Monday, April 26, 2010

Get Your Grub on for a Lincoln

10:00 a.m. Scratching your belly produces a loud grumble. You look around at the bare cabinets and sigh at the empty refrigerator. Decisions: stale cereal and pungent milk or mystery eggs? Reaching into your bleach-stained jean pockets, you fumble for your wallet. Pulling out a five dollar bill and flashing a grin, you know where you are going for breakfast. Believe it or not, a magical place exists where everything delicious is under five dollars. Everything. Most of their specials are even under three dollars. You will start to question if they are doing something legal. No worries, they are.

The Liberty Lunch is so easy to drive by on 732 Central Ave in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The restaurant is small, cramped, and greasy. There are four booths and a wraparound bar where customers can watch the cooks in action. You will salivate smelling the sizzling bacon and the brimming blueberry pancakes. Baked muffins rest on each booth; they are covered in sugar and are the size of softballs. The diner has portions for one, which could easily feed three. Ask about the P.D. Special. No, it does not stand for Police Department, Pawtucket Deal, or Purple Dinosaur. For $3.50, the P.D. is going to be become your new best friend—even if you still do not know what the heck P.D. stands after asking the owner a million times. You get your choice of a beverage, four slices of toast, eggs made to order, Disney shaped pancakes, and a side of seasoned home fries. Yes, folks. They make huge pancakes in the shapes of Disney characters. Some days the chefs will make Mickey Mouse complete with the gigantic ears and a chocolate chip nose. You might even come in on a day when they make a different princess or cartoon. They always decorate the faces with fresh fruit or chocolate to bring the characters to life. What a delightful place, where you get to channel your inner child. For $3.75, you can add sausage, pork, and bacon to your already overflowing plate.

If you are not in the mood for an early breakfast, Liberty Lunch offers an eclectic lunch spread too. Some of their more authentic Rhode Island crowd-pleasers include the clam chowder and clam cakes. Next to Iggy’s, located in Warwick and Narragansett Rhode Island, Liberty Lunch makes a tasty batch. The clam cakes are fried to a crisp finding a pleasant balance between tender and crunchy. There is just enough crunch that you do not feel like you are biting into a friggin’ rock, and a soft center incredibly similar to a donut. So many places in Rhode Island mess up this delicacy, by overcooking the cakes or watering down the clam chowder. No one wants to have chowder that tastes or resembles saltwater. You will not find a better deal: $3.00 for a cup of chowder and $2.50 for a few clam cakes.

Other tasty treats include homemade ice cream floats for $2.50 and ½ pound burgers for around $5.00 topped with cheese, lettuce, pickles, onions, and a side of fries. All of these items are prepared before your eyes; no microwaves or frozen foods are involved. These options taste better than any IHOP or McDonald’s can produce. Five dollars goes a long way here; you’re like a millionaire, but not.

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