Though recently featured in a USA Today Travel article that praised its “astonishing” chow mein sandwich, Chan’s Fine Oriental Dining is known by locals for more than just its kitchen’s specialties. The restaurant also won a prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive award in 2011, and its world-famous jazz and blues performances have helped cement its self-proclaimed reputation as New England’s "home of eggroll, jazz, and blues."
Long before the sounds of horns and saxophones filled its halls, the New Shanghai Restaurant opened its doors in 1905. It was not until the mid-1960s, however, that the Chan family refurbished the Woonsocket landmark and began serving an innovative combination of Cantonese, Szechwan, Hunan, and Mandarin cuisines. Around this time, the Chans also brought in the live jazz and blues music that continues to fill the main dining area—known as the Horseshoe Bar Lounge—and the famous Four Seasons Jazz and Blues Club.
With its red paper lanterns, traditional Chinese artwork, and colorful paintings of musicians, the Four Seasons has played host to such legendary blues, jazz, and folk artists as Dizzy Gillespie and Rebecca Parris. A buffet spread accompanies musical performances, during which enthralled audiences watch as musicians pound eggrolls against snare drums or slide their hands along guitars strung up with slippery chow mein noodles.
Two small silver handles join to form an elegant V across Vintage's front door, a nod to the restaurant's name as well as the understated elegance of its upscale, internationally inspired menu. Lunches of ricotta ravioli—stuffed with housemade ricotta cheese, grilled chicken, and tomato and served with roasted-garlic fondue—give way to dinners of paella peppered with Gulf shrimp, native clams, and mussels from Prince Edward Island. Vintage offsets its hearty Western dishes with a sushi bar that brims with sashimi and specialty rolls such as the Volcano, whose crabstick, avocado, and spicy baked scallops are harvested from separate tectonic plates. In addition to serving its usual brunches, lunches, and dinners, Vintage hosts occasional cooking classes, wine-tasting dinners, and other special events.
The eatery, a Woonsocket staple since 1983, invites kids, adults, and ageless immortals into its quaint and comfortable confines for classic homecooked meals. Once diners are settled into a cushy booth, they can feast on soul-soothing meals ranging from family-style rotisserie chicken dinners to homemade chowders and overstuffed sandwiches. To complement these hearty morsels, bartenders sling glasses of wine and domestic brews behind a full bar illuminated by the soft glow of televised sports.
For Anthony and Denise Sierra, California-style burritos aren't just a fast and healthy meal. They're a tribute to Mark Tryhubczak, the chef and friend who brought them together. After teaching Anthony to cook and Denise to tend bar, Mark introduced the couple at his own burrito shop, Block Island Burrito Company. Together, the trio turned the fledgling business into a local gem in the early 1990s. Though Mark has sadly passed away, his legacy lives on through Anthony and Denise's joyful eatery, which helps patrons to build their own memories around plates of nachos and steaming bowls of chili. Anthony handcrafts the entire lineup of edibles each day, making every bite more refreshing than a mentholated dunk tank. Flour tortillas encase seven types of burritos, which teem with seasoned meats and colorful veggies such as bell peppers, sweet corn, and ripe red tomatoes. Instead of gift-wrapping microwaves and trimming sun rays with frosting, guests can celebrate heat waves on the patio while sipping festive margaritas and three types of sangria.
Ranked the No. 1 Submarine Sandwich Franchise in the 2011 "Franchise 500" issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, Subway has graced the globe with nutritious stacks of meats, crisp veggies, flavorful cheeses, and fresh-baked breads since 1965. Sandwiches, which can be left out cold or invited into a toaster, include classics such as the turkey breast, black-forest ham, the premium big philly cheesesteak, and a host of $5 foot-long subs—which can be used to measure a child's height or the distance between Earth and the sun. There are also kids' meals to introduce children to the concept of eating. The eateries also open for bountiful breakfast sandwiches served alongside cups of Seattle’s Best Coffee.
The sounds of cheers and high-fives from youth baseball and softball teams sponsored by Grumpy's Restaurant punctuate the hush of patrons tucking into feasts. Five big-screen televisions chatter overhead, tuned to athletic events or emergency broadcasts aimed at whoever keeps taking the mayor's lunch out of the fridge. Plates clatter onto tables, bearing juicy burgers stuffed with cheddar and jalapeños and buffalo-chicken-topped pizzas. On weekend nights, the twang of guitars slipping into tune fills the air as musicians prepare for live sets, and glasses click together at the full bar.