Around lunchtime, Mal, my in-laws, and I headed over to the Taste of Rhode Island at the Newport Yachting Center. The event was basically a food festival that featured a variety of edible items, wine, beer, and dozens of restaurants from the Ocean State.
Mal and I were lucky to have the opportunity to attend the event as “media.” Obviously, Mal was psyched!
The event included the Stop & Shop Pavilion, where attendees could sample products and watch culinary demonstrations.
I stopped by the Kashi table to try their Pumpkin Spice Flax granola bar, which I liked a lot! They’d be perfect for dessert– perhaps crumbled over a baked apple? Mmmmm!
The event also had live music, games, and giveaways.
Taste of Rhode Island was a pretty cool event, but not at all what I expected. In order to taste things at the event, attendees needed to buy $1 tokens to purchase food from the participating restaurants. However, the majority of the restaurants offered full-size fare for a semi-discounted price. For instance, a hamburger cost 4 tokens ($4).
There’s nothing wrong with this type of purchasing method, I just didn’t expect the event to be run this way. I had hoped to try lots of different tastes instead of just one or two items that would probably fill me up. Mal and my in-laws felt the same way, so we headed to a nearby restaurant for lunch.
My father-in-law suggested Benjamin’s for lunch.
I’ve probably walked by Benjamin’s a zillion times, but never realized it was there. The restaurant is located on the second floor above Poor Richard’s on Thames Street.
From the outside, Benjamin’s doesn’t look like anything special, so I didn’t expect it to be a nice place. I actually thought it was going to be a total dive!
To start, the four of us ordered a round of Newport Storm Octoberfest brews.
It was lovely medium-bodied beer.
For lunch, I ordered a cup of pumpkin bisque and a garden salad with honey mustard on the side.
The pumpkin bisque was absolutely divine! It reminded me of warm pumpkin pie, but smoother and creamier– almost like pumpkin mousse.
The garden salad was actually pretty pathetic. There were hardly any veggies in it besides the half-dead greens. I barely ate any of it. Boo!
Lunch called for a photo opp (obviously).
After lunch, Mal and I did some shopping on Thames Street. We hit Banana Republic, J.Crew, and The Gap. I wasn’t impressed with the sales, but Mal ended up buying a belt from Banana Republic. I got him 30% off with my Luxe card!
During our shopping adventure, we stopped into a couple of art galleries. We were surprised (and delighted) to stumble upon a few original pieces from Yuri Tremler. Unfortunately, we can only afford Ikea-quality paintings by him.
Even still, I love his work!
Not surprisingly, lunch didn’t really fill me up, so Mal and I shared a cup of ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s. We tried the limited-edition “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” flavor, which is made from “an outrageous symphony of decadent chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cookie dough, butter brickle and white chocolate chunks.” It hit the spot!
Our dinner reservations aren’t until 8:15 this evening, so we’re lounging around for the next couple of hours.
My in-laws just cracked open a bottle of wine, so I guess it’s cocktail hour! Might as well take part!
Life is good.