alphabetically (on a 5 point system).........
Baie Bar Resto
336 Commercial Street, upstairs, Provincetown
RESERVATIONS BY PHONE
When I notice a new restaurant in town, I will make a mental note about it and then, without fail, the public opinions will start rolling in. As for Baie, it was just the opposite. On several occasions, I heard the jabbering about a new high-quality restaurant in town and apparently this was it. It was 2017 and lunch was my first venture there and as we ascended the steps to the restaurant two very nice ladies coming in the opposite direction grabbed my arm and whispered, “you must have the cauliflower. Fabulous.”
The wait staff and kitchen are all very pleasant and obviously trying to elevate this place (with no great difficulty) to something above-average for Provincetown. And they have succeeded enormously.
And the two ladies, well they were quite right. The cauliflower is fabulous and several years later, still a favorite along with many other dishes. The lunch menu has expanded somewhat with a dozen or so appetizers and larger plates. But the appetizers are sizable enough that you can put together several of them for a great meal. And at dinner, the portions increase making them even more desirable. The cauliflower sat in a Moroccan-inspired sauce with the consistency of a remoulade and accompanied by chickpeas and some wonderful Mediterranean spices. Delicious and unusual. The cod fish sandwich, when available is a winner as well with it's very delicate batter, extremely fresh and mild taste and accompanied by a terrific tartar sauce. Grilled octopus was served sliced (a rarity) over a beautiful green salad accompanied by a mango puree. Lovely as well. Fries get a sprinkling of smoked paprika and are not the least bit greasy. Judging by the number of portions of razor clams that I saw go by, they were obviously a big hit as well and yet another example of a food item not prevalent in town. At dinner one night, the veg-barley salad laced with gorgonzola was awesome as was the grilled salmon and the chimichurri coated steak. Perfectly cooked scallops were served with risotto that was a bit too heavy on the saffron. The pasta with garlic shrimp is quite delicious. The kitchen strives to be different and does so with remarkable success.
It should be noted that some of the portions here especially that of the cod fish sandwich and the fried chicken slider are relatively small even by lunchtime standards.
And, should you have room for dessert, you might want to try the berry parfait which elevates the dish to a new level. As well as new vegan options.
Seating is all open-air on a no-frills veranda. The kitchen faces you and provides a whiff of the last wonderful thing on the grill. All seating is on a veranda and can get a bit cool at night but can be helped by the outdoor heating lamps. Reservations are accepted and given the very limited number of tables, highly suggested.
A Ptown gem.
17 Truro Center Road, Truro
https://www.yelp.com/reservations/blackfish-truro (and by phone)
Traveling up Route 6 to Provincetown and gazing out on the neighboring towns of Wellfleet and Truro, I had convinced myself that there really was no good reason to venture out of Ptown for a good meal. Yes, I’ve been to Moby Dick’s and thoroughly enjoyed it (see separate review) but I was sure that little else existed of appeal.
In Truro, hidden a half mile off the main road lies Blackfish restaurant. And for people spending their days and nights in Ptown, I do suggest you do the tuck and roll down Route 6 and get yourself here. Everything about it spells professionalism.
After entering the restaurant to what is a rather nondescript waiting area and bar, the first dining room is more likeable and has a rather tavern-like ambience. Deeper into the restaurant a more garden-like room is revealed, my preference being for the latter.
You are first presented with a rather extensive wine list with many offerings by the glass. Specialty cocktails have their own lengthy list. Prices vary but you will find some very good lower-priced options.
Chef Eric Jansen has a terrific hand and knows exactly how to take what could be ordinary and turn it into extraordinary. A delicious crispy haddock was served over a pea puree with diced carrots and an orange zest accompanying the fish. The chef’s signature tuna Bolognese is a riff on the ordinary Bolognese and works just wonderfully. Short ribs of beef served with carrots, onion and mashed potatoes tastes as if it were all pulled out of a large pot of boeuf bourguignon, Julia Child quality. The seafood stew was a wonderful and generous mix of shellfish and white fish, all in a tasty tomato broth. A special one evening of cucumber and mint soup was terrific as was the seasonal heirloom tomato salad with a generous heap of burrata cheese to go around and a good sprinkling of fresh basil. Bread is a menu item here and the crust alone would be worth its $3 price tag but it is all served with a very good olive oil containing a large dole of white bean puree for swiping your bread. Desserts vary by day and it won't be an easy task having to choose from among them. On a recent night there, I went with the olive oil cake with basil ice cream. Nice! On another night, the financier with chocolate center was good but did not live up to the others. And while it wasn’t my choice that evening, blackberry bread pudding with brandied ice cream didn't look as if you would suffer through it.
