Provincetown Food and Drink Information
By Merle Exit | GayAlliance.org
Is it possible to have breakfast, lunch and dinner in Provincetown for $40 without buying a half dozen eggs and cooking it on the hot sidewalks or preparing my own food at Eastwood at Provincetown timeshare? In fact, I found enough places for two days of inexpensive dining.
You can walk around P’Town or flag down the $1 shuttle bus. New this year is a Flex bus, where you can transfer and make your way down the cape as far as Harwich.
The main movie theatre across from the Post Office has been renovated. It is now called Art House and one of the best things to happen to P’Town. There is a screening room just for movies and another theatre with a stage and screen for live performances. The “lobby” is a café called The Outer Crepe (508-487-9222, ptownarthouse.com), owned and “cheffed” by Sylvie Richard, who also happens to be the drummer for singer/songwriter Zoe Lewis.
Grab a copy of the Banner and/or bring your laptop, as there are loads of tables and chairs to relax on and hang out at this free wifi locale. The outdoor tables are for customers only, but you’ll want to be a customer when you taste the absolutely best whole wheat crepes. It’s a build your own crepe venue. The crepe itself costs $4; add $.75 for each item. Cinnamon, cocoa, powdered sugar, sugar and butter are gratis. I placed my order at the abutting soup, sandwich and beverage counter, run by Caesare Assad and had the Quebecoise with pure maple syrup, bananas and melted butter for $5.50. Oh, was it yummy. A three item crepe with a Greek salad costs $8.25. I may consider coming back to have a crepe with chicken, apples and arugula.
Wanting a glass of ice cold juice, I walked about a block away to The Caribbean Corner Café (508-487-2023), located across the way from the Aquarium Mall. At first I thought “beans and rice” and “spicy food”. They actually specialize in a cuisine from Venezuela. The most expensive item on the menu is their shrimp salad sandwich and under $10 and a Venezuelan baked cake made of white corn meal and stuffed with shredded beef cooked with tomatoes, onions, peppers and fresh Caribbean spices goes for $5.25. That’s another idea for a lunch. However, all of the their fruit juices are prepared with fresh fruit. A 16 oz. ice cold cup of “wicked,” containing watermelon, pineapple, orange and pineapple juice, set me back a mere $2.95. I brought my juice across the way to the mall where the tables faced the artistic and gorgeous bay. The total for breakfast, with tax was $8.85 with $31.15 left.
Since it’s Sunday, the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum is free from 9 a.m. until noon. The museum is a fabulous way of learning the history of the first landing of the Mayflower, and the birthplace of American Theatre formed by a group of Greenwich Village artists. I decided to climb the 116 steps and 60 ramps to the top of the monument. It was easier than I thought, although not suggested during high temperatures.
I was certainly ready for lunch. The Pilgrims might have set the history for P’Town but it was the Portuguese fishermen that set the cuisine. Where else to get the most dependable Portuguese food but the Provincetown Portuguese Bakery at 299 Commercial Street (508-487-1803)? Tony Ferreira has owned this operation forever.
There are some tables and no table service. I ordered a bowl of the Portuguese soup that had collard greens, cabbage, carrots, turnips, pumpkin, red beans, potatoes, linguica and lean ham. It was soooo good and more filling than I expected. However, I just had to have their famous fried dough made with 2 percent milk, eggs, sugar and margarine, fried in canola oil and topped with powdered sugar. You can’t come to P’Town and not have one of these. Lunch with tax came to $6.13, leaving me $25.02.
Karoo Kafe has South African fare. Now that’s different. They are located at 338 Commercial Street (508-487-6630) with both indoor and outdoor dining. The Combo Plate appetizer sounded like the best way to sample some of the cuisine. It had: two chicken wings that were grilled in a Peri-Peri sauce; two samosas, a spicy curry beef mix in a wonton wrapper and deep fried; two Falafel balls made with ground chic peas and spices; and two snail rangoons, snails in garlicy cream cheese blend wrapped in a wonton, fried and served with a soy, ginger and honey dip. For an entrée I ordered one of their pot pies in a puff pastry. I chose the Chicken and Mushroom pie. Wow, was this great dinner. I ordered the Rooibos tea, an herbal tea from South Africa that is slightly sweet and contains tons of antioxidants. With tax and tip, the dinner only cost me.
Although this take-out is not new, the chef is. Jacqui Mac has retired her former Jacqui’s Juke Joint and adding to the already great reputation of Blue Light (508-487-3466), located a few doors down from Whaler’s Wharf. In particular, Jaqui is preparing her “from scratch” meals to go and her sister Jo is baking up the cakes and muffins. Since all of their baked items on made on the premises, I delved into one of their breakfast sandwiches of egg and linquica served on a buttered, griddle-toasted focaccia. It was so delicious that I put my change in the tip jar. The price with tax and the tip was a mere $5.
Townsend Lobster and Seafood Market is located at the base of Fisherman’s Wharf (vs. MacMillan) and my find for fish. Chris Townsend, the owner, is a fisherman who takes out his small lobster boat to get the goodies from the traps. You can tag along with him for an hour and a half seatless expedition, if you’ve had enough whale watching. The fish market is also a small restaurant. I had a bowl of his clam chowder made with bacon and lots of clams. He sells the lobster bodies for a dollar each. Great to either eat there or bring them out, sit somewhere on the wharf and pick them apart. The bowl of chowder with tax came to $4.73 and with three lobster bodies, and dropping the change in the tip jar, the total for my lunch came to $8. That leaves me $27.
Michael Shay’s Rib and Seafood House is one of the only restaurants open all year round. After my long walk going East on Commercial to visit the many art galleries, it was here that I parked my appetite for dinner. They are located on the far east end of town on Bradford Street and had this lovely outdoor garden area that beckoned me.
Although the cuisine is Americana, I decided on a Portuguese dish called Porco Em Pau, that had medallions of pork marinated in cumin coriander and saffron oil and broiled in onions. The dinner included a salad bar and choice of potato. Service was impeccable and so with tax and tip, the abundant dinner came to $21.30, leaving me enough money to shuttle down to I Dream of Gelato, located at the Aquarium Mall, for a small cup of the absolute best gelato and two flavors for $4. I’m under $40 and ready to burst!
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