Chopping Block: Southeast Light Delights

It’s a about a mile (UPHILL). I say it many times a day. People ask where the Southeast Light is and I have to inform them that it is a little of ways, but it is certainly worth their efforts.M333

Luckily, to reward their climb Southeast Light Delights and a lot of lobster awaits them. With a literal monopoly on the refreshments available nearby, the food truck could rest on it’s laurels, but IT DOES NOT.

Andre Boundreau is the funny man running the show at Delights. He dishes out high quIMG_1129 (1)ality food and drink for the flocking tourists. One of his children will likely take your order.

I had never been to the truck, but a serendipitous win at Bingo with my mother left us with a coupon for a Free- Range Lobster Roll, a Del’s Lemonade and an ice cream sandwich. Yes, all lobster is free-range by the way. This lobster happens to arrive fresh from Scarborough, Maine. Sorry, lobsters you can’t be free forever.

We biked up and enjoyed every little bitIMG_1151 of the winnings. Boundreau as pleased to have us come and collect. Even promising to my momma #blockislandfamous
The menu is not limited to lobster rolls (which at available both hot and cold), it also includes lobster grilled chesses, ricotta and berries sandwiches, hot-dogs, and more. For refreshing drinks, they offer Avery’s Artisan sodas, Maine Root beers and assorted soft drinks.

 

So plan for a picnic. This food truck provides chairs and blankets as well. Leave room for dessert. The ice cream sandwiches are layered: cookie, cookie-dough ice cream, cookie. Or if my last post has you craving gelato, the truck has two flavors that rotate daily.

The truck is located just inside the fence at The Southeast Lighthouse. Continue up Spring Street from Old Harbor (yes, about a mile) and you’ll find it. It is open daily typical 10am-4pm. Like Southeast Light Delights on Facebook for menu update and a dose of good cheer.

Do you prefer lobster rolls hot or cold? What’s the best picnic food? Did we cheat at Bingo?

Ge-Lot to Love-O: Mia’s Gelateria

IMG_1085The sign reads, “If you like ice cream, you’ll LOVE gelato!”

Is it true? There’s only one way to find out.

Mia’s Gelateria is new to Block Island this summer operating in the same location and serving the same gelato last the former Beckett’s Gelato. I never made it into Beckett’s last summer as I have a strong affinity to the classic cone of ice cream.

But, times are a changing as they say. So I did my research. For those of you that don’t know Gelato is the Italian version of ice cream. The major difference is that it is made with milk instead of cream like in ice cream. Also, when it is prepared less air is introduced to mixture so the product is richer in each bite.

With the perfect flavor in each bite, gelato is eaten in smaller quanities thanyour typical cone. This is a bold move. Less dessert? Are you kidding me, that sounds horrible. But trust me, the Gelota at Mia’s is rich, creamy and round in ever bite. The tiny spoon slows you down and you’ll join the “less is more” bandwagon.

IMG_1082The dense dessert is available 18 flavors at Mia’s. The most popular flavors include Salted Carmel Chunk, Coconut Almond Crunch, and Sea Salt Chocolate. Mix and match flavor combinations or go for a scoop in a freshly prepared waffle cone. Flavor change weekly, check back for new additions. Doyon ‘s also dishes up non-dairy sherbets. And on cooler days stop by for Dunkin Donut’s brand coffee.

One super cool thing about Mia’s Gelateria is the fact it is Mia’s own. Mia Doyon is 19 years old and is the owner of the shop. Having worked in the shop before, she bought out the previous owner and now is her own boss.IMG_1089

Major kudos to Mia for young entrepreneurship. Oh and for serving top-notch frozen deliciousness.

The shop is open daily from 12-10pm and is located just below the front porch of the National Hotel. Mia’s Gelateria is cash only. Stop by for a sample and you be ordering a cup! Like Mia’s on Facebook for flavor and shop updates!

Have you every tried Gelato? If you were a gelato flavor what would you be? Don’t tiny spoons make you feel like a giant?

Block Island Resturant Week

Sunday’s Bite of Block Island kicked off Block Island Resturant Week, which runs from June 12-17th.

 

IMG_3557
This chicken was clucking this morning at The Spring House.

 

Throughout the week many restaurants on the island will be offering specially priced pre-fixed menus.

