Looking to explore some new dining options – and maybe even some new flavors? Here's your chance to try a wide variety of ethnic cuisine while participating in the revitalization of a city with deep cultural roots. Central Falls will be celebrating its diverse culinary heritage from October 18-20 during Dine Central Falls. The event, hosted by Leadership Rhode Island, will spotlight many of the city’s ethnic restaurants, and give visitors the opportunity to try unique and authentic foods, from Colombian at La Sorpresa, to Portuguese at the Madeira Club, to classic diner comfort food at Stanley’s Famous Hamburgers.
The extent of Central Falls’ diversity can be seen in its restaurants. While they are all within close proximity to one another (the very nature of a one-square mile city), they vary greatly in culture, tradition and style. El Antojo, a Colombian bakery on Dexter Street, offers authentic dishes like deep fried plantains, pork skins and fried eggs, all for reasonable prices. Stanley’s, also on Dexter Street, has been known for their famous burgers since 1932. Another family owned and operated restaurant, Taqueria Lupita, is known for their made-to-order handmade tortillas, giant burritos and fresh guacamole.
As the state’s smallest city, Central Falls has the tendency to be overlooked. Its biggest recognition came in August of 2011, when it made national headlines after filing for bankruptcy. Recovery has been slow, but through the efforts of local businesses, city leaders and others there is hope that Central Falls is slowly on the rise. One of those groups, Leadership Rhode Island, is responsible for putting this event together.
Founded in 1981, Leadership Rhode Island (LRI) seeks to create a network of leaders and give them a behind the scenes view of issues throughout the state, better enabling them to affect change. For the first time in the organization's history, it has taken on an active role and devoted its full attention to bringing change to a specific place. This year's Theta II Class, with assistance from the State, the City of Central Falls and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, has helped put together the weekend long event as a way to celebrate the city's cultures and draw some positive attention.
“This is a great opportunity to showcase all the restaurants in Central Falls,” says LRI Executive Director Mike Ritz. “Hopefully this will give people the opportunity to explore Central Falls, all the while getting something good to eat." According to Ritz, many of the restaurants partaking in the event are small, Mom and Pop operations that embody the small business ideals central to the economic rebuilding process. Governor Chafee will be speaking at El Paisa Restaurant on Dexter Street on Saturday, October 20 in support of the event as well.
More information will be available through the Dine Central Falls Facebook page as the date approaches. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be part of something memorable – and delicious.