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Rob's Corner Grill
by Brian J. Lowney
My good friend Oswaldo visited me several times during my recent lengthy hospital stay. He was horrified one day when he saw that my "lunch" was nothing more than a small cup of ice chips. "You poor thing," he lamented. "If you keep this up, you'll waste away to nothing. When you get out of here, I am treating you to a good breakfast. You'll need to build up your strength."
Several days after I returned home, Oswaldo called and invited me to join him for a morning treat. "It's a beautiful day and it's about time that you started to move about and put the past behind you," my friend said thoughtfully. "I have just the cure that will help you in your healing process." We soon found ourselves sitting in Rob's Corner Grill, a postage stamp-sized diner that was formerly the much-acclaimed Lighthouse Diner.
Located on the fringes of downtown, the small restaurant is easy to miss if you're not looking for it. While it's not as renowned as its neighbors - "Olga's Cup and Saucer" or "The Big Fish" - this popular dining spot offers good food at affordable prices in a friendly, inviting atmosphere and should quickly become a popular getaway in no time.
Don't look for anything fancy - there's just a few stools situated at a Formica counter, but the food is wholesome, delicious and well prepared. In fact, the food served at this Jewelry District restaurant will probably remind you of the fare served in Mom's kitchen or at Grandma's on school vacations.
Rob's Grill offers a very basic menu - but for those who might rise and shine later in the day, the restaurant serves breakfast all day and even delivers for free within the downtown Jewelry District. "Well, this looks just like the place to put back some of the weight you lost," Oswaldo proclaimed, as he glanced over the breakfast menu. "Everything looks so good."
I began my satisfying breakfast with a steaming cup of Java ($1.50, lg.), while I watched the chef prepare my omelet with cheese and diced tomatoes ($5.00). My delicious two egg omelet was perfectly fluffy and nicely folded over and filled with American cheese and fresh diced tomatoes. The serving was generous and could have easily satisfied two hungry appetites. My omelet was accompanied by a large serving of nicely seasoned home fries and slices of buttered white toast. (I was also offered a choice of wheat toast.)
"I am longing for pancakes," Oswaldo told me, hinting at what his breakfast choice would be. He quickly ordered a fluffy stack of three buttermilk pancakes that were accompanied by several bacon strips ($5.75). "These pancakes are just the way I like them, light and fluffy," he added, liberally drenching the breakfast treats with maple syrup. "They just melt in your mouth."
While we were both extremely satisfied with our great breakfasts, the French toast with glazed apples ($4.50) and the scrambled egg with cheese in a wrap ($2.50) also looked so appealing that we'll probably try them on our next visit to Rob's Corner Grill. "I might want to try a sunny side egg with cheese on an English muffin with sausage ($3.75)," Oswaldo added, noting that he often enjoys breakfast items for lunch and even supper when he's in the mood.
The small eatery also serves lunch, offering basic fare at reasonable prices, including soups and chowders, grilled ham and cheese ($3.50), a tuna melt ($3.75), a grilled hotdog with cheese ($2.25) or with chili ($2.75). All sandwiches can be served with potato or macaroni salad or a bowl of soup for an extra dollar.
For those who might be watching their weight or seeking a healthy option, Rob's Corner Grill serves a large Caesar salad ($3.75) or with chicken ($5.25), or an inviting chef salad ($4.75) that includes ham, cheese, sliced tomatoes, peppers, onions and crisp bacon. The restaurant also offers daily specials and desserts.
Rob's Corner Grill is located at 377 Richmond Street in Providence and is open Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-3 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, call 272-6333.
Brian Lowney is a journalist for the Providence Visitor and for the New Bedford Standard Times. He enjoys the wonderful Rhode Island restaurant scene and writing about the cornucopia of outstanding dining and retail food establishments we have been blessed with throughout the region.