Thursday, August 15, 2019

In Celebration of Nachos, and the Man Who Invented Them!

Today's Google Doodle commemorates Ignacio Anaya Garcia's 1943 Invention of Nachos

Yes, today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 124th birthday of Ignacio Anaya Garcia, who had been the maître d’ at a Mexican border town restaurant near a US Army air base outside of Eagle Pass, Texas. One afternoon in 1943, a group of military wives had crossed the border, out on a day’s adventure, in search of something to eat, maybe a few beers…
The women may have walked into the restaurant between the usual lunch and dinner hours, because in order to serve them, Ignacio went into the kitchen himself and grated a mound of Wisconsin cheddar cheese onto a big platter of crispy tortilla chips. He topped the mountain of chips and cheese with sliced jalapeño peppers and slid his creation under the broiler until the cheese was all melted and bubbly, and then he carefully brought the hot platter out to the group of famished women.
His dish was an instant hit, and soon it began cropping up in other restaurants as well, on both sides of the border. “Nacho” was a common nickname, or an abbreviation, for the name Ignacio, and that’s how one of today's truly great snack foods eventually became known around the world.

Venture out to any number of Provincetown eateries for many different versions of this platter of nachos. For example, Rosie’s Traditional Mexican Cantina, at 331 Commercial Street, as the name implies, offers nachos served in the traditional way: tortilla chips covered with melted cheese and jalapeños. The great thing about these simple nachos is that Rosie’s makes their own fresh tortilla chips, frying them up all day in their own kitchen.
Or, for a different take on this staple of bars and restaurants throughout the land, you can head over to Fanizzi’s, at 539 Commercial Street, for their Ultimate Nachos:An enormous plate of our tortilla chips, with spicy beef chili, jalapeños, tomatoes, sliced black olives and scallions smothered in cheese and served with house-made chunky salsa and sour cream.” Add grilled chicken or guacamole, if you’d like.
Combine this great plate of food with a frosty cerveza or a favorite cocktail from Fanizzi's popular bar, along with that spectacular view from your table at the edge of Provincetown Harbor, for one of PTown's most sublime waterfront dining experiences, year-round.

So there we have two very different versions of the recipe created by Garcia some 76 years ago, just south of the Texas border. It can be a meal or a snack, and has become one of the most popular “bar foods” ever created. Step out this evening and celebrate Ignacio Anaya Garcia and the impromptu creation of his simple culinary masterpiece by ordering a platter  of nachos, found in several different incarnations in restaurants.throughout the town.
 Buen Provecho!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Where Are We? - When Pigs Fly in PTown: Identify This Spot and Win a Tasty Prize


You may win a prize at a PTown eatery by identifying this spot.
This charming, whimsical weather vane, perched on top of a sort of garden shed in a side yard off of Bradford Street, got an update recently, with a fresh coat of bright pink paint.
It's on a side street leading to a couple of Provincetown's many attractions, so a lot of people walk by it every day.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about strolling the footpaths, side streets and alleys winding through the town, and really noticing some of the little jewels to be found, just off the beaten path.

If you can identify this spot, e-mail me at theyearrounder@gmail.com, or snail-mail TheYearRounder at PO Box 1632, Provincetown, MA, 02657, or leave a text/phone message 424 23P-Town. That's 424 237-8696. You could win a great treat at a PTown restaurant, ice cream parlor, takeout or other fine eatery.

Where are we? Enter to win a Prize "when pigs fly."
Enter by 12:01 AM on August 1st, 2019, for a chance to win a prize, even if you're not sure of your answer. The first correct answer will win a prize, and other entries, right or wrong, will be put into a hat, and another prize will be awarded at random, from all entries received. And, as always, I reserve the right to bestow another random prize for no reason whatsoever.

The photo at the left may help you to identify this spot. It's set back a bit from the edge of the road, so not everyone walking by will notice the flying pig right away.

Be sure and enter, one way or another, even if you have to make up an answer. You might still be one of the winners! After all, we can all use something good to eat, can't we?

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Next Stop on the Great Provincetown Chowder Challenge: Liz's Cafe

Liz's chowder is quite creamy, with the flavor of the clams really shineing through.
In my ongoing effort this summer to taste every clam chowder in Provincetown, my recent visit to Liz's Café brought me to a simple, tasty soup that I would definitely want to order again.

It had a rich clam flavor in a smooth, creamy base, not chunky nor overly thick, with a little potato and tender bits of minced clam. The flavor was quite good.