The week allows diners to try multiple courses at the Island’s dining establishments. Rebecca’s Takeout, Persephone’s and Bethany’s Airport Dinner are even offering special breakfast menus for the week. Other restaurants will offer lunch and dinner. Don’t miss your opportunity to try an island spot you’ve been meaning to visit.

It is a week to let your stomach do the dictating and your head to put aside things like fullness and guilt. Be sure to check out the chamber website for accessing a list of participating restaurants and menus.

Stay hungry. What restaurant have you wanted to try on Block Island? What is the best dish you’ve ever had on the island?

 

Type A Itinerary: Day Tripping Out

Whether it is because of your overzealous boss or your fear of commitment, sometimes an overnight stay on Block Island is out of the question. Don’t worry, a day trip to Block Island still allows for exploration and adventure (just squeezed in between the first and last ferries).

IMG_0835 (1).jpg
Dressed for success.

The night before your epic trip: pack. Pack light, you will be turtle-ing around all day (that means carrying your home on your back). A backpack can’t be beat especially if you choose to hop on a bike.

In your pack: small beach towel, sunscreen, reusable water bottle, heat-resistant snacks (just not chocolate protein bars please!), lightweight coverup/outfit swap, CASH (and credit cards, if we’re being honest).
I suggest wearing layers: bathing suit, movable clothing, and a light sweatshirt. Bonus tip: if you have a sweatshirt you are ready to part with, wear/pack that and use it if needed or discard if it’s 80 and awesome.

The ferry will feel like home on a day trip. Scout out the best times. Push yourself to get out the door early. The first ferries will be a lot less crowded than say the 10 or 11am.

As you come off the ferry, don’t let the hub but of Water Street make you feel out place. You are just as Block Island as you believe you are. Just don’t act like like a totally new guy. That includes: not using a map in the middle of the sidewalk, asking a busy employee about a business that is not their own, or most importantly, saying you prefer the Vineyard.

Wheels. If you got ’em bring em. Moped or bicycle. It is cheaper to pay the ferry fee than the rental shop. Be sure to bring along your own bike lock. If you don’t have your own. There are a number of bike rental shops right when you get off the ferry. Be a know it all and go one street back to Aldo’s Bikes, beat the ferry rush and be on your way.

The wheels will expedite the exploration process and allow to see more on your short visit.

Time for Snack attack. If you skipped breakfast or am just hungry. Time to fuel up while you are near some great options. Old Post Bagels and Top Side Cafe are great quick options for breakfast fare. IMG_0038.jpg
If you are looking for a one of a kind sit-down meal early in the day, Bethany’s Airport diner is an awesome spot. Hop on those wheels and take a short ride to the airport where you can grub on and watch the beautiful people come and go on their aircraft.

IMG_4063.jpgLet’s go to the BEACH, BEACH. This is WHAT YOU CAME HERE FOR. Swim, walk, surf and chill on any of Block’s beaches. You know how to do this part.What I can advise on is if you are looking to rinse off after a sandy session there are showers located:

  • Fred Benson Beach Pavilion
  • Ballard’s Beach
  • Old Harbor (near the boats)

If you grabbed something to eat when you arrived then went exploring it may be mid-afternoon by the time you want to eat again. This is great because you don’t want to be chowing down a big meal minutes before your ferry depart. Have a nice linner (otherwise know as dunch). Don’t bother looking for a happy hour drink menu, it is illegal in Rhode Island to discount alcohol for given times. Inquire about late afternoon food deals, though, a common replacement. IMG_0004.jpg
If you are looking to relax (as if you were at home) the lawn at The Spring House or at The Oar are great options with great food, drinks, and lawn games.

IMG_3339.jpg
A cone a day, keeps the boys away.

When it is time to go home, be prompt. Ferries don’t care if you don’t have a hotel room. Save the trip back for instagraming your “carpe diem” kinda of day.

Plus, because you earned it grab some frozen happiness once you get off the ferry at Brickley’s Ice Cream in Narragansett.

If you were on Block Island for a day what would be your first stop? Do you have day trip tips? How many ice cream cones can you eat in one day?

Chopping Block: Island Ice Cream Guide

Nothing says summer like ice cream. Luckily, the island is in no short supply. With stands speckling the island everyone can find their perfect scoop. Here is your guide to the island’s top shops for scoops. And with one of my Block Bucket List items being to “try every ice cream spot on the island”, I done good.

