WOOHOO! That’s a holiday I could get behind. When I saw this holiday was coming I wanted to find a really good donut shop in the area and fortunately, we have one that everyone raves about. It’s called Allie’s Donuts and it is right over the bridges in North Kingston on your way to Narragansett. It’s kind of famous in these parts and has been featured on a bunch of those “Hidden Gem” foodie television shows. I’ve never been. I was going to swing by there once last winter but it was during a time they closed for vacation, so I was out of luck. I was going to go there again today to see what they had in the way of a cream donut, but alas, I noticed that they are closed until Friday for some reason or another. Foiled again.
I decided to go to Ma’s Donuts instead which I think has pretty fantastic donuts (and until Allie’s let’s me in, I’m saying the best in RI). I am not sure why this place isn’t more of a thing. If you ask anyone from around here they will know the place and know that it’s really good. But it just doesn’t have that same reputation of Allie’s which I can’t figure out. Their donuts are some of the best I’ve ever tasted. They are classic cake style donuts that they make in-house throughout the day and they are always perfectly glazed and decorated. Really something special. My personal fave is the marble cruller. They also have great menu items that are not pastries including outstanding breakfast sandwiches and Portuguese favorites like Kale Soup, Malassadas (pronounced Mal-THHHad-os), and Cacoila Sandwiches. Everything I have ever had from there is awesome. The place is always busy, but the staff busts their ass and crank everything out. The line inside can be intimidating, but hold your ground, wait patiently and move out of the way when you are done. It’s worth it.
I picked up two vanilla cream donuts and two chocolate cream donuts. I never was a big fan of cream filled donuts, but that was because I thought my only option was Boston Creme filled donuts, which is a different breed than what these donuts were. These donuts were dense with filling but the donut itself was light and fluffy and covered with powdered sugar. When you bit into them, you got a very slight crunch (very slight) from the donut but that floated into bites of the light, airy dough of the donut. All that was enhanced by the presence of this light, fluffy cream in every bite which was pretty much just icing, but airy and dreamy. The chocolate was ok, but the vanilla was the stand out. All in all, I was a fan. Lola had the same thoughts too as we enjoyed them with an afternoon cup of coffee on our deck.
Today was also National Eat a Hoagie Day so this was another holiday I had to celebrate. I wanted to celebrate at another Aquidneck Island institution, Sig’s Place Deli & Catering. Sig’s has been on the island since the 1930’s, formerly located in the 5th Ward in Newport. It’s a place that everyone from the area knows about. I first heard of Sig’s after our friend Jenni (who used to work at Christie’s Restaurant in Newport) and her family sent some sandwiches and Mac & Cheese from there to the house after Lola’s Mom passed away. Those days after her Mom died are still so surreal and filled with so many memories, but in the midst of all that, there’s a strong memory of all the food that kept coming. Friends and family being thoughtful and generous, sending food to a grieving family in a time of sadness. It was really incredible and so kind. But in all the food that came, the Sig’s Mac & Cheese really stood out as being memorable. It’s funny what stays with you.
Two Thanksgivings ago, we played a game of football in our yard in the morning as the Turkey cooked. We felt like we needed some food around to tide the hungry players over until dinner. Rather than having to make another meal and mess up the kitchen, we decided to get some sandwich platters for the day and we got them from Sig’s. The next day, when we were knee deep in stuffing and turkey and all kinds of leftovers, the one thing that Lola was craving were the Sig’s sandwiches. She’s not usually a sandwich girl, but these were special. So, Sig’s has a special little spot in our heart. They are super nice in there and extremely helpful. Plus the food is the best. Everything from meals to go (did I mention the Mac and Cheese?), to sandwiches to pizza. They are another place from the island that deserves more fame than they get for just being awesome. Somebody call Guy Fieri.
To me a hoagie is an Italian Sandwich. Technically a hoagie is a sandwich served on an elongated roll filled with meats, veggies and cheeses. But that’s just a generic term, like grinder or sub. That’s too general. To me, a hoagie should have ham, salami and capicola. It should have cheese. It should have lettuce, tomatoes, onions and banana peppers. It should also have either oil or mayo. That’s a hoagie. Where I grew up, we called it an Italian. That’s what I ordered from Sig’s.
I brought it home and decided to split it with Lola who had no idea it was Eat a Hoagie Day and was pleasantly surprised. Maybe it was because I watched them make it fresh, but this sandwich was particularly good today. The veggies were fresh and crispy. The combination of meats and cheese was perfect, plus the addition of banana peppers and pickles gave it that extra flavor boost that makes the sandwich legendary. Like I said, Lola is not much for sandwiches, but anytime I give her a sandwich from Sig’s, especially an Italian, she’s happy. This hoagie was eaten and the day was officially celebrated.
Today was also our niece Molly’s birthday. She turned 14 today and we got to watch her play volleyball for the JV team at Portsmouth High (Go Patriots!). We have spent 14 years watching Molly grow up from the little cherub that stole everyone’s heart into the amazing young woman we watched today. She just moved here from New Hampshire and entered high school as the new kid in town. I’m sure being in a new school in a new town can be scary, but Molly has just danced right into a new life with style and glee, just like she has all her life. She’s really something and it’s hard not to want to cheer her on, especially on her birthday. We picked her up a special donut from Ma’s to help celebrate her birthday. All in all, I’d say was a pretty good day of celebration.
Next Up: National Double Cheeseburger Day