A swell blog called Small Bites (“spices and stories from local eateries in the smallest state”) alerted us to the Stanleyburger, a crisp-edged patty customarily grilled with onions and served with pickle chips. While bigger than slider-sized, Stanleyburgers are small enough that we highly recommend a double or two, preferably with cheese, maybe also with mushrooms, bacon, and tomato.
French fries are crisp and flavorful, available plain, topped with cheese or chili or Quebec-style, here meaning smothered with mozzarella shreds and dark gravy, a version of poutine.
Stanley’s offers milk shakes, including the Rhode Island preference, coffee shakes, as well as the official state drink, coffee milk; and it has a beer and wine license, too. For dessert, the local favorite is Grape-Nuts pudding.
When it opened in the Blackstone Valley during the Great Depression, Stanley’s was all about inexpensive burgers. It still is, but today’s menu also includes fried seafood, an assortment of sandwiches, and even a summer-Fridays-only lobster salad roll.