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wellfleet vacation advice

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  • czarp Jul 9, 2011 12:52 PM
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Going on vacation in Wellfleet this month, and I had a few questions. Hope it's not confusing to combine them into one thread.

1. I would really like to check out a farmers market. I've seen lists of locations and hours, both here and on other sites, but I don't have a good sense as to which one I should pick. The two closest are Orleans and Ptown, but I'm willing to drive further. So, is one market bigger than the others? Or smaller, but it has amazing vendors? Or a really festive atmosphere?

2. I feel like an idiot for asking, but how do people (and by "people", I mean "the locals") dress when going out to a nice dinner? Is it pretty much the same as in Boston (which is not really that dressy)? Or is it more relaxed, where shorts and flip-flops are OK?

3. One of the places I wanted to try is Hangar B, generally raved by many, but hit a couple of bumps (bad reports) in the past week or so. Wondering if it is back on track?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Can't help you too much as I'm a mid-Caper, but as no one has helped out yet, I throw a few bits of info your way.

    1. Farmers markets on the Cape tend to be small, low key events. This is especially true until later in the season when more local produce comes available. Better to combine a visit to one with some other outing. Maybe grab some clams at Sir Crickets, a lobster roll at Rock Harbor, or even some excellent home made donuts at Hole in One, all in Orleans. Or go to PTown and enjoy the local scene, shopping in the galleries, grabbing some Poruguese food, visiting the National Seashore, or take in a whalewatch.

    2. Casual is the norm in this seaside resort area. That said, there are fancy restaurants where one might (should anyway) feel out of sorts in shorts and flip flops. Resort casual wear will never feel underdressed. The majority of places, however, anything goes. Visit their websites and you'll generally get a sense. Clam shack, outdoor dining, beachy or family spot?...Shorts, Ts and flops are fine. There are very few nicer places that I wouldn't wear shorts to as long as I was wearing nice sandals and a summer dress shirt.

    3. I was one of a few who had a recent bad experience at Hangar B, after a very excellent one. If you want to try it, I say go, with the understanding that you'll pay more than any other place. Expect to pay $20-$30 per person with tip. If it interests you, go. I'll partially blame myself as the proper thing to have done was to inform the server that both my wife's eggs over easy, and my eggs benny were very overcooked. I'm 100% sure that chef Erskine would have immediately corrrected the issue and replaced our dishes with a delicious result.

    14 Replies
    1. re: kiki47

      Thanks for the replies! I think the Orleans farmers market is the way to go, then. Plus, Ptown will probably be an all-day excursion, and it will be a pain to cart around any produce I buy at the Ptown farmers market.

      Hangar B is on my list. I'll report back with my experience.

      1. re: czarp

        First, as to Farmer's Markets, I've been to the Orleans one--it is very small, with just a few actual fruit and vegetable vendors. What was there was really good, but, unlike many farmer's markets, I recommend getting there right when it opens, and getting in line at one of the popular vendors ASAP. As I watched, the best tomatoes were getting snapped up, at rapid pace. Note that a there a few farm stands along Rte 6 between Eastham and Wellfleet, and they are well worth stopping at, as well as the Vegetable stand at Hatch's Fish Market, in the town parking lot in "downtown" Wellfleet. You could easily find that you'll have everything you need by doing that. If you do go to Orleans, I'd recommend that you try The Chocolate Sparrow for coffee or chocolates-it's right near the market, and also Jo Mamma's, which has H&H bagels from NYC, which they bring in frozen then finish in their ovens. They are the best bagels on the Cape, IMHO.

        1. re: winedude

          I have been to Hangar B 3 times this spring summer and had 3 great meals. I go low peak time and have had the pleasure of speaking to the owner. He is gracious and chill. The food is sublime. Every restaurant has the potential for an off day. I would avoid weekends and 8:30-10:30 anytime at Hangar B during the summer. It is so worth it...

          I defer to others who spoke to the farmers markets. I am typically off Cape by mid June until Labour Day so cannot say I have experienced any yet.

          Smart casual is what I adhere to for a dress code for most places. Nice shorts work in casual eateries for men and when in doubt, khakis. I love sundresses and skirts.

          Please go to Pearl, Mac's Shack and PB Boulangerie. Also Frying Pan Gallery is my favvvv...Great Island, Duck Harbour for sunset is a must. Have a blast.

          Ann Phelan

          1. re: phelana

            I couldn't agree more about Chef Erskine and his eatery. But that was what was so suprising. Although it was actually July 4, the place was half empty so I was shocked to get such a poor meal (my DW's as well) Honestly, just should have sent it back. He would have made good for sure.

