Eveylyn’s Drive-In – Tiverton, Rhode Island
Evelyn’s Drive-In / 2335 Main Street / Tiverton, RI 02878 / 401-624-3100
So last night I get a knock on my door. It is my colleague, (and, well, mother…but colleague sounds more professional, right?) Linda. She had just returned from a review of a local Rhode Island legend, Evelyn’s Drive-In in beautiful Tiverton, Rhode Island. She was beaming and just HAD to stop by and see me, even at the risk of catching this cold (plague?) I am fighting.
First off, let me say, we are no stranger to Evelyn’s! We have been dining at Evelyn’s for YEARS, but to get an actual review is like meeting a “celebrity”, especially to us “Italian foodies!” 😉
The staff! The food! The location! The weather!
I grabbed a box of tissues and got comfortable….I knew we’d be talking for awhile.
First thing she did was shove a piece of Evelyn’s HOMEMADE Buddha Chocolate in my mouth. “Taste this, you won’t believe it!” — She was right. Wow.
Let me give you some background information on Evelyn’s Drive-In before I delve into Linda’s review, sound good?
Opened since 1969, Evelyn’s has been making hungry patrons happy for over 40 years! It was founded by its namesake, Evelyn DuPont.
Husband and wife team, Domenic and Jane Bitto, have owned and operated Evelyn’s Drive-In since 1987.
They have worked to incorporate Evelyn’s unique recipes, classic seafood fare, and some NEW classics, like their own lobster chow mein. Yes, you read that right. And yes, you NEED to try it. More on that later.
Evelyn’s serves everything from Rhode Island Chowder and clam cakes to lobster rolls, fried whole belly clams, chicken pot pie, meatloaf, juicy burgers and their popular (jaw dropping) seafood platter. Linda also informed me that Evelyn”s should also be known for their delicious desserts.
At Evelyn’s you can order at the take-out counter and enjoy your meal at the covered picnic table area overlooking Nanaquacket pond or in their back patio. You can also dine inside where it is always air-conditioned! While dining inside you can enjoy their daily specials and full bar including specialty cocktails such as Mamma Mia Margarita or the Stingray!
One very cool thing about Evelyn’s is that you can arrive via boat and dock right at the restaurant!
This is a great use for their used oil! Newport Biodiesel picks up the used fry oil, processes it, and then fills the BIOBUG with biodiesel. The BIOBUG is driven by co-owner Jane Bitto, and is wrapped with advertising from Evelyn’s and Newport Biodiesel. This shows how committed the Bitto’s are to raising awareness on ways to reduce our impact on the planet and makes them EXTRA SPECIAL in my book! 🙂
Also, since 2003 Evelyn’s has participated as an event sponsor for Singing Out Against Hunger (SOAH). SOAH is an organization focused on raining money for the hungry within their own community, and the world. Please visit SOAH’s web site for more information.
One other fact I’d like to share is that Evelyn’s Drive-In was featured on the hit Food Network Show – DINERS, DRIVE-INS and DIVES hosted by Guy Fieri. You can view that episode HERE.
So now that you have all the background information on this amazing spot, let’s talk about Linda & Elizabeth’s experience!
The first thing they raved about was the SERVICE. Linda said Wendy and Lindsey, both workers at Evelyn’s, took great care of them, were super friendly and provided tons of helpful information. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, it doesn’t matter how good the food is at a restaurant, if you don’t have the ambiance and service to back it up, people will not return. No wonder Evelyn’s is so popular — they got all angles covered!
The weather was perfect for dining in Evelyn’s back patio (sunny and 70’s). Once seated the feast started!
They began with Evelyn’s Clam Cakes, New England Clam Chowder and Evelyn’s Lobster Bisque, all which were “out of the world” delicious.
The New England Clam Chowder was hearty and uniquely flavored with a hint of dill. The Lobster Bisque was rich, extremely tasteful and light.
Next they tried a local favorite, the Whole Fried Clams (fresh whole bellied clams deep fried to perfection) and Stuffie (fresh local quahog halved and filled with Evelyn’s spicy blend of chopped clams and seasonings.)
Linda couldn’t stop raving about the fried clams and how “plump” they were and how light and tasty the batter was! The same can be said for the stuffie, which was indeed STUFFED, chock full of clams and the perfect seasoning.
