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Monday, February 09, 2015

NCECA 2015: An insider's guide to New England, Part 2: Food and Drink

In last week's post, Part 1, I mentioned a few small details about the environment to help visitors get situated during their trip to NCECA in Providence, Rhode Island. This week I'm going to give a few tips about food and drink that I'd like to know if I was traveling that direction for the first time, from morning to evening.

1. You will not want for coffee or doughnuts
New England 101: Dunkin Donuts is everywhere. Like, eeeeeverywhere. These people are damn serious about their coffee (the real star of the chain in N.E.'s eyes), and is considered a pride and joy of the region, often placing two storefronts across the road from each other. Even the arena next door to the Convention Center that NCECA is being held at is the Dunkin Donuts Center. It is serious stuff and omnipresent. In your groggy morning state, don't worry where or if you will find a coffee for yourself. You will. Just pick a direction and head on down. 

2. Seafood is a must
In addition to coffee, east coasters take their seafood very seriously as well. You can essentially walk into any type of restaurant and know that they will have at least a few seafood offerings on the menu. No matter what you are into, you can find it without much searching. Clams, oysters, lobster, fish. I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to leave New England without having at least one cup of clam chowder (if there's corn in it, leave the restaurant immediately), and of you really want to treat yourself, go for the lobster bisque, always a rich and delicious indulgence. My personal favorite that I'm really looking forward to is a lobster roll. They are a true regional treat, and sorely missed by this west coast girl. 

3. You're probably going to need a beer
After spending the day at NCECA, you'll be ready to unwind with your new clay friends you've met, discussing all the nerdy ceramic stuff you have in common. The good news is that there are two brewpubs across the street from the convention that you can nerd out at! I recommend Trinity Brewhouse, a small brewery I've been to many times. The food and beers have always been good, and the atmosphere has been relaxed during my visits. There's also John Harvard's, a chain of local brewpubs. I haven't been to the Providence location, but my experience with locations in Massachusetts have always been positive, also serving up good food (the Mediterranean salad!) and beer. I'll be the girl holding the stout or porter if you'd like to come nerd out with me!

After all the calories and culinary memories, take a stroll through the culinary arts museum in town. It will help you get loosened up for some of the other museums to hit that I'm going to share next week when I give hints on clay and craft stop in the area. Stay tuned for Part 3!

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