7 Cheap and Spicy Restaurants
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Need a new year’s food resolution that doesn’t involve dieting? Vow to try something you’ve never had before from one of these casual ethnic joints, where most entrees come in at less than $10.
If you’d rather dine in than take it on the run, Minh Hai restaurant in Cranston is the place to go for super-fresh and spicy Vietnamese. We’re a fan of the clay pot cooking there as it tends to caramelize the flavors, and the com tay cam, with shrimp, chicken, beans and vegetables is our go-to dish. But nothing beats the goi bo – a spicy grilled beef salad with pickled carrots, daikon and a smoky dressing. Addictive! And most everything is under $10. 1096 Park Ave, Cranston, 383-8071.
South of the Border
The adobo pork and chicken pepita are a couple of the go-to entrees at Mi Guatemala, a popular Central America restaurant on the other side of Federal Hill. The former is stewed in tomatoes, garlic, peppers and spices for a deep, spicy yet savory flavor. The latter, chicken with pumpkin seeds, is a dish you’ll see on neighboring tables. Everything comes with thick, fresh
If Mexican food is about as ethnic as you are willing to eat, then commit to a meal at Taqueria Lupita in Central Falls. Everything here is as fresh and homemade and authentic as it possibly could be (and keep in mind, authentic for Mexican food means spicy). Tortillas, guacamole, horchata, refried beans, tamales…it is all here and if you’ve never had homemade Mexican, you’re in for a palate-pleasing treat. Fish tacos are as simple as can be – pan-seared white fish, lime, garlic and cilantro in a tortilla. Not to be missed – an unusual version of chiles rellenos topped with a spicy fruit and nut mixture. 765 Dexter St, Central Falls, 724-2650.
The menu at the Village Restaurant in Pawtucket is pretty adventurous if you aren’t familiar with West African cooking. There will be lots of items you won’t recognize – iyan (yam paste), eba (a dough that you eat with your fingers and dip into soup and stew) and gbegiri (bean stew). But the staff is helpful and chef/owner Toyin will adjust the seasonings if your palate can’t handle intense spices. And there are more familiar meat pies and shish kebobs for the fainter-of-heart. 200 Main St, Pawtucket, 575-1180.
- Food Find: Fried Calzones at Warren’s Federal Hill Pizza
- Food Find: Intoxicating Cupcakes (for Every Age)
- Great Gifts for Food Lovers
- Local Food Find: Empanadas from La Sorpresa
- RI Chefs: Must-Have Foods for Last-Minute Guests