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Restaurant Reviews: The Grange and Like No Udder

Summer weekends are perfect for short getaways…and eating out. The first part is easy. The eating out part, not so much if you’re vegan. On a recent trip to Providence, Rhode Island, my family and I were pleasantly surprised to stumble on a delightful and relaxed restaurant called The Grange. This vegetarian hub, which boasts a commitment to supporting community development, serves seasonal dishes for brunch, lunch, and dinner. It’s got a juice bar, vegan bakery, and a cocktail bar.

While there were eggs and goat cheese on the brunch menu, our server let us know that in addition to the vegan dishes, all the sauces, dressings, and condiments were also vegan. We’re always so excited and grateful to dine where we have more than one dish to choose from: At The Grange, we had lots of choices and each one looked better than the next.

Waffles with Chicken Fried Seitan
Waffles with Chicken Fried Seitan

Because we were all running in a road race the next day, we felt it was fair and appropriate to order whatever we wanted–and we did. After eyeing the dishes at the table next to us, my husband ordered the waffles with chicken fried seitan. Dripping with warm spicy syrup, maple butter (vegan), and pecans, he mumbled in between bites that this was one of the best things he ever ate. The chicken fried seitan was crisp and salty on the outside, moist and tender on the inside; a perfect accompaniment to the sweet, sticky waffles. Heaven.

Biscuits 'n Gravy
Biscuits ‘n Gravy

I decided on the Biscuits ‘n Gravy, apparently a very wise choice since I’m still craving it days later. Two big biscuits, flecked with pepper, smothered in mushroom gravy were positioned at the bottom of the heap. Delicate and crispy fried oyster mushrooms were strewn about and the whole thing was topped with the most delicious tofu I’ve ever had. Fluffy, crumbled, and seasoned with a combination of herbs and spices that I couldn’t quite figure out (darn it!), it was truly a delight. With the exception of the partial biscuit I gave to my husband, I’m proud (or should I be ashamed?) to say that I cleaned my plate, and actually had the nerve to want more.

Like many parts of the country, we’re experiencing an oppressive heat wave. Walking out into the afternoon heat on a too-full tummy was not such a fabulous feeling, but it’s one I wouldn’t trade. We’re still talking about whether it’s reasonable to drive four hours for brunch one day soon. My only parting thought about The Grange was that with what appeared to be only a few non-vegan menu items, one could wonder why they don’t make the full leap. Perhaps one day!

While The Grange offers a daily “Sweet Thing” on their menu, we felt it would be wise to walk off some of our brunch before indulging in anything else. I’m not sure what we were thinking…walking off our lunch in that heat…so we decided to drive in the comfort of an air-conditioned car and see some sights. There was one sight in particular that was on my radar screen, but I thought we’d save it for the next day: Like No Udder. I had heard that this husband and wife team had recently opened up a store front (they previously operated out of their food truck, Betsy Loo), and it was conveniently located only minutes from our hotel! Such a hot day requires ice cream, regardless of what time of day it is and what you may have eaten only moments before.

Like No Udder is a cheerful neighborhood gem, tucked away on a little street on the East side of Providence. They feature 12 flavors of house made dairy-free scooped ice cream in addition to the soft serve they were already known for. As they continue to build the menu, they are exploring other plant based treats.

Like No Udder
Like No Udder – Didn’t take long to finish that!

While I wanted every single flavor, I was gently reminded that I had just eaten enough for several people only a short while ago. Fine. After a tasting spoon, my husband decided on a sugar cone with Coconut Lace. It was perfection. Too perfect, because he had to nudge me away and encourage me to get my own. I settled on Peanut Butter Cup, thinking I should have gone with the Coconut Lace, but not willing to get the same thing. If I told you that the Peanut Butter Cup was one of the most delicious ice creams–not “vegan” ice cream–but ice cream overall, that I’ve ever eaten, I would not be lying. “Like an angel’s kiss,” is how I described it to my husband. Light, delicate, and with a gentle, coaxing kind of flavor that makes you go “hmmm…was that peanut butter?” My son took little time to decide; he went for a vanilla soft serve in a waffle cone. Sensible kid. Before I was done at the counter, he was finished. Must have been pretty good! Our visit to Like No Udder was one of the best parts of the trip for sure.

If you ever have the occasion to visit Providence, check out both of these spots and enjoy your veganism!




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