            1. re: phelana

              Had lunch for three at Pearl today. Great spot and marvelous view. Food was eh. Clam chowder was pretty awful. My oyster po boy was actually quite good. My wife's cam roll not so good, and my MIL's medium rare steak sandwhich with spinach and cheese was well done brown and tough as nails. Excellent bloody mary though. Service was good although meals took awhile as they were very busy for a Thurs afternoon. Got to PB Boulangerie at 4 PM and they were completely sold out except for plain croissants and some breads and one cranberry oatmeal cookie. Damn, that cookie was good! Seriously, it was such a disappointment after waiting in line only to get inside and see three entirely empty pastry cases. Lesson? Go, but GO EARLY!

              1. re: CapeCodGuy

                We rented a house in Wellfleet near PB Boulangerie a few weeks ago and we were very disappointed with the bakery and restaurant. It was ok by Cape Cod standards, but we didn't find the bread, croissants or baked goods as good as the better bakeries in Boston like Clear Flour or Iggy's. We thought the restaurant food was pretty good, but we didn't agree with the hype of the NY Times article. Maybe, it was just a case of too high expectations due to the article.

                1. re: veggielover

                  Veggielover, I have heard mixed reviews on dining but honestly I find their bakery outstanding...I have been to Paris and love Iggys and LOVE PB..I am so surprised to hear your experience...

                  1. re: phelana

                    We rented a house near PB and went there several times. We wanted to love the food and bakery, but just found it so-so. We wouldn't go out of our way to buy their baked goods or eat in their restaurant. I liked the babas rum and lemon cake the best, but found the multigrain bread, the cranberry bread, the croissants, the cookies and the brioche not special.

                    We can disagree about food as we each have unique tastes and CH provides the venue. :-)

                    1. re: veggielover

                      veggie, did you read my post? apparently the baker has left PB explaining your experience..a friend who has a friend in Wellfleet told her this news..and I suspect it heavily influences PB's quality...hope it changes..it was amazing ..

                      1. re: phelana

                        I did read your post. I thought of asking them whether there was a new baker, but in the end, I didn't.

                        1. re: phelana

                          When I was there on 7/9, the pastries were still world class--my pain au chocolat was state of the art, as was my wife's blueberry danishy thing. The next day, on Sunday, the croissants were slightly overcooked, and more bready.

                          I think it's fair to conclude that they've become a bit more variable, but I wouldn't go spreading rumors about bakers leaving and dimiished quality without knowing more.

              2. re: winedude

                Just a word of warning though, Hatch's is crazy expensive, even by Wellfleet standards but the stuff is top shelf, for sure.

                Also, winedude is correct. Keep an eye peeled for the farm stands on Rte. 6 (after Orleans, mostly.) Excellent corn to be had there, and other things as well.

                1. re: kwhitehead

                  in the fall, Eastham turnips are the best..the stands are northbound on the right heading to W'Fleet....CCG that 4th of July experience is down right odd, eh?

                  1. re: kwhitehead

                    hatch's fish is no better than Mac's seafood, but their smoked roe scallops are the best I have ever had.

            2. You probably already know this, but just in case...Wellfleet oysters are among the most wonderful on the east coast.
              They are flavorful and surprisingly meaty. I don't live there or anything. I used to work the raw bar at Hemenway's in Providence. Sampled a lot of oysters. Eat some while you're there.

              1. FYI Wellfleet has it's own Farmers Market behind Preservation Hall on Wednesdays. New this year. And yes, we (locals) are quite casual! ;-)

                1. Maybe a day trip to Sandwich is in order. See my report on their very excellent Farmer's Market here:

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/795312

                  It's a drive from Welfleet for sure, but IMO no visit to the Cape is complete with a complete tour of the entire length of Rte 6A, one of the mose scenic routes in the USA. Make sure you take it from Orleans to Sandwich to see all it offers, and don't be afraid to take side trips either. (Sesuit Cafe, Ice Cream Smuggler, Grey's Beach Boardwalk, Barnstable Harbor,Halletts and more)

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: CapeCodGuy

                    hahaha- my DH gets annoyed with me, but I just have to do the 6A drive starting in Orleans at least once a year, although we don't usually make it all the way to Sandwich

                    1. re: JenJeninCT

                      Jen, next time tell your DH to suck it up and go all the way to Sandwich Center. (And stop at the Brown Jug for some specialty food and wine to go). You're missing some of the prettiest parts of 6A IMO. And it's an easy hop onto Rte 6 at exit 2 for the return trip down Cape.

                      1. re: CapeCodGuy

                        Thanks, CCG, I will- won't be back til Sept, but your advice has never steered me wrong!