Wait staff is very professional and helpful and has always steered us in the right direction whenever we've been undecided.
It's not easy to pull P-towners away from Ptown. But if you don't have wheels, I suggest you find someone who does. Let them know that one of the best restaurants may be just 15 minutes down the road.
Bubala’s by the Bay
183 Commercial Street, Provincetown
RESERVATIONS BY PHONE
Unlike the Lobster Pot, here is a diner sized menu that is an overall better bet. Completely confused as to which of the 50 items to order, I went with the most dangerous food, a fried fish and chips platter. In the wrong hands, this could be one greasy mess. But on the contrary, it came out light, not greasy at all, and completely delicious although on one or two occasions, some very limp fries accompanying it. Salads are fresh and delicious and although there are burgers on the menu, I dare say that they won't be winning top prize. Omelets are light and fluffy and the fajitas (which are really burritos) are packed to the gills on a too small plate. Egg scrambles, relatively new to the menu are quite nice as well. An ooey-gooey chicken prosciutto sandwich was quite tasty.
Dinner entrees do not fare as well and overall, I would look elsewhere for this meal. Chicken breast has been dried out and under-flavored and the pastas were over-sauced. I'm also told by one waiter that the pastas are even cooked in advance. Eeks. And on one night, I watched a nr
Bubala's will not be garnering any gourmet awards. And that's OK. That's not what they do here. And the prices, slightly less than most, give it an advantage. There is indoor seating with a slight eau-de-public restroom. The outdoor area is much sought after and quite large with heaters for chilly weather. Bubala’s has earned a rite of passage and most everyone would like to sit outside and be seen, and vice versa.
Bubala's serves wine but based on a small sampling may not be a highlight. An unopened bottle may be the way to go.
And on some given Sunday in August, if you happen to be in the neighborhood, you can watch the attendees of the Drag Brunch crowd make their way passed the restaurant . What a hoot!
Bubala’s has been a go-to place for lunch. If you are spending an extended time here, you will find yourself returning again and again.
199 Commercial Street, Provincetown
RESERVATIONS BY PHONE
On my home page of this site, I mention that my bigger purpose in writing reviews if to direct people to the best food when you have limited time. Spoiler alert…..Cafe Heaven doesn’t quite make that list, but it’s unfortunate and here is why.
What I always imagined of Café Heaven was that it was a reasonably priced restaurant and thereby accessible to the masses. It certainly seemed that way by the large breakfast and lunch crowds gathering outside in wait for a table. Granted there are other menu choices but lunch sandwiches here average about $14 and even more to my surprise, dinner entrees average $33. When you are in that price category, you’re competing with the prices at the best of the best. And sadly, Café Heaven comes up a bit short.
However, what they do have going for them is good food preparation, and a very extensive menu at all times. So extensive in fact that it’s a bit mind boggling that any place can offer as many choices as they do. Let’s see….. at dinner, there’s a large burger selection, many pastas, about 18 starters/ salads and nearly a dozen entrees.
Shrimp piri piri was large and tasty with its plentiful spicy sauce and good slaw, salads are quite hefty and can serve two even if the ones I sampled were a bit under-dressed. Tuscan cod was served slightly crispy and delicious swimming in a white bean broth that was very nice but would have been better served warm….it was all a bit closer to room temperature. The filet mignon steak salad was a good quality piece of meat over a too-complicated dish of greens, mixed veggies, a large disc of cheese and potatoes. Soups were creamy and velvety smooth. Bruschetta had some nice topping but served on bread that needed to be toasted a bit more. They were out of several entrée dishes on the nights we visited.
Service is pleasant but our waiter gave us little confidence that he was going to get it all correct and it was no surprise when he initially brought out the wrong appetizer. Atmosphere is pleasant and they take reservations which is a plus.
