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Moving to Cape- who are the local CH's?

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  • hzp Jan 19, 2009 06:07 AM
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Hi, I'm moving from Phoenix and the very active Southwest Board to the Cape.... seems like a lot of posts are tourist related, so I'd love to know how the local CH'ers are!

Although I've been on cape a zillion times... where are the absolutes that I should visit? (don't be afraid to include providence and boston in there).

So hi!

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  1. hzp,

    Keep an out for the "cape cod guy" on this subject. That guy knows the cape food scene like no one else on the cape.

    1. When you go to the Cape, you must get to the Ocean House in Dennisport! It's so good! It's beautiful inside too. Great views of the ocean from their grand room! All white and beige decor! Lovely!!

      1. Here's a lthread that should help get you started & ppmaysa is right, CapeCodGuy is The Man!

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/444486

        And here's CapeCodGuy's thread on Worst on The Cape;
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/383374

        It's worthy of noting that whilst "Best" has but 38 replies; "Worst" has 84!
        Diners have a plethora of tourist traps to avoid so let's leave them to all to the invading hordes of Yankee's fans.

        Harp

        10 Replies
        1. re: Harp00n

          I also share my enthusiasm for Ocean House. Their 3 course off season menu is 25.00 USD. The price is unbeatable considering quality of food, waitstaff and the views. There is even valet parking.

          Girardi's on 902 Main in S. Yarmouth is very good with consistency all around.

          Jerk Cafe on 28 in S. Yarmouth has authentic jerk chicken and a friendly Jamaican chef/owner.

          Mercantile in Dennis Village has great soups and sandwiches as well as cookies and treats.

          Abba in Orleans is a favorite with a very creative menu.

          We used to love Tera Luna in Truro but it's been a few years since I have been back.

          The Mews, Fanzini's and Ross's Grill are all great in P Town. The Portuguese Bakery is a must.

          I love Common Ground in Hyannis for a funky fun lunch.

          Golden Fountain on W. Main in Hyannis IMHO has the best Chinese mid Cape.

          George's Pizza in Harwichport has authentic Greek style pies and a darn good dressing on their Greek Salad.

          Enjoy..if you need a dining buddy and I am on Cape pop me a note

          1. re: Harp00n

            Thank you both ppmaysa and Harp for the kind words. There are some other very knowlegable people here whose opinions you can rely on. Phelana and Capeyearounder are two that come to mind. I concur with Phelana's recs below although I'm not as hot for Gerge's greek style pizza as she is. I much prefer Palio's on Main in Hyannis.

            I'd also add Misaki in Hyannis for terrific sushi and Japanese, although the location is a bit funky. The fish is the best you will ever find. Tomatoes in Sandwich has consistantly excellent upscale Italian. The Regatta in Cotuit is fabulous for that special night out.

            1. re: CapeCodGuy

              What do you find funky about the Misaki location? It is right off a main road, and restaurant itself is clean and nicely appointed....nicer in fact than what it had been under previous owners. Great sushi, one of my favorites!

              1. re: jillian

                Perhaps funky isn't the right word, but it's not a "typical" restauarant setting and certainly its ambience is not the attraction. The space is in the back of an older commercial building with no curb appeal. Inside is indeed quite clean, but rather plain. I heartily recommend the food, but the space itself is not special in any way.

                1. re: jillian

                  Its really dark out front. They need to light it up. Everytime we go there I think it would be the ideal spot to get mugged! Not that I want to get mugged, but you know what I mean. aside from that the sushi is awesome and cheaper than Inaho.

                  1. re: capecodvegan

                    Agreed...but your nick confuses.....a vegan who eats sushi?! :-)

                    1. re: CapeCodGuy

                      Misaki has sushi or can make sushi w.o meat ...daikon, cukes, avo, carrots...

                      1. re: CapeCodGuy

                        seaweed salad, cucumber and avocado roll, portobello rolls and veggie hand rolls no spicy sauce.

                        1. re: CapeCodGuy

                          Agree. BFH is awesome and the Marshside is such a disappointment.

