beach. There were a bit of folks out enjoying the breezy, warm holiday. 


I called this the Rock Dock. And no, I did not go to the end. The rocks did not look that stable to me. Jake gave me that “you’re a chicken” look again but I didn’t care. 


Across from Iggy’s down here at the beach is a restaurant called Top of the Bay with a giant lobster on top. Apparently this is the inspiration for the Lobster Shanty restaurant that’s referenced in Family Guy.


While walking around we also spied this truck serving frozen lemonade. I’ve read that Del’s Lemonade is THE THING to get in Rhode Island but it wasn’t on the beach that day so we got this instead.


[medium frozen lemonade / $3]

It was incredibly refreshing and delicious. I have no idea if it’s as good as Del’s since we didn’t try an actual Del’s, but hey – we thought it was great. It was part slushy, part frozen goodness, part lemonade. We loved it. 

After hanging out at the beach, we headed west to check out a few pretty covered bridges in Rhode Island and Connecticut. It was kind of an excuse just to visit another state – but it was also a beautiful drive through Rhode Island. Later in the evening we had dinner with a couple of Jake’s old softball friends who moved back to Massachusetts last year. The lighting was terrible in the restaurant (hence no photos) but we tried “steak tips” for the first time and Jake had a great time catching up with his old friends. 

4 thoughts on “rhode island – day two

  1. Oh wow that looks like such a fun excursion! Linguica hash looks so much like corn beef hash – I want so bad right now. Pawtucket Falls looks absolutely beautiful – was the weather just amazing that day?

    I’m not sure I’d wait in that long of a line for chowder and seafood . And that non cream chowder does look ‘different’. I’m so glad you’re a clam fan freak b/c I love love love clam too!

    1. I remember that it was a bit on the warmer side that day – in the 80s. But I also remember that San Diego was even hotter when we were on the East Coast! It was a beautiful day for exploring. The line wasn’t too awful and since we drove about a half hour to get there we weren’t turning back. Plus since we were on vacation we didn’t mind the wait. Not having a schedule makes it really easy to not care about timelines and waiting in line and traffic. We were just enjoying being there!

      I am a total clam freak – I love them, they are SO TASTY!

  2. Wow, so much fun trying new places. I like that you tried food items specific to the region. That’s the way to do it! Isn’t that the point of traveling and exploring, right? Even better when you’re a curious foodblogger! Well, that being said, that clear Rhode Island style chowder did not look appetizing at all. It looked kind of…oily and sparse. Not very chowder like. It’s New England style for me all the way.

    I wish LInguica hash was available in San Diego. The Stuffee looks awesome! I would totally eat that (two of those). I enjoyed reading about the Slater mill history! What a rebel!

    The fried doughboys – yeah! I know that fried dough is a big thing on the east coast. When we went to Boston in 07, we saw kiosks for fried dough everywhere (but sadly didn’t get it). Your inclusion of pop culture topics (movies and Family Guy) is appreciated. I live for this $#@t! I didn’t see that Dustin Hoffman movie but now I feel compelled to see it. 🙂

    1. Hi CC – Yes, I definitely wanted to try things that are unique to area – anything that we can’t get back home! That’s the fun of traveling! Even if you don’t like something (like Rhode Island style chowder) at least you can say you tried it. Oh man, I wish we had stuffees here, they were so good! Could probably recreate it and make a seafood-like stuffing dish.

      Fried dough is totally a big thing back East. I always loved those little fried dough carts in Boston – good stuff!

      I know, I need to see that American Buffalo movie, too! If only just to say we saw the places it was filmed in, haha.

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