Find Liz's Cafe and Anybody's Bar at 31 Bradford Street, at the corner of Pleasant Street, where they're serving a great breakfast, a lunch that includes a different Jamaican special every day, and a dinner offering comfort foods at very reasonable prices. There's even a small parking lot there for you. And, if the description above seems to be right up your alley, don't forget to taste Liz's chowdah!

So that makes three down, and about 40 to go, as I taste, describe and photograph every clam chowder I can find in PTown, to help you decide which ones you want to try. Feel free to suggest your favorites, and be sure to subscribe to this blog, in the column to the right.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Rosie's Mexican Cantina Livens Up PTown's Ethnic Food Landscape

I cut Rosie's burrito in half so you can see all the good things that fill it to bursting,
I visited Rosie's Mexican Cantina the other day to try one of their burritos, which I had heard only good things about, and folks were right... This was a really good burrito.

Each one (and there are six choices) starts with a large, fresh, flour tortilla, which will be rolled and wrapped around a mountain of quality ingredients. Mexican rice, refried beans, cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream are all stuffed in, making a wonderful, satisfying, vegetarian choice, selling for $10. You can also add any of five meats to your burrito for just a dollar more.

Most of Rosie's menu items offer a great vegetarian version, and you can add meat if you choose. I ordered my burrito, shown above, with carne asaada.
This proved to be a generous portion of delicious strips of seasoned beef steak for just a buck, and well worth it. Both red and green hot sauces were served on the side.

The Burrito Bowl, also $10, is a little bit larger serving of all those great stuffings, served in a bowl, sans tortilla, in case you're skipping carbs or gluten these days. Again, add meat for $1.

You may never have had truly fresh tortilla chips. They're amazing!
On this trip I also got the chance to taste Rosie's fantastic, light, fresh tortilla chips, right out of the fryer, and without a hint of grease.
They taste so fresh! Now I might be spoiled for any other tortilla chips, and I want to try their nachos.
Of course, they also make their own fresh guacamole, whipped up daily in their tiny kitchen, from scratch.

The menu at Rosie's Cantina brings Mexican favorites like tacos, flautas, and tostados to Commercial Street every day of the summer season, with a rotating daily special that might be a mole, maybe pulled pork, their spicy
Look for Rosie's spicy burritos, sometimes a daily special.
tamale, shown here, or any number of other daily offerings.

You'll find this little walk-up, counter service joint in the former Burger Queen spot, at 331 Commercial Street. There's covered outdoor seating at picnic tables, or you can take your meal to go.
Oddly, there's no phone at Rosie's, so you can't call in your order. You'll have to wait a bit while they cook your food, but they're actually pretty quick.

You may want to carry your to-go order around the corner and head down toward the pier, about a block away, to one of PTown's great little pocket parks.
Right at the edge of the harbor, just beyond the municipal parking lot, you'll find a narrow strip of land, about eight feet wide, full of park benches and trees.
It runs the entire width of the waterfront between MacMillan Pier and Fishermen's Wharf. It's a great place to relax, have a picnic lunch, and to see the whale watch boats and ferries sailing in and out of the harbor.
Rosie's is open daily, currently till 9 PM, and will likely extend their hours as the summer gets into full swing. I'm not sure what time they open, and there's no way to call and check while I'm writing this, but I know breakfast is served all day long. That suggests opening hours earlier than the typical 11:30 AM, when most restaurants begin serving lunch.
The food is good, it's not expensive, and this expansion of ethnic flavors on Commercial Street is most welcome, so stop by and give Rosie's Traditional Mexican Cantina a try.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Mac's Fish House Ranks High in Our Quest for PTown's Best Clam Chowders

The chowder at Mac's Fish House is clearly among the tastiest in Provincetown.
About three weeks ago I decided to launch a serious "quest for the best" by pledging to taste every single clam chowder I was able to find on a PTtown menu this summer. 

Since I'm sampling each chowder I come across, it was the first thing I ordered when a friend took me out for a nice dinner at Mac's Fish House the other night. Since there are now over 100 assorted eateries in Provincetown during the height of the season. It's quite a challenge for me to attempt to taste something at every restaurant, clam shack, takeout, deli and diner every year. I do well to make it once, all the way around the town, during each year. In fact, I hadn't made it back to Mac's Fish House since my visit there last September.

Anticipations were high, The last time we were at Mac's together, quite some time ago, this same friend had said this was the best chowder she'd ever had, and I remembered liking it very much, too. Well, we weren't wrong. Mac's is among the very best clam chowders that PTown has to offer.
It's a little less thick than many, with a velvety consistency and a bit of the bright flavor of the natural juices from local sea clams, together with potatoes, leeks, onions and thyme. There's no flour thickening it as you'll find elsewhere, so this one is also naturally gluten-free. I find it to be one of PTown's smoothest, most flavorful chowders, and I'll be back again for more, just as soon as I can manage it.

