Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vittles and Deep Thoughts

The view from our table, looking upriver. The Warren River.
Back in July we had the opportunity to visit the Wharf Tavern in Warren, RI. I did write of that pleasurable lunch time experience, but there were very few pictures of my own accompanying that epic tale. In fact only one. Today I intend to remedy that lack of photographs. Sadly, our re-visitation of the place was marked by the food being much less tasty than on our previous visit.

As The WSO was heard to remark, "How can you possibly screw up lobster mac and cheese?"

Someone found a way. It was truly unremarkable.

The Nuke's scallops were actually quite good. My swordfish was, well it was swordfish. Let's leave it as that.

But you just can't beat the view from the Wharf Tavern. (Well you can, but not without paying an arm and a leg OR having to use paper plates at a clam shack. Fighting the seagulls for each tasty morsel.) Prices at the Wharf are reasonable, though sometimes the quality of the dining experience leaves summat to be desired.

While I'm no gourmand, I do expect consistency from visit to visit.

Oh well, there was still Guinness to be had. Though it be the canned variety, it's still Guinness. (Besides which, I like the little plunger in the can, it's like a wee keg in there!)

Moi et Guinness numéro un.
The view looking downriver, towards Narragansett Bay.
"Angry clouds" (as Little Bit calls them) across the water, though they amounted to naught.
At least where we were sitting. Can't speak for those folks under said clouds.
So we all went out to eat last Saturday instant. The weather was lovely.

Which was fortunate as we arrived at the restaurant sans reservations. The hostess seemed to react to our answer of "No, we don't have a reservation" much the same way (I expect) as if we'd walked in and said "Hi, we just all peed on the carpet in the entryway, you might want to clean that up." Or some shocked and appalled look of a similar nature.

Meh. We are perhaps at times overly spontaneous.

As to the weather, the hostess asked if we'd like to dine outside? As the weather was gorgeous and the breeze off the river tends to keep the insects further inland, we said "Why not?"

(Just now I learned that whereas we say "al fresco" for dining in the open air, the Italians don't. They will use all'aperto or fuori instead. And yes, al fresco is Italian and literally means "in the cool (air)". It's educational we are!)

A few of the boats and houses which are rather out of reach of my current circumstances.
I console myself by saying "I'd hate to live there during a hurricane!"
Still, I might like to try.
What you'd call a "working boat". Probably a lobsterman.
(Were I to hazard a guess, which I just did.)
The evening approaches, another day in Little Rhody draws to a close.
I thought the ducks were a nice touch.
Hhmm, vittles and deep thoughts. I mentioned the vittles already, adequate at best. Our waitress, while very friendly, was not on the whole very efficient. I remarked upon this very topic to The Nuke, saying that I prefer friendly over efficient. The Nuke's rejoinder was "Why can't we have both?"

I thought her attitude somewhat harsh, until it took over 30 minutes for my second Guinness to arrive. In her defense, there was a wedding reception in the upstairs party room, keeping the barkeep rather busy. When I mentioned this to The Nuke she indicated that perhaps management should hire more staff. I couldn't disagree. First world problems, neh? ("I say Muffy, just where is my second aperitif? Sorry excuse for a staff, do pass the caviar would you?")

As to deep thoughts...

Maybe later this week. The National Weather Service is calling for a rant by me any day now. The conditions are perfect for such an event. High pressure building between my ears and such.

A second squadron of ducks hove to and awaiting sunset.
Orange sky with contrails.
Night falls and the festive lights come on.
I had a great time with the daughters and the senior granddaughter, though it was far too short. We ate lots of good food, much of which was prepared by The Missus Herself, when the kids come home, the first question is always, "Where's the Korean food?"  I did imbibe a couple of adult beverages from time to time (always "a couple", one is never enough) and was regaled with tales of the Naval Service.

As always, Little Bit was spoiled terribly. It's what we grandparents do. It's in the job description.



  1. Rhode Island never looked so good. Beautiful.

  2. Love this post, mainly because I absolutely love waterfront dining and drinking at dusk. Some of my favorites? Chick's Oyster Bar in VA Beach, Lime's Bar and Grill in Panama City Beach, the Bali Hai Restaurant in San Diego, The Boatshed in Bremerton, Uncle Ernie's Bayfront Grill in Panama City. I'll admit that the view and folks I'm with can greatly sway my opinion even if the food ain't so good. Just throw some local grilled fish on a bun, pour some booze in some fruit juice, and I'm a happy camper.

    1. Same here. My needs are small, a good venue, good company and some good booze and I'm a happy camper. If the food is remotely edible, even better!

