Greggs: the Rhode Island place to have Gentile food


Rhode Island, as I’ve said before, is a good place to put on the feedbag. We have tons of places to eat, and a surprising number of them are good: in Providence alone, we have Hemenway’s, and Red Stripe, and Cassarino’s. We have our share of chains like Shula’s and Fleming’s, and they are very good also (Partner and I are very partial to Fleming’s).

But sometimes you don’t want to spent $100+ for a meal.

And, for those evenings, there is always Greggs.

Greggs is only found in Rhode Island. There are four locations: Providence, East Providence, North Kingstown, and Warwick. (I’ve never eaten at the Warwick location. Maybe someday.)

They serve Gentile food.

They have sandwiches, and pasta dishes, and salads. They have wraps. They have liver and onions, to which I am partial.

Most significantly of all, they have huge delectable-looking cakes, which rotate inside big glass enclosures. You can always see them out of the corner of your eye while you’re dining.

Usually we skip the cake. Sometimes, however – especially if we go on Monday or Tuesday, when they’re having a special – we are forced to have cake, because it’s part of the meal, and we’ve already paid for it. We take it home with us, and it’s always wonderful.

The clientele is funny: lots of older people, lots of big families. It’s not expensive. It’s comfortable, and the waiters get to know you after a while. One of the waiters at the North Main Street location (who has a wrap named after him) still knows me after all these years, and still brings me a martini without asking. I mean, really!

Rhode Island is a great place for food. But you can’t always eat steak or lobster. Sometimes you want something simple and comfortable.

It is for this that Greggs exists.

So let’s go to Greggs. I’ll have the liver and onions, and you can have whatever you want.

And afterward, maybe a piece of cake.


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About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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