Popular Amanda's Pantry offers no-frills food, good prices
It’s been more than a year now since Amanda’s Pantry moved a half mile down Main Street to a spiffy, new location at 37 Beach St., and clearly the popular eatery never skipped a beat.
They’re still serving the same dishes to the same customers — omelets, pancakes, French toast, Philly cheese steak grinders, and turkey, bacon and avocado wraps, to name just a few — and attracting the usual seniors, young mothers with toddlers and babies, and business folks on their way to work or out for lunch.
Amanda’s is a place where everyone feels welcomed and comfortable, and the food is so basic, so simple, it’s just about impossible to mess up.
We went twice on weekdays, once for breakfast and then again for lunch. Both times the place was busy, but we were able to find a seat.
For lunch, we tried the Chef’s Salad ($8.95) which arrived on a bed of crisp, cold Romaine with cucumbers, shredded carrots, and spirals of rolled ham, turkey and provolone. There was supposed to be a hard-boiled egg, and when we pointed out that it was missing, our waitress readily went and got a quartered egg to add to the plate.
We dressed the salad with blue cheese dressing, and it was fine, but nothing extraordinary.
Our other choice was the Chicken Caesar Wrap ($8.95), which was stuffed with warm, breaded chicken tenders, Romaine, and dressing. It was good but, again, nothing to rush back for.
We had a similar experience at breakfast. The food we ordered was perfectly fine, nothing about it flashy or special, but more on the pedestrian side.
This is not a criticism of Amanda’s Pantry, because the establishment is popular, with a loyal local following and steady stream of customers. Yelp reviews are mostly favorable, and several diners pointed out the casual atmosphere and affordable prices as big pluses.
At breakfast, we ordered a vegetable omelet with a side of sausage and blueberry pancakes. The omelet was good — the vegetables prepared al dente — and the sausage a decent portion. The pancakes were average, made with frozen blueberries and served with a little tub of butter, but given the prices — both meals were under $10 — and the quick and efficient service, we were satisfied.
Nearly every table was full on both of our visits to Amanda’s, although a second, spacious dining area was closed. We were told they open it on weekends, when the crowd is out the door waiting for tables.
Breakfast seemed to be the preferred meal choice even when we visited at lunch time. At tables around us, people were eating French toast and Greek omelets, and something called the Pancake Sandwich — ham, egg and cheese between two pancakes — in the early afternoon.
Westerly is a very busy place these days, and will be even more so as the weather heats up, with crowds heading to the Rhode Island shore. If you’re there, consider a visit to Amanda’s Pantry to refuel before visiting Misquamicut or Watch Hill.
37 Beach St., Westerly
Cuisine: No-frills, diner-like food
Service: Waitstaff is attentive and cordial
Hours: Monday to Saturday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays 6 to 1:30.
Atmosphere: The interior is homey, with whimsical sayings adorning the walls. Our only complaint: the screech of metal chair legs scraping on the floor every time someone moves their seat.
Prices: The menu on their Facebook page appears to be outdated, but nothing at Amanda's Pantry is more than $10, with most items in the $6 to $9 range.
Credit cards: Yes
Handicapped access: Everything is on one level, and there is ample parking.