                    2. re: CapeCodGuy

                      CCG,
                      Your modesty, as they say, is commendable but The Hounds on both the N.E. & Boston boards know those who are the firsts among equals.

                      Harp

                  2. Not from the Cape now, but I grew up in Falmouth and visit often. What part of the Cape will you be going to? It's a pretty long place.over 70 miles from canal to P-town

                    1. thanks, guys. appreciate the advice.

                      I'm with you on misaki... love the place, and don't get the touristy attraction to Inaho. I've had some decent sushi at Noble House, but nothing to write home about.

                      Will be missing, greatly, my chinese delivery.... only one or two places on cape that I bother with, so suggestions are welcome.

                      I did Heather in October with friends, and we liked it, though the bread selection was a bit odd.

                      I think George's is ok. Love the originality of ABBA... Will definitely have to do Ocean House. Perhaps we can do a chowhound meetup there!

                      Ill be in Harwich, but I'm in Hyannis a lot....

                      phelana , you are so on.

                      thanks guys! keep suggesting!

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: hzp

                        I've never heard Inaho described as touristy, and consider it anything but. It's true that the space is more upscale than any other sushi/Japanese restaurant on Cape, so touristy is not what comes to my mind. Some here have had service complaints but in my many visits I've never experienced anything to complain about.

                        For a change of pace, Embargo does a nice job with a Spanish tapas menu. It's really a super deal on Tuedsay nights with all tapas at 1/2 price.

                        Colombo's Cafe, also on Main Street in Hyannis, is great new addition to the local restaurant scene. Same owner as The Roadhouse, it puts out simple yet high quality Italian fare at a fair price with most entrees under 20 bucks. Good mix of pasta, seafood, pizza, sandwiches, and salads. They also have a decent pastry case, gelato bar, and cappuchino. It's a comfortable and contemprory space that feels very cozy. Worth patronizing.

                        1. re: CapeCodGuy

                          Hi CCG,
                          "Real' roadhouses being one of our favorite venues, can you tell me a little/give us your take on The Roadhouse?

                          Harp

                          1. re: Harp00n

                            Hey Harp,
                            Not a "real" roadhouse, but they do have music with Jazz on Monday nights in their Bistro room and also on the weekends at the piano bar. Although I'm not as high as many others on the boards regarding the food, it CAN be very good. The menu is certainly varied, with many sandwiches, salads, pizza and appetizers, plus entrees that go up into the high $30s and beyond. I really like the space which is warm and cozy, broken up into several rooms so one can go dressy or very casual and not feel out of place. I really like the bar area. My problem is that it can be inconsistant. I ate there with 2 others a fews ago and although my fellow diners enjoyed their meals, my sides were both overcooked and stone cold, not a good combination. I expect more when paying $35 for an entree. I will admit, that more times than not, the food is good and worth a visit. Here's a link: http://www.roadhousecafe.com/index.php

                            1. re: CapeCodGuy

                              CCG,
                              Thanks for the link and it does look warm and inviting. I will probably take it for a spin when next visiting DA & DU and report back.. I noticed on your profile Ophelia's by the Bay on Sarasota Keywhere we've had several terrific meals of the course of years but not recently. Is it still as good/ Then I also noted the Chateau in Waltham, yikes! The doggedly blue-hair factor there makes my skin crawl.

                              Thanks again,
                              Harp

                              BTW, I'd hold off a bit in implementing your CCG-EBay scheme until OBama Nation mania subsides a bit :-)

                              1. re: Harp00n

                                Harp,
                                Had the extreme pleasure of eating Ophelia's food twice just this past fall. The first was a table for four on a Saturday night and the food, wine and spot is still top notch. The second time was a surprise as they catered a wedding we attended. The food was available in stations and at least a dozen different tapas style bites were passed throughout the evening. Really outstanding fare.

                                My Chateau experience goes back to my childhood in Waltham in the late 60s/early 70s when there were many different Italian joints in a town filled with Italian immigrants. The Chateau was the go-to joint in town then. Nowhere else could you go and get a first rate Veal Parm sandwich AND a decent whole belly clam roll for lunch. Haven't been in decades....blue hairs you say? bummer.

