Tracy Lee Karner

Nick and Joan's Place: the friendliest, tasty, inexpensive breakfast near T.F. Green Airport-Warwick-Providence, RI

Tracy Lee Karner
That’s Nick. He’s giving you his heart-felt, “Glad to see you!”

Eating at Nick and Joan’s place is like time-traveling back to an era when:

  • everyone in the neighborhood knew your name;
  • people were genuinely concerned about how you, your parents, your kids, and your pets were doing;
  • the corner diner cooked your eggs exactly the way you like them and they sliced the ham straight from the hambone;
  • the booths and counters were soda-pop orange and for some reason that gave you a sassy-good feeling;
  • the service was fun and friendly;
  • and the prices were working-class affordable.

That place still exists.
Whenever you’re near the airport in Rhode Island and you need a tasty breakfast (or lunch) with a healthy dose of kind-hearted neighborliness to remind you that honest-human-interaction doesn’t exist only in your nostalgic memories–
head to the corner of Airport Road (RI 117) and Warwick Ave (RI 117A)
and come on in!
You’ll be heartily welcomed and well-fed. Don’t bring your laptop or ipad. This is the kind of place where you talk to the people who share the room with you!
My husband and I eat here when we don’t feel like cooking and doing the dishes–but aren’t in the mood for the formality or the cost of “going out.” Going to Nick and Joan’s feels like going home.
This week I had an egg over medium, toast, home fries, coffee and a side of that delicious ham. Ken had a 3-egg onion/cheese omelette, toast, home fries and coffee.
Grand total (pre-tax & tip) $13.60. Seriously!
Check out their menu here.

Joan keeps the customers' bottomless cups filled with coffee and their hearts filled with good cheer.
Joan keeps the customers’ bottomless cups filled with coffee and their hearts filled with  cheer.

I love this place. It isn’t trendy or fancy; it’s just good food made by people who have spent their lives feeding the neighborhood because they care about people.  And when you walk out the door someone will likely say (and mean), “Thank you! God bless.” And you’ll probably leave  happier, more optimistic, and, actually, blessed.
Where do you go when you want to know that everybody knows your name?
Tracy Lee Karner
We’re blissful when we can go where everybody knows our name.

21 thoughts on “Nick and Joan's Place: the friendliest, tasty, inexpensive breakfast near T.F. Green Airport-Warwick-Providence, RI”

  1. This is so my kind of place! I really want to visit – so maybe I’ll just fly into the Rhode Island airport for the hell of it! I love going where people know my name and take care of me. I think that’s the part of me that was raised in a small town of 1,200 people. I found a place like that called Dalts in Nashville. I’ve been going there for years and as soon as I walk through the door, my cocktail is at my bar seat before I can even get to the stool to sit down. Gotta love it!

    1. Exactly–it’s so important to have a feeling of community, of belonging, of being “known” instead of anonymous.
      So when you get to RI, we’ll meet at Nick and Joan’s; and when I get to Nashville, we’ll meet at Dalts!

  2. I LOVE places like this. Husband, Son and I used to frequent a little Italian restaurant on Wandsworth Bridge Road called Pagliaccio’s for lunch on a Saturday, pre football match. They all supported our team, the place would be full of home supporters, we’d almost have our own table and the food was fabulous and reasonably priced. As we no longer go to football quite so regularly we have lost some of that friendly consistency there but it used to be part of our whole football experience and we loved it!

    1. My husband used to go to Mama Batt’s in Chicago for a pre football meal (but that’s American football–because we have that game, we’re forced to call real football “soccer”).
      For people who have to know the why and wherefore of everything (as I do) here’s an article about the origin of the name–surprisingly, the origin isn’t American. It’s British.

  3. Awesome find, Tracy!
    Plus, this point that you made: “people were genuinely concerned about how you, your parents, your kids, and your pets were doing” is so very true. Times are a-changin’… sometimes not necessarily for the best.

    1. I think most of us feel a loss of community these days–and that’s definitely not a good change.
      But I have lived in a couple of places where people work at building and maintaining that old neighborhood sense of solidarity and kindness. Nick and Joan sure do a good job of that–and I don’t think it’s like their conscious mission statement, I think it’s just who they are as good-hearted people.

  4. I’d love a place like this to dine in and to have a cup of coffee or two (or three). I’m a creature of habit. We have been going to Thai Delight in Melbourne every Friday for years. The attraction? The food, of course. But we do feel that every body there knows our name – and we know theirs. They treat us like family and they are as concerned about our well being as we are of theirs..
    Like your experience at Nick and Joan’s, it is a wonderful feeling. (I love the photos. They do have a warm-hearted look.)

    1. They’re warm-hearted people, for sure. I’ve always believed you can tell a lot about a person’s disposition from their eyes…
      And if, but hopefully when, I ever get to Melbourne, I’m going to try Thai Delight. We just had the most fabulous Thai food last night. I’ve always loved it, but this was a revelation, like a deeper insight. I’ll have to visit a few more times before I discover whether the cook is a culinary genius or just got lucky once…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *