Rick's Roadhouse comforts empty stomachs with a menu of house-cooked barbecue inspired by small-town restaurants along Route 66, earning plaudits from NECN's TV Diner. Chefs rub half ($12.99) and full ($19.99) racks of ribs with seasoning, slowly smoke the meat over hickory and applewood, and then slather on a signature barbecue sauce to slick meats down for tabletop wrestling matches against corn-bread, baked-bean, and coleslaw sides. Steak frites showcases grilled Montreal- or Cajun-style aged meat ($13.99), and daily-ground bison burgers drip with a house-made steak sauce ($9.99). Alternatively, diners can punch nonbarbecue coordinates into their fork’s GPS to reach sizzling chicken fajitas ($11.99). Experienced restaurateur John Elkhay crafts an informal atmosphere to complement Rick's smoked eats, inviting diners to deconstruct ribs on an outdoor patio or keep their noses pointed toward the open kitchen inside a colorful dining room. Patrons can pause between bites to sink corner shots at a pool table or watch pro thumb-wrestling tournaments on wall-mounted TVs.
The Boston Globe recognized United BBQ in its list of 10 best barbecue joints in New England in 2009. It won the southern barbecue category from Rhode Island Monthly's Best of Rhode Island in 2009. The Providence Journal and Providence Phoenix also reviewed United BBQ.
The aromas of hickory-smoked meats and rotisserie sauces spiral upward from the dark, wooden tables at Porky's BBQ and Grill, a haven for lovers of all things barbecue. Here, tangy tastes range from St. Louis–style ribs to Texas-style beef brisket to slow-baked beans culled from the bubbling pit of barbecue sauce that lies under Kansas City. As patrons dig into Southern sides, rustic aluminum siding and tree-trunk poles conjure the atmosphere of a country hideaway. In the winter, Porky’s opens its doors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and serves dinner Thursday–Saturday during the warmer months of May and beyond.
As guests pass under Lewis' Restaurant and Grille's festive blue marquee, they enter an inviting world of Americana, with a bar that has been in place for generations and a kitchen offering up the appetizing aroma of freshly baked pizzas and Angus beef burgers. Guests share plates of buttermilk pancakes and eggs benedict during Sunday brunches and savor the tastes of inventive burgers and sandwiches, such as caprese-salad burgers or chicken-pesto sandwiches drizzled with balsamic reduction, all week long. Upscale haddock and salmon entrees satisfy refined palates, and a spread of bar food pleases crowds with chicken-finger baskets, tots, and tuna melts.
Though it has welcomed in families and bar regulars for decades, Lewis' has recently updated its interior with new bamboo flooring in the dining room and crisp dollar bills in the bar's cash register. Patrons regularly join in special events hosted by the bar, such as Tuesday-night trivia, where first-placers win a cash prize.
Brazilian-born owners Vagmar Stoffel and Rubiano Aguiar sought to create a community dining experience at Rio's Steakhouse, evoking gustatory memories of their hometowns. Rodizio-style dining allows guests to remain seated while attentive churrascaria waiters continually fill empty plates from skewers of slow-cooked beef, chicken, and pork, which they gingerly carve tableside. In between platefuls, diners can temporarily stop the flow of cuisine with either a color-coded coaster or a cleverly placed soccer ball, buying themselves time to visit the ever-changing buffet of hot sides and salad fixings.
Wrapped in the aromatic embrace of Zona Sul Churrascaria’s smoldering barbecue pit, up to four friends gather over unending portions of Brazilian meats, rice, and vegetables. Diners pile thick slices of meat onto their plates as they gaze in wonder at the crackling sirloin steaks and pork sausages skewered on spits over the flames. Beef ribs line up in rows as foursomes hammer out xylophonic bossa nova songs with their forks, and chicken thighs strut to samba beats on palate dance floors. A bountiful salad bar complements the orchestra of sizzling proteins with rice, green vegetables, and whole onions painted to resemble soccer balls.