Thursday, December 13, 2007

REVIEW: Gregg's- ***1/2 / $

It's hard to review a Rhode Island institution, and usually pointless. Everyone knows about the place and already likes it or doesn't, so really, this review is more or less a declaration of love for what may be the very best average restaurant around. Founded in 1972, Gregg's now occupies four locations: North Kingstown, East Providence, Providence, and Warwick. All four locations have identical menus, and the menu is huge. Not quite as large as, say, The Cheesecake Factory, but larger than most other places.

Only the North Kingstown location has a different decor, which is kind of disappointing. I like the warm and woody charm and color of the other three locations. Still, all four locations scream family restaurant from every beam and board. The generally relaxed manner of the staff and the simple options on the menu continues this theme. I like the menu a lot. It's all "down home" recipes. Pot pies, chicken, gravy, and sandwiches galore. It's all perfectly affordable for almost anyone on any budget. And this is all fine since basically everything in the menu is delicious. Delicious not in a fine-gourmet kind of way, but delicious in a down home, made-by-mom kind of way. It's comfort food and, man, is it good.

Gregg's is perhaps most famous for their desserts, which they sell to seemingly countless local stores and restaurants. The chocolate cake is a multi-award winner, the cheesecake is has few peers, and their chocolate chip cookies, made with BUTTER, taste like fresh Toll House cookies made by grandma. Gregg's is bested in the pastry department pretty soundly, though, with Emilio's Bakery. But they should take solace with their chocolate cake. It really is the best around. Again, it's the cake mom made.

I keep using the motherly allegory, but that's the best way to describe Gregg's. It's mom. Unless your mom was Julia Child, this is what mom made, and in that capacity, Gregg's is perfect. Any night. Any time. If you don't really know what you want to eat. head to Gregg's. They'll take care of you right.

Greggs: ***1/2 (But my soul gives it ****1/2)
Price range for two: $15-$30

Hours All Locations
Sunday through Thursday 11:30am to 12:00am
Friday & Saturday 11:30am to 1:00am

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