DISCLAIMER

The statements made on this website are the personal opinions of Laura and Diane. If we feel that a restaurant visit is not up to par, please remember it is our opinion. If you disagree with us, feel free to write us at info@newenglandbites.com.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant

140 Thames St.
Newport, RI  02840
(401) 849-6334

July 24, 2014

I’ve never heard a bad word about Brick Alley Pub, but Mom and I had never been.  The parking is horrendous, the restaurant is always packed and for some reason or other it has always been one of those “we’ll get to it” types of places.  We were in Newport picking up my paycheck and figured that since it was early on a weekday, we might be able to find a parking spot right in front – and we did!


Now that the car was in a safe place, we went inside.  We were met with a large set of stairs leading customers to the second floor, but “ain’t nobody got time for that.”  We wanted to dine on the first floor, so we were taken to the very last room at the back of the restaurant because it seemed as though the other rooms were filling up fast.  We did get a sort of “tour” of the first floor, all of the crazy stuff on the walls and the large salad bar area which looked fantastic. 



When we were finally seated, our waitress – Kaelan – brought over two large menus for us to peruse.  Mom and I were overwhelmed – in a good way – with so many choices.  (Click here to view the menu.)  While we were making our decision, Kaelan took our drink order.  I chose the Sparkling Blackberry Sangria ($7.50) and Mom had the Brick Alley Mudslide ($8.75) on the rocks  both were fabulous.  For our entrees, Mom went with the chicken parmigiana with angel hair pasta and her choice of a side of garlic bread ($19.95) and I had the lemony chicken piccata with my choice of a side of Nancy’s creamed spinach ($19.95).  Our dinners each came with a free soup and salad bar option, and for an appetizer we chose something that my sister loves – the cheese nacho platter ($8.95).  We definitely went all out today!


Kaelan told me how to get to the salad bar and what to do when I got there so I wasn’t totally lost.  She told me to take two chilled plates from the cooler for our salads, which is all Mom and I were going to get from the bar since we were going to be having so many other things.  I made awesome Caesar salads with all the trimmings and brought them back to the table.  I could have gotten some soup or a few pieces of bread as well.


The salads were cool and crisp and everything tasted fresh.  While we were still picking at them, our nacho platter arrived.  It was out of this world.  A thick layer of tasty cheddar-Jack cheese had been melted over top of a large platter of colorful homemade tortilla chips.  The gooey cheese was great with the crunchy chips, and the plate of nachos was accompanied by two large cups of sour cream and salsa.  Mom and I absolutely could not leave the nachos alone.  Kaelan had to bag them up for us so that we would be able to save room for our chicken dishes!  The nachos are now our new favorite appetizer.


After we almost overdosed on nachos, our entrees arrived.  Thank goodness we still had room in our bellies because they both looked amazing.  My lemony chicken piccata was a pan-seared boneless, skinless breast in a white wine and lemon sauce and topped with capers and fresh lemons.  All I could smell was lemon!  The chicken was cooked perfectly and the taste of the sauce was outstanding.  I loved the added bitterness of the capers and the meal was appropriately portioned.   My spinach was also delicious.  That Nancy, whoever she is, certainly knows how to cream spinach.  It had a little bit of toastiness on top from the cooking process which gave it a lot of added flavor. 



Mom loved her chicken parmigiana.  The breaded breast was pan-seared and topped with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.  (It comes with a fresh basil chiffonade on top, but Mom asked for it to be left off.)  It came with a side of marinara sauce and her chosen angel hair pasta.  The chicken cut easily and was beautifully white inside.  The breading wasn’t too thick and was quite flavorful.  The angel hair was cooked nicely al dente which is hard to do because of the thinness of the pasta, and the sauce was pleasingly seasoned.  Mom also enjoyed her side of toasted, buttery garlic bread.



Kaelan returned to ask if we wanted coffee or dessert, but we could barely move.  This was certainly a divine dining experience.  From the very helpful waitstaff to the friendly hostess and busboy and the eclectic adornments hanging about, we absolutely cannot wait to eat here again.  Our total came to $70.31.  A bit pricey, but worth it for all the top quality food we had.

I have no idea why we waited so long to visit the Brick Alley Pub.  All of my parking and crowd concerns didn’t seem to matter anymore.  I’m a pain in the ass when I have to wait to get into a restaurant, but I would actually wait to eat here.  And I’d even consider – wait for it – paying for parking.  It’s that good.


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Friday, July 25, 2014

Newport Cookie Company

471 Thames St.
Newport, RI  02840
(401) 619-5671

July 24, 2014

Mom and I have been driving past the Newport Cookie Company for a while now, each time trying to take a whiff of the freshly baked cookies through the open car windows.  There’s never a good place to park on Thames Street, so it was fantastic luck that a car was backing out of a space just as we were about to pass the store.  Mom – who never wants to get out of the car unless it’s important – grabbed her wallet and ran inside while I stayed with the car since it didn’t completely fit in the parking space.  Newport problems!



I did get to go inside for a just a minute while Mom stood at the counter looking over the display cases.  The whole place smelled like a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, and that’s exactly what we were going to get.  Mom decided on six large chocolate chip walnut cookies (our favorite), which came to $9.72.  They were placed in a cute pink box and before I knew it, Mom was heading back to the car.  Despite the fact that my car was probably parked illegally, I put it in park so that we could each try a cookie right on the spot.



The cookies – which were still warm – were excellent.  The chocolate chip walnut was one of the most flavorful and perfect cookies we’ve ever had.  The chocolate chips were still melty and the walnuts were large and crunchy.  The cookie texture itself was firm around the rim but soft in the middle.  It had obviously just been made and the taste was superb.  Well worth almost getting a parking ticket for.


Newport Cookie Company is famous for its “cakeballs,” which come in a variety of different flavors like red velvet, lemon and German chocolate and different shapes like sea shells, flowers and pineapples.  They also serve cupcakes and other kinds of cookies which can be customized for a wedding.  I also spotted an ice cream case serving Gifford's brand ice cream.


It’s also open late, which is how we originally spotted it.  Mom and I love to drive around Newport on Saturday nights because there’s a lot of excitement around every corner.  We often see people lining up inside for a late night cookie or cakeball.  We are looking forward to trying more of their baked goods.


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