Summer is back and so is newport food mood

As you have probably noticed, Newport Food Mood has been on hold for the past few months.  With the stress of finals, moving out of an apartment and starting a new job, blogging has made itself very comfortable on the back burner.

This summer, I decided to say goodbye to Cape Cod and stay in Newport.  I am working for the university and living back on campus while discovering the craziness that has invaded my college town.  Although my budget is tight, I am comitted to exploring the summer food scene in Newport.  From farmers markets, to bakeries, to seasonal restaurants on the wharf, I don’t think I am going to have a problem finding some new places to enjoy great food.

So stay tuned, Newport Food Mood is back and ready to take on its first Newport summer!

Burritos

Spice up your weeknights with diego’s

IMG_0314Located on Bowen’s Wharf in downtown Newport, Diego’s is a must try.  Not only do they have a great atmosphere and delicious food, but they also host a number of weeknight, off-season specials!

Monday: TRIVIA NIGHT
Now that I am 21, I will be at Diego’s Trivia every week.  The categories are anything but traditional and every team gets a free order of nachos (that’s right, FREE!).  The teams get to create their own names and everyone gets really competitive.  The winning team also receives a $50 dollar gift card! How fun is that?

Tuesday: NACHO NIGHT
On Tuesday nights, Diego’s offers specialty nacho plates starting at just $7!  I tried the BBQ pork nachos and the grilled chicken nachos. Both were delicious and big enough to share! On occasion, Diego’s also brings in live music on Tuesdays! They are always updating events on their Facebook page, so I would recommend following them for weekly updates.

Thursday: TACO THURSDAY
This is one of the best deals in Newport.  Diego’s offers taco plates starting at just $5! These are not just your traditional Mexican tacos. Diego’s takes pride in being “an atypical Mexican gourmet restaurant.” I recommend the fish tacos! The ingredients are always fresh, and you can get the fish sautéed or fried depending on your preference.

I don’t know if it’s the fresh quality of the food, the extensive margarita list or the off-season deals, but Diego’s has me walking through their doors at least once a week!

The off season specials will start to wind down as the summer season approaches, so take advantage while you can! But don’t worry; we have the open patio to look forward to once that warm weather finally decides to make its debut.

Nothing says spring like restaurant week

Restaurant WeekMark your calendars! Newport Restaurant Week is back this spring and will run from April 5th-14th.  I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for this event!  Restaurant week is the perfect excuse to try out a new restaurant, or grab an affordable meal at one of your favorite eateries.

I caught up with Andrea McHugh at Discover Newport to find out what Newport Restaurant Week is all about. Below she lets us know what to expect next week!

NFM: How did Newport Restaurant week originate?

Newport Restaurant Week began in the fall of 2006. The concept was based on the nationwide trend to create Restaurant Weeks as an avenue for restaurants to attract new clientele and to create a positive economic impact throughout the destination. Today, Newport Restaurant Week is held twice annually, both in the spring and in the fall. The event spans 10 days, usually has more than 50 participating restaurants, and includes culinary lodging packages and food-related events like festivals, cooking classes, culinary walking tours and more. Participants include restaurants in the City of Newport and as well as Barrington, Bristol, Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Portsmouth, Tiverton and Warren.

NFM: Are there any special events that are specific to Newport Restaurant Week this spring?

We feature chefs from participating restaurants on Tuesday mornings on The Rhode Show, a morning show on the local CBS affiliate airs in southeastern Massachusetts and all of Rhode Island, leading up to and throughout Newport Restaurant Week. This year’s event roster includes cooking classes, a chocolate and wine pairing, and a wine class and tasting.

NFM: Are there any restaurants that you are looking forward to trying?

Yes! I like to try a variety for lunch and dinner. I’d like to get to Persimmon and DeWolf Tavern, both in Bristol—the chef at DeWolf serves contemporary American cuisine but with his Indian heritage, it often has an interesting twist. I’d also like to get to Tallulah in Thames as Chef Jake Rojas will be doing a dinner at NYC’s prestigious James Beard House on April 23 (details here). Café Zelda and Malt, and Buskers are on my wish list too—I love good pub food. There’s too many to choose from. I’ll also be increasing my gym workout to keep up!

When you’re in the mood to celebrate

With so many restaurants to pick from in Newport, it can be overwhelming to decide where to treat myself.  There is one restaurant, however, that always makes the list: Pasta Beach.

Located on Memorial Boulevard, this authentic Italian eatery is one of my all time Newport favorites. Open for lunch, dinner and take out, Pasta Beach has amazing pasta, pizza and sandwiches.  Last week, I decided to meet a friend to celebrate the end of midterm exams with big portions of Italian. As always, I was more than impressed.

Due to the special occasion, we decided to go all-out (remember, this is “all-out” on a college budget)! We started with the mouth-watering prosciutto de parma appetizer special.  The prosciutto was paired with fresh mozzarella, arugula and sliced roma tomatoes. I have always been a fan of prosciutto, but there is no comparison to the kind they serve at Pasta Beach. It is always freshly sliced and melts in your mouth. app

For Dinner, we decided to split a pasta dish and pizza.  I ordered the tagliatelle ragu and my friend ordered the vegetarian pizza . Ragu is basically a fancy name for meat sauce, but there is nothing basic about this dish.  The pasta comes out al dente and piping hot. I especially love the vegetarian pizza for its upscale toppings of eggplant, roasted red peppers and zuchinni.

attachment.ashx                                          pizza

Although I wouldn’t necessarily call Pasta Beach cheap, it is definitely affordable. Entrees and pizzas usually range from $11-$25 dollars.

