Just got back from Provincetown
- MB fka MB Jul 24, 2006 03:03 PM
Clem and Ursie's? WAAAAAY overrated. Born and raised on the upper Cape, I decided to try the buttered lobster roll (rather than lobster salad). It was so atrociously bad I had to send it back. Really. Old dried out meat that tasted FISHY! Bad, bad, bad. Fries were soggy and tasted of an old batch of oil. Kale soup was only decent. The only decent dish: steamers were great and tasted super fresh. The other highlight was good service (certainly beyond my expectations for such a place).
Lobster Pot. Average. Reminds me of all the 'eh' places along the Cape. A couple of dishes done well, and the rest just, well, eh. You really need to know what to order (locals had sent us there). Dinner one night we tried the oysters rockefeller (good), clams casino (not at all worth it, poor balance of flavors, a bit dried out, clams were tiny). The 'award winning' clam chowder may be the worst I've ever had in a restaurant. Barely any clams at all, it really was a potato chowder. Two of us had the pan-sauteed or roasted lobster that comes split with a butter-based sauce. Great flavors, I quite liked this dish, though wouldn't go back for it. Friend had a lobster pasta dish and complained that the lobster flavor was overwhelmed by the other ingredients.
We did go back a second time for the oysters rockefeller (not the best I've had, but a tasty rendition nonetheless) and also tried the blackened tuna sashimi. The tuna was good, not a ton of flavor, but the sauces (a wasabi and a beurre blanc) were a nice touch. Served with shredded carrot and daikon that had clearly been exposed to air for far too long. These two dishes and a couple of beers may be the way to go.
The Portuguese Bakery. One of the grill men was making an egg sandwich. I told him I wanted 'one of those' (it was for him). Fried egg, a super flavorful, salty piece of ham, white american cheese on a soft Portuguese bulkie roll. He adds a slice of tomato for his version. Mmmmm.
Bubala's. Two visits. Lobster salad roll is a decent value. Toasted hot dog roll, a handful of fries, for about $11. GREAT service at the bar (Mya, IIRC) and a good bloody mary. Second visit we had the steamers, nicely done with a bit of garlic and parsley (perhaps a whisper of white wine?). We also tried the fried calamari which were cooked perfectly, well seasoned batter, light and not at all greasy. Fresh oil. The aoili is a bit too much like ranch dressing and a different dipping sauce would have been far better. We preferred the calamari plain with lots of lemon. Ended up with hot buttered lobster rolls instead of lobster salad. Disappointing until we added mayo and a bit of onion. Service on the second visit was rather poor, our only bad service experience during our entire visit. This place is essentially just bar and grill/pub food, but the quality seemed pretty good.
The Lobster Pot makes the worst clam chowder I've ever had. No flavor, and its consistency is just gross--it's thickened way too much.
The Portuguese Bakery, mentioned in the original post is a great place for a very reasonable lunch. They offer a traditional bifana sandwich (Portuguese pork) that is excellent and also a number of savory pastries.
I couldn't agree more about the Lobster Pot, particularly the gross chowder. But I should also say that non-hounds LOVE it! There's just something about a big gloppy mess that seems to appeal to lots of Americans.
For amazing chowder go to Moby Dicks in Wellfleet and for a fabulous upscale dinner in P-town, Chester is terrific!
Oh, I am notorious among my circle of acquaintainces for the reaction I once gave to that Lobster Pot clam chowder: noticing that it formed soft peaks (I kid you not, this is no exaggeration), I declared "This is inedible" but the waitress insisted that their customers loved that consistency. Whatever. The Lobster Pot remains my lodestar for explaining how *never* to make clam chowder. Atrocious.
re: Karl S
That was the same experience - people raving and me just saying well, sorry, but this is horrible. I mean, growing up in the area, there's something to be said for some of the comfort food seafood dishes around, like baked stuffed lobster. It's not fine dining, but can be quite fine. But this was just wretched.
On the way back out we saw that the parking lot at Moby Dick's was mobbed. Will have to try that another time.
Back in the day we used to go to Bailey's Surf and Turf in Wareham, but it's the same kind of place. A fine place for local 'comfort' seafood dishes, but order wrong and you're in big trouble!
Don't be put off by the appearance of Moby Dick's parking lot. Their ordering and seating system is very efficient. If you can squeeze in the lot (there's always some room) you'll be eating sooner than you think.
Oh, I love Provincetown. You should have gone to Sal's. I'm a New Yorker but my favorite restaurant in the world is Sal's! Amazing Italian.
I hate Lobster Pot, tourist trap.
Clem and Ursies is just good for a quick lunch. I'd go by and get tuna or swordfish sandwiches to go and eat at the lake in Wellfleet. What great memories!
Bubala's has AMAZING mussels. A local had told me about it and after that, I kept going back for them.
Actually, the best way to enjoy the Lobster Pot is to grab a seat at the bar, have the bartender mix you up a perfect bloody mary, order an appetizer or two (i esp like the grilled calamari and the tuna app), chat up the other folks at the bar, and then move on for dinner somewhere else.
Bubela's is great for people watching and the food is fine. Won't knock your socks off but is fairly consistent and good.
Ross's Grill is one of my favorites. They've got a great burger at lunchtime and their dinner menu is good too. I had a bite of tuna there recently and I swear, it had to be the best I ever tasted.
Lorraine's is pretty good for upscale Mexican. The tuna tacos are a highlight and it's always fun to get a few margaritas here or a nice cold Mexican beer to wash 'em down with.
For Italian, Ciro & Sal's is pretty good too. It's been there forever and the quality is still there. Again, not the most exceptional Italian you've ever had, but basic standards like linguine w/ clam sauce, chicken marsala, etc plus lots of seafood specials.
Egg sandwiches at the Portuguese bakery ==great.
Assorted sandwiches made to order at Relish in the West End --really good, and perfect to pack in your cooler for the beach.
There are some good finds in P'town, you just need to sift thru some of the tourist traps, that's all.
I second or maybe third Moby Dick is great. The owners are always there and the line does move quickly. Sometimes they send samples of there food out to the line. There is a new place down the street Russ and Marie great place for kids. The food is wonderful he (Russ) is the chef at one time was the chef at the Bookstore (many, many years ago). Just give it a try
I second the recommendation of Ross Grill..travel to Sir Cricket in Orleans for the best lobster roll and good chowder.It is primarily a takeout place but does have four or five tables. The lobster roll makes it worth the trip!