I hesitate to label something "the best," because folks all have such different ideas of what the best is to them. Some want their chowder ultra-thick, like a stew, someone else wants more potatoes, someone's mother made it with lots of celery, some like it thinner with more of the briny flavor of the clams, and I actually once heard a friend say there were "too many clams" in the chowder she was eating. What the...?
Of course, folks who've lived in Provincetown all their lives will say you simply can't make a respectable "chowdah" without a chunk of salt pork simmering in the pot, since that seems to always be part of any traditional New England (or maybe Portuguese?) chowder recipe.

I suspect I'm going to find more than 40 restaurants in town serving some version of clam chowder, and I expect to like most of them to varying degrees, and of those, I expect to find about 10 or 12 that really stand out for me.
I'm pretty sure I'll end up with several thick ones, thin ones, briny ones and creamy ones that I'll want to return to again and again. And, yes, one or two of those will likely contain a chef's own, quirky combination of herbs, or, heaven help us, "too many clams."
I don't expect to come out of this with a clear-cut favorite for myself, and I won't presume to say which one you should like the most, but over the years, literally hundreds of people have asked me who makes the best clam chowder, and there are still a dozen or two that I've never gotten around to tasting.

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, I intend to taste every chowder in town this summer, take a photo of each one, describe its character for you, and name all of the ingredients I can identify, or get the chef to divulge. And that way, I hope to encourage each of my readers, whether visitors or Townies, to go out and taste at least a couple of these great soups in a restaurant they may never have thought of before.

And there you have it, dear readers... Two down, and at least 40 to go. Bon appétit!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

PTown's Best Ice Cream? Lets Find Out, Part One: The Odyssey Begins

Lewis Brothers makes the only homemade American ice cream in PTown.
By my count, there are at least 11 spots in PTown where you can get an ice cream cone. Or perhaps  you'd like yours served in a cup, maybe drenched in butterscotch?
There's also a lot to be said for a hot fudge sundae served on a fresh brownie with the works: whipped cream, marshmallow fluff, chopped nuts and a cherry.

Whether your favorite is soft-serve,  sorbetto, sherbet, gelato, frozen yogurt or good old American ice cream, PTown has got you covered.
Even if you're dairy-free, I promise, there are fabulous frozen treats out there, just waiting for you.
There's even a little scoop shop that takes Fido into consideration, serving up their special ice cream treats made for dogs.

This summer, on these pages, we're going to visit every ice cream parlor, and every other hangout that serves ice cream in PTown, returning to each one that merits another visit, to sample more varieties, and to taste as many flavors as I can manage over the summer. I generally don't eat much ice cream, but in the interest of seeking out the best of Provincetown, I'll bravely volunteer for this assignment. Of course, I'll have to begin taking much longer walks to counteract the effects of my research...

We'll begin our adventure right in the heart of Provincetown, where the Lewis brothers make the only homemade Anerican ice cream in town, despite signs on other Commercial Street shops that say theirs is homemade. There is homemade gelato as well as sorbetto in town, but those are Italian varieties, and when we visit those spots in coming weeks, we'll find out how the Italian style is different from American ice cream, but for now, let's get started on our odyssey, with the Brothers Lewis, found at 300 Commercial Street.

Since the summer of 1999, Lewis Brothers Ice Cream, at the corner of Commercial and Standish streets, has been making their own ice cream, right there in their shop. Throughout the day they're churning out three-gallon tubs of universal favorites like the strawberry shown in my cone above, along with their own, unique varieties like their "mudslide." That's one of their adult flavors, and yes, those are made with a bit of alcohol, so beware any variety that sounds like a cocktail. It probably is. And it's delicious!

Since they make it right there, the brothers can control every aspect of creating their fine confections, so they can produce flavors ranging widely from the mild side, like the subtle taste of their green tea flavor, to the wild side: Their ginger ice cream is a bit pungent, made with tiny bits of fresh ginger, and it's one of my all-time favorite flavors.

