Biggest Fan of the BIG EAST Challenge #2: Friartown Weekend

dave@friarblog —  December 5th, 2011 2:01 PM —  Comments
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Volvo’s “Biggest Fan of the BIG EAST” contest is in full swing, with a new challenge up for the all the contestants. In case you didn’t know, I have been picked to compete against bloggers from all 16 schools of the BIG EAST in a season long contest to win a Volvo S60. Part of it is the fan poll (if you haven’t already, please cast a vote for yours truly!), while the other piece consists of challenge posts throughout the entire season. Volvo is also sending each of us to a game at our schools, so they’ve asked me to write about 5 or more things that I have to do (sights, bars, foods, places on campus) when returning to Providence. I’ll be making my grand return to Friartown (my last game there was two years ago when Greedy Peterson went 20/20) on February 18th for the Georgetown game. Here is what I want to do and see other than a nice big Friars win against the Hoyas (Note: I’ll be with my wife and kid, so places like the Foxy Lady are out of the question :P ).

Read on after the jump.

First off, Dress Code

Does anyone remember that Friends episode where Joey was pretending to be a Porsche owner?

Joey: (entering wearing nothing but Porsche clothes) So the Porsche guy took his car back.

Chandler: But you found the keys to his clothes?

Joey: No. No, I just uh, I just loved the way it feels when everybody thinks I own a Porsche.

Monica: And people will think you own a Porsche because you’re wearing the clothes?

Joey: Of course! Only an idiot would wear this stuff if you didn’t have the car! Right?

Chandler: That is true.

Since Volvo is lending me the S60 for the weekend to make the trip, it only makes sense I should pretend to be an owner by wearing only Volvo attire. Therefore, I’ll be pulling a Joey Tribiani throughout all the stops.

How you doin'?

Now, onto the places. I am going to categorize them as in relation to going to a Friar game on a Saturday night. PRE-GAME VISIT: Joe Calabria Hallway of Legends I’m not quite sure what the availability of seeing this exhibit will be over the weekend, but I’d really love to see it for the first time. I only started following PC Basketball when I attended in 1998, so there is a ton of Friar history I really don’t know about. The Joe Calabria Hallway, which was unveiled in 2009, consists of nine exhibit areas and seven display cases filled with information, pictures,video, audio, and various artifacts throughout Friar history. The floor is even a replica of Dave Gavitt Court at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

As the great Marvin Barnes once said: “We live Providence College basketball in this city. We eat, we sleep, we think basketball in this town.” Providence College Basketball has an extremely rich and proud history, and I can’t think of anything else to see to get pumped up for a huge BIG EAST game.

PRE-GAME DRIVE BY: 93-95 Radcliffe Ave.

Every time I come back to PC, I like to drive by my old house that I lived in with 9 other dudes during my junior and senior year. I do this out of plain curiosity, mainly because I feel like the house was not fit for living after we were done with it. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure it was while we were living there either. I know, it’s probably cliche to say an off-campus house of college students was disgusting, but I’m pretty sure we took that stereotype and multiplied it by a hundred thousand. I remember after we all graduated and moved out, I actually had to return to the house a week later with a van to get the rest of my things. Turns out, the place was in even worse shape than I left it. Seeing that we were not going to get our deposit back, the folks who stayed longer than I did obviously wanted to go out with a bang. As I frantically grabbed the rest of my things, I feared the landlord was going to return and hold me responsible for the destruction of the house. Holes were in the walls, garbage was everywhere, pants were hanging from ceiling fans, and one message written on the wall in permanent marker that always makes me laugh to this day.

Things I learned in college:

1) Garbage smells

2) Never trust your landlord.

Words to live by.

