killing time between meals

where talking about what's for dinner while you're at lunch is totally acceptable


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Summery Sandwiches

Some sandwiches just taste better in summer. Like this luscious lobster roll I ate last weekend at Ballard’s in gorgeous Block Island, RI:

It was sandwich perfection—huge chunks of fresh, sweet lobster tossed with just the right amount of mayo served up with crispy, golden fries. It may have even been better than the last lobster roll I had in RI at The Black Pearl. Actually, that’s the last lobster roll I’ve had at all. See, there are two problems with this delectable sandwich:
1. You can’t find them in Nashville. If you can, I don’t know where. I love my land-locked state, but fresh seafood like this is nearly enough to make me consider a coastal move.
2.This sammy can set you back $30 at lunch. Eek! The regular lobster roll clocked in at $21, but there was an option to order it “naked” (two additional ounces of lobster tossed in drawn butter) for $29. So, I guess I better stay put in TN unless I want to go broke on delicious lunches. Until my next New England trip I will just have to settle for The B-52’s.

Anyway, my other favorite summer sandwich is the BLT. Sure, the BLT isn’t new. And technically you can eat them year round. But there’s nothing like a crunchy BLT when tomatoes are at their finest.

The Best BLT
Serves 1

3-4 strips of bacon, fried
1 heirloom tomato, sliced thick
2 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
1 handful arugula
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

  • Fry up a few strips of bacon over medium heat. Meanwhile, toast the bread and slice the tomato. Drain the bacon on paper towels when cooked through.
  • Spread a little mayo on both slices of toasted bread.
  • Pile the arugula, tomato, and bacon high between the bread. You will probably have to smush the whole thing down to eat it. That’s OK. Smush it and enjoy immediately.
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Never a dull Rhody moment

Don’t let the tinniness of Rhode Island fool you—New Englanders have managed to pack a multitude of flavorful restaurants into a square footage the size of the county I grew up in. I took a long weekend trip to The Ocean State to visit Kristen & Anne Marie, and we had many amazing culinary adventures along the way. AM even had these cute signs drawn up for the event.

Our first night’s dinner was shared in Providence at Al Forno, which we had planned on visiting solely based on the lavender panna cotta. Unfortunately, said dessert wasn’t available that night, but I managed to stay happy between homemade grilled pizza, linguine with creamy egg & duck bacon, and the three desserts we ordered for the table to split. It was a grand dinner, to say the least, and I can’t wait to go back.

The second day we headed to Newport—the quintessential city-by-the-sea. On our way to lunch we randomly saw a restaurant AM had told us about, so we stopped and made dinner reservations. (I mean, this is the original killing time between meals crew—would you expect anything less?) Anyway, New England is famous for chowder, pronounced “chowdah” up there, so we headed to The Black Pearl to sample the city’s finest.

Oh. My. Gosh.

Hands down, the best I have ever eaten. Not too many potatoes. Lots of clams. Thick, creamy, goodness potent with dill. It was bowl-lickable. The best news? You can buy it by the case here.

Kristen and I then shared a lobster salad on croissant. I don’t usually care for lobster (I find the meat too tough, so I’d rather eat crab), but as a salad, it was delectable.

I would add a photo of us dining at The Black Pearl, but AM is our resident photographer, and I only took pictures of food.

A few hours later we (minus Kristen, who wasn’t feeling well) headed to Fluke for dinner. Let me just start by saying that I would get arrested to eat this meal again.

I knew I was gonna like this place when they started us off with roasted rosemary puréed garlic for our bread. (I have a small obsession with garlic, but that’s for another post.)

Um, yes please. (I plan to attempt to make this myself soon. I’ll let you know how it goes.)

After an extra order of that garlic and fire roasted octopus, I moved on to a grilled pork tenderloin. It was cooked to perfection, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t a stroke of good luck as the restaurant’s name suggests. As a matter of fact, Fluke’s chef Neil Manacle worked as Bobby Flay’s sous chef on Iron Chef America and in many of Flay’s New York restaurants.

We also ordered the wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil for the table to share.

Another successful, delicious trip to RI! And wouldn’t you know, we’ve already started planning the restaurant tour on my next visit.