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Places I wish were good...

On Cape Cod

I wish Matacheese was good.. I wish Brax Landing was good...so many oceanfront places that are mediocre at best...

Anthony's has major ad time on WXTK advertising some amazing meals but..is it any good??

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  1. Amen, sister, on Mattachese and Brax. Such a shame.

    1. Love the subject of this post!

      Am not from your area but can totally understand your sentiments. Why have a waterfront place if YOU ARE NOT GOING TO JUST CRUSH IT?! It's as if they spent all their money on real estate and just don't have anything left for the actually, ya know, food service part. We have some of those down here in Fairfield County too...

      1 Reply
      1. re: fcmenutalk

        I agree totally. it's like they know the location will draw, so they don't need to spend on the food. For a coastal region with great maritime history, Fairfield County is surprisingly short on quality waterfront dining.

      2. Its so true. It seems like the better the locale, the lower the expectation. There are a few mid Cape exceptions, Ocean House being the biggest. But it boggles the mind how many waterfront misses there are out there... Brax and Mattakese are the top for sure, Mattakese especially given it's wonderful setting, but Clancy's, Captain Parkers, and Sundancers are all places whose longevity is shocking to me. And it is a wicked shame.

        Good thread topic Phelana.

        1. I would like to throw in the Landfall in Woods Hole to this mix. Great drinks, incredible ambiance. Alas terrible food. But just around the corner the Fish Monger has a surprising menu, and good consistent food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wohord

            I was at Spanky's on Ocean St. Hyannis. I did not eat but the food looked ok. However folks with me were forced to run to the meter and feed quarters. They are all educators or administrators and could not figure out the automated machine..anyway, it's a nice location but the young staff were hit and miss. Waits for drinks. We were also told by the young hostess at 4 PM if were not eating we had to get up from the table. There were about 7 empty tables. In this economy don't folks get it? Agreed on Clancys..such a common place..nothing special. Sundancers does well with the booze..has anyone had lobster or simple fare there?

            1. re: phelana

              I had the 1/2 pound "signature" lobster roll at Sundancers last season. Blechhhh-ptooey!

              I know what you mean about Spanky's. Wanted to try it last season for the first time, but we arrived at 11:00 AM and the hostess wouldn't seat us as B'fast was done and lunch would start for another half hour. We would have been content with just sitting with a bloody mary, but she suggested we walk around for a half hour and come back at a better time for the kitchen. Very strange attitiude to say the least. Given your statement that the food looked "amazing" I may have to give them another try. To be honest, as the owners' backgraound is as bartenders at the old Windjammer, my hopes weren't too high. Just goes to show you.

          2. Oliver's!!!! Fancy renovations but the food gets worse and worse. I have an ancient FIL who enjoys the service so he insists on the place. I'd rather be at the Sesuit Harbor Cafe - now that's the real Cape Cod: boats, harbor, and all....

            Sesuit Harbor Cafe
            357 Setucket Rd, Dennis, MA 02638

            1 Reply
            1. re: Injun Joe

              There a numerous examples of mediocre food on Cape, but the OP's lament regarding Mattakese hits a nerve. Rarely has a place with so much potential been mired in mediocrity for so long. The food was always "bleh" when I worked there in the mid-70s and still is today even though it's a new chef, new menu, and new generation running the show.

            2. My wish for "good" that's long missing (indeed never been) from Cape Cod is general in nature; that is, I wish there were Chinese restaurants that had the kind of dinning experience found in cities all over the world. The preparation techniques of great Chinese dishes I have experienced in San Francisco, Toronto, London, Chicago, New York City and any of the cities throughout Japan and S.E. Asia result in an unforgettable meal. No Cape Cod Chinese restaurant uses local organic produce, none serve dim sum, none perfect the art of homemade sauces, none specialize in whole fresh fish, none achieve distinction in soups, none prepare homemade gyoza (dumplings or wonton) — except the Golden Fountain in Hyannis but they use the triple thick wrapper to speed cooking and minimize wrapper splits thereby ruining this delicate morsel — none do rice dumplings, none serve roasted goose, and on and on.... I really wish!

              Golden Fountain Restaurant
              203 W Main St, Hyannis, MA 02601

              6 Replies
              1. re: Afar

                Great Asian restaurants exist where there are large Asian populations to support them.

                1. re: magiesmom

                  Yes but with uncountable and notable exceptions. For decades past I could find superb, inexpensive, great Chinese restaurants getting the majority of its business from non-Chinese clientele. In our sliver of space there is Shangri-La in Belmont where the kitchen staff is all over the concept of "fresh" service to a mostly White dinner. Some locals where I have had smashing Chinese with few Asians as diners were in Montreal, Toronto, and Chicago.

                  1. re: Afar

                    I think the difference is that in those locales you have an appreciative audience with a concept of what good Chinese food is like. I have dined at Chinese restaurants here and heard people ask for rolls. In fact the only time to go to a new Chinese restaurant locally is before the owners grasp the realities of their clienteles.

                    1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                      Sigh. AGM your comment says so much and true. Still, the Cape has become so much more sophisticated (not stuck-up) as food service has developed over the past two decades. The Cape has Japanese restaurants determined to perform at high skill levels and they have been appreciated and prospered. Like I say, I just wish....

                    2. re: Afar

                      Perhaps your specific Toronto restaurant had few Asians when you visited, but the Toronto area has a vigorous Chinese community with many markets and restaurants, quickly narrowing the quantity and quality gap with Vancouver. It's a very different environment than the Cape and Eastern Mass, ethnically

                      1. re: Dan D

                        Right Dan, the Chinese population in Toronto has exploded over the last fifteen years and I suspect you are absolutely correct that it now rivals Vancover for quality. We have close Chinese friends with a large extended family of relatives in Toronto and, I know from their stories, you have it right. My reference to Toronto was based on visits long ago when great Chinese restaurants were operating and their booming business base was indeed non-Asian. The enthusiastic non-Asian customer base was my main point (poorly stated re time frame). My unhappiness with Cape Cod Chinese food is firmly based on my belief that the current demographics here would strongly support a top quality effort from a Chinese kitchen staff; that is, preparing the food using the traditions of their culture. I may be wrong about this opinion, not sure.