225 Commercial Street, Provincetown
The Canteen is certainly unusual. It came onto the scene several years ago and was an instant hit. Its popularity has not changed much over time. Today its success needs to be questioned as the Canteen takes a rather big slide into mediocrity. Google defines the word canteen as “a restaurant provided by an organization such as a military camp, college, factory, or company for its soldiers, students, staff”. Excellent choice of words and in the case of The Canteen (the restaurant), I would lean more toward the military camp description.
Let’s get the good news right up front. If you’re out for a lobster roll, it definitely gets high marks (I prefer their cold version over the hot one). The lines out front will attest to that. They are served on a good roll and packed to the gills with quality lobster meat and while I don’t purport to know their secret, there certainly must be one to be able to come up with this flavorful lobster roll. They have a rather lengthy list of other choices ranging from salads to various sandwiches (pulled pork, chicken salad, fish and chips, etc), most of which is highly average at best. Cold soggy fries were quickly replaced with fresh on request. Tuna tacos had little flavor and served only luke-warm. They also have a lengthy list of sides inclusive of their signature brussels sprouts cooked in a fish sauce which happened to do nothing for me on more than one occasion.
The staff is pleasant unless they are super-busy when substitutions become a no-no. Ordering is done at a counter where you will be met by one of the helpful staff. You will be given a number and when ready, staff runners will find you wherever you may be sitting. They are very adept at it too.
In 2018 a new backyard seating arrangement was introduced with a larger seating area. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea that you bring a sense of humor along with your appetite. There are a few “choice” tables inside, although I use that word loosely as they tend to become surrounded by those waiting on line to place an order. Most however opt for the rear-end of the building, with its well-worn tables and chairs, stone ledges and other furniture that appears to be minutes away from their final destination at the town dump. Not glamorous but then again, it’s the canteen!
3 / 5
247 Commercial Street, Provincetown
RESERVATIONS BY PHONE
By most, this restaurant sitting in tourist central on Commercial Street which is part of a small hotel and amid a large entertainment center would be shrugged off.
And how about those ratings on certain tourist websites? Eeeeeks. Some of them are fine but overall not in the excellent category. Or at least not as excellent as I think they should be because this remains one of the most underrated places in town.
When Michelle Ragussis took the helm in the kitchen several years ago, she transformed this very ordinary place into something rather special. As of 2018, she is gone but the kitchen staff remains. The change is mostly in concept with a new "all-day" menu in place and more outdoor seating.
A burrata salad with stone fruit and a drizzle of balsamic is nearly perfect and her signature Caesar salad, a wedge of Romaine drizzled with blue cheese dressing and dolloped with pickled onions is a winner. The main courses do not disappoint either. A perfectly cooked halibut one night and on another, seared scallops with a corn risotto that was delish. Lobster pappardelle was terrific. The tuna tartare with avocado gets a sesame oil kick and is billed as a small plate but can easily stand in for an entrée. The rosemary chicken brough back a homestyle cooking feel that was delightful.
There are also strange things happening here particularly surrounding lunch which can either be another wonderful meal, or a slight disappointment. I wish that the kitchen did not feel it was mandatory to offer a lobster roll simply because we are in Provincetown since this version is nothing to speak of at all. On the other hand, the lobster BLT is over-the-top excellent. And a lobster Cobb salad was light and fresh but when we asked for bread or crackers we were told that there were none available because all the bread is apportioned for each dinner meal, with no surplus. Strange indeed. The fried fish sandwich was nice but not so memorable.
Service is always friendly and helpful and seems to be way above the average for summer help.
An extensive selection of wines live here alongside a whole bunch of specialty cocktails.
If you're lucky, you will get a table near the railing’s edge on the outdoor deck of the restaurant and you can watch the P-towners go by. Or perhaps listen through the walls as locals sing show tunes around their indoor piano bar.
Totally worth the visit.
73 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown
Located on a somewhat remote stretch of Shank Painter Road, I must have passed this place a dozen times without giving it any thought. Then several years ago a friend recommended a great place for breakfast. That place was Chach and ever since then it has become one of our go-to places for a great breakfast or lunch.
I can only imagine the lines out the door if they were located on a busy strip of Commercial Street. As it is, they do a rather brisk business in their current location just across the street from the town's big supermarket and a short bike ride from the center of town. In fact, I find it frequented by many of Ptown’s celeb status residents.
