A popular food truck is now serving customers from a brick-and-mortar location on Hope Street in Providence. Lotus Pepper dishes up Vietnamese cuisine including Fresh Summer Rolls, Fish Sauce Chicken Wings, rice and noodle bowls, and Banh Mi Vietnamese Sub sandwiches. Thang Huynh opened the restaurant with his mother Young, who grew up in Vietnam along the Mekong River.
“We started the food truck business in 2013,” says Huynh. “There weren’t that many Vietnamese food trucks or restaurants in Providence at the time. After 10 years, we gained a lot of followers on the East Side. That led us to move into a restaurant. We have a variety of items on the menu; banh mi is our best seller. So far, we have received a lot of positive feedback from customers. Our number one goal is to provide good food and great customer service.” Providence, LotusPepper.Square.Site
There is a new member of the waitstaff at Antonio’s Pizza bringing a futuristic flare to the way slices and pies are served. Bruno the robot, along with fellow droids Tony and Antonia who work at other locations, serves mainly as back up during busy lunch and dinner hours, when the restaurant sees peak traffic. “The robot’s job is to assist the servers,” says general manager Derek Araujo. “Let’s say a guest orders six slices for their family in the self-serve area. Instead of having them come up six times for their slices, we can just put them on the robot, and send them out to the table.”
Bruno uses a finely tuned radar system and live camera, with a bus bucket attached, so he can clear tables as well. He plays music as he moves around the room, announcing his presence to staff and customers. Bruno is quite popular with patrons, especially younger diners. “So far, it’s been a lot of word of mouth,” adds Araujo. “People posting on social media. Kids absolutely adore the robot; they think it’s the coolest thing ever.” Newport, AntoniosPizza.com
The Kitchen recently opened inside the newly renovated Surf Shack Bed and Breakfast in Narragansett. The surf-themed restaurant, open Thursday through Monday from 5pm-9pm and until 10pm on Friday and Saturday, boasts an oceanside location, within walking distance to the beach that’s pure South County, although the cuisine isn’t your typical snack shack fare.
“We feature a French Polynesian menu,” says Sela Lutterbeck. “Our chef MoMo Camara, originally from Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa, grew up in France and has a French cooking background.” The menu features specialty items with Asian-inspired notes, including Lobster Skillet Cornbread, Mochiko Cauliflower, Crispy Island Steamed Buns, and Huli-Huli Duck. Classic entrees like burgers, lobster rolls, and salads are also available. The restaurant is already popular among locals and tourists. “Lots of locals, Narragansett residents, were waiting for it to open. The owners are local and part of the community,” adds Lutterbeck. Narragansett, SurfShackNarragansett.com
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