Newport has a deep, rich colonial history. Founded in 1639 by English settlers, Newport grew into one of the most important ports in colonial America, rivaling Boston and New York. Though many of Newport's original homes were destroyed by British troops during the Revolutionary War, there are still some houses and buildings that date back to the late 1600's. Newport is home to the oldest tavern in America (The White Horse Tavern, established in 1673), the oldest surviving synagogue in America (Touro Synagogue, completed in 1763), and....whatever the heck this thing is:
Rogers High School, and our mascot was a Viking. I'm going with the Viking theory.
One of my favorite buildings in all of Newport is the Colony House, the fourth oldest statehouse still standing in the United States. It was built in the 1730's and sits proudly at the top of Washington Square.
I remember visiting the Colony House many times as an elementary and junior high school student in Newport. I really appreciate how our teachers made sure we got to enjoy and learn about the treasures in our hometown. We would go to see historical reenactments of important events, or just tour one of the mansions that dotted historic Bellevue Avenue. When out on field trips, we'd sometimes stop and eat our bag lunches in Queen Anne Square, gazing up the hill at the majestic Trinity Church:
There are so many cool things about Newport, and this is just a small taste of my hometown. And speaking of small taste...(nice segway, no?)
...One of my favorite food memories of Newport is going to Brick Alley Pub, a Thames Street-institution popular with both tourists and locals alike.
I'd pretty much only order one thing when I went to Brick Alley Pub, and that was their "breakfast of champions." I'm not talking about pancakes or Wheaties, my friends. The "breakfast of champions" is a platter of their Ultimate Nachos, a heaping helping of tortilla chips covered with cheese, refried beans, salsa, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, scallions, olives, and jalapenos. In fact, these nachos and my Auntie Beth are forever tied together in my mind, because I remember going there with her countless times as a kid and just gorging myself with nachos and Coca-Cola. Ahhhh, those were the days!
In honor of my favorite Newport treat, I created my own platter of nachos, which I proclaim as the "Dinner of Vegan Champions."
guacamame, and a new recipe from Appetite for Reduction, Unfried Refried Beans. The toasted and crushed coriander seeds really elevated the flavor of the beans to something extraordinary!
Along with a nice cold beer, these nachos were a special treat for a Sunday evening dinner. Nachos, beer, and football - what could be more American than that?!