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.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Apples, Foliage, and the Glocester Loop

On Wednesday, October 13, Mom and I decided that - since I'm not working - we should go on a day trip to check out the fall foliage.  I usually take a vacation from work around this time, but since I'm on a "permanent vacation" from my job, we decided to keep things cheap and travel the nearby Glocester Loop in Rhode Island.  If you've never done the Glocester Loop, here's how:

From Providence:
  • Take Exit 7B off of I-295N and travel on Route 44W.
  • Pass through Chepachet and stay on Route 44W to the hamlet of West Glocester.
  • Turn left onto Route 94S (long road).
  • Travel through the other small hamlets of North Foster and Foster Center.
  • Route 94S ends at Route 14.  Bear left.
  • Follow Route 14 through Scituate (you travel right over the reservoir).
  • Turn left at Route 116N.
  • You will come out at Route 44.  Turn right to travel on 44E back to 1-295S.
About 80-85% of the leaves have already turned in this area, so you'll definitely want to check them out either this week or next (you know ... before they all blow off the trees).  Below are a few pictures of what we saw.  Go ahead - be jealous!

Awesome trees near the house.

On our way to the loop.

Look at those colors!

Green and gold.

Solid gold!

Bright red in the background.

This tree was huge.

This is someone's yard.  I'm jealous!


What a beautiful road.

More beautiful roads.

The beginning of the Scituate Reservoir.

More Reservoir.

Absolutely gorgeous!

The ride home.

During our trip, Mom and I checked out the new Stillwater Antique Center (formerly Greenville Antique Center) on Putnam Pike in Greenville.  We found an awesome piece of Fiestaware (Mom collects it) when we were walking out the door.  How lucky for us that it was inexpensive and awesome!

Limited edition Fiestaware, baby.

We also stopped at this place in Foster called Things Made Wonderful.  It is a beautiful country store with all of the requisite items - handmade candles, treats, furniture, bags, and assorted country-themed accessories.  Everything was a bit on the pricey side, but that's typical with this kind of store.  Also, there were two horses outside - one was rolling in the grass and the other was staring at me.  They were so cute!  Oh, and before I forget, apparently I almost died because a humongous dragonfly was sitting on my shoulder and I had no idea.  Mom saved the day by swatting it off me before I had the chance to have a heart attack in the parking lot.

Things Made Wonderful Country Store

This store was beautiful and expensive.

This horse kept looking at me.

Since Mom kept going on and on about how she wanted to buy apples at an apple stand, we decided to put our faith in some of those roadside signs that read "apples for sale" and all that jazz.  Well ... about 90% of the ones that we visited either didn't exist or were closed for the day.  Here is an example:

One of the many closed orchards.

Just as we were about to throw in the towel, we spotted a sign for the *Barden Family Orchard in North Scituate.  We were very surprised to see that they were open and packed with customers (I think there might have even been a school field trip there).  People could pick their own pumpkins and apples, and inside there were several barrels of different kinds of apples and other veggies.  Mom spent a little over $10 on 11 apples - three Crispin, four Macintosh, and four Honey Crisp.  The reason for her apple obsession was that she wanted to make an apple cake, so I definitely wasn't going to object to any apple-buying.  Load up!

Hooray Barden Family Orchard!

This place had everything.

Ridiculously big squash.

Green - Crispin; Dark red - Macintosh; Light red - Honey crisp.

After our long, beautiful ride filled with apples and scenery, Mom and I had to refuel.  She had read good things on the Internet about **Chester's Restaurant in Harmony, so naturally we had to check them out.  We arrived at around 2:45 p.m. and had a lovely waitress named Elise.  She had been tending to a group of older men - one of whom took about five handfuls of the free candy corn they put out.


The inside of the restaurant was just what we were looking for - a comfy pub-like atmosphere.  It had a beautiful bar area and a holiday-decorated dining room.  Mom and I started with two Diet Cokes ($3.98) and an appetizer of mozzarella sticks ($5.99) which were lightly breaded and very tasty.

For our entrees, I chose the Road Island Red sandwich ($6.50), which was tarragon chicken salad with lettuce and tomato.  I picked rye for my bread and added bacon to the sandwich ($.99).  I also substituted onion rings for the complimentary bag of chips ($1.25).  Mom chose the Four Lane burger ($8.99) - a half pound Angus burger with bacon.  She substituted fries for the chips ($.99).  Everything was cooked perfectly and tasted excellent.  It definitely gave us the energy we needed to continue our fun day in the leaves.  The total came to $31.21, but we left $37.50 for Elise.  We hope to return to Chester's on our next trip to Harmony.

Because we're pigs, we just couldn't drive home without getting something sweet.  Mom decided that we should drop by ***Pearls Candy and Nuts in North Smithfield, a place that we've been driving past for years, but have never visited.  We arrived at 4:15 p.m.  Pearls has a very cute painted exterior with a fun jellybean jar door.  Once inside, there were bags and bags of all things gummy, chocolate, sugar-free, and sugar-filled.  Since we were only there for a few things, Mom chose a bag of sugar-free butterscotch candies, a bag of sugar-free caramels, a bag of caramel cremes for me and Dad, and a Sky Bar for herself.  The total came to $9.54, and everything was delish as expected.  I couldn't leave those caramel cremes alone.

Mom and I definitely had a fun apple picking, candy buying, leaf peeping, road traveling, lunch eating, antique collecting day out.  We are lucky enough to live in New England where a simple ride to the gas station can turn into a fall foliage extravaganza, but it's always nice to check out a superb area like the Glocester Loop.  You won't be disappointed, but get there soon!  Also, definitely get yourself to Barden's Orchard, Chester's Restaurant, and Pearl's Candy and Nuts for some delicious food and fun.


*Barden's Family Orchard is located at 56 Elmdale Road, North Scituate, RI 02857.  The phone number is (401) 934-1413.  The orchard is open daily from late July to Thanksgiving.  The hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

**Chester's Restaurant is located at 102 Putnam Pike, Harmony, RI 02829.  The phone number is (401) 949-1846.  The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday.  Sunday breakfast is available from 8-11:30 a.m.

***Pearls Candy and Nuts is located at 4 Eddie Dowling Highway, North Smithfield, RI 02896.  The phone number is (401) 769-1166.  The store is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 12-5 p.m. on Sunday. 

Don't forget to visit MenuJoy.com for great area restaurant menus.