Eating out vs. cooking in while spending a week on the Outer Cape: always an interesting problem. Quality food is important to me. While I don’t mind cooking, it’s challenging when you don’t have all of your gear and supplies. Plus, this is supposed to be my vacation, too. On the other hand, many of the local restaurants fall into the clam shack category. Great when done well, but so often not. How much fried food can you consume before you explode? Where can I find a vegetable (french fries do not count)? How far do we want to drain the bank account? We compromised and ate at least half of our meals at home. A few bright lights from Clam Shackland:
Mac’s Shack, Wellfleet: The freshest oysters, simply presented. Sushi, jumbo shrimp cocktail. Fun outdoor bar, but we didn’t have reservations, so didn’t stay for dinner.
Captain Cass’s Seafood, Rock Harbor, Orleans: Imagine time traveling to 1930s Cape Cod. The decor, gracious service, and the fact that, like many places on the Cape today, they do not accept credit cards. This place had superb lobster rolls, perfect chowder (made with cream, not flour), and the fish and chips was made from fresh-off-the-boat cod. Because the boat docks right outside the door.
Brewster Coffee Shop, Brewster: We’ve been here several times for breakfast and lunch, all of which is simple, fresh, and terrific. Well-prepared breakfasts; excellent burgers; perfect french fries. In fact, the only fries we were served anywhere on the Cape that were worth every fat calorie.
Provincetown Portuguese Bakery, Provincetown: In the middle of the Commercial Street circus, somehow we always end up here. Super-cheap, super-homey. Portuguese kale soup; bifana sandwich (roast pork with fried egg); a full array of pastries, including Portuguese sweets.
PB Boulangerie, Wellfleet: A French bakery off of Route 6 in Wellfleet. What could be more incongruous? Everyone–but everyone–told us not to miss it. Clearly, everybody else’s friends gave the same advice. We arrived at 8 am and waited 40 minutes for coffee and perfect croissants. Here’s how good it was: not one complaint from the kids. Take my advice: They open at 7.
Last word: Chicken pot pie from Marion’s Pie Shop, Chatham. Get one to take home (with vegetables). It’s a must.