As someone who now considers himself a "Providence Local" (although most Rhode Islanders define locals as someone who has been here at least 10 or 11 generations)
I have to defend their position at # 3.
I know from a Roadfood perspective, Rhode Island is all about Hot Weiners, Clam Shacks and Pizza Strips, but if you ask a majority of Rhode Islanders, they will defer the clam shacks to the tourists and claim that Providence and Rhode Island in general has a large and significant burger culture.
As a recent Rhode Island transplant I had to respond to this. I have had TERRIBLE luck finding any decent burgers in Rhode Island at all!
I have tried lots of them, from diners to pubs and have had trouble even finding a burger that wasnt made from a frozen patty. :( I've traveled pretty extensively and would rate Rhode Island as the worst burger state I have been to based on my current experience
I made the trip to Stanleys under recommendations from this site and was very disappointed. My burger was very well done to the point of crumbling. When I do find a fresh patty in this area? It seems like burning it is the standard!
I plan on making a trip to the place in Warwick you recommend soon but PLEASE help me out with some other places to get a delicious juicy cheeseburger! My arteries are becoming less and less clogged by the minute.
I share your pain, however unlike you, my negative experiences were in Los Angeles and San Diego
I went to the holy trinity of burger joints , In and Out
and the Apple Pan
and my experiences ranged from
"ordinary" to "nasty" to "I liked the sauce". Hodad's
in San Diego was a monstrosity of a sandwich but I'm convinced a hockey puck would have had more the flavor that the burger that was in that sandwich, the only way I knew that the burger was there was because I could "feel" the consistency.
Anyway, I've always been more fond of the "bar style" burger vs the "slider" variety. Interesting that you mentioned your thoughts about Stanley's being too well done. I don't recall every enjoying a slider anywhere that wasn't.
I don't eat out much locally, but there are some excellent burgers to be had here in Rhode Island
My favorite, which I've mentioned previously is
1- Ward's Publick House
- Warwick RI- the Erin Burger (with real Irish Bacon) is amazing, and you can get your burger rare, medium rare or however you like. I've had burgers all over the country- and this ranks up with the best.
2- Gillian's Ale House
- North Kingstown- a file solid chili burger
3- Mudville Pub-
Newport- Just ask any Rhode Islander about their burgers- what's even better is that they're located right across from Cardine's Field- where the Collegiate Wood Bat baseball team the Newport Gulls play. I love the blue cheese burger here
4. Fat Belly's -
East Greenwich- more sports bar than Irish Pub- they are best known for their burgers.
One place I haven't been too which is on my hit list, my friends have raved about Rare Burger Bar
in North Providence.
Where do you live in Rhode Island?
If you get to Ward's
please let me know, I'd be happy to join you for a meal