Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dining ~ Ellie's Bakery ~ Providence

Ellie's Bakery
61 Washington St.
Providence, Rhode Island

Everybody's talking about Ellie's! Since the boulangerie opened in January, all the food bloggers are writing and raving about it. We felt left out, but are rarely Downcity during daytime business hours.

At last, an appointment brought us into Providence in the middle of the workday. We planned our visit to Ellie's around it, and it was well worth the effort.

Ellie's chicken by I {heart} Rhody
chicken statue at front door

The place is small, but very charming, modeled after the Parisian style.

Ellie's dining by I {heart} Rhody
Dining area
Ellie's back wall by I {heart} Rhody
back wall

We arrived at breakfast time. The offering was an egg sandwich done with either house-smoked bacon or house-made sausage. We got one of each.

Breakfast sandwiches by I {heart} Rhody

The bread, rather than a traditional English muffin, is a house-made mix between an English muffin and [insert French specialty bread that I can't remember]. It's a touch sweeter and denser than an English muffin, and delicious. The egg and bacon or sausage was served with a tomato jelly that came as a surprise. I found it a bit sweet, but Bear enjoyed it. I thought the bacon was excellent, though sliced a bit thinner than I usually like. Bear preferred the sausage, and we agreed they were both very good. The service of a neatly packaged sandwich in brown paper on pretty blue and white plates was charming.

Once we'd finished, we were both satisfyingly full, but the bakery cases were too good to pass up. We got a box of assorted pastries to take with us, and over the course of a couple of days, sampled a good number of Ellie's treats.

The pumpkin cheesecake cream puff (bottom right of the photo below) had a creamy and thick filling, that wasn't overwhelmingly pumpkin-y, with a light puff pastry.

Ellie's Bakery cooler by I {heart} Rhody

Spicy chocolate tart (top shelf on right of photo above) had a crisp shell whose flavor got a bit lost under the deep, rich dark chocolate of the filling that has a pleasant spicy bite of cayenne and cinnamon. They should make these bite-sized, since one or two bites was more than enough to satisfy. Our tart made three "just enough" servings.  The pretty meringue decoration added a touch more sweetness.

The chocolate walnut cookie was soft, thick and chocolatey with chocolate chips and walnuts. Just perfect.

photo: Ellie's

We tried four kinds of macarons:
Salted caramel. Not really salty, but definitely caramel. This was my favorite. Chewy and crisp with a melt in your mouth meringue sandwich.

Pistachio. Chewy and delicious, and apparently a favorite among patrons. The pistachio flavor is more of an aftertaste.

Strawberry. These were smaller than the others. The meringue was less crisp, and the center more of a jelly and not as chewy as the other types. It was a bit sweeter than the others.

Blackberry. I thought it would have a jelly center like the strawberry, but this one was more creamy with a definite flavor of fruit, but not as sweet as the strawberry.

One of the prettier offerings was a spiced speculoos cookie. We loved the imprinting and thought they were tasty as well. Somehow they seemed very old-fashioned.

photo: Ellie's

I also tried a cherry chocolate scone. It was tender with lots of cherry and chocolate bits. Definitely one of my favorites.

I would have loved to try their oatmeal cranberry bread, but there had been a menu changeover, as will happen with seasonal shops. I'll have to wait til next autumn for that.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Food Artist ~ Meghan

Baker's name: Meghan
Business name: Miss Vegan
Location: Online based RI shop
Etsy shop:

1. Tell us about your work: 
About 5 years ago I decided to make a life a changing decision. I decided to take on a vegan lifestyle. It had been the best thing I have ever done. It didn't take long for me to realize how much I missed eating desserts. I baked my first vegan cupcake, and it was instant love. I put passion into every treat I create. One would never know my tasty treats are dairy, egg, honey, and animal product free. Nothing is more satisfying then seeing the pure indulgence and happiness my treats put on ones face.

2. How did you come to be open an etsy bakery?
I started off on a very small scale selling vegan baked goods at the Scituate farmers market in 2008. Seeing as though that only ran for the summer season, I needed other ways to fulfill my baking addiction. I had heard about etsy through a friend and checked out the website. The rest is history.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I get lots of my inspiration from my taste buds. I know what I like to eat and the flavor combinations I crave. I have a huge sweet tooth. I find inspiration in non-vegan desserts. It's a thrill when you can replicate common food desserts and make them cruelty free.

4. What’s your favorite item to make?
My favorite thing to bake would probably be "cheesecake". I only say thins because it is my favorite thing to consume. I am addicted.

5. What’s your best seller? 
My best holiday seller would have to be my Valentine chocolate boxes. They're awesome! There are an array mouth watering flavors. They are also less common to find in the vegan world. I also have them at a pretty nice price point. During non holidays my biggest seller are my S'mores bars. Who doesn't love the combination of marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate? Yum!

6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I was born and raised in this cozy state.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
I love RI for its four seasons, its size, its expanding vegan food scene, and its memories.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Events ~ I Heart Providence ~ Feb. 5, 2013

I Heart Providence
Providence City Hall
25 Dorrance St.
Providence, RI
February 5, 2013

For the fifth year, I Heart Providence pulled off a great night of community, food and fun.

This year they added a competition theme for the participating restaurants: East side vs. West side.