Viola “Chach” Briseño created this Ptown go-to place for a good omelet, eggs benedict, good overstuffed sandwiches (try the turkey club), very good freshly cooked fries and always, a whole bunch of specials most of which will be quite tasty. The breakfast burrito is perfect for kids of a certain age with a certain appetite. Even a simple iced tea is obviously fresh from the tea leaves.
Everything about it says old-fashioned. Their 50’s decor, the slightly saucy wait staff, the daily specials scrawled out on a blackboard, and the portions always larger than an average stomach.
They close relatively early each day and they are dark on a certain day each week. Definitely consider the operating hours before you head up there.
Fanizzi's Restaurant by the Sea
539 Commercial Street, Provincetown
RESERVATIONS BY PHONE
Despite the fact that it's been in Ptown for a century, if you don't frequent the far East End of town, you may never have known that Fanizzi's exists. Being East End travelers, we knew that it existed but it took some time to finally take the plunge after constant recommendations from townie friends. Interesting to note....and spoiler alert.....that everyone told us it was "good" but few told us that it was "great."
Cut to the meal and I can understand why that's the case. This is not a restaurant that anyone would love to hate....quite the contrary. It's a good, basic Italian restaurant that will serve you a very nice meal at a fair price. If you keep your expectations somewhat low, you will have an even better time.
Caesar salad was good and lemony but not outstanding. A stuffed artichoke was filled with bread crumbs but lacked a distinct flavor. Grilled salmon was tasty but mainly due to the cucumber sauce layered over it. And scallop scampi (also available with shrimp) over pasta was tasty but never provided that real punch of flavor that you would expect from scampi. Sides were all tasty and the bread selection was better than most.
This is an extremely busy place with a large staff that needs to keep on their toes in order to service the large dining room. They do an excellent job of it. Staff is friendly and helpful and in the case of a nearby table overheard, eager to make things right when it began not quite so right.
Fanizzi's has an extensive wine list and I am happy to report that they do not feel the need to serve only Italian wines but instead, offer a broad spectrum.
There is a small parking lot and a rack for bikes, not something that very many Ptown restaurants can claim.
230 Commercial Street, Provincetown
RESERVATIONS BY PHONE
If any restaurant looks, acts and feels like a throwback to some earlier day in Provincetown, Front Street is that place. This cave-like restaurant is not unlike that of some smoky New York Village hideaway. And if it's not the top of the town, you will find yourself returning time and again for many good reasons.
The menu is exhausting. If you include the evening's specials, of which there are many, we are probably looking at over 30 entrees to choose from on any given night. Appetizers the same. And no doubt when they hand you what looks to be a relatively brief list of desserts it will be complemented by a lengthy list of special desserts verbally communicated to your table by the wonderful staff here.
This is and has always been a very active and busy restaurant. Wait staff moves around what appears to be a giant maze of tables. And it's this band of perfectly experienced wait staff that gives this place some magic. No matter how hurried or frantic they may seem, when it's your turn, they will be with you 100% and make you feel like you are the only person they need to attend to. That's their little magic.
Front Street has mostly an Italian style menu supplemented with a bunch of Continental dishes. Shrimp parmesan on one occasion was deliciously crunchy with just the right amount of sauce and cheese. In fact, a bit more cheese would have made it nice and gooey in all the right ways. , A special pasta with lobster scampi was fantastic and just the right size. Caesar salad was dressed perfectly with just the right amount of crunch, a grilled artichoke with a nice dipping sauce was as oily and messy as it should be, escarole and beans was fresh and light but could use a punch more flavor, pappardelle with a Sunday sauce of meatball and sausage resembled that of any good homemade kitchen. Eggplant and chicken parm combo was a bit too cheesy and maybe a bit too salty. Swordfish was perfectly tasty with a nice accompaniment of veggies but all a bit boring.
This is not your Italian grandmother's kitchen. Portions are just right but not overblown. You will absolutely leave here satisfied and still able to walk through town when you're done.
Front Street has been on my list every summer since I have been coming to this town. I suspect it will be on my list each year in the future. They will be here through every economic downturn, Armageddon, and the next World War. Or at least I hope so.
401 Commercial Street, Provincetown
RESERVATIONS BY PHONE
The daytime venue Yolqueria is transformed at the dinner hour into Helltown Kitchen. For those of us with a good memory, this was the old Devon’s restaurant spot, one of my favorites at the time. Helltown Kitchen does a very good job rekindling that fond memory.
