When they first opened Belly Rules, Chef Valter Monteiro and Melissa Gilmete didn't even bother to hang a sign. Instead, they chose to let their cooking speak for itself, whipping up a menu of meaty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that have attracted the attention of local diners and reporters from the Johnston Insider. The chefs labor over their renowned country-fried steak and eggs, pig-roast platters, and custom burgers while supplementing the menu with Saturday-night specials such as firecracker shrimp or tequila-sunrise scallops. The restaurant hosts special fundraisers on Friday nights and welcomes guests to Monday Cruise Night, where clients can show off their new cars, classic automobiles, or Tonka trucks.
A pink ?59 Cadillac flips on its headlights and a waiter strides to the window. ?What'll be, Mac?? This was the golden age of carhops, when root-beer cost a nickel, and Joe Fanning built A&W of Smithfield with a hammer, saw, and a little elbow grease. Today, it is still a family operation under the ownership of Stephanie Mosca, whose sisters and kids have all slung sarsaparilla among the eatery's carports. Those servers and their compatriots have dispensed more than one million dogs and 97,000 frosty mugs of A&W root-beer at the location. Every year from March to November, diners drive up and flip on their lights to signal to a carhop that they are ready to order. Hot dogs made from American beef pair perfectly with root-beer floats laced in cool tufts of froth, and burgers match up to pamphlets about not feeding the cassette deck no matter how hungry it looks.
A cozy setting and familiar foods make meals at Abby's Country Kitchen truly comforting. After taking a seat in the restaurant's cozy dining room or at cushioned stools along its counter, diners tuck into dishes that range from juicy burgers to plates of seafood.