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Old Friends & New
As a small business owner, I spend the majority of my time right here at 14 Grove Street, either figuratively (writing emails and social media posts, communicating with suppliers) or literally (moving around cases and talking to our fab customers). But when I’m not at Pour Richard’s, you can often find me in Providence.
That’s right: I live in Medway, work in Franklin, but like to spend my fairly brief leisure hours in a different state. Why? Simple- old favorites.
My husband was born and raised in RI, I spent my college years there, and we sent our daughter to a private school on the East Side. We’re comfortable there. So when I’m thinking relaxation, I want coffee from Coffee Exchange, a yoga class at Providence Power Yoga, a movie at the Avon Cinema, or dinner at The Grange. Maybe all four.
Old favorites are favorites for a reason: they’ve proven, over time, to be so reliably good that you don’t have to think about them too much. For me, Coffee Exchange coffee will always taste like heaven. Jillian’s yoga class at PPY is always going to kick my butt. Whatever’s playing at the Avon will be thought-provoking and intelligent. And The Grange will be delightfully funky and left-of-center, with delicious vegetarian cuisine and interesting beverages. And cauliflower. They have a cauliflower appetizer that my husband swears is the best single dish in the city. It’s so good that, more than occasionally, we order two portions and call it dinner.
So when a recent Tuesday found us standing out front of The Grange reading a sign that said they are now closed on Tuesdays, we were seriously bummed out. No cauliflower. Another nearby fave was also closed on Tuesdays. It was late and we were hungry, so we wondered into a place across the street. It looked fun and casual. It had good reviews. Why not? I’d never heard of Broadway Bistro, but it might be good.
Broadway Bistro wasn’t good. It was AMAZING. Excellent food, including a corn and chorizo soup that we absolutely inhaled. Wine-geek-worthy glass pours. Friendly staff. Comfortable vibe. Extremely reasonable prices. Was this place new? No, they’ve been there over a decade. We just hadn’t noticed. We got so comfortable with our old favorites that we stopped looking for new experiences.
This happens with wine, too. You know you love Bottle X, so you walk into the store and make a beeline for that display. You don’t look left. You don’t look right. You’re intent on the experience that you’ve enjoyed in the past. Nothing intrinsically wrong with that, but you risk closing the door on other fabulous experiences. This is why we move things around-a fresh path and fresh eyes sometimes lead to fresh choices. Old friends are wonderful, but new friends can be, too.
Last Friday night, we were back in Providence. Yoga was great. We were hungry. Everything was open. We chose Broadway Bistro, and had an excellent meal. Then we walked across the street to The Grange and ordered ‘dessert’. Cauliflower.