With only a half-dozen or so tables indoors, be prepared to sit in one of the many outdoor tables which can be quite nice unless the heat lamps cannot even warm you up. The atmosphere in general is quite no-frills but warmed up by the very friendly and helpful servers that never let’s up.
Each table receives crisp made-from-scratch toasted pita with an olive tapenade that is so delicious that I asked for seconds. The dishes are presented in a beautiful and professional manner. A simple wedge salad has a parmesan dressing as a twist with pancetta replacing the usual bacon. The meatballs were totally crispy on the outside and moist inside with a slightly spicy sauce. Salmon with a sugar glaze was not as sweet as it sounds and delicious. The weak spot appeared to be the lobster risotto with a nice portion of deliciously poached lobster but sitting on top of very ordinary flavorless risotto. There is a large selection of both apps and entrees. Desserts all sounded wonderful but my heart goes to the tres leches cake…..expectedly sweet but yummy nonetheless.
Definitely a welcome addition to Ptown.
4.5 / 5
179 Commercial Street, Provincetown
RESERVATIONS BY PHONE
I have forever been a loyal contributor and reader of TripAdvisor reviews. Four or five years ago, when I begin paying even more attention than ever, I noticed that Jimmy's was the #1 rated restaurant in town.
How is it possible that the number one restaurant eluded me? With its tiny sign on the street and its subterranean position, it was no wonder. It was 2013 and Jimmy's was going to be on my list for that summer. And after eating a very hearty meal there, I was somewhat puzzled over its number one ranking but I was surely not disappointed and could understand why it received genuinely high marks.
Perhaps now my visits to Jimmy's pale in comparison to some of the other restaurants in town. The venue has been reliably the same for years, the food incredibly plentiful, and the wait staff just as pleasant as could be. But while I continue to patronize Jimmy's, I am less and less enamored with it over the years. The fact is that I've discovered a few dishes that I really like, and little else. An extremely large portion of well-seasoned and delicious loin of pork was followed on the next visit by a terribly tough and dry steak. In fact, even my pork loin on the third try was a bit under-seasoned and the sauce thin. Salmon Wellington, one of their signature dishes is delicious in its puff pastry and served large enough to feed two people. Linguine with a white clam sauce had way too much going on for my taste beyond the clams with its addition of artichokes and peppers. Pasta needs to be ordered al dente or it will arrive overcooked.
It's not the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last that Trip Advisor ratings have baffled me. Had it been the 10th best restaurant on their list, I would have made no mention of it. But #1 is a tough spot not just for Jimmy's, but for anyone. Dissenters will always abound.
So, let's just say that I really like Jimmy's and it's definitely worth a visit there at least once. And possibly two and three times if you order right. A few years ago, I took it off my list of must-do’s. And then I found myself gravitating right back. Jimmy’s will do that to you.
170 Commercial Street, Provincetown
More so than any full-scale restaurant in town, the outdoor seating at Joe Coffee may be the most sought-after in town. With less than a dozen tables on a patio right on Commercial Street, no venue offers a better view of the Ptown traffic (on two and four legs as well).
Now under new management, Joe is so much more than a good seat and what makes it entirely attractive is the excellent coffee and espresso and a selection of some of the best-looking pastries and cookies. Here is also one of the few places that you can buy good freshly ground coffee by the pound.That might be enough of an attraction but Joe goes one step further and offers breakfast and lunch sandwiches, all easy on the wallet.
Sadly however, the new management has decided to abandon the freshly made concept sandwiches and now makes a bunch of them earlier in the day and sells them until gone. That's too bad considering they used to be some of the best choices for a quick and easy lunch.
Years ago, I went to Joe infrequently and primarily due to some rather customer un-friendly people on the staff. Things have changed for the better in recent years as well with the new owner and the staff is now quite helpful and pleasant.
An accessible bathroom available to customers, good coffee, decent eats, and on-site bicycle parking.
It may be unconventional to include Joe among restaurants but no better people watching (in comfortable chairs) exists in town.
4 / 5
133 Commercial Street, Provincetown
RESERVATIONS BY PHONE
By Ptown standards, Joon Bar is one of the newer residents in town and has gone from unknown to favorite in short time.
The appreciation of really good food and what it takes to operate a well-run restaurant is what leads us back to Joon Bar time and again.