Best Budget Cone: Rebecca’s Take-Out (Water Street)

For the most cream for your coin try Rebecca’s Take-out. With three locations but the best cones here coming from their Old Harbor spot. They have a number of your classic flavors with a small costing $2.50 and a large at $3.50. The diner is known for their many other options, but their sly ice cream side business can not be ignored.

Best Sundae: The Ice Cream Place (232 Water St, entrance from Weldon’s Way)

It is hard to not immediately walk straight for The Ice Cream Place as you disembark the ferry. Nestled in with a great sitting area, The Ice Cream Place delivers on it’s name. Here try a “Walking Sundae” which combines the magic of holding a cone without having to give up the joys of a sundae. The cone includes the ice cream flavor of your choosing, hot fudge, ladled in hot fudge and scooped on freshly whipped cream. Good thing they have plenty of seating, this “Walking Sundae” takes your full attention.

IMG_3385.JPG

Best Flavor Selection: Aldo’s Bakery & Ice Cream (130 Weldon’s Way)

When everyone in the family likes their ice cream a little different, head to Aldo’s. Here one can find a plethora of homemade hard-packed flavors, more than a dozen Gelato varieties (including non-dairy Sherberts), soft serve frozen yogurts and if none of those options work, the spot boasts delicious baked goods. One flavor to try is the Peppermint Patti, for minty chocolaty taste that confirms the paradox of choice can be conquered. Shout Out to my main man Mr. Boris who scooped me a majority of my cones this summer. Thanks Boris, I wouldn’t have survived without you!

IMG_3956

Best Soft-Serve: Payne’s Killer Donuts (1 Ocean Avenue, New Harbor)

Life is hard, make ice cream easy. If you are looking for a treat and prefer the smooth soft creamy variety, the best can be found at Payne’s. Known for their donuts, if you find yourself nearby in the afternoon; don’t shy away the locale offers unbeatable cones. Pile on sprinkles for a little crunch and enjoy your moment of paradise; these cones melt fast in the summer heat.

New Trend to Try: Beckett’s Gelato (Water Street)

Gelato, Italian for ice cream, is the creamier cousin of the traditional ice you are likely familiar. Made in small batches with less air churned into the mixture, the taste of gelato is rich. The flavors are more striking in each spoonful, so a small cup will do you. Plus embrace the fun of feeling fancy holding your tiny little spoon.

Best for the Comforts of Home: Ben & Jerry’s (224 Water Street)

As the only chain on Block Island, Ben & Jerry’s is worthy exception. The company goes beyond the delicious ice cream they produce to contribute to a better world. Their products are sourced locally to production, follow green standards and make sure all workers receive fair benefits. In terms of why you should try their scoops, the taste options are the same you can find at home or in the grocery store, so you can have a nicely scooped cone of your favorite familiar flavor all while taking in a Block Island sunset making the whole experience rounded.

Best Hidden Spot: The Scoop Shack at The Harbor Inn (Water Street)

Tucked behind the corner of the Harbor Inn, The Scoop Shack has 20 homemade flavors for you to come discover. This spot is sometimes forgotten in the fast pace hustle and bustle of Water Street, but if you are lucky enough to find it you will be sure to want mark your map to return. With plenty of seating, a gift shop and great views, the shop offers the best views of Old Harbor.

IMG_3383.JPG

Last Stop Shop: Old Harborview Takeout (Water Street)

As you run to catch the last ferry of the day, Old Harbor Take is the finial chance you have to grab your taste bud’s delights. The window offers a number of flavor brusts to soft serve flavors, as well as Del’s Frozen Lemonade if you’ve already maximized your dairy intake.

IMG_3941

Adventures Etc: Like Mother Like Daughter

I have to admit that as I have gotten used to the island, I sometimes find myself not completely seizing the moments I have here. Luckily this weekend a visit from my dearest mother reminded me of the need for embracing every one of my island hours.

My mother’s visit was a short weekend, arriving late Friday and departing mid-day Sunday. This meant that we had to hit the ground running. We hiked, biked, kayaked and ate our way through as much island as possible. Here are the highlights.Take notes for how to squeeze in a whole lot of Block in a very short amount of time.

As soon as she arrived I knew we would have a great time, I started a count of how many things we went to do the same of, some included; wearing matching pants, carrying matching purses, ordering massive scoops of ice cream, bringing along a light jacket, waking up at the crack of dawn, and it doesn’t end even there . Hey, what can I say she raised me!

