We moved to the Valley from Boston. I have been assured that from a gourmet point of view, Boston isn’t one of the great cities. I would not know since I’m not a gourmet, but I do know the difference between a good meal, a well-prepared meal, and … well … the food they serve in most of the local restaurants.

Garry and I ate out a lot when we were courting. Less after we got married because that was exactly when Garry discovered he liked meatloaf and I discovered I preferred very polite wait staff. We compromised and although we didn’t go out quite as often as we had, we still went out on our days off, whenever they were.


The thing about cities is you can find any kind of cuisine you want. Nothing is so obscure you can’t find a restaurant specializing in it. Hungarian? Vietnamese? Every kind of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean and Italian from Florence to Sicily. Not to mention German, Brazilian, and English Pub. And so much more. If it isn’t world-class, it’s nonetheless really good. And there’s no place that does better with seafood of all kinds. Boston specializes in chowder (pronounced chow-dah, if you please).

We moved to the Valley. However idyllic the river and dams might be, the gastronomic scenery was — to put it kindly — disappointing. This is an area where garlic is an exotic spice and black pepper considered adventurous. Food — no matter what the supposed origin — is bland, usually overcooked and probably drowned in brown gravy. With a side of white bread.

Even the so-called Chinese restaurants include white bread with the take-out.


We had moved from the land of Really Great Seafood to the Valley of tasteless glop. The only bright spot was (is) breakfast. Good coffee, eggs, and bacon with a side of pancakes are the pinnacle of haute cuisine.

Until Wanakura (in Milford) arrived, a Japanese restaurant that serves excellent Japanese cuisine. Over the years, word has spread, so it has become popular and rather pricey. Nonetheless, it remains our top destination for birthday and anniversary celebrations.


Otherwise, may I strongly recommend to those visiting our beautiful Blackstone Valley who would like to avoid disappointment?  Don’t choose fancy restaurants. They will charge you more money for mediocre or outright bad food. Keep it simple. You can count on almost any restaurant to produce a pretty good burger and fries.

Pizza? This is not Brooklyn or even Queens. They do not grasp the concept of a crispy crust. It’s edible. Mostly. Some places deliver. We prefer the frozen pizza from the grocery store. If you want good Italian food, I’ll cook you something.

Enjoy a hearty breakfast at Mom’s in the middle of town, or any one of the little diner-type hole-in-the-wall breakfast places. The coffee is good and hot. As for dinner, check out the diner in Mendon. I don’t know how late it’s open, so you might want to call first. Otherwise, there’s an Asian fusion place in North Smithfield (RI) and the aforementioned Wanakura. Or hike on up to Worcester, or better yet, down to Providence.

What do I do when guests come calling?

I cook. Even my lesser efforts are better than almost all the local eateries.


Categories: #Food, Humor

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25 replies

  1. There wuz a couple of good Chinese food places in town … but they went back to China or sumpthin. I go Vietnamese now – cheaper and better. Seafood? Expensive as hell if you can find it. Everybody goes to Red Lobster. I often wish I was still living on the coast.


  2. I love diners. I’d choose one over a fancy restaurant any day!!! Wonderful pictures…


    • I love diners too and the ones around here are actually pretty good … a bright spot in in dining. I also love taking pictures of diners. I wanted to own one … an old one and renovate it. And cook. It was one of those really great ideas that turned out to be enormously more complicated and expensive than I imagined possible. But I treasure the idea 🙂 If you are ever in the area, we can go and chow down at Miss Mendon or Mom’s.


  3. I actually hate trying new places, because I am almost always seriously disappointed in food or service, or both. If I am going to eat out, it had better be something that I couldn’t make much tastier and cheaper at home. And I agree, breakfast or a burger out is almost always a good bet.

    PS I am really missing my computer here, but have been using a tiny bit of mobile data to cheer myself up with blogs. I go home Monday and will properly comment on posts then. 🙂


    • Whenever I am limited to working on my Kindle, I don’t so much miss the computer as the KEYBOARD. I need a keyboard. That poking at the virtual keyboard with autocorrect messing around with what I say is really frustrating.

      Even when going out wasn’t as much of a luxury as it is now, I always thought it was ridiculous to order food in a restaurant that you can easily make at home. What’s the point in that? If I’m going to eat chicken, I’ll make it myself 🙂

      You take care of yourself and we’ll talk soon!


  4. When we first moved to the southwest, from NY, there were no Chinese restaurants of note, and the wait staff were mostly blond boufont adorned folk of rather pale complexion, not a slanted eye in sight (no pun or slur intended).That not being enough of a shock, some even spoke with a slight, but cute, western accent with repartee often ending in “darlin’.” OK, so I’ve been out here for over 30+ years, and gained a pound for each year too but things have changed somewhat, and much to my surprise, we’ve become annexed to Thailand, with Beijing and Hong Kong running a close second. I can only guess that it’s the influx of easterners causing this ethnic awakening. We now have damned good Greek, Italian, East Indian, Chinese, what I refer to as “The Thai Explosion” and, of course, Mexican. We even have a couple Cuban joints, not to mention Mongolian stirfry. Breakfast is always good here as is the standard “steak & chops” joints, ANNND let’s not forget “Denny’s” seemingly in the process of upgrading its menu and quality.., not to worry tho, the “slams” are still a Denny’s staple. 🙂


  5. At least you have variety, even if it is not a good variety. I do not like eating out, I am always suspicious about how they cooked it and what they used in the kitchen. We also like to have a rest after a meal, and up to now there is no restaurant where you can lay down, take off your shoes and sleep.


    • Our places are so near home, it’s maybe five minutes home … but it’s not worth the money or the effort. To say the food is mediocre is compliment. And I am also dubious about the ingredients they use. I know how hard it is to make sure the food I cook at home isn’t GMO … impossible when eating out. They may CALL it beef, but who really knows?


  6. Love those diner style restaurants. They are few and far between where I live. I had meatloaf for the first time about half a year ago..haha. Yeah, most food out there isn’t worth it. I hate that feeling of walking out disappointed and paying too much for it. It gives me the, “should have just went to McDonald’s” thought.

    I prefer frozen pizza most of the time as well because I can dump a can of mushrooms on top and add extra cheese. Unhappy with the amount of toppings at Pizza Hut not too long ago, we asked the server how many pieces of pepperoni on a medium pizza and the answer ended up being less than 2 for each slice. That’s not pizza, that’s cheese bread!

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I’m just not up for dinner prep, I send Garry to Micky D’s. It’s not particularly good food, but it’s cheap, close to home, and the fries are good, even if the sandwiches are … well … y’know.

      I dump things on frozen pizza too. Provolone works. Ham and salami sometimes. Mushrooms. Sometimes, I have some sauce left from pasta … and remarkably, chili is surprisingly good as a topping. I make epic chili. Not to brag or anything, but it’s really good (probably not up to Texas standards because it’s not hot enough to kill).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your Chili is pretty good stuff. I still take “Beano” pills as a precaution. But your Chili isn’t on the BOLO list or the “Blazing Saddles” camp fire menu.


  7. I cook too Marilyn. I had a brief stint as caterer with our younger son, so large crowds don’t bother me. Both our sons are excellent in the kitchen ( so are our daughters).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We owe each other birthday dinners. Japanese, I would suggest. The diner brunch suggestion is also nice for another day.
    Here’s hoping our stomachs and digestive systems cooperate on the same days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If we are ever up early enough, let’s do “Mom’s” in town or at Miss Mendon. They have great breakfasts. We can have dinner much later at Wanakura … or that other place, the name of which I never remember Wow. Choices!

      Liked by 2 people


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