Liberty Elm Diner * 777 Elmwood Ave, Providence, RI * (401) 467-0777
It’s amazing how far one can travel in such a short distance. This weekend I felt like I dined at the coolest of retro-Americana diners in Austin, TX, yet, I traveled a mere 13 miles from Warren, RI!
My partner, Melanie, and I were lucky to be hosted at Liberty Elm Diner in Providence (close to Roger Williams Zoo).
Liberty Elm Diner reminds me of the hip music cafes I’ve visited in Austin. Places like Shady Grove, Threadgill’s and Jo’s. The type place that would blend in perfectly on South Congress Ave (SoCo), Austin’s vibrant, creative, hip neighborhood. The type place where music, art, delicious food and kind folk mix perfectly. The best part is, it is ours! It is located right here in vibrant, creative, hip – Providence! Yay!
Liberty Elm Diner, recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is housed in a 1947 lunch car. It kinda reminds me of a vintage air-stream. Complete with a pink, plastic, flamingo welcoming guests as they step inside.
Ahh. Deep breath. Something smells good!
Is there anything better than the smell of sizzling bacon, clattering dishes, lively conversation, reggae sounding music, and retro-cool decor? I think not.
I quickly introduced myself to “Tink”, one of two owners. She welcomed Melanie and I and told us to pick a seat anywhere we wanted to.
There are two sections. The main dining car with its bar stools and several booths and the back section, which is larger and more of a dining area. The diner has 47 seats in total.
The vibe of the diner is intimate, super casual, cozy and artsy. Think thrift store fashion mixed with punk rock, musicians, artists, sprinkled with a touch of LL Bean.
Liberty Elm Diner is women owned (which holds special meaning as a woman business owner myself.) Diane (“Kip”) Defeciani & Diane (“Tink”) Horstmyer use to be in a musical duo together.
Their love of music is evident on Sundays when they host local musicians at the diner’s “Americana Breakfast Club” 11am-1pm.
Not only do they support local musicians and artists, they support local & regional products, RI farms, and only use preservative free meats.
The diner has the usual, yummy, comfort food (burgers, grilled cheese, BLT) but also has some unique items like their Hummus & Cuke, Caprese, and Grilled Fluffer Nutter Sandwiches! They are also vegetarian friendly with items such as their Veggie Burger, Quesadilla and Roasted Tofu Veggie sandwich. And have no fear breakfast lovers….breakfast is served all day!
The food is here!
I had thee most delicious french toast, made with whole grain bread, topped with powdered sugar and served with New England Maple Syrup. The dense, french toast had, what I believe to be, a cinnamon/nutmeg flavor. I also had some of the best homefries - EVER. Yes, Liberty Elm has the art of making delicious homefries perfected. Crunchy on the outside, cooked to perfection on the inside and flavored with just the right amount of seasonings.
Melanie ordered a bowl of granola (made locally by the Providence Granola Project) and their sweet potato hash special, served with eggs and toast. Having sampled the sweet potato hash, I can agree with Melanie by saying it was out-of-this-world good!
Consistency was like that of a sweet potato casserole mixed with pecans. Melanie also raved about the coffee which is Pawtucket, Rhode Island’s New Harvest Coffee Roast.
The staff was very friendly! Debbie, our waitress, was accommodating and Judi, another waitress, was super friendly and gracious. She seemed to be on a first name basis with everyone in the dining area!
Liberty Elm Diner, with their free Wi-Fi, live music, local art, delicious food and friendly staff, is the type place you want to become a regular at. Whether you stop in for a cup of coffee, to catch up on some work, or to dine, this is the type place you have respect for. Afterall, it’s not everyday you find a business so focused on supporting the local scene in so many ways. As a matter of fact, they are even part of the a program called “1% for Trees”, where approximately 1% of their profits go toward purchasing Dutch-Elm-disease-resistant Liberty Elm trees to re-tree Elmwood Avenue and their community via the Elm Research Institute’s “Matching Tree Grant” program.
Did you know?
Liberty Elm was recently featured on the Food Network’s ‘Diners, Drive-ins & Dives’, hosted by Guy Fieri! You can watch a video click HERE.
Gay & Lesbian factor: Quite simply, Liberty Elm Diner is as gay & lesbian friendly as it gets. Period!
It goes without saying that I am officially “OUTING” Liberty Elm Diner as extremely, without a doubt, 100% gay & lesbian friendly and worthy of our business.
I can’t wait to visit The Liberty Elm again! Maybe next time I will bring my guitar and sing a song or two about pink flamingos and bacon during their Americana Breakfast Club?
Liberty Elm Diner * 777 Elmwood Ave * Providence, RI * (401)-467-0777 *
(The diner is open from 7am-3pm Tuesday-Friday and 8:00am-3:00pm Saturday & Sunday. They are closed on Mondays.)