                                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                  CCG,
                                  I was a little harsh in using "skin crawl" and tried to edit to 'itchy", along with "Siesta Key" not "Sarasota Key" but couldn't get the edits to take :-(
                                  Since you're from Waltham, where I was born BTW, I sure sure you'll remember the late, lamented, by some, Cottage Crest. It's the same clientele. The Chateau, obviously, still has its fans for their large portions and reasonable prices and have expanded to at least two additional locations. But for me, great toasted raviolis or no, it just ain't enough reason to spend anytime at a mezza, mezza red sauce heaven.

                                  Harp

                      2. Since I commute to Boston, we don't always dine on Cape but some of the places we like that haven't been mentioned are:
                        Vining's Bistro in Chatham
                        Blu in Mashpee Commons
                        The Dophin in Barnstable Village

                        For breakfasts- The Mills in Marston Mills; the Marshland in Sandwich and Grumpy's in Dennis

                        We love Abba. It is one of the few places on Cape that you can get spicy food. For Chinese we cook at home!
                        Admittedly we only tried the Ocean House once but the tables were so crammed in the wait staff could barely get to the table. We keep meaning to go off season to see if it is a seaonal thing.

                        The Boston board is very active so any questions you have can be answered there. For Providence, I have a friend from cooking school who owns a place so that is where we go.

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                          I must concu with many of the posters:
                          Ocean House in Dennisport (esp. off-season)
                          Vining's Bistro in Chatham
                          The Dolphin " "

                          I also like The Impudent Oyster in Chatham, George's Pizza in Harwichport (the best crust! I even eat the "pizza bones" it's so good), Wicked Oyster (Wellfleet), Blackfish (Truro), and Ross' Grille in P-town. Never eaten at The Red Inn...does anyone know if it is worth it? It sure is a beautiful spot.

                          I also love the Sesuit Harbor Cafe for breakfast outdoors in the summer with a killer view. Also The Marshside in East Dennis...just good home cooking, great for breakfast or lunch, although I've never had dinner there. Been going there since I was a kid, so maybe it's a sentimental favorite.

                          On of my VERY favorites is the Brewster Fish House on Rt 6A. Love it!!! It's small and they take no reservations (well, maybe for 6 or more).

                          1. re: ciclista

                            Yes! Brewster Fish House is one of the very best the Cape has to offer, Great rec.

                            The Marshside in East Dennis is no longer however. Oh, it's still there, and even has the same owners (plus a new partner) but was leveled last year and replaced by a beautiful multi million dollar stucture. The room is now gorgeaous with huge windows affording a view of the marsh and Quivet Creek, but gone is the homespun food. It's now serving up typically bad, overpriced tourist fare that no one should go out of their way for. Sad.

                            1. re: CapeCodGuy

                              I agree CCG. ( Don't you just love the fact that now you're known as CCG) The Marshside was our favorite stop for many years and we eagerly awaited the opening of the new place. The place is beautiful but your right-on regarding the food. A total letdown and the portions are smaller. Jee Wez, they even got rid of Waldo!! Now their closed for the winter, when in the past some of their best deals were during the winter. Oh well, that progress!!!

                              1. re: ppmaysa

                                CCG huh?...lol....maybe I'll have to make up some t-shirts and hawk them on Ebay :-)

                            2. re: ciclista

                              ooh, good suggestions. LOVE sesuit, impudent oyster, wicked oyster and brewster fish house... all highlights.

                              1. re: hzp

                                Hole in One for donuts and breakfast in general.

                                Agree on Sesuit Harbor Cafe

                                Friendly Fisherman in Heastham - BEST lobster rolls on the Cape!

                                1. re: bpjacks

                                  welcome soon...Jillian and I thought it might be fun to have all the Cape Cod Chowhounds meet for a dinner at say, The Port. She and I have not been. When do you move here, H? I am on Cape all of Feb. Anyone else keen?

                                  1. re: phelana

                                    I'm in! I have been to The Port, several times a few years ago. I really liked it.

                                    1. re: ciclista

                                      Ciclista , great..how can we communicate ..is there a way here??

