The Middle of Nowhere Diner, Exeter, RI

Middle of Nowhere Diner

Middle of Nowhere Diner, Exeter, RI photo on their menu

They weren’t kidding! We never did find the town of Exeter, but paralleling I-95 in Rhode Island, we did find the diner. The reviews had been so enthusiastic I feared they’d been written by the owners’ Great Aunt Martha, but that was not the case. Written by followers of Trip Advisor who had found their way there by word of mouth from various parts of New England, they proved to be accurate.

From start to finish – a delight. We were meeting our visiting daughters, one of whom was taking a flight out of the T. F. Green Airport (PVD) for home in Osprey, Florida, and the other from Scituate, Massachusetts. We were driving up from Groton, Connecticut and this was half-way, sort of. We got the better end of the deal. They found it at 222 Nooseneck Hill Road, Exeter, Rhode Island with the help of MapQuest on their iPhone.

Plenty of parking available. We walked into a squeaky-clean, smallish diner with a counter and row of stools facing the door. To the right were several small booths, and one big one which we, being six people took. I first noticed the table and benches. Not old faded vinyl marred with cracks and stains, but neat, new shiny black, just like the table tops. There is an additional room beyond.

As soon as we were seated, menus appeared – nice ones with six or so pages of standard diner fare: breakfast all day except for Friday; fish sandwiches, chowders, and salads; pastas, chicken, steak sandwiches – well, just about anything you’d expect. The prices were right – most things were in the five to eight dollar range. They have my love, belly clams, but I wasn’t that hungry…next time.

No liquor served, but I had a huge plain iced tea, and the others had iced coffee. I can remember when no restaurant had iced coffee. You’d ask for it.  They’d say they don’t have it. You’d ask, “Do you have coffee? Do you have ice? You have iced coffee.” Reluctantly, it would be plunked down on the table. Do you think “Dunkin” woke up the restaurants?

Next to Nowhere Creamery

Next to Nowhere Creamery - Middle of Nowhere's neighbor - just as great ©2011 Gail Hunter

Son-in-law Tom, picked up the menu, took a quick look and said, “This is my kind of place! I’d be here every day.” It may have been the fresh homemade hash with a couple of poached eggs on top that he loves. I had a grilled chicken sandwich on a toasted roll – big enough to make chicken salad out of the remainder the next day. I can’t tell you about anything else, because the rest all went bananas seeing the hash.

The atmosphere reminded me of small inns throughout the English countryside: local gathering places, where people sat helter-skelter, sharing a little gossip and weather predictions. Outside the door, a couple of Rhode Island reds clucked and scratched about in the back yard.

I could go on, but suffice it to say, if you crave a superior eating experience (not fine dining) about three quarters of an hour south of the T. F. Green Airport in Warwick, exit I-95 at Exit 4 heading north, get on RI-3 and drive about 4 miles down the highway. Coming from the north, it’s Exit 5.

When you see the Next to Nowhere Creamery on the right coming from the south, turn in. It’s next to the Middle of Nowhere Diner…and that’s where we had the biggest, bestest ice cream for dessert…at a picnic table in the garden where the R.I reds kept pecking away. I had toasted coconut in a sugar cone, with real chunks of, you guessed it, toasted coconut. Yummmy!

The Middle of Nowhere Diner, Exeter, RI

T.F. Green International Airport, Warwick, RI

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