New England Delights

December 25th, 2017 § 0 comments

There is something magical about New England at Christmas time. The light. The domestic architecture (much reaching back to earlier centuries). The decorations that don’t rely upon plastics. And, of course, the many feasts of the HG family. We started with a New York night in Rhode Island. Zabar’s pastrami, corned beef, cole slaw and potato salad. Plus authentic Jewish rye bread. Lesley R.provided pickles, Russian dressing and her own splendid cole slaw. Using an electric press (for Cubano sandwiches), Gifted Daughter Lesley made toothsome Reubens with an appropriate balance of corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and Russian dressing. HG preceded the meal with vodka, moved on to beer, drank Beaujolais Nouveau with cinnamon babka from Kossar’s Bakery in New York. Sipped grappa while watching “Kedi”, the endearing documentary about the cats of Istanbul. Pip, the super smart R. dog, watched the film with the family group. When will they do a film about the doggies of Rhode Island, she barked softly?

The next day HG reveled in Rhode Island’s blending of many cultures: Portuguese, South American, Italian, French, Lebanese, Syrian, Asian. HG/BSK and the R. family, decided to focus specifically on Lebanese, Portuguese and Peruvian Food. A morning visit to Fall River, Mass. (short drive from Rhode Island). Fall River was once a center of textile manufacturing and scores of the old mills have been retrofitted for new uses. It’s a great foodie town. First stop in Fall River was Sam’s Bakery. This is a tiny, busy spot that prepares spectacular Lebanese sandwiches. A fresh from the oven pita is folded over a savory spread: spinach and cheese; eggplant; lamb; etc., etc. Extraordinary tastes. Then on to Portugalia. This is a market that occupies the refurbished first floor of an old mill. It is vast, beautifully organized and a wonderland of Portuguese food. Probably the nation’s best source for chourico, linguica, salt cod, tinned sardines and tuna. Plus Marcona almonds, fava beans, Portuguese cheeses and breads. The wine selection is large with many values. As expected, there is a huge variety of Ports. Lot of tempting sweets including crystallized fruits (a BSK fave). HG/BSK left Portugalia with many bags of good things. Alas, HG did not indulge, as he did the year before, in the Chop Suey sandwich that still lingers on at a few of Fall River’s old time Chinese restaurants. However, maintaining a tasty tradition, dinner was at Los Andes, a Peruvian restaurant in Providence. HG has written about Los Andes many times. Check the HG archive for “Los Andes Happiness”, Dec. 30, 2016. The experience depicted was repeated with the same wonderful results.


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