After a decade hand cutting donuts for Allie’s – Rhode Island’s OG fried dough institution – Ryan Zeolla decided to strike out on his own with RI Guys Donuts. His new storefront at the Emporium at URI’s Kingston campus “fell into our laps,” Zeolla says, noting that the foot traffic from the students made the location hard to pass up.
RI Guys Donuts serves up more than just donuts. The menu includes bagels with an assortment of house-made cream
cheeses and breakfast sandwiches served on an English muffin. Their Rhody Slammah is a decadent sandwich with ham, bacon or sausage, and egg and cheese served between a glazed donut. “It’s an explosion of flavors,” Zeolla says, noting that it’s popular with the students.
“Rhode Island’s a special place for donuts,” he says. “New York has bagels and pizza. But RI is big on donuts.” Kingston
Surf Cantina is the next eatery to ride Westerly’s food scene wave. Three massive, glass-encased garage doors overlook Canal Street and lead to a welcoming bar and lounge area that features a fireplace, plush couches, and oversized chairs. The restaurant marries the coastal casual vibe of the town with Mexican-inspired cuisine.
“We wanted to be the place where locals could come after work, hang out at the bar and relax,” says Surf Cantina’s general manager Steve Sinardi. Come for the ambiance but stay for the food. Head Chef Frances Medina, formerly of the acclaimed Rio Salado in Mystic, has crafted a fusion menu that finds inspiration in both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, featuring items like Mexican Fish & Chips, Octopus and Chorizo, and Soupy Soup.
Live entertainment is also on the menu, with Friday and Saturday nights reserved for local DJs and bands. Westerly
On tap at Shaidzon Beer Company in December is Nöel, the first holiday beer to come out of the four-year-old West Kingston brewery. Their holiday spiced Belgian quadrupel is a big-bodied brew with a winter-warming 9 percent alcohol.
“Traditional Belgian breweries have a history of releasing a special beer for the holidays,” says brewery co-founder Chip Samson. “Shaidzon is influenced by the beers coming out of Europe, so Nöel is a nod to the traditional Belgian tradition.”
The beer’s robust flavor comes from assertive dark fruits like raisins and plums. The flavor notes from spices like orange peel, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves give it a distinct holiday flair. Also unique to the Belgian style, Nöel is bottle-conditioned. The brew is available from Black Friday through the new year. West Kingston
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