Saturday, September 22, 2012

Portuguese Food at the Mayflower Cafe


Our quest for Portuguese food in Provincetown leads us this week to the Mayflower Cafe, a family operated business run by various members of the Janoplis family over the last 83 years, who built this restaurant at 300 Commercial Street in 1929. It's not a fancy place by any means, but is a favorite of locals for fresh food simply prepared, reasonable prices, and a number of Portuguese specialties on the menu. it's a great spot for folks traveling on a budget, and the large booths are perfect for families, with room to easily seat six adults or a family with a number of children of various sizes.
I often like to start out with a baked stuffed clam; priced at $4.99, which is a large sea clam shell mounded with a bread stuffing mixed with chopped clams and linguica (say lean-gwee-suh, a mildly spicy Portuguese sausage made with pork) and baked in the oven. It's served with a wedge of lemon to squeeze over the top, and many folks will drizzle a little hot sauce over the top of this tasty appetizer. There's also a Portuguese kale soup, packed with vitamins from the green leafy chopped kale, with potatoes and red kidney beans in a broth flavored with, what else...? More linguica.
The Pork Chops Vinho de Alhos are a favorite entree, translating into English as "pork chops with wine and garlic." Center cut pork chops are marinated in wine, garlic, spices and a bit of vinegar before they go onto the grill, and are served with a small garden salad, a dinner roll and your choice of French fries, mashed or baked potato. These have a different flavor from other pork chops you've known, and are quite tasty, and a good value at $16.99.
Another specialty here is the Portuguese Fish and Chips. That's flounder battered and deep-fried, sauced with a mixture of vinegar, oil, garlic and spices, and served with French fries and coleslaw. This dish also carries the reasonable price tag of $16.99.
Stroll over to the Mayflower, with the big black-and-white striped awning out front, and try some of Provincetown's oldest recipes, brought here by the families of many of the early Portuguese sailors and fishermen, who were pretty much the backbone of Provincetown's early fishing community. There are other Portuguese specialties here as well, so give them a try. Bom apetite!

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