“I suppose Palo first came about 20 years ago when I studied abroad in Granada, Spain, living with a señora named Sebastiana,” recalls Samir Zaiter, owner of recently opened Palo Tapas Bar. “She shared her traditional Spanish recipes with me over those six months and I came back with a passion for food and travel.” These passions simmered over Zaiter’s extended hiatus from the restaurant business until the time was right to open Palo. Housed in the city’s oldest industrial-use building on Steeple Street, Palo not only sits on a patch of Providence’s past, but also draws from centuries of Andalucían history and Mediterannean flavors.
Speaking to the variety of influences in the menu, Zaiter explains, “This also allows me to mix in some flavors from my childhood and family.” One favorite is Gambas al Ajillo, a classic Spanish tapa made with three types of garlic, fino sherry, and chile. Grilled eggplant served over herbed labneh and grape leaves stuffed with seasoned beef are just a couple of flavors you can sample.
Massimo brings Italian street food to Federal Hill in the form of a to-go window housed in a bright blue storefront under a yellow awning. While the original Atwells ristorante is known for their quintessential Italian dishes in a warm, sit-down setting, Massimo 2 Go brings a fresh spin on takeout with quick bites derived from authentic street fare that will make you think you’re in Tuscany. As we enter a winter of social distancing and outdoor dining, the fun, relaxed concept gives diners the option to not set foot inside.
“We have added casual menu items that we think will travel well and that our guests can easily enjoy outside or to-go,” says owner Esther DeQuattro. “These include espresso drinks, Italian-style donuts, panini and sandwiches (including a breakfast sandwich), arancini, and gelato.” Sample cannoli- and nutella-filled donuts or gelato sandwiches while you’re strolling through the neighborhood, or perhaps an after-dinner dolce to follow up a meal at the full restaurant.
Josh Burgoyne and Korn Suom are the couple behind Ming’s Asian Street Food, serving up Cambodian favorites – that pull influence from a variety of Southeast Asian street food flavors with a barbecue flare – out of a yellow truck posted up around the city. Soon, the truck will see a little less mileage when Ming’s moves into their new brick-and-mortar in Pawtucket’s Lorraine Mills. “Our original slogan for Ming’s was ‘the mobile, passion-inspired Asian cuisine’,” says Burgoyne. “We are making this next move out of that same passion for creating crave-worthy comfort food that celebrates Asian flavors and ingredients.”
The new digs will support stationary carry-out and delivery to expand their offerings and take the search out of ordering classics like panko-fried Katso Sandos, Banh Mi, Korean Tacos, and their signature loaded street fries. Until the storefront is ready to welcome diners, find the truck set up at Lorraine Mills, next to neighboring White Dog Distilling and Crooked Current Brewery.