                                      What is another spot we can try?? I will let Jillian chime in as to a new place she has yet been. I prefer Mid Cape between Hyannis and Brewster as I hate the cold...sorry, my blood is Caribbean blue now..haa

                                      1. re: phelana

                                        If we are introducing someone new to the chowhound scene in the winter, I propose The Ocean House...not new to me or many on this board, but the prix fixe special is too good to pass up!

                                        1. re: jillian

                                          Thanks. I need an address

                                          -----
                                          Ocean House Restaurant
                                          425 Old Wharf Rd, Dennis Port, MA 02639

                                    2. re: phelana

                                      The Port's closed for the winter. It reopens in April I believe.

                                2. re: ciclista

                                  The Red Inn is worth it! BFH is the best.

                              2. Can recommend 3 places where we've recently had excellent meals -- in the off season.

                                All the chinese places on Cape are roughly the same, with one exception -- Asia in Mashpee Commons. They have more than just chinese. Dishes that are good, and not found on other local menus: Yeung Yang beef -- tender, and stir fried with green beans and fresh cilantro. Clay Pot curry. Satay -- they get a bit of char on their satays, and that adds flavor. One caution: I'm no fan of "sushi" made with the fake, cooked crab meat -- very sad to see, not my taste at all. Other sushi as good as Inaho or Misaki.

                                Four of us ate at Five Bays Bistro in Osterville -- 4 excellent appetizers, 4 excellent dinners. It is a city-like experience and culinary standard. Go now because it can be near impossible to get a reservation at a good time during the summer.

                                Siena is a reliable choice for Italian in Mashpee. Big menu, all kinds of people in there, but you will find some true italian specialties not so common on the Cape -- examples -- Osso Buco; a very rich authentic Bolognese sauce correctly matched with tagliatelle pasta. Wine list has great prices. wait staff can make a very good cappucino -- another thing that is sadly not so common on the cape.

                                1. I like 5 Bays in Osterville too. Columbo's on main street Hyannis is good. I like Naked Oyster in Hyannis but I think its too expensive. Keepers in Osterville is a seasonal place on the water and its pretty darn good for the price, its got a fun crowd BUT... I hear its for sale right now so who knows what it will be doing this coming summer. Sweet Tomatoes is great pizza. I love Bangkok Cuisine In Hyannis or Dennis (I believe they are now 2 different owners) food is good and fresh and owners of both are very nice and accommodating (I have food allergies so I'm more difficult to feed). I also like the Brewster Fish House.

                                  I go to Baxters on Hyannis Harbor but the food is not so great but has great views. Someone tell me why there are very few places in Hyannis with waterviews or decks and good food?

                                  1. hey all... i'm there next week! i'm totally psyched to meet local CH'rs.... meet it up! i'm down for the chinese place in mashpee (chinese is always a good sell) , Ocean House or anyplace else you suggest! As long as its not mexican, because you know. point of reference:)

                                    in AZ, we keep an offline googlegroup for posting stuffs that would get kicked off here. the mod lets us just let everyone know an event is happening and where to get info. facebook is another option. u guys on twitter?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: hzp

                                      I am on twitter, same nic but am off Cape. Bummer. What dates are on in town?

                                    2. I grew up here. Here are my faves:

                                      Abba is the best restaurant on the Cape. The food, atmosphere and service are all top notch.
                                      Other favorites include:
                                      Brewster Fish House
                                      Peddlers Cafe (very well kept secret) in Brewster
                                      Inaho has the best sushi on the Cape
                                      Sweet Tomatoes has the best thin crust wood fired pizza
                                      Mahoney's in Orleans - great atmosphere, food and service
                                      Andale in Harwich for the best chips and salsa and Patron margaritas!
                                      Joe's Pub had a fun menu and vibe, live music some nights
                                      Blue Moon Bistro in Dennis
                                      Red Pheasant in Dennis (even though they will not make a vegan meal, even if you call ahead)
                                      Land Ho in Orleans has great stuffed quahogs
                                      Had a great salad and the best sweet potato fries at Scargo Cafe in Dennis
                                      Sienna in Mashpee
                                      Bleu in Mashpee
                                      Keepers in Osterville
                                      The Mews in ptown
                                      Harvest Gallery and Wine Bar in Dennis
                                      Bangkok Thai in Dennis
                                      Jo Mamas for great bagels and smoothies, Orleans
                                      Pain D'avignon in Hyannis for lunch
                                      Red Cottage in Dennis for breakfast
                                      Albertos for Italian in Hyannis
                                      Ghirardis also for Italian

                                      Bon appetit!

