Northern RI – In an effort to encourage visitors to explore the wealth of culinary options in the region, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council launched the Blackstone Valley International Food Trail this month, a guide and passport featuring some 80 restaurants, breweries, orchards and more, including several here in northern Rhode Island.
“Rhode island’s Blackstone Valley is widely known for its storied history as the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution,” notes an introduction. “The early success of our region and its continued evolution is powered by the people of Blackstone Valley. These people have planted seeds from all over the world in their search for an ideal place to live, grow, and thrive. Today, we celebrate these world roots and the bounty that has grown from them. Because of its rich history, our region now boasts one of the most unique food experiences in all of the United States.”
The guide features restaurants serving food from more than 40 countries within the ten Rhode Island cities and towns considered part of the Blackstone Valley region.
Among them is North Smithfield’s Lotus Fine Thai Cuisine at 175 Eddie Dowling Highway, one of four featured restaurants serving food from Thailand.
In Glocester, foodies are invited to “Dine in Europe,” at Assados Kitchen & Bar on Putnam Pike in Chepachet.
“Try their special – Porco a Alentejana – a traditional Portuguese dish with marinated pork tenderloin tips, pan seared and finished with little clams, potatoes and a savory sauce,” the guide notes.
Two northern Rhode Island restaurants get to represent the USA in the international list, North Smithfield’s Lucky Dog Tavern. and Johnny’s Victory Diner in Mapleville. The 90-year-old Mapleville diner, it notes, has a full bar along with award-winning barbecue.
The Lucky Dog is, “chef owned and operated with an extensive menu of house-made specialties,” boasts the write up, recommending items including the escargot and swordfish Mozambique.
The council held a weekend-long kickoff event earlier this month, but visitors are invited to explore the food trail year-round with dozens of restaurants to discover all within a short drive, walk or bike ride.
The Beef Barn on Industrial Drive in North Smithfield is listed in the guide’s “Born in the Blackstone, Local Traditions” section.
“Known far and wide for their signature roast beef sandwiches,” in notes the restaurant is, “located in a replica barn on a beautiful country property.”
The Born in the Blackstone section also features Wright’s Farm Restaurant, describing the business’s well-known family-style chicken as a, “hyperlocal culinary tradition,” noting, “this meal draws busloads of diners.”
A section dedicated to breweries and wineries lists Burrillville’s Bravo Brewing Company and Glocester’s Mulberry Vineyards, on the historic Andrew Brown homestead producing wine since 2011 “Stop by on Saturday or Sunday afternoon for a tasting, and check their schedule for live entertainment.”
View a map of the trail or download the complete guide and passport here.