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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Eat Your Way Through Providence


5. Oddball Day

The eccentric interior of Edna Lawrence Nature Lab; pinball machines at Olympic Records.  

Tap into the student-fueled alternative scene by exploring some of the city's quirkier destinations. First, grab breakfast treats at Allie’s Donuts in North Kingstown (3661 Quaker Lane; 401-295-8036), an unassuming bakery twenty minutes south of the city that produces a dense old-fashioned-style and a multicolored assortment of glazed and sprinkled doughnuts ($8 for a dozen). Once you’re full, head back downtown to visit the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab, which is part natural history museum and part inspirational resource for Rhode Island School of Design students. Filled with live animals, taxidermy, eggs, shells, and skeletons, it looks like a setting for one of Wes Anderson’s films. Afterward, make a quick jaunt to Olympic Records in the Fox Point neighborhood to check out the newest vinyl-only store in town and play a few games on one of their pinball machines. Next, stop into Olga’s Cup and Saucer for a savory cheddar scone ($3) and cappuccino ($3.25) before walking over to see an afternoon movie at the Cable Car Cinema, which primarily screens limited-release and foreign films. Next, catch a concert at AS220, a music venue and gallery space that’s a trailblazer in the local arts community. In addition to hosting a mix of local bands and touring indie acts, the in-house restaurant was revamped last year and serves a surprisingly good selection of food; try the tomato-braised lamb sandwich ($7) with a pint of Rhode Island’s own Narragansett Beer ($2.50) while the band does their sound check. If you’re in need of a nightcap, savor a craft beer at the clandestine, not-for-profit drinking spot known as the GCB (42 Charlesfield Street; 401-421-0270), which stands for Grad Center Bar. It's a private club located on the Brown University campus, but you can buy a one-day pass for $5 and kick back in the bustling basement space while choosing from a rotating selection of limited-edition beers from New England breweries like Cisco and Pretty Things.

Published on Feb 24, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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