As a native New Yorker, it’s hard not to be snobby and jaded about almost anything, especially when it comes to theater and food. New Yorkers get serious about their sandwiches – from a sausage, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel at a bodega, to a thick pastrami on rye with just the right amount of mustard at Katz’s Deli – they’re our go-to’s, and we love them dearly. So, when I walked into The Provisioner on a sunny Saturday afternoon, I left my jaded standards at the door, ready to accept whatever this “New York-style” deli had to offer. And I’m so glad that I did.
The sandwich shop is not a small hole in the wall. Clean, industrial farm-style furniture is neatly feng shui-ed throughout the expanse of the eatery; a nod perhaps to the farms of North Kingstown. An antique bike is mounted on the crisp white wall. It’s about the only mount in the seating area. The rest of the decor is reserved for the expansive menu etched in chalk marker hung to the right of the cash register.
Ordering from The Provisioner menu is like having to choose which Harry Potter movie to watch when you only have the time and the patience to watch one. The choice is almost impossible. Lucky for my girlfriend and me, we were there to taste almost everything, and no, our order didn’t come with a hand truck to wheel us out at the end.
The menu is full of meat options (beef, chicken, and turkey) with some vegetarian combinations interspersed. The Provisioner sandwich ($9.95), named after the store itself, was tender and delicious. Braised beef with caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms was piled on top of porous, crackling ciabatta bread. With each bite you could taste the time and the care it took to slowly cook the toughness out of the meat. The sandwich could’ve done with a quick pickled cucumber or red onion to bring a crunch and bright balance to the heavier flavors of the beef.
Equally as satisfying are the T-Bird ($9.95) and Riker’s Island ($9.95) sandwiches. The T-Bird combines all of your favorite elements of Thanksgiving into one sandwich. Turkey, stuffing, and the cranberry sauce condense until you can’t figure out where the turkey ends and the stuffing begins. This amalgamation is topped with melted cheddar cheese that adds a decadent element of fat, balancing out the sweetness of the cranberry and the leanness of the turkey. Riker’s Island is one of the most balanced sandwiches on the menu. Light, peppery, lemon-dressed greens complement the richness of the fried mozzarella and deliciously unctuous prosciutto to bring a fresh tang to the sandwich.
Sides are also a must at this sandwich shop. Hand-Cut Truffle Parmesan Fries ($5.25) arrive in front of you, a heap of golden-brown goodness with parmesan sprinkled like a sputtering of snow all over the dish. If you’re feeling really indulgent, order The Pothole ($5.95), a concoction of mac and cheese garnished with their red wine-braised beef.
The next time you’re in North Kingstown, take a trip to this deli, chat with the friendly staff, and prepared to want more when you leave.
7669 Post Rd, North Kingstown • 667-0663