Been here many times. I love the atmosphere, and clothing. I went out of my way to spend money here since it opened, actually.
I haven't been back in months since my last weird experience here, though. The resident St. Bernard was lounging in front of the dollar sale rack. I stepped around this dog so I could browse the rack. This usually (?) docile creature stood up and head butted me. WTF? I understand wanting to spend time with your pet, but there is a time and a place for that. I also have a friend who has complained of the "grumpy" dog there before I was bum rushed by it.
I love dogs, but it shows a lack of respect for your customers when you house a huge dog like that in your store that you have to warn customers about. And by "warn", I mean just stay away from the huge dog, because he will head butt you unprovoked.
This is a killer "woman's" boutique. I drive by this storefront often to get home after work. I try to stop in as often as I can. When I "can" is when I have some money to burn (RARELY), or when I get an unidentified ringing consciousness that Bananas might have some cute new articles of clothing. Either way, I am always glad for my visit. All of the clothing pieces are SUPER cute and have a rare "this shirt just came from some new designer in L.A. who only does organic cotton and easily got Lindsay Lohan to be the face of her clothing line." This IS rare for the East coast, yet if you look deeper, there is more heart and soul in this boutique than it lets on. The owner is un-east-coastily kind and friendly (she's from texas). And the clothes are very high quality. Although it is a small space and a small amount of time goes by between my visits, I always find new awesome things I want in here. Long live Bananas!
Long story short: This was the only job I could get as a kid in high school. I will never work retail again, and I hated cleaning up after careless middle aged ladies, but we did have fun working here. Going back as an adult with a (rented) home, it is invaluable. Loooooove it!
My absolute number one Chinese restaurant on the west side! General tso's, sweet and sour chicken... they have the best entrees. I will even go as far to say that they have interesting and authentic dishes, as I saw my man eat a frog soup in one sitting (bones an all).
The host and hostesses alone are so friendly it makes me want to come back again and again! These dishes are fast and even CHEAP comparatively. Call in and order take out for at-home dining!
I really hope to educate local coffee enthusiasts with this review:
If you have a decent palette: don't buy coffee here! (duh) If, alternately, you care about buying a hip "image" that is carrying a green straw, DON'T COME HERE.
Providence is a such an eclectic, booming, artful city; there are so many locally born coffee shops that offer delicious variety. I've known (and been related to!) very hardworking young folks who've work for starbucks. This makes it even more easy for me to say that this company is pragmatic and manipulative in it's recipes and image for serving "good" coffee, and abusing it's workers.
1. Starbucks can't even guarantee it's products are from certified fair trade coffee growers.
2. The origins of their coffee are.. questionable? I know for a fact they have their beans sitting on shelves for MONTHS. The local independent cafe in Providence? From working for/patronizing many of them, I know their beans have been roasted within the month (or less).
3. I've heard first-hand horror stories of the company's "corporate" terminating and penalizing workers unfairly.
4. Their espresso machines are super-automatic, meaning they press a button and nasty diarrhea espresso comes out. Espresso should be very manual. The beans should be ground, tamped, extracted and added to milk as you order your latte! If you've tasted a truly artisanal latte you will never go back.
5. Starbucks is full of crowded tables, slow internet, and impersonal/ miserable employees. If you want an environment to study/do work/ surf the internet; there are locally sustainable cafes all around you!
I came here and bought what appears to be a decent sofa. However, the sales people in the main showroom walked around useless. A sales woman stared me down and made me feel uneasy. I asked her if they sold futons and she told me "No. No." No effort to help me at all, since it was my first time there.
The associate in the back who was supposed to take my sofa out to our truck was very rude. We waited with out truck outside while he flirted with some woman, made snide remarks when we asked about getting our couch, and kept saying "You guys must reallllllly be in a hurry." I was mortified when my boyfriend confronted him and the two got very heated! They finally rolled the couch through a back room we couldn't see, and we are 85% sure he spit on my new leather sofa. There was a large wet spot that wasn't there before...
Waited months for Gourmet House to reopen!
Finally went to the newly opened Gourmet House and here's the honest truth:
Gourmet House had been the best place for price, portion, and service in Chinese food on the east side. The newly renovated decor looks like an awful Olive Garden. The new owners are the same as Aspsara's Palace on Hope Street, from which what I gather is not the GOOD Apsaras but merely the branch off who is on a lower tier and hires terrible employees who get fired from the original one.
The new Gourmet House has terrible food, awful service (I waited at a table for 20 minutes before water glasses were even offered, while the restaurant was practically empty).
If you're a fan of the OLD Gourmet House do NOT expect the wonderful food and service you're used to while going back now.