Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Amaral's in Warren RI

Carlos has been raving about this family-owned eatery for some time now. And finally, we were in the area and stopped in for lunch. Wow! It really was all that and a bag of chips! Their "clear" or "natural" Rhode Island clam chowder and clam cakes are amazing! (highly recommend) When I was ordering my food, I noticed these large round breads (see picture above) on the counter. When I asked the young man who was helping me, he said that his grandmother baked these fresh this very morning. He says she bakes them fresh each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning. I asked, "what it is?" and he replied, "massa sovada" (aka Traditional Portuguese Sweet Bread). I am a sucker for bread, and specially for sweet bread. And so I just had to try it! Without further ado, I asked for a loaf. This sweet young man, took the bread to the kitchen, cut several pieces from the loaf and brought them to us with some butter on the side. Honestly, THIS IS some of the BEST bread I have ever tried! Upon further probing, he told me that his grandmother, the baker, is 79 years-old, and that her name is Zelia. I asked who besides grandma' knows how to make this amazing treat. He said that he is the next in line to carry on this bread baking tradition. There were three generations of Amaral's represented in their humble eatery today: grandma, grandson, and father (I also met wife and daughter who happened to be having lunch there as well). 

Warren, RI is a cute town! It is a fishing town on the East Bay. I used to go there once a week during the Spring of 2011 to attend Hannah Goodman's writing workshop. I feel like every time I go there, I discover a new treasure. Amaral's is a gem! This IS the kind of food establishment I hope never disappears!!

p.s. here is the link to their website and they devote an entire page to grandma Zelia's massa sovada.