Your guide to properly tackling the Rhode Island Seafood Festival (no pun intended)

After four and a half hours of eating my weight in seafood under the guise of ‘trendy Brown foodie,’ I can proudly claim myself a member of the Seafood Diet: I saw food—I saw seafood, actually—and I ate it. All of it.

The 4th Annual Rhode Island Seafood Festival is a cornucopia of yumminess, good vibes, and the catch o’ the day. The festival’s second and final day is going down in India Point Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. this afternoon. The admission is free, the food is not, and there’s a slew of live music all day long overlooking the Providence River. It doesn’t get much more New England-y than this.

If you’re like me, then the most important piece of information stated above is the event’s timing, which allows you to eat lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner at the festival. This, of course, is what I did.

If you decide to do the festival today, then it’s important to do it right. Here’s a guide to the Seefood/Seafood Diet of the 4th Annual Rhode Island Seafood Festival, aiding you in selecting dishes based on your personal pallet — assuming you probs won’t eat it all like we did.

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Before

After

After

The Most Classic
What to order: Point Judith Lobster Roll
Where: Shuckin Truck
Why: If you like lobster rolls, you’ll like this one. No question about it. The lobster salad isn’t too mayo-y and I give the bun a 6.75/10 in terms of toasted-ness and buttered-ness. It wasn’t the best lobster roll I’ve ever had, nor was it the worst. It was, however, the type of lobster roll where the lobster-to-bun ratio is at times weak, and you find yourself eating more bun than you do lobster and you can’t really taste the lobster at all. I recommend ripping off the lower half of the bun for best tasting experience.

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The Most Hipster
What to order: Cold-brew coffee
Where: The Coffee Guy
Why: First of all, you can get dollar refills. Second of all, it does taste different than a plain old iced coffee, and everyone who believes in the sanctity of cold-brew coffee will tell you that because, now I know, it is really true. Third of all, the guy who runs the company—the ‘guy’ behind The Coffee Guy—will tell you a cute little story about how he roasts his own beans over by Newport and only does farmer’s markets and festivals. Love him, love his coffee, loved my refill.

seafood coffee (1)

The Most Likely to Boost Your Self Esteem
What: 3 for $5 oysters
Where: Matunuck Oyster Farm
Why: I’m the farthest thing you’ll ever find from a picky eater, but due to a scarring experience at the ripe age of nine, I’ve always avoided oysters. Yesterday I felt very adventurous for making my way so far off campus, venturing into new lands, and pretending like I’m off meal plan. So if there ever was a day to revisit the oyster, it was this one. My two friends and I ordered three oysters and topped them with cocktail sauce, lemon, and a bit of Tobasco. I was so nervous to eat my oyster that my hands were shaking. But ya know what?  It wasn’t that bad at all! In fact, I loved it! Oyster noobs, this is the spot for you.

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The Most Challenging
What: 3 for $5 oysters (two orders of them)
Where: Shuckin Truck
Why: After my one successful oyster and my increased self esteem, I found it necessary to try another from somewhere else. We wanted larger oysters, and we wanted to try and taste them more. (In round one, we put so much stuff on them that it was more like swallowing a spicy and slimy cocktail sauce soup.) We each had two this time, and they were kind of the size of my face. Or almost the size of my face. Because they were so huge, we were like, “Who are we kidding if we think we’re squeezing a sixth of a lemon on top and calling it a day?” and went back to the old, familiar ways of cocktail sauce concoction. The first one was successful, the second was not. One friend freaked out last minute, spitting the oyster back into its shell, another did it semi-succesfully, and I got freaked out by my friend freaking out and ended up chewing a giant oyster in my mouth. But if you want the challenge…

After (feat. ginger beer)

After (feat. ginger beer)

The Most Free, The Most Yummy
What: Barritts Ginger Beer
Where: The little ginger beer table where a man is giving out free samples in paper shot glasses
Why: I ran into a friend at the festival who insisted we try to ginger beer. So, I went up to the table and asked for three cans of it. The man behind the table told me that he was only allowed to give out small free samples, and after very convoluted banter back and forth between the two of us (I’m pretty sure he had no idea what I was asking for), he somehow gave me three cans, free of charge, while saying something like “I’m about sixty, I know the way this works.” The nonalcoholic beverage tastes like a drier ginger ale. It’s very crisp and tickles your tongue and you’d be silly not to grab one. Can’t promise you’ll get the whole can, though. IMG_7048-1

The Most Guilt-Free, The Most Un-Fishy and Un-New Englandy 
What: Kettle popcorn
Where: A tent bearing a sign that reads “KETTLE POPCORN”
Why: I had a handful of kettle corn. It wasn’t soggy, which is crucial, and it wasn’t too sweet. Even though I have a thing for kettle corn, it sometimes tastes like aspartame to me. This one didn’t. It was v artisan and v light. However, the Rhode Island Seafood Festival is an extra big deal because it’s the official Seafood Festival for the entire state. So going and ordering kettle corn is essentially like going to Spring Weekend shows but not seeing Binder.

(This is a before pic)

(This is a before pic)

The Most ‘What You See is What You Get’
What: Fish tacos
Where: Shuckin Truck
Why: It tastes just like every other fish taco I’ve ever had. But then again, I also love fish tacos, so I didn’t particularly mind. If you want to be edgier than the lobster roll, then the fish taco is probably good for you. I should tell you, with candor, that we really wanted to order the lobster tacos, but the person in front of me in line ordered the last one. The lobster tacos are the best of both worlds, topped with mango salsa and, if I remember correctly, ~guac~, and everyone knows that everything tastes better with guac on it.

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The Most Refreshing
What: Del’s Frozen Lemonade
Where: The Del’s stand
Why: Because we accidentally walked half a mile out of the way to get to the festival, became very sweaty, and continued to sweat absurd amounts throughout the entire day. Del’s was perfect because we were able to rehydrate without sacrificing the opportunity to consume something New England-y.

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The Underdog, Most Likely to Take You by Surprise, The Most Best
What: Portuguese Seafood Chowder
Where: Melville Grille
Why: Earlier in the day, we ran into a friend who told us she had the seafood chowder and it was like eh, pretty good, nothing unreal. My two friends and I all love chowder, so when there came a point in the day where we all needed something to spice things up a bit, chowder was the impromptu call. We started with a small. Then we fell in love. Then we went back, and got a large. And finished them both. Unanimously, we decided our other friend was wrong. BTW, the chowder is apparently award-winning not just by BlogDH’s standards but by real adult chef judge’s standards.

If you’re feeling crabby, head on down to the 4th Annual Rhode Island Seafood Festival and engage in the Seefood/Seafood Diet. You’ll reely, reely love it.

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