This is one of the town's most sophisticated restaurants and one of the very few that work effortlessly when it comes to earning its five stars.
At the front door, you will be greeted very warmly. The attention to service details will be present throughout the meal. This is an attentive staff serving up amazing food helmed in the kitchen by Paul Krikorian.
Flatbreads were once a regular and amazing feature of the menu but are now sadly gone (I recall a fig and prosciutto combination with the figs thinly sliced, the prosciutto cooked to a crispy and salty perfection and all laid over a Manchego cheese base). But now that they are seriously gone for good, does the menu still hold up? The answer, yes.
On one occasion, scallops were expertly cooked and surrounded by an amazing relish, a lentil salad anything but typical with its hint of cumin, was absolutely delicious. An appetizer made primarily from Hen of the Woods mushrooms is a mushroom lover's paradise. A special of short rib served with just perfect oily toast was nearly spreadable and quite delicious. Bouillabaisse was well stocked with several kinds of white fish and shellfish and was excellent and filling. Sea bass was paired with a blueberry balsamic that was both unusual and tasty. The duck confit was crispy where it should be and moist on the inside with the star of the dish being a jicama and watermelon salad. If there was any misstep in recent years it was a special of Persian chicken stew that while tasty was too much of a good thing and served with white rice that took over the plate. Despite any small flaws expect to be wowed not only by a few dishes that I'm describing here but nearly all of them.
And, given that the word Bar is an integral part of the name, very inventive and delicious specialty cocktails are in order. As well, a beautiful selection of wines, many by the glass, include an un-oaked Chardonnay, a rarity in any restaurant these days.
Desserts tend to be small and sample-like in their presentation but do not disappoint either and range from the delightfully gooey to the simple and tasty (a strawberry shortcake, a saffron gelato), the exception being the biscuit over the mixed berries which no knife could seem to cut.
The interior space, designed by Kevin O'Shea, is also a winner in its simplicity, beauty, and coziness. Reservations are taken only one month in advance. I suggest you mark your calendar.
The Landing (at Pilgrim Inn)
336 Commercial Street, Provincetown
RESERVATIONS BY PHONE
Tucked away in an alley from Commercial Street you will find the Pilgrim House and in 2018 their restaurant re-emerged as The Landing.
In 2019, enter ex-footballer, singer, entertainer and all-around great guy Esera Tuaolo, the now Executive Chef of the restaurant.
In recent years, this has gone from a somewhat unknown place to one that was worth trying given certain improvements. Now, it seems like so much more. Esera totally has command of the kitchen and every dish we tried was terrific. He is still in the process of putting his own touch on the menu inherited by the former chef. He is totally on the right track.
And The Landing takes chances too. During one season, they served Romanesco with some of the entrees. Who else dares to serve this alien-looking broccoli-like vegetable? Crabcakes which can be had as an app or entrée were delicious with a cranberry/fruit compote. I thought I was over brussells sprouts until I tried the Landing's version. A combination crispy in parts and moist in others, it sits in a balsamic drizzle with crumbled parmesan crisps and currants. Seared scallops were perfectly cooked and paired with a rich and flavorful risotto. Lemon chicken was so much more than its name would imply. Moist boneless chicken breasts accompanied by a good portion of angel hair and all tossed in a fresh lemon sauce that was just the right quantity of sauce. If the wait staff weren’t close by, I might have licked the plate clean. And, the beef strogonoff was so tasty and loaded with short ribs of beef.
In previous years, I was not too impressed by the flatbread apps. On a recent visit, it was a somewhat different experience and while the dough was not nearly crispy enough, the toppings were quite tasty. We are often touted by the staff on their short ribs of beef and on a recent visit, they were indeed quite tasty if slightly under-flavored. While we did not order the filet mignon and fries, it seemed to be a very popular dish and by looks alone, worth trying. It was served to the neighboring table and I had to restrain myself from reaching over for some amazing looking fries. There are good wine choices by both the glass and bottle and those sampled were excellent.
There are indoor and a small sampling of outdoor tables and a sprucing up this year made it all seem that much more charming. Wait staff are very pleasant and helpful. And Esera, being the good guy that he is, will show his face in the dining room from time to time to be sure that you’re happy.
31 Bradford Street, Provincetown
Having moved into the former Devon's location on Bradford, Liz's was going to be promising. Could it be that good and reasonably priced breakfast sit down that the town could really use? In my mind, I was there weekly (at least) with its stones-throw location from where I live.