      Chick's Oyster Bar? I've been there with The WSO, loved it! The rest sound like places I need to visit some day.

  3. Looks like the meal took a LONG time! :-)

    1. The place was busy, service was a tad slow but we weren't in any rush. We definitely took our time.

      It was too beautiful a day to rush things.

  4. Beautiful setting, a family that loves each (ok,ale).....can't spoil that with deep thoughts. The innocent and unconditional love of a granddaughter, thank you for this story.
    On the other hand, you say storm clouds are gathering and building for a rant? Uh oh.....

    1. Thanks Greg.

      And yes, right now there's a 75% chance of a rant before Saturday.

  5. Wonderful pictures. I miss the ocean a lot. I have the northern sea frontier but to be honest, the good people of Ohio don't have a clue about dining by sea or putting a patio terrace on the banks of the mighty Cuyahoga. Yea verily, they are a mighty disappointment to me. Still, there is this one place up in Fairport Harbor I mean to go to with my parents when they show up this weekend. It actually hangs over the water...close by the Perry "winkle" nuclear plant. I am forced to say though that Guinness in a can is no Guinness at all. If you can't use it to make a proper Black and Tan, it isn't Guinness. :)

    1. Good point on the Black and Tans Cap'n.

      But then again, I'm not that picky.

  6. I'll echo Tuna's thoughts about dining on the water but I can't give ya a list of favorites since memory is the SECOND thing to go in old age. And mine went. That said, I've done a lot of "by the water" dining in various places in past lives, most recently in the Bay Area Soviet Socialist Republic. I DO miss the water.

    Ya done good with the pics and the description of the outing. With the exception of the slow service (and your choice o' brews, but... Different Strokes) it looks and feels like a perfect evening out.

    1. Yup, me and my Guinness, it's inseparable we are.

      And yes, memory is the second thing to go.

      One of my fondest wishes after retiring from the Air Force was to live near the water. I had three job offers, one in Indiana, one in Massachusetts and one in Rhode Island. If I had chosen either of the former, you'd not be seeing posts such as this. It's tough to avoid the water in Rhode Island. My first visit was all it took to fall in love with the place.

      Now if we could just get all the liberals to move north into the Peoples' Republic of Massachusetts...

    2. Yup, me and my Guinness, it's inseparable we are.

      Try a Left Hand Milk Stout and you won't go back to that watery, supposedly-Irish-but-it's-not (here in the USA) stuff. I'd almost guarantee that and the only reason I won't is the misplaced loyalty some folks have for really bad beer (see: Bud Light). Not that Guinness is equivalent to Bud Light, of course.

    3. Disagree as to the Guinness. But we can agree to disagree. What I drink here is very similar to what I drank in London-town. A stone's throw from St Paul's.

      Of course, you were there quite some time ago. Perhaps the quality ain't what it used to be?

      FWIW, English friends of mine who have traveled in Ireland note no difference in flavor. But they are, after all, English.

      And really, I can't get my favorite beer here. I have to be in Germany for that. Düsseldorf to be precise. They have some lovely dark beers on tap there which you can only get there.

      But for now, I'll take Guinness. Obviously your mileage does vary,


  7. "It's what we grandparents do. It's in the job description.",
    I actually think it's included in the Constitution and you wouldn't want to do anything unconstitutional wudja?

    1. Indeed no, I am a very Constitutional guy, swore an oath and everything.


  8. We have a a restaurant along the Sacramento River but to tell you the truth while the view is beautiful on a summer day it can be over 100. Beautiful view you had - they probably got a new chef in which case the food was better (or worse). It always comes down to the chef.

    1. Bill - over a hundred? Jeez, kinda hot for dining al fresco innit?

    2. Skip - I checked out Rio City on Google maps, nice venue.

  9. My favorite waterfront restaurant is Scoma's in San Francisco.
    That said, there are any number of other places around the country that offer great views and good food.
    Some even serve great food.

    1. I checked Scoma's on Google maps, superb venue. The place looks very nice and has some good ratings as well.

      I may have to check it out next time I'm out that way. My son works in the San Francisco area, so...

    2. My Mom was from San Francisco, and growing up and going to visit her family, if we were very good, we get taken to Alioto's.on Fisherman's Wharf. Don't remember a thing about the food, just that there was that cool submarine nearby.

    3. USS Pampanito. A check of Google Maps reveals that it is still there.

      And Alioto's is as well, just a stone's throw from Scoma's.

      Heh. I could check out both next time I'm there.

    4. I liked Sausalito with its killer views of San Francisco and there was good BBQ to be had at the Presidio Yacht Club which was almost under the Golden Gate Bridge.


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