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Provincetown report

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Thanks to all who have posted many recommendations for Provincetown chow. My boyfriend and I have been before for short weekend trips, but this time we wrote down the names of a few places with high marks on Chowhound to use as a reference while we were in town for a week. Here's our feedback:

Standard continental breakfast was provided by our B&B. Nothing special, so we decided to venture out one morning to Edwige. Nice atmosphere, creative menu. My boyfriend had strawberry crepes that were amazing. I had scrambled eggs with Andouille sausage and cheese with a fresh croissant on the side. I will definitely go back.

For lunch on the beach, we tried a range of sandwich shops. The wraps at Box Lunch were the worst. We tried two types of chicken salad (curry and mayo-based) at Angel Foods (Commercial Street in East End) and liked both. Far Land Provisions (Bradford at Conwell) has the best sandwiches overall (for both price and taste). One day we rode our bikes down the rail trail and stopped at Cobie's in Brewster. We stuffed ourselves with below-average, way-too-greasy-for-bike-riding food. The fries were tasty, though. We didn't see many other options for lunch near the trail, unfortunately. On the drive home, we stopped at a gourmet market on Main Street in Sandwich (forgot the name) that had delicious sandwiches.

For dinner, we tried to get into Ross's on a Wednesday, but the host told us when we arrived just after 8:00pm that he could not seat us that evening--the wait list was already that long. He was very friendly, not a velvet rope type. Ross's doesn't take reservations. Maybe next time we'll try to get there earlier. We didn't like the looks of Chester, Front Street, or Martin House--probably the food would have been great, but they're too stuffy for a beach vacation, IMHO.

We did make reservations at Napi one night based on recommendations from Chowhound, but we actually walked out of the place after we were seated. It was way too loud, filled with day trippers (not one other same-sex couple in the restaurant), none of the teenaged servers even acknowledged us for the 15 minutes we sat there, and the menu wasn't so inspiring.

We also tried Lorraine's one night based on a recommendation and were very disappointed. My boyfriend had probably the worst sangria I've ever tasted. We sent it back, but we were still charged for it (probably due to Massachusetts' archaic liquor laws). The tequila was good, but the food was not. Everything was overcooked and dry, and the seasoning was off on every dish. Maybe they count on you drinking enough tequila before the meal to forget about how bad the food tastes.

Either Enzo's or Edwige takes the prize for dinner. I took a gamble and ordered the filet at Enzo's and was very pleased. At Edwige, everything from cocktails to dessert was excellent. Great service from the whole staff and very well-prepared fish, including a tasty tuna tartare over diced avacado. Flourless chocolate cake was to die for.

Cafe Heaven was disappointing. I've been before and had decent meals, but this time the place smelled like mildew and the servers were in a bad mood. Bubala's is an old standby--go with a group, order basics, and drink lots of alcohol and you'll have a great time watching everyone walk by on Commercial Street. Karoo Kafe (South African) has a unique combination of tastes on the menu, it's well-prepared (for being billed as "fast food"), and best of all it's cheap. I always go there once per visit.

Overall, Provincetown is blessed with a range of high-quality chow. I'm puzzled as to why there aren't more Asian options (we saw Thai Fusion Bistro and a takeout Chinese place, and Karoo Kafe has samosas, but that's about it). We plan on going back at least once every couple of years as long as we can afford it, so I look forward to reading your thoughts and seeing more reviews on Chowhound before future visits.

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  1. Thanks for the great report. I'll let you know what we find on our visit.

    1. Honestly, mid-August is the WORST time to visit Provincetown. People living and working there are completely overwhelmed by the huge crush of tourists that come in, they're exhausted, and service completely suffers. All of the kitchens are reduced to being assembly lines. I still have nightmares about August nights. The people, they just keep coming in, and they are always so unhappy, and hungry, and the wait times everywhere are crazy, making hungry diners miserable and prone to nastiness and oh, I am so glad I don't live in Provincetown any longer. August is just a nightmare, both for people living there and for people visiting. Not that any of this helps. But you're right about Edwige. It is a delight. Also, all of the problems you found at the places visited might have not happened had you gone to Chester or Front Street. The ambiance in those places are far less "cattle call" than others. And really not stuffy, just a little dressy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hilltowner

        Thanks, I'll be sure to try Chester and/or Front Street on my next visit. You're absolutely right about August--when I've visited even in June or July it's not nearly as hectic.

      2. It's a bit of a walk, but has anyone tried Sal's Place this year? For I guess about 20 years, it has been my solution to the Mid-August craziness. Just far enough off the beaten path and their mastery of shellfish and pasta never waivers.

        Your napi experience reminded me of an ongoing arguement I had with an old girlfriend. It turned into one of my central dining tenets.. Anyplace with 110 items on the menu cannot do justice to them all.

        1 Reply
        1. re: neil

          Just thought I would throw out that I've been going to Napi's for 20+ years, and most recently ate there last Friday night. The food was delicious and the service was excellent. I had the Brazilian cod. I highly recommend it any time of year, but especially in the afternoon in the off-season, when they are open for lunch. Then you will see P-Town at its best!

        2. I have to agree about Napi we tried it once,the server had no clue! as for Martin House being stuffy I can't agree. I had the chance to talk with the owner one time,and the dress code is just about anything from bathing suits to tuxs! That said, I doubt You can get better food anywhere. They had a fois gras appetizer that was to die for! as for Lorraines I could never get them on the phone for reservations!