In my introduction, I said that I eat out once a week. Then I start this blog, and I am eating out two times in some days! It's just a coincidence. My parents and brother are all off on vacation this week, and it is Providence Restaurant Week. So . . . I'm eating out way more than usual. It is a good way to start this blog.
Yesterday, I made an impromptu visit to East Matunuck Beach in South Kingstown, RI. I have relatives that own a beach house there, and I wanted to see if my newly adopted greyhound would be excited about the beach. There is a beach down at the end of Succotash Road that allows dogs. Mikey, my greyhound, did like the beach, and I got to try some chowder at Skip's Dock.
In the East Matunuck area, there are a few restaurants to chose from. Captain Jack's is the most famous. My cousin worked as a waitress there one summer and has horrible stories of the cleanliness of the restaurant and how many times the rescue had to be called from people overeating chowder, clamcakes, and fish and chips. There's a new restuarant across from Captain Jack's called the Matunuck Oyster Bar. The menu looks fabulous and I would like to try it soon. The parking lot is always packed. Further down Succotash Road, there are two small restaurants - Skip's Dock and Jim's Dock. I don't know the whole story but the owners of Jim's Dock somehow alienated all the people with homes in the area. So my relatives have it ingrained in my head that Jim's Dock isn't good. I have had a couple of meals there and it was fine.
Skip's Dock is located right next door to Jim's Dock. Skip's has always been a fish store. The fish looks fresh and if the market wasn't so far from my house, I would probably buy some to cook at home. This year in addition to the fish market, they have added a small menu of beachside favorites - clamcakes and chowder, lobster rolls, and the like. Having my dog with me, we got take out from Skip's and brought it back to my relatives' beach mansion to eat on their deck overlooking the ocean.
For chowder, there is only one choice - milk. No clear, no tomato, only milk. The kid working behind the counter was very quick to add that it's made fresh so they only have one type to keep it fresh. The chowder was decent. There were plenty of clams and bacon, so the chowder had lots of flavor. My one criticism would be that the potatoes were slightly undercooked. The clamcakes were very good. I prefer mine slightly undercooked and doughy, so to me they were perfect. My brother wasn't with me, but I had to try the lobster roll to help him in his quest for the best lobster roll in Rhode Island. This lobster roll is the best I've had so far. There was a nice blend of big hunks of fresh lobster meat and just a tad too much mayonnaise. The roll was not too big and provided a nice base for the lobster salad.
I am of the personal opinion that just about any food tastes better near the beach. The smell of salt water in the air and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore provide the perfect backdrop for a meal. I've had many amazing meals in my lifetime, but the most memorable all seem to involve being close to the ocean. In Kauai, overlooking Bali Hai, we had a delicious breakfast, but the macadamia nut french toast could have tasted merely okay and it would have still been a memorable meal. Honestly, Skip's Dock had pretty good food, but eating it on the deck of the beach mansion made it more than just pretty good.