Sunday, July 22, 2012

Steak to Salad

Heart stoppingly good
cheese steaks.
We've been indulging in Providence eat outs and so far we've lucked into a couple of delightful experiences.

The first venture was back to Edgewood Market, a pizza and deli place that is a couple of blocks from the marina. A year ago we had gotten hooked on their cheese steaks. We would hop off the #3 bus and do takeout for dinner aboard. A year later they are still terrific. The local police eat there, which I take as an accolade, much like seeing long-haul truck drivers walking into a roadside diner.

One surprise on this latest visit was that the guy who took our order and vanished into the kitchen immediately reappeared at the cash register to sell Lotto tickets to several customers. I was thinking that the sandwiches would be delayed or, even worse, overcooked, when he walked back out of the kitchen with our subs, neatly wrapped in white paper. Identical twins, how confusing at first glance.

Edgewood Market is favored by the local police force.
Always a good sign in my book.
The decor is minimalist but features wonderful pictures from thirty years ago or so, showing the brothers standing in front of the market in a blizzard, bearded and shaggy. Plus the walls host newspaper clippings detailing crimes -- I saw the policeman at the next table pictured in one of these -- and other local happenings. It is definitely not your typical chain eatery. I'm so glad that it's still there a year later, though I suspect that a neighborhood treasure like this has been there for many years and will be there for many more.

I'm in love with RITA
The second venture was more surprising. We had taken the bus into Providence and then hopped on the #13 back out to Garden City Center, an upscale shopping center in Cranston.

Anita was pursuing a copy of Anthology magazine. Several months ago I had impulsively bought her a copy at Trohv, an eclectic shop in Hampden, a neighborhood near Baltimore. She was hooked. Anthology punched all her buttons: decorating with flea market finds, re-purposing vintage paper and cloth, and featured interesting travel stories that focused on art, style, thrifts and markets. How they knew to customize the content just for her I really can't imagine.

After stumbling on one copy I had expected that it would be widely available. I could use it as my go-to-gift for most any occasion. Not so. Had we lived in California we might have had some luck. On the east coast the pickings were sparse indeed. Now we were in pursuit of a happenstance. A shop called Anthropologie was listed and happened to be on a Rhode Island Transit Authority bus route. Coincidence or fate? Actually the statistics of small samples was at work once again.

Unfortunately, they didn't know that they carried the magazine. The clerk that we approached had never heard of it. To assuage our disappointment she kept trying to convince us to take a glossy catalog, undoubtedly full of stuff every cruiser needs.

Might serve as an anchor
I had eyed a hand-painted Original Still Life Bag showing a horizon above a choppy sea -- I estimated a half knot current was running against about 15 knots of wind with a three-foot swell, about like on the Delaware River -- but decided that Sweet Pea needed a new Rocna anchor and 100 feet of chain instead. It would have been considerably less expensive than that canvas bag and much more useful when the current really does run against the wind, making us circle like a junkyard dog.

While Anita browsed I circled back and, on a hunch, inquired of another shop person, explaining that we had sailed from the Bahamas just to find this magazine. OK, I'll admit that this might have been a bit of an exaggeration. But I had started from there three years ago and we had arrived here on Sweet Pea.

She must have been impressed because as I was preparing to launch into a detailed account of our cruise, she immediately produced two issues: the one I had found in Baltimore and another that Anita hadn't yet pored over. Quick as a wink it was wrapped  in tissue, slipped into a gift bag, and hidden in my back pack. The clerk never did get to hear about the time I was trying to haul anchor in Cape May and ...

It might have been a Rocna in the bag but wasn't.
I do love springing surprises on my love. Although that last surprise on the Delaware River was quite unpleasant, I had a feeling that this one would be much more to her liking. 

After the grand unwrapping, I studied the bus schedule and realized that lunch would need to be quick. Fortunately, we had noticed Cafe Luna and decided to chance it. Its terrific service and unusual salads made it a delight. My favorite was a cold mix of sweet potato, peppers, and pineapple in a lime vinaigrette. Anita had a slice of pizza rather than venture into the delights of salad dressing. Note the lime slice holding down the fizz on my Corona. What cafe thinks to have a plate of serve yourself lime slices, just in case you pluck a long neck out of the cooler? My kind of cafe, for sure.
Anthropologie carries Anthology
and that's more than a mouth full.

Plus they had a charming court yard just steps from the bus stop. Normally I think of shopping center restaurants as being unlikely to be more than laminated menus and uninspired offerings. This place was surprising and pleasantly so.

Now I'm looking for an authentic and tasty Portuguese restaurant. I read that East Providence is the place to find such fare. Isn't it fate that the #3 bus also goes that way?

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