                                      1. The Marshside stinks now!

                                        1. I'm here! lets DO this thing!!!

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: hzp

                                            I wish to piggy back Vegan to agree and add comment

                                            Abba - great when I went twice

                                            Peddlers Cafe - if this is the one near Fosters Sq down the road, PHOOEY...if not I apologize..Jillian can comment
                                            Inaho has the best sushi on the Cape- agree with Misaki

                                            Andale in Harwich for the best chips and salsa and Patron margaritas! - I know the owners but its hit or miss here and the plastic cups and utensils..cannot seem to get into it..great staff..

                                            Blue Moon Bistro in Dennis - Miss Contrast..cannot get into this one..

                                            Red Pheasant in Dennis (even though they will not make a vegan meal, even if you call ahead) -agreed on the spot

                                            Had a great salad and the best sweet potato fries at Scargo Cafe in Dennis - great salad and grapenut pudding..can't love this place tho

                                            The Mews in ptown - yup
                                            Harvest Gallery and Wine Bar in Dennis - FAB raw bar during the "r" months
                                            Bangkok Thai in Dennis - good
                                            Jo Mamas for great bagels and smoothies, Orleans

                                            Red Cottage in Dennis for breakfast - yuck

                                            Ghirardis also for Italian - LOVE Girardis for sure..

                                            Smugglers for Ice Cream and Mercantile for great soups and sandwiches..

                                            1. re: phelana

                                              I am about to say that which will apparently get me marked for life here on the Cape.

                                              There is no Mexican food on Cape Cod.

                                              No... I will not dignify Andale or El Guapo or the Burrito place my friends talk about by giving them even a loose link to the homeland they claim. I've tried them, and came just this side short of calling the police and filing a warrant.

                                              Now, I don't get oysters in Phoenix and don't wouldn't think of comparing the pale approximations of clam chowder to what's found here, but people in Phoenix make do. They have no reference point. The same is true here. I've accepted that I'll simply have to patiently wait for when I'm visiting Phoenix to indulge in some down and dirty street tacos.

                                              On the upside.... i did bring with me my tortilla press, my tamale pot and if I can find masa.... I'm all up for mass production days at my place. I also have been bribed to bring back carne asada by the metric ton whenever I fly Phoenix> Providence... so we'll have to celebrate spring with a legit Fiesta at my abode. Real margaritas (which never include Patron), chips & guac...

                                              1. re: hzp

                                                hzp, when can we meet.....twitter me / phelana

                                                Andale is owned by a really nice Mexican man...I just can't love it.....I had amazing Mexican out of a truck in the Gorge in Oregon..what a to die for meal...

                                                1. re: hzp

                                                  Agreed....real margaritas aren't made with Patron! Best with Sauza Conmemorativo or Hornitos for me.

                                                  1. re: ciclista

                                                    I have been to exactly one place on the Cape that makes a margarita on a par with what I've had in Mexico. Siena in Mashpee -- with Herradura Reposado Tequila, and fresh lime juice. That's the brand, and the type, that you see a lot at good places in Mexico.

                                                    It seems strange that an Italian place would care to make a good margarita -- maybe it's because there aren't any good Italian cocktails.

                                                2. re: phelana

                                                  I like Red Cottage because they are one of the few breakfast places that have healthy choices, unlike Grumpy's who looked at me like I had ten heads when I asked for an apple!

                                                  1. re: phelana

                                                    Asia's seaweed salads are huge!

                                                3. Just signed on recently,, enjoying the site,,This is a good time over next few months to check places out gonna be interesting season down here,,,alot have been noted Enjoy chow.