Pawtucket, Rhode Island- Digging for Diamonds in the Rough

It was the second Sunday in June at 11:00 pm when the phone rang. The manager of his team in Portland called to say that a catcher had been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates to make room for Ryan in AAA. “Congratulations! You leave at 9:00 tomorrow morning!” We stared at each other in disbelief. We had hoped that maybe, maybe by the All Star break in July he would have been moved up. But June?! Within ten hours, Ryan was onto his new adventure in Pawtucket and I sat in bed in an empty room in disbelief. That’s how it works in this lifestyle. One minute you are settled and comfortable, the next you’re gone.

I decided to work another six weeks before joining him in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. I loved my job in Portland and decided that if we could see each other enough, I would stay as long as I could. Two trips from my family to Portland came and went, and all of the sudden my little Kia was stuffed to the brim with our belongings.Our fabulous life of the food map quest, beautiful scenery, and an amazing host family was coming to an end. Au revoir Portland, hello Pawtucket!

I’ll be honest, Pawtucket is not one of the finer cities in the world. Pawtucket is a somewhat abandoned industrial town that leaves a lot to be desired in the way of charm. It is, however, a 15 minute drive from the Brown University campus, and 20 minutes from downtown Providence. There are a great many restaurants and stores in these areas to last for months, but I was determined to find something in Pawtucket worth dining for.

My food adventures were looking dreary as I drove around town seeing more chain restaurants in one block than entire city of Portland. If I was going to find my niche in this town (and enjoy spending 4 weeks here unemployed) I was going to have to dig pretty deep into the roughage.

One day while searching for a Laundromat I drove down Hope Street, the shining light on this little town. Hope Street is filled with local restaurants, hosts a farmers’ market twice a week, and makes for a great place to take a run. I’d found the diamond in the rough! With some help of my new friend Rachel- who thankfully loves Asian food- I had a buddy to trek around town with and explore what Pawtucket and the greater Providence area have to offer. A note to travelers out there: you can find charm and great food everywhere. Getting lost along the way while looking for it can be twice the fun.

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