For their main entree’s Linda tried Evelyn’s Lobster Chow Mein (5 oz. of tender lobster atop a hot chow mein gravy and local crispy noodles. As seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.)
Elizabeth had the Fish & Chips (a hearty portion of lightly battered fried fresh cod fish served with fries and Evelyn’s very own cole slaw.)
The Lobster Chow Mein lived up to the hype and as Linda described it, “So New England!” If you are familiar with local chow mein from places like Fall River and Somerset, MA you will know what to expect as far as the chow mein portion goes, but the lobster kicks it up and is absolutely delicious and distinctly Evelyn’s! The lobster is meaty and melts in your mouth! Truly unique and a must try!
Elizabeth raved about the size of the fish and chips and how delicious and light the batter was. She even said the fries were some of the best she has had.
As I’m listening to their descriptions my stuffed head is spinning and stomach growling! I know where I am as soon as I feel better! 😉
But there is more…..dessert. Yes, dessert. And not just “any dessert”, where talking MADE FROM SCRATCH dessert. Reason enough to visit Evelyn’s. How many “clam shacks” can you say that about??
Linda ordered the Grape Nut Pudding (old fashioned grape nut custard topped with cinnamon and nutmeg, served warm or cold with whipped cream.)
Elizabeth ordered Evelyn’s Brownie Sundae (homemade warm chocolate fudge brownie topped with your choice of ice cream, hot fudge, sprinkles and a cherry!)
Also as mentioned earlier, they also ordered Jane Bitto’s delicious Buddha Chocolate (homemade chocolate roca made by co-owner Jane Bitto – made with milk chocolate and almond toffee.)
Linda’s description of the Grape Nut Pudding was, “Oh. My. God!” She ordered it warm and each bite was truly an explosion of rich flavor. The best grape nut pudding she has ever had. That’s saying a lot as grape nut pudding is one of her favorite desserts.
Elizabeth shared in Linda’s enthusiasm for dessert and said the brownie sundae was beyond huge, moist, served with vanilla ice cream and simply put……delicious.
I should also mention that my niece enjoyed Evelyn’s yummy grilled cheese and fries and had tons of fun helping Elizabeth finish off her brownie sundae! 😉
By this point I was frantically chomping on Saltine Crackers and daydreaming it was the food being described to me (thanks a lot guys, geez!)
- 7 Days a week 11:30 AM – 8:30 PM
- Purchase Evelyn’s gift cards and gear HERE.
- Learn more about Evelyn’s BIOBUG HERE.
SINGING OUT AGAINST HUNGER:
- Learn more about this charity Evelyn’s supports and ways you can get involved! This year’s big event takes place September 13-15, 2013. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
GAY & LESBIAN FACTOR: Oh how I love Rhode Island (even more now that is has finally passed the bill to legalize gay & lesbian marriage!) It is extremely important to recognize the businesses that TRULY support the LGBT market and Evelyn’s Drive-In is one of these businesses. The woman I personally worked with to set up the revue, Wendy, was SO GRACIOUS and KIND to me. She made me feel as if I have known her forever. Who doesn’t love that? Genuine kindness is a beautiful thing.
Linda and Elizabeth raved about how friendly Wendy and their waitress, Lindsey was. They felt extremely welcome and comfortable and talked with Wendy about how important it is to list yourself as LGBT supportive because even though we have made HUGE progress with acceptance there are still many places that shun the LGBT community’s business (trust me, I know).
This local legend hasn’t just survived on delicious food and a great location. It has survived by being run by GOOD, CARING, GENUINE people. The type people I want to support and spread the good word on. One of the best parts of my job is getting to know the people “behind the scenes” — Evelyn’s has only made my admiration grow. I wholeheartedly am “OUTING” Evelyn’s Drive-In as gay & lesbian friendly and most definitely worthy of our business!
This is one review I am sad I missed, but being the good daughter I am (ahem), I am so glad Linda (mom, mama, “MA”) got to cover it for me. Mom knows seafood and she only confirmed what I, the rest of Rhode Island and ANYONE who is lucky enough to dine at Evelyn’s knows…….a legend becomes a legend by achieving that which is enduring.
Need I say more?
Out & About Travel / Gay Travel Information