Oh, and my one suggestion: Get there early, or make a reservation.  There is nothing worse than walking into Pasta Beach, smelling the aromas of fresh Italian, and then being told you have to wait for an hour. Talk about a tease!

How to solve a hunger meltdown

meltdownA hunger meltdown equals a bad mood. It happens to the best of us. You’re sitting in class, at work or on your way to the gym when you realize you have been SO busy that you accidently skipped your last meal.  Suddenly, hunger overwhelms you and food is all you can think about.  At this point, it is important to stop and realize what is actually taking over your body: a hunger meltdown.

There are several key steps that you need to follow before you waste your money and empty calories trying to figure out what it is that you actually want to eat.

1. EAT A SNACK! Even if it’s string cheese or a handful of almonds, this is key to clearing your head and solving your food meltdown. Otherwise, you are going to make a large purchase that your wallet and waistline will probably regret.

2. Avoid the grocery store. Stepping into a giant supermarket is going to be too overwhelming at this stage of your hunger. If you need to go grocery shopping, wait until you have eaten lunch, dinner or whatever meal you skipped. You will avoid spending a lot of extra money on groceries that you probably won’t end up eating.

3. Purchase one food item. Whether you go to a sit down restaurant, take-out eatery or sandwich shop, be realistic about what you are ordering.  Even though you may think you can eat an appetizer, salad and entrée, chances are you probably won’t finish them. Order one item, and if you are still hungry you can always get something else.

4. The quickest option may not be the best option. Fast food and take-out windows are tempting, but you’re probably going to regret your decision after the fact. There are obviously times when this is the only way to go, but try and take a moment to decide if its going to be worth it in the long run of your day.

The best way to avoid a hunger meltdown is to not let it happen in the first place. That, however, is just not always realistic. This semester, I have starting keeping granola bars, trail mix and bags of almonds in my backpack, purse and car. That way, if I do find myself having a hunger meltdown, I can eat a snack and clear my head before I decide what it is that I really want to spend my money on.

Where the healthy breakfast foods are hiding in Newport

As a full time student, finding the time to fit a healthy breakfast into my busy schedule is not always easy.  Regardless, I have made more of an effort to make sure I am eating a morning meal everyday (well, almost everyday). MSN’s 20 best foods to eat for breakfast provides a wide variety of the “best foods” to include in your daily breakfast to start the day off right.

Although most of the foods were pretty self explanatory, I was surprised to see some of the items. The entire list includes:

breakfast

1. Oatmeal
2. Greek yogurt
3. Wheat germ
4. Grapefruit
5. Bananas
6. Eggs
7. Almond butter
8. Watermelon
9. Flaxseed
10. Blueberries
11. Strawberries
12. Coffee
13. Tea
14. Cantaloupe
15. Kiwi
16. Orange juice
17. Cranberry juice
18. Cereal (no Fruit Loops!)
19. Raspberries
20. Whole wheat bread

I don’t know about you, but flaxseed, wheat germ and almond butter are not in my cupboards or at average to-go breakfast spots.  Thankfully, the Keenwah super food eatery on Broadway in Newport provides customers with almost all of the foods on MSN’s healthy living post.
keenwah
Keenwah is my go-to spot if I am feeling particularly unhealthy and in need of someone else to make my nutritious breakfast. The staff is always knowledgeable and willing to make suggestions if I am not quite sure what something is.  Trying Keenwah at least once is must, especially if you are trying to stick to MSN’s healthy living suggestions.

FOX news: 7 foods destroying your good mood

I am all about grabbing a pick-me-up snack if my day is not going quite as planned, but I NEVER want to eat something that is actually going to make me feel worse.Chips_640

This FOX article points out some key foods that will kill your good vibes. I know that I want to make sure that whatever I am eating makes me feel better, not the opposite! It is one thing to treat yourself to a comforting snack, but if it is going to take away your good mood, forget it.

Here is the list of food that FOX says can take our mood from good to bad:

1. Potato chips
2. Soda
3. Margarine
4. Agave nectar
5. Bagels
6. Peanuts
7. Sweet potato casserole

The full article provides explanations for why we should put down these foods, and what we can choose instead that will keep our good mood alive. Check it out HERE

Change your mood, change your food

IMG_0044Hello from Newport, R.I.! My name is Meredith, and I am currently a food obsessed college student studying at Salve Regina University.  “Change your mood, change your food,” is a motto that I have created for myself to live by everyday.  I strongly believe that what I eat greatly affects how I feel for the rest of the day.

During my freshman year at Salve, I fell in love with Newport for all of the unique food options that the city has to offer.  From sandwich shops to take out to sit down restaurants, Newport has everything a college student needs to enjoy a great meal.

I will post a variety of my personal favorite places to get fabulous food in Newport, as well as tips on how to make sure that food your eating is making you feel the best you can be!