Buttonwoods Fish & Chips
416 Buttonwoods Avenue
(401) 738-7571 | Map
Earlier this summer, I used one of my vacation days from work and planned a long weekend in Rhode Island with my grandparents. I desperately needed some time away from my hectic life in New York and knew that even just one day with them would bring me back down to a non-frenzied state. I used to spend long stretches of my summer vacations with them as a child, and I didn't realize just how much I missed them until I was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-95.
I got a kick out of their efforts to plan a nice weekend for me. I was expecting to have a lot of down time, sitting out on the swing in their backyard or sitting in their screened-in patio with a book. Boy, was I wrong! From trying a Del's Lemonade for the first time, to having a somewhat profound discussion with my grandfather about why he liked Honey Dew Donuts better than Dunkin' Donuts, to shoe shopping with my grandmother, to heading to downtown Providence for the WaterFire, and to making a late-night run to Newport Creamery for ice cream... they certainly kept me busy!
On my last morning with them, my grandparents insisted on taking me out to breakfast. My grandfather joked with me about getting up early and going to the diner for breakfast before my grandmother woke up, just the two of us and just like we did when I was younger. I loved those mornings with my grandfather, sitting at the counter and eating piles and piles of pancakes and homefries all covered with way too much maple syrup. But my grandmother wouldn't hear of it. Instead, they took me to Buttonwoods Fish & Chips, a quaint little restaurant not too far from their house. When I found out the restaurant had the words "fish and chips" in its name, I was skeptical and concerned that my grandmother had finally gone off her rocker, but I should have known better than to worry.
When we walked into the restaurant, I instantly felt at home. We arrived just in time to snag the last available table and I was comforted by the sight of the people around us, enjoying their food while having pleasant conversations or while reading the Sunday paper. The prices were very reasonable for the amount of food we were given. I mean, just look at what arrived after I ordered two eggs with home fries, toast, and corned beef hash!
The service was friendly and quick; the food was simple but delicious; and the atmosphere was naturally calming and relaxing. I can see why my grandparents enjoy going there for breakfast so much! After talking with my grandmother about the other items they offer on their menu, she recommended that I come up for another long weekend so we could go back to Buttonwoods Fish & Chips for their clam chowder, a dish Rhode Islanders take very seriously. Though, when we were walking back to the car after our breakfast, my grandfather pulled me aside and said that my grandmother didn't really want to come back for the chowder: "Oh, it's darn good chowder, honey. But we just miss seeing you and would rather spend time with you than eat chowder."
I know they won't read this because they don't have the internet at home, let alone a computer, but I want to thank them for the wonderful weekend I had in Rhode Island. And I hope I articulated to them enough in the weekly phone calls following my visit just how much it meant for me to have that time with them. I'll never forget it.