PRE-GAME MEAL: Union Station Brewery

Don’t get me wrong, I love all the places on Federal Hill. I’ve had plenty of great Italian meals there, and it should be a must stop for anyone visiting the city of Providence. However, when I’m going to a Friars game I just want bar food and tasty microbrews, while also focusing on having to walk the least distance to The Dunk. Plus, I enjoy getting beer samplers for the added benefit of feeling like a giant. The boneless buffalo wings are one of my staples there, but this place also has a POTATO CHIP APPETIZER (those that know me are aware of my snacks fascination) unlike I’ve ever seen anywhere else. It doesn’t sound very exciting, but as a snack aficionado let me tell you it is fantastic.

PRE-GAME DRINKS: Trinity Brewhouse

I love a good IPA, and Trinity serves a pretty mean one in their “Rhode Island IPA”.

The first I.P.A. available throughout Rhode Island since Ballantine I.P.A. The most bitter of the Pale Ale family, India Pale Ales malty flavor is accented by fruity aromas, a dry bitter finish and bright copper color. Unfiltered.

With the disappointing last decade we’ve been having in Friartown, it’s essential to focus on drinking beers with high alcohol percentages. Rhody IPA is perfect for those cold February nights during a tough BIG EAST season. This year’s team is definitely going to have some growing pains, so I may have to purchase some growlers to take back home with me.

POST-GAME EATS: Haven Brother’s Diner Featured in the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food Nation”, the diner is “one of the oldest restaurants on wheels in America and was founded in 1888 as a horse drawn lunch wagon”. I know it was the 1800′s and all, but the idea of a horse standing in front of a place that serves food sounds pretty terrible. Let’s hope they didn’t feed the horse any Beef-a-reeno before serving customers. Woh Rusty!

There really is nothing like celebrating a nice Friars win by being crammed in a mobile diner late night with strangers in order to eat some delicious hamburgers. They are famous for their “Murder Burger” series — It’s the only city in America where you can get away with a triple murder!

The "Triple Murder" Burger

Here is a video feature from VendorTV on the diner.

NEXT DAY BREAKFAST: Meeting Street Cafe

After a busy game day that probably involved a decent amount of alcohol, a big greasy breakfast is priority #2 (with the first obviously being a nice piping hot cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee). My wife originally got me hooked on Meeting Street Cafe, which is up near Brown University and Thayer Street. She used to go there all the time with her friends while also at PC, but now we make it a must stop every time we visit the city. The breakfast is great (huge, huge portions too), but what really puts the place over the top are their cookies. Any time baked goods that are normally small are the size of your head, I’m all in. How good are these things? My wife recently ordered them online and had them shipped to us in NY as a gift.

So there you have it. Sounds like a great trip to me. What do you think? What are your must do places and sights around Providence when you go to a game?

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  1. Friar577 says:

    I love Haven Bros!

  2. Luke says:

    I think you are making a mistake not going to Federal Hill…can’t pass that up

  3. Ed says:

    Yeah huge mistake going to Union Station over anyplace on Federal Hill. Huge. I mean seriously, you went to PC, who the hell went to Union Station? Shoulda picked Louies or Clubbies for drinks, relive some old times at PC. No one at PC goes to Trinity.

    1. friarblog says:

      I get you Ed. But If I wanted to do all the things I did in college, there would be many naps, I’d be drinking Busch Light and eating Ramen, and I’d go to really crappy bars. I loved Louies when I went there, but it’s just not a place I’d go with my family haha.

      I didn’t go to Trinity when I was at PC, but definitely started going there a lot as an alum. I think it’s a great place.

  4. Haven Bros is obviously a must. Trinity is a good call too, despite some of the comments. I had my fair share of beers there over the last few years. That said, this list definitely isn’t complete without “Post game drinks: blacking the fuck out at Clubbies”. Although I guess that might not be a great environment for your son.

    1. friarblog says:

      Haha yeah I’m pretty sure they would let him in with a fake ID though

  5. Suzy says:

    Lots of Friar fans go to Murphy’s Pub before and/or after the game.   Good luck on your travels!  While at the gapopcordme – buy an $8 beer and a large bucket of popcorn.  Last game, I saw a kid (under age 10) who ate the popcorn and made a hat out of the bucket!  You could try that for your son.