Monday, October 8, 2012

Provincetown's Best Lobster Roll May Well Be at John's Footlong, a Best Bite

I had read and heard many times that a lot of folks think that the lobster roll at John's Footlong is the best in Provincetown, so after having tasted many lobster rolls all around the town this summer, I finally had to taste John's for myself. I believe the claims of countless Townies are correct, because out of all the many lobster rolls I tried over the course of the summer, the one at John's Footlong was my very favorite. Who would have thought it?
It was absolutely brimming over (just as everything served at John's is brimming over) with enormous, tender chunks of sweet, plump lobster claws and knuckles, mixed only with the barest little bit of mayonnaise and piled onto a couple of garden-fresh, crisp lettuce leaves which sat atop an equally fresh, nicely grilled New England style hot dog bun... a purist's delight.
If you look up John's address you'll have a hell of a time finding the place. It's one of those wacky PTown addresses that make no sense at all. It's listed as 309 Commercial Street, which you would think would be roughly right across from 310 Commercial, which happens to be Lewis Brothers Ice Cream, but noooo... It's around the corner from Commercial Street, on the way down to MacMillan Pier, on what ought to be called Standish Street since it extends from Standish down toward the pier and the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber, by the way, inexplicably has the official address of 307 Commercial Street, even though it's even farther off Commercial Street than John's is, regardless of the smaller number of its address, and is well over a hundred feet off Commercial Street as you head toward the pier from the intersection of Standish and Commercial Streets.
Don't try too hard to make sense out if it. After all, this is Provincetown, where not everything is going to make sense, or even really needs to be understood. So instead of trying to find John's from its address, find Lopes Square, the little plaza with all the seating benches and the huge anchor in the middle, just south (toward the pier) from that same intersection at Standish and Commercial. If you stand in front of Lewis Brothers, on the northwest corner, and look south toward the pier and the harbor, John's is on the right side of the street, halfway toward the Chamber of Commerce, right across the street from that great big anchor in Lopes Square. It's a walk-up, counter service joint with a seating area of its own up the stairs on the south end of the building, or you can usually find a place to sit on a bench in Lopes Square.
I also like to take my meal down to the harbor, just at the far edge of the big parking lot that sits between MacMillan Pier and Fisherman's Wharf, where you'll find a tiny little neighborhood park made up of a string of trees and benches looking out over the harbor along the seawall that runs between the wharf and the pier. Those two words are interchangeable, by the way. A wharf and a pier are virtually the same thing: a dock where boats pull up to take passengers and goods on and off the boat.
Anyway, it's worth looking for John's if you've never had the pleasure of chowing down on their huge servings of impeccably fresh seafood, their very tasty Portuguese kale soup, or, of course, their venerable footlong hot dog. TheYearRounder names John's lobster roll as a Best Bite. And just looking at the photo above makes me want to dash over and have another one before they up and close for the season.

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