Friday, April 7, 2017

Another Best Bite Award for The Canteen, Now Open Year-round in Provincetown

Kristen brings my breakfast, warming the room
with her characteristic charm and genuine smile. 
It' been great to have The Canteen, at 225 Commercial Street, open all winter. This offbeat little spot (in the most joyous meaning of offbeat) brought our extremely varied native population and what seems like a growing number of winter visitors together for great food and good fun in their Holiday Market event these past two winters.
I was delighted to find them open this winter beyond the festivities of food and drink, music, theater, handmade crafts and gifts of their expanding winter celebration modeled on European holiday festivals.
These folks are actively working to build community in this little spot in the heart of Provincetown, and they are attracting many more year-round visitors as well. They're also providing year-round jobs, with 15 employees in the winter and some 60 workers from around the world in the summertime.
Kristen, seen above, lights up the room with her smile, and her friendly, thoughtful service contributes to the ambience of this homey little counter-service café. She is here with her boyfriend, up-and-coming writer Tom Macher, who is enjoying his second fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center, and is currently finishing a book which has already been sold to Scribner. Congratulations! The two will be here until May, with hopes of returning.

The Canteen wins TheYearRounder's Best Bite award for
this huge, wonderful Classic Breakfast Sandwich, just $5.50!
On a recent cold and stormy day I found The Canteen warm and cozy, and filled with a mix of visitors, Townies, and local people from neighboring towns who had sought out a welcoming spot for a good meal and a little atmosphere. As some were having lunch, I wanted to try the Classic Breakfast Sandwich, which turned out to be a big, tasty bargain, and I promptly bestowed upon it TheYearRounder's Best Bite award.
That designation goes to a meal or dish of outstanding taste or value, and often both, found in a PTown restaurant, clam shack, deli, pizza joint, gelato shop, or any other sort of eatery offering something quite exceptional. In fact, The Canteen won two Best Bite awards on my very first visit there, on their opening day in 2013.
On this blustery day I had ordered at the counter and settled in at a table, listening to Van Morrison's Into the Mystic, completing the perfect, mellow atmosphere for folks reading the newspaper or chatting with friends. Soon Kristen brought out my breakfast. It was a  huge, huge grilled ciabatta with cheddar cheese, slow-roasted tomatoes, 2 eggs over easy (or served omelet-style, if you'd like,) topped with two big, thick slices of applewood smoked bacon, for just $5.50. This is one of the greatest meal deals anywhere in town. That rustic, crusty bread and those slow-roasted tomatoes make this big, satisfying sandwich my new breakfast craving.
love a nice, beefy cup of coffee, but I can only have it just once in a while, so when I do order a cup, it has to be great. The Stumptown coffee served at The Canteen hits the spot, with a robust flavor and body, but exceptionally smooth, without a hint of bitterness.

Julia and Mary both love The Canteen's Matzo Ball Soup.
Julia and Mary were in town this day for lunch. These two PTown expatriates, each now living in Wellfleet, often come into Provincetown together for a meal at The Canteen. Today it's Matzo Ball soup, which they'll likely follow with the Crispy Brussels Sprouts, and maybe another favorite or two…


All of these folks appeared to be visitors, here to spend a winter day
or two shopping, eating and seeking out things to do in our off-season.
Even with snow on the ground this past winter, the warmer days found the front patio at the Canteen packed with people eager to enjoy a little al fresco dining. Plenty of sunshine, fresh air and good food rewarded those who were fearless enough to venture to Provincetown on a winter's day.
The more businesses that are open in the off-season, the more folks come to spend time here. We salute The Canteen for working so hard at becoming part of the solution in Provincetown's efforts to bolster our year-round community!

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