The Slow Rhode is kind of a well kept secret by those that have been there. It’s often busy, but because it’s small and because of its location, a lot of people don’t know about this West Side gem. The area where the Slow Rhode is located has blossomed in recent years with the addition of breweries, restaurants, and businesses. That makes it a great place to visit multiple establishments or just enjoy one fantastic meal at a spot like The Slow Rhode.
The Slow Rhode
425 W Fountain St.
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 351-0006
Service and Atmosphere
The first thing you might notice is that The Slow Rhode is tiny, but they do a good job of getting in as many customers as possible without making it uncomfortable. I’ve actually never eaten at a table as the turnover at the bar is much more reliable. The interior is trendy and very dark (apologies in advance for the heavily edited and grainy photos). The staff are great about helping customers, giving recommendations, and making diners feel welcome.
The cuisine at The Slow Rhode is probably best described as Classy Southern Comfort Food. Dishes range from fancy toasts, to small plates, to sandwiches, to hearty entrees. The menu changes on occasion (such as the veggies), but most of the signature dishes remain the same. They also have a pretty rotating beer menu and a variety of liquor for cocktails.
Toast – One of the first items from the menu that I like to get are the toasts. There are a variety, but my favorite is the pork rilletes. It’s a smear of pork with an olive relish. The toasty bread with the salty, fatty pork and tangy relish is just a great start to the meal.
Pea Shoots – It doesn’t take much to make pea shoots delicious, but the Slow Rhode’s take involves adding a little bacon and a creamy sauce that ties everything together. I’ve gotten this dish over and over again.
Fries with Gravy – The fries with gravy have shredded duck confit on them along with some mild queso fresco cheese. The dish is like a fancier version of poutine. Definitely recommended.
Duck Drumettes – Think of a great chicken wing and then multiply its tenderness, richness, and intensity by two. That’s what having one of these fall off the bone duck drumettes is like.
Gumbo – The size, flavor, and generous seafood portion of this dish were great. The only issue was that it was a bit too peppery. All in all a hearty dish that channels New Orleans.
Chips and Cheese Sauce – The homemade chips were very good, but what made this dish really interesting was that the cheese sauce had clams in it. That sounds very strange and it was, but in a good way. It was kind of addictive!
Hot Fried Chicken – I’ve gotten this dish multiple times because it’s just really good. It’s the best version of Hot Chicken that we have in Rhode Island. The heat level on this perfectly fried chicken is no joke either. It’s not for the faint of heart and delivers a good kick in the taste buds. The accompanying potato salad is nice to help cool off.
Filet O Fish – As far as fish sandwiches go this one is hearty and well fried. The only thing a diner should know is that the fish used has an earthy flavor like that of catfish. That makes it very Southern, but at the same time not necessarily for everyone.
Burger (Not Pictured) – I wish I had a picture of the burger, but we ate it so quickly, there was no time! The burger at the Slow Rhode is really excellent. It’s on the salty side (almost too salty), but the flavor and tenderness are perfect. I split one with my wife and after the first bite, we looked at one another and knew that we both immediately regretted not getting our own. Give it a try for sure.
The Slow Rhode is probably one of the most underestimated restaurants in RI by those that haven’t been there. Those that have return again and again. The food is like a classier take on Southern comfort food. The menu is reliable and every dish is worth trying. Highly recommended.
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