The judges panel consisted of writer David Dadekian of, Chef Branden Lewis of Johnson & Wales University, and Chef Matt Varga of Gracie's.
East vs West judges by I {heart} Rhody

Some of the participating restaurants included:

Cook and Brown ("European Gastropub") - East Side
Cook and Brown Rabbit Cassoulet by I {heart} Rhody

Duck and Bunny ("Snuggery") - East Side - Winner, Best Chef
Duck and Bunny by I {heart} Rhody

North - West Side
Food by North salad by I {heart} Rhody

Vanity (1920's "Speakeasy") - East Side
Vanity reconstructed Waldorf salad by I {heart} Rhody

The Grange ("Plant-Based Restaurant") - West Side
The Grange Apple Cranberry crumble by I {heart} Rhody

Julian's - West Side
Local Ricotta and Celery Root puree by Julian's by I {heart} Rhody

There were also plenty of Providence-based artists, organizations, restaurants and crafters.

Live entertainment was provided by Miss Wensday and the Cotillions, who performed swing and torch music in the City Council chambers
Miss Wensday and the Cotillions in the Council Chamber by I {heart} Rhody

and by Bored with Four
Bored with Four by I {heart} Rhody

There was a graffiti wall for visitors to leave some love notes to Providence. You might be able to see ours, middle right, in pink.
graffiti wall by I {heart} Rhody

City Hall was packed with well-wishers. I was really glad that they'd opened up the Council Chamber and Alderman's Room, which had been closed off previously. It gave a chance to see more of the building, and its impressive architecture.

Ceiling of Aldermen's chamber by I {heart} Rhody
Alderman's chamber ceiling

Aldermen's room corner chair by I {heart} Rhody
Alderman's chamber with built-in seat

As usual, Bear and D and I had a great time. The food was excellent, we got to see old friends and meet new people, in a beautiful building.

They're already planning for next year's event:
Quoting EatDrinkRI,
"I HEART PROVIDENCE founder Mike Ritz has declared 2014′s event will be themed “Will you marry me?” Ritz posted to Facebook, “Get ready to formalize your love with the city and that special someone. Take the big leap . . . renew your vows . . .dedicate yourself to a principle/idea . . .take an oath to your great city . . .make a lasting commitment in 2014 at I HEART PROVIDENCE.”

Friday, February 22, 2013

From the I {heart} Rhody Flickr group

Christopher Columbus by ArtFan70 via I {heart} Rhody
Christopher Columbus by ArtFan70

Temple of Music by mike_dooley via I {heart} Rhody
Temple of Music by mike_dooley

514 Broadway  Providence RI by 1W57thNY via I {heart} Rhody
514 Broadway Providence RI by 1W57thNY

University Hall after Storm by Armadillo Commander via I {heart} Rhody
University Hall after Storm by Armadillo Commander

Providence, RI Riverwalk by acanyc via I {heart} Rhody
Providence, RI Riverwalk by acanyc

Winter Waterfall by Wilks2010 via I {heart} Rhody
Winter Waterfall by Wilks2010

north providence-09191-4 by tomcollinsarc via I {heart} Rhody
north providence-09191-4 by tomcollinsarc

Winter by Bell7283 via I {heart} Rhody
Winter by Bell7283

Urban Decay by BlueisCoool
Urban Decay by BlueisCoool

Cliche by Brianbestoso via I {heart} Rhody
Cliche by Brianbestoso

Untitled by Bellamy Photography
Untitled by Bellamy Photography

IMG_1567 by browley
IMG_1567 by browley

Winter Storm Nemo by Carly Sabatino via I {heart} Rhody
Winter Storm Nemo by Carly Sabatino

Rhode Island State House by Cross Photography via I {heart} Rhody
Rhode Island State House by Cross Photography

DSC_6862 by dadofliz via I {heart} Rhody
DSC_6862 by dadofliz

Jamestown RI by E Godfrey via I {heart} Rhody
Jamestown RI by E Godfrey

drift by emiliabright via I {heart} Rhody
drift by emiliabright

New Year's first sunrise by enjoiskate8 via I {heart} Rhody
New Year's first sunrise by enjoiskate8

New Ice by filledtoovercapacity via I {heart} Rhody
New Ice by filledtoovercapacity

The RI State House by Frank C. Grace (Trig Photography) via I {heart} Rhody
The RI State House by Frank C. Grace (Trig Photography)

State House Summer by GoProvidenceRI via I {heart} Rhody
State House Summer by GoProvidenceRI

Rhode Island State House by h ssan via I {heart} Rhody
Rhode Island State House by h ssan

Providence by leith70 via I {heart} Rhody
Providence by leith70

Corner House by Town & Building Designer via I {heart} Rhody
Corner House by Town & Building Designer

Benedict Temple of Music by Jerri Moon Cantone via I {heart} Rhody
Benedict Temple of Music by Jerri Moon Cantone

Icy, cold, sunset. by robert.rinkel via I {heart} Rhody
Icy, cold, sunset. by robert.rinkel

Stepstone Winter 3.jpg by MStoeckle via I {heart} Rhody
Stepstone Winter 3.jpg by MStoeckle

Looff Carousel by Mr. Ducke via I {heart} Rhody
Looff Carousel by Mr. Ducke

Newport Bridge HDR by Totts3 via I {heart} Rhody
Newport Bridge HDR by Totts3