Rhode Island Summer Days

My dear friend Jenny recently moved to Rhode Island, one of those places that I simultaneously regard as very close and very far away. She was away the only time that I managed to get out there in the last few months, and so I hadn't seen her in her new home state until this past weekend. Tyler and I had a rare coinciding day off, and so we hit the road for a leisurely day at the beach!

My Sunday looked something like this: lounging in the sun, romping through beautiful blue and salty waves (Did you know there is significantly warmer ocean water in RI?? My little Maine self did not.), and partaking in a gigantic burger feast. We - Jenny, our other adorable friend Hanna, Tyler, and I - just relaxed for a few hours. So rare for us these days! Stupidly, I did not take photos of the beach, and so I have no evidence of how beautiful Narragansett looked in the afternoon sun or how entertaining the people-watching turned out to be. You'll just have to take my word for it.

BUT I didn't forget to whip out the camera for our meal at Crazy Burger. As we drove up the street lined with residential beach houses, I was confused and thought maybe we had taken a wrong turn. But then, as we turned the corner, I saw a crowd of people standing on the sidewalk outside a small storefront. Crazy Burger is definitely unassuming. It reads very much as a beach-side dive on a slightly larger scale, but the fun lights and paper lanterns inside give it a decidedly warmer glow. And then I heard about the outside patio... Check out these pictures. Must request a table out there on the next visit!

The menu was huge, which I typically judge to be a mistake. How can anyone possibly make 4 long, typed pages of items well?? And this may be the case with this restaurant- hard to tell with only going the once. BUT they get extra props for being a burger place with an interesting vegan section on their menu. Not only do they offer veggie burgers, but they also have a variety of other vegan-friendly foods (entrees and wraps, etc). Did I mention that they do vegan milkshakes? Because they do vegan milkshakes.

I started my meal off with a cup of clam chowder, a favorite of mine since childhood. It's one of those things that I order and often regret, never thinking about where I happen to be (geographically) when I order it. I grew up on the coast of southern Maine, and my standard for clam chowder is pretty darn high. But being a couple of blocks from the beach, this clam chowder was really tasty! It appeared to be thickened with flour, and I often prefer cream because it creates more depth of flavor. But otherwise, super fresh clams and a nice, thick texture!

My vegan burger was only so-so, sadly. Though I want to go back and try the others because I don't think it's necessarily a representation of them all. They make their burgers inside a tortilla, which is something new and different. I actually love the idea! And it makes the "burger experience" much less messy and sloppy. But I think Tyler and I did not choose burgers so well. The flavors of the Birdie Mae Burger seemed to be fighting each other- a little muddied in terms of spices. The tomato tortilla really heightened the flavor dissonance. I ordered it mainly because sweet potato was a key ingredient, and I was disappointed to find that the potato had been shredded and had the consistency of shredded carrot. I think the flavor and texture could have been vastly improved with chunks of steamed sweet potato.

My coffee (dairy) milkshake was delicious. I love when coffee milkshakes are made with coffee syrup though, and maybe you don't? It's nostalgic for me- something I would often order with my grandfather at the local ice cream shop. The vegan milkshakes ordered at my table were yummy and approved by all- chocolate peanut butter! Though I am told that this particular round of milkshakes appeared to be much thinner than usual. 

All in all a spectacular day: good company, good food, warm and beautiful weather, and a gorgeous beach complete with chip-eating seagulls and waves that get sand in your bathing suit. Summer, I am so glad you are here!