Much like corned beef and cabbage on St. Patty’s, just two days later Italians turn to one special treat to celebrate their heritage on St. Joseph’s Day: Zeppole. Although St. Joseph’s might be lesser known by the general public, the tradition remains strong through Italian-American culture. So, if you see someone wearing red and leaving the bakery on March 19, feel free to wish them a happy holiday and maybe ask if they have a Zeppola to spare, or grab your own at Vienna Bakery in Barrington. As a third-generation-owned bakery serving the East Bay since 1935, they’re no stranger to tradition – including when it comes to the Italian treat. Vienna makes their Zeppole ($2.99) with a pâte à choux shell, filled with a rich homemade vanilla boiled cream, and topped off with powdered sugar and, of course, a cherry. Find rows of these Italian favorites available until Easter, in case you’re craving seconds. -Gina Mastrostefano
Brix Restaurant in Middletown is creating an alternative St. Patrick’s Day celebration: Bangin’ Beer Brunch. “As a dinner-only restaurant, we’re available for private events during the daytime, but we wanted to be able to showcase our daytime fare to the public as well,” says Cassandra Earle, director of sales and marketing at Brix. So, last year, Brix started a once-a-month series of creative twists on brunch.
“It became an instant hit and sell-out,” shares Earle. “Our Executive Chef Andy Teixeira loves the creative freedom of the menus and brunch fare and it shows.” The Bangin’ Beer Brunch in particular will marry their microbrewery Taproot Brewing Co. with an inspired menu to match, featuring bratwurst, pretzel English muffins, spaetzle (German dumplings), and more. Not exactly an Irish spread, but the Bavarian comfort foods are sure to cure your morning-after headache (or continue the celebration!). The Bangin’ Beer Brunch will take place on March 15 from 10am-2pm. Reserve online at
NewportVineyards.com. -Chuck Staton
“My mission with Basil & Bunny is to increase the vitality of people’s lives while reducing the world’s dependence on animals, one meal at a time,” explains Lyslie Medeiros, co-owner and chef at Rhode Island’s brand-new plant-based food trailer.
Offering up dishes from zucchini noodle tofu bowls to homemade tater tots with vegan nacho cheese and pickled onions, B&B is looking to bring plant-based food to the mainstream. “I’m sourcing the majority of our ingredients from local farms and makers so I can create everything from scratch while supporting my community,” says Medeiros. “It’s all your favorite foods – made from plants.”
With their shitake dumplings and blueberry poptarts in tow, B&B made its debut at the inaugural RI VegFest last month. But, Medeiros says, she’s already chatted with Hope & Main, plus local breweries, pop-ups, and festivals, “so you can expect to see us around!” Follow Basil & Bunny on Instagram @basilandbunny. -Chuck Staton