There are few restaurants in town that I could seriously dislike and unfortunately Liz's Cafe comes up near the top, much like cheese in a glass of spoiled milk. And sadly has not at all been that regular haunt I was hoping for. Was it the slightly dank smell upon walking through the front door...a stewed combination of table top cleaner and a foul bay breeze? Hmmm, this is Bradford Street and not waterfront! Even so, we took our seat and somehow, my mind forcibly allowed the odor to dissipate. What lingered however was the very cloying and fake howdy from the wait staff that presided over the meal.
My first visit to Liz's was at lunchtime and for those all- day breakfast eaters, eggs and omelets are served throughout. Nice. I went with the turkey club sandwich, my partner with an omelet. Not only was there nothing extraordinary about it, I have all too soon discovered several turkey club sandwiches in town that are far and away better than the one served here (see Joe's and Chach). Omelets could use some improvement as well. A good French cookbook in the kitchen would be a perfect start. Say, you know those occasions when you just didn't get a really satisfying meal but wonder whether the kitchen can do better.... and so you glance around at the other tables visually inspecting the other diner’s food? The result of that experiment here proved no different than the food I was served at my table. The second visit was sure enough for breakfast and I went with the traditional breakfast sandwich of eggs, bacon and cheese. The result....a mess of a thing that included a roll so soaked in butter that it was difficult to pick up and bacon that was so fatty that I removed it entirely.
Service is artificially pleasant, the french fries were pleasant but artificial and the 50’s style menu and decor, well, you guessed it.
C’mon Ptown, are you really going to make me pedal up to Chach’s for a good breakfast?
321 Commercial Street, Provincetown
(The following review is based on a single visit)
For years I wanted to go to the Lobster Pot, but didn't. My partner, who had been here many times in years before we met, swore It off. Then came the year that I insisted…….and he caved.
Sitting smack-dab in the middle of the two most tourist driven blocks (which I lovingly refer to as the vortex of commercialism) on Commercial Street should say a lot. It is poised there for a reason. Here you will find every day- tripper to Provincetown along with their families and small children. It’s as though every day-tripping tourist received some book of “must do” family restaurants and there in big letters is The Lobster Pot. Some great marketing feat that must have been, given their long lines at the door! Is there a good wine list lurking in the shadows? hmmm, probably not.
Join the line for your helping of some of the town’s most ordinary food, all served by a congenial staff that understands they are serving up a glorified diner food menu and served in an environment that is slightly musty and dated. If it all sounds good, then this is your place! And the prices on the menu, reflective of the better restaurants in town really spells tourist trap. Believe me, I am all for the cheap lunch or dinner in town. But if you're getting a mediocre generic lobster roll you expect to pay medium prices.
The other items did not fare any better. The fried fish platter was plentiful but somewhat tasteless and the vegetable side dishes tasted like they had been cooking all day but not necessarily that same day.
I'm sure that my partner would add the following…. Don’t say I didn't warn you!
186 Commercial Street, Provincetown
Scattered around this relatively small town is a decent burger or two. Local 186 is more than that. It's simply the best burger in town. And in addition, they’ve got a darn good lobster roll and other Ptown standard fare. In fact, one of our guests decided on the mussels and they were quite good sitting in a delicious broth and served with a tremendous piece of bread. Who would have thought so at Local?
But more than likely it's the burgers that you are here for and they do shine, and with choices more than just beef and turkey. A Kobe beef substitute is available as are lamb, and veggie. In fact, their turkey burger combo known as The Bird is far and away the best TB I know. Fries are done shoestring style but were too often a bit soggy and yet nearly perfect on other visits (a salad can be substituted if you're watching your waistline). There is a large variety of suggested combinations but you can always craft your own burger.
Almost everything is cooked to order and this translates to a bit more waiting time at your table. Service is pleasant but be warned that this is a very popular place in town. Lunchtime waits can often exceed 1 hour and it is best to get there long before you are hungry. In nice weather, they have a fairly large amount of outdoor seating, some covered on the patio and others on street level. But not to fear if these seats are filled. Their interior space is smart, spartan and clean and you won’t feel deprived having to eat indoors.
And it’s not just for lunch. We’ve had many a satisfying dinner here as well.