Providence is such a cold city. Even in the spring and summer. It’s as though a cool breeze is always rushing pass. Maybe on it’s way to a Dr’s appointment? A meeting at work? A parent teacher conference for it’s bad ass kid? Either way I never warmed up to the city, it just never felt like home; despite the fact that I had made friends there, had an apartment there, even formed my first REAL notions of love; all of this tucked into it’s creases; a bed sheet that doesn’t quite fit the mattress.
Providence never really welcomed me with open arms until I discovered a different layer of the city. One that was painfully and embarrassingly right under my nose the whole time. If none of you are familiar with Providence, Rhode Island, it’s a tiny city filled with restaurants. Literally, every nook and cranny has these cute quirky little restaurants. And once I realized they were there, I tried to go to every one. So remember way back when I told ya’ll that Providence’s word for me was brunch? Obviously it was for a very important reason. Although I was almost always broke, scrounging for change to reluctantly pay my slumlord rent every month, I’d make it my full business to not only go to brunch, but to also try all the different brunches the restaurants had to offer. But one place very close and dear to my heart got in the way of that. Every time I tried to veer away and try something different, there it would be, almost with a side eye and a smile, saying, “ Yea girl… Come on back. You know who bae is.”
And it’s so right.
I love Nick’s on Broadway because although it gives off the air of pretentious hipster restaurant, with its farm to table chicken(shout out to Tessa and Baffoni Poultry Farm!) and homemade hot sauces and specials that give the air of changing often to those who didn’t go four times a month; (But we knew that tricky Nick changed the menu according to the season AND that’s only if the change wouldn’t cause outrage amoung the ppl who seemingly lived in the back corner of their establishment.) but that it was so comfortable. We didn’t have to blend in or mind our manners. We didn’t even have to pretend to be sober at 10 in the morning. But to be honest, my main concern wasn’t the atmosphere. Or even our extremely friendly waitress with the grey smoker’s teeth and pregnant belly (or was she just lumpy; I still don’t know even though Tater swears its been 10 months and she has yet to serve that baby its eviction notice)
IT WAS THE FOOD
The first time I went to Nicks was early on in the year. I lived only a block away but it just looked like it was expensive. And it actually is if you’re a college student with barely enough money for food during the week (because obviously all of that had to go to alcohol). So I stayed away until one of my Afro Muses suggested we go there for brunch and told us it was way cheaper in the morning.
The first thing I fell in love with was the Eggs Benedict with poached eggs, hollandaise, spinach and choice of meat ( Baffoni chicken sage sausage of course) all on top of buttermilk biscuits.
First off all at the time, I was a chicken sausage skeptic. But I was willing to try it because of a sausage that I had at my old job made of chicken cheddar and beer; so that was my first proof that chicken sausage COULD be good.
GUYS. When I tell you it was pure magic….It was so sweet and moist and spicy in the right places.
At that point I have never had good hollandaise (except my own of course) because culinary students ruin everything and try to serve their peers and teachers a clumpy mess of over cooked egg yolk and too much lemon juice. This hollandaise sauce was perfect. It was frothy and smooth almost like a thin milkshake with just a hint of lemon. And I love love love their roasted potatoes. They were normal but with bright bits of green onion and surprise sweet potatoes (that Tater always stole because she’s rude and doesn’t care that you only have two).
How and ever. What took me towards the gilded golden gates of Salvation was that biscuit. Like I mentioned everything on top of that biscuit was heavenly on its own but I have never had a biscuit of that caliber. It was crisp and golden. The outside sturdy enough to hold the sausage spinach and eggs with the strength of Adonis but so soft in the middle! So fluffy and rich on the inside. It almost reminded me of cornbread but with the fluffiness only buttermilk could promise. And at that point I knew…
I was addicted.