At this point in the semester, dining hall grab-and-go meals, even when supplemented with an occasional “Spicy With” from Jo’s, have likely gotten very unappealing. And because the combination of COVID and indoor dining can make for a super spreader event, options are limited for fun off-campus meal spots, especially given the cold temperatures. However, since the fall semester, I have become a huge fan of Plant City for both takeout and outdoor dining options. Located right at the bottom of College Hill (just a block away from Dave’s Coffee), this spot is fully vegan… That’s right, fully vegan! I was skeptical of this concept at first, but now, as a frequent customer, I can honestly say that the food is so good that it’s hard to notice a lack of meat or animal byproducts.
In the warmer weather, I ventured down the hill for lunch with a friend of mine. All of the tables were spaced more than six feet apart on an outdoor patio next to the restaurant. We wore masks, as did the wait staff, whenever we had to interact with a server. Overall, the staff seemed very COVID-conscious and even kept their distance while speaking. They had also incorporated disposable paper menus for cleanliness. During this trip, I tried the guacamole and the “pastor” tacos. Even though it’s hard to mess up guac, Plant City really knocked this one out of the park. Also, the tortilla chips were still warm and perfectly salted. When my tacos arrived, it was clear that they valued presentation, since all three were meticulously crafted and expertly sprinkled with cilantro. Despite the imitation meat, these were DELICIOUS. They had somehow incorporated all the non-vegan elements of a taco (meat, salsa, queso) and made it completely plant-based. I also really enjoyed this lunch because it was much lighter than the typical Mexican fare.
Now that it’s freezing outside, Plant City has put much of their outdoor dining options on hold, with the exception of a few two-person set-ups around space heaters and mobile fire pits (these would make a cute date night spot!) In response to this, they have perfected their take-out game, allowing customers to order online or call ahead for either delivery or pickup. Just last week, my friends and I treated ourselves to one of their pizzas and a few different salads. We tried the truffle pizza, which may be one of my favorites in Providence so far (sorry, Antonio’s). In spite of the “fake” cheese, it was delicious! We also tried both the cobb salad and the kale caesar. The cobb featured most traditional elements, but with an added feature of shiitake bacon and a vegan ranch dressing. The imitation bacon was a little off-putting, but overall the flavors were very similar to a normal cobb. In my opinion, the kale caesar is Plant City’s crown jewel. I’m a big kale salad fan, to begin with, but this dish is one of the best around. The dressing, even though it’s dairy-free, makes the dish, and the kale is chopped perfectly so it’s not hard to eat. I would highly recommend everyone try this once before they graduate!
On top of lunch and dinner options, Plant City offers a fully functional cafe serving coffee and breakfast every morning Try the dirty chai latte or the acai parfait and then take a walk over to the pedestrian bridge for great views of the river and a fun place to sit and chat with a friend. Even for non-vegans (including myself), Plant City is a great local option for take-out or dine-in. They are moderately priced, especially for the quality, and have something for everyone on the menu. Give it a try both to get away from Ratty dinners and to support a local business!