Dinner at the Beach Head was a great way to sink Karen into the island vibes with great seafood, views of the beach and sunset and it’s just a hop away from town. The highlight of the night was our ice cream cones scooped by my buddy Borris at Aldo’s. Flavors to try; Pralines and Cream and Coconut Chip. A beautiful sunset walk on the beach in-between course sweeten the pot.

IMG_0141

Saturday was planned to included as much activity as possible. To fuel our fun, we started with our Hotel Manisesses’ Champagne Breakfast at the 1661 House. I consider myself a hotel breakfast connoisseur and this place impressed. Starting with drinks, take your pick from hot coffees and teas, juices and milk oh and BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS. It’s self-serve so mix it up how ever you like, throw in a splash of cranberry if you’re feeling frisky. On to the buffet, place your order for a custom omelette of your choice, and continue to fill your plate with whatever else you fancy, most impressive to me was the giant cod choice. I took full advantage of the non-standard breakfast fare.

IMG_3898

IMG_3900IMG_3899 (2)

Located directly across from the 1661 is the Abram’s Animal Farm. It is open daily, from dawn til dusk with free admission. The farm is home to a number of exotic animals kangaroos, giant turtles, black swans, lemurs and more. But I was there to cross off a major to-do. Pet the Yak. Check on that one.

IMG_0175

His name is Justice and he enjoys being served.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 5.56.26 PM

We also met the one-eyed Zedonk. Yup, that’s a thing. Half Zebra, half donkey, and completely adorable.

IMG_0192

A short bike ride up to Clayhead, brought us to the edge. Don’t worry, we came back, but sadly empty handed. The orbs were hiding extra well on this hike, but Clayhead views make cloudy days mystical.

IMG_0151

If all this outdoor fun has your stomach growling, make like we did and stop at Old Post Bagel Shop. This place is my hangout many mornings, but this was my first lunch visit. And Old Post supplies! Try the #1, grilled eggplant, goat cheese, roasted red pepper, basil and balsamic drizzle to make you drool.

IMG_3902

Shark week was last week, but The Block Island Giant Shark Tournament plays by it’s own rules. With a grand prize of $5,000, the real fisherman were in town. We caught a glimpse of a competitive Blue Shark being weighed. In my opinion the following chopping up of the shark that occurs was happening way too close to the tournament t-shirt sale.

IMG_0166

Rounding out the Block Island Experience was a bike ride to Mohegan Bluff, where we joined the wave of rock stackers. #artsy

IMG_0216

The lesson I learned over the weekend was that, every day I have the opportunity to go do something that pretty soon, will not be an option. The benefits of the island life are numerous and a sometimes it takes an outsiders view to remind us of our own. So as comfortable as that beach chair is, try not to get too comfortable. The island’s adventure are endless.

Cream Chronicles: A Rematch Doubleheader

A weekend on Block means one thing, rewarding one’s labors with cones. And since I am still on the hunt for the best cone of the island, the work never stops.

IMG_5054Friday Night, Amanda and I tried out Aldo’s Ice Cream. Aldo’s is a the mega church of ice cream spots. They have ice cream, soft serve, gelato and then an entire bakery as well. Overwhelmed? Yeah, me too. The options left me pulling the classic sample song and dance of trying two flavors and then going on to order a completely separate one.

I settled on Mint Patty. It was nothing jaw dropping, but hit the spot. I felt like there was just so much I want from Aldo’s plethora of choices that no one scoop could fulfill my ice cream desires. It was not a swing and miss, I’d call it a double on the baseball scale.

So as already discussed, I love my cream. So the following night, round two at The Ice Cream Place. This time I wasn’t messing around. With cost not being a factor (good betting skills, won me the cone), I went for it. A walking sundae is what they call it, but I could barely handle this thing sitting down. Take a homemade waffle cone add a scoop of ice cream (mine was Snickers), drizzle that baby in hot fudge, scoop on the whipped cream (yes, scoop from a bowl) and top it with a cherry and you have yourself a homerun.

IMG_3385.JPG

Best bite was the last, as the hot fudge pools up nicely in the bottom of the cone. Ok, Ice Cream Place you have proven yourself worthy. Back on the good list. Meaning more cones to come.

Two Words: Get it.
IMG_3387.JPG

This would be a good Match.com profile picture, just so they know up front what they are getting into.IMG_3383.JPG