Lewis Brothers is a very popular spot, even in chilly weather.
Lewis Brothers has a killer caramel sauce and several other toppings for your sundae, including real, homemade whipped cream.
20 kinds of toppers like sprinkles, M&Ms, crumbled Oreos or Butterfingers, gummy bears, chopped nuts and just about any others you can think of are available, too. And don't forget the cherry on the top.
Chocolate or vanilla soft-serve are 95% fat-free, as are the orange or rainbow sherbets. Frozen yogurt, in vanilla or peach, is 100% fat-free. Sugar-free ice cream comes in vanilla or butter pecan, and there are fruit smoothies and frozen fruit purées for folks who are dairy-free, so that seems to cover all the bases for those with dietary needs.
Large groups can go out together for ice cream at Lewis Brothers, confident that there's truly something for everybody in this great little shop. Anyone for an old-fashioned banana split? Wait for me!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Get Off the Beaten Path to Find PTown Treasures, Public Art and Hidden Jewels

This lovely string of bleeding hearts on Freeman Street caught my eye
Sighting this simple, gorgeous vine of pink bleeding hearts was my reward for venturing down Freeman Street the other day, behind the old public library.

The garden strip that winds around this property, leading toward the entrance to Napi's restaurant, features all sorts of plant life blooming at different times throughout the year. If we pay just a little attention along the way, the ever-changing sights of PTown will reward us.

The work of the late Jackson Lambert abounds on Freeman Street as well. In and around this spot, splendid blossoms emerge amongst hand-painted "cat crossing" signs and brick wall art, along with a variety of sculptures and several other creative bits of man-made entertainment, all blending with Mother Earth's simple, yet astonishing, displays of her own works of art.

In Provincetown, odds are you'll spot something  remarkable in some way, just by taking a slightly different route to a familiar destination. Try taking a little side street or some other alternate path to get to your destination, just to see what hidden jewels you might run into along the way.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Box Lunch Clam Chowder Earns TheYearRounder's 'Best Bite' Award


The outstanding clam chowder at Box Lunch was my favorite of the five Provincetown chowders I tasted this past week, earning TheYearRounder's first Best Bite award of the 2019 season.  
I generally like my clam chowder medium thick, and though this one leaned a bit to the thicker side, it was somehow quite light, not overly heavy, with plenty of tender clams.
  
Fresh cream lent a luscious, silky consistency to this hearty pottage of chunky quahogs (say kwo•hogs) and potatoes, both cooked perfectly. Altogether, this fine soup is quite a worthy competitor in the ongoing debate over who serves PTown's best "chowdah.".
Box Lunch is at 355 Commercial Street, across from the library, tucked away a few feet off the road in the lovely brick courtyard leading to Angel's Landing. This unique little eatery is widely hailed for its Rollwiches, with a great selection of tasty, rolled-up sandwiches you ought to try.
We congratulate Box Lunch on earning our Best Bite award,
Serving Provincetown for about 40 years now, Box Lunch offers great soups, salads, mac n' cheese, gigantic cookies, breakfast (served all day,) and, as it turns out, a really good clam chowder. Give 'em a whirl!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Liz's Cafe Offers Dinner Bargains in Provincetown's West End

Mr. Brown's Famous Fried Chicken comes with a delicious Jamaican style coleslaw.
I had dinner last night off the beaten path, at Liz's Cafe, where they serve "comfort meals at comfortable prices." Entrées here are all $16 or under.

There are choices ranging from house made meatloaf with mac n' cheese to mussels steamed in white wine, garlic, shallots and butter, served over spaghetti.

Chicken or eggplant Parmesan are each served with spaghetti and house made marinara sauce. Sole Florentine, in a delicate white wine lemon broth, is served over a bed of spinach and cannelloni beans. The traditional spaghetti Bolognese is on my list to try, along with the burger and the fried sole sandwich, each on a toasted brioche roll and served with fries.

Candlelight at our table made this simple, tasty clam chowder look a little golden.
I started out with the clam chowder ($7) which had a rich clam flavor in a smooth, creamy base, not overly thick, with a little potato and tender bits of minced clam. The flavor was quite good.

From there I went on to my entrée, choosing Mr Brown's Famous Fried Chicken. There were three golden pieces, along with a generous serving of a Jamaican style slaw, made with slivered carrot, sweet peppers and other garden veggies joining the shredded cabbage, all in a delicious, light marinade with just a bit of sweetness to it. My dinner also came with a side of baked mac n' cheese, all for the bargain price of $16.

This gorgeous Chocolate Mousse Cake Bomb uses chocolate in four delicious ways.
The star of the meal was the chocolate mousse cake bomb, which was among four dessert choices brought over that evening from Angel Foods, the very well known neighborhood market/deli/bakery in the heart of PTown's Gallery District.

There, Liz Lovato has been serving scores of glorious pastries, decadent desserts, and other assorted treats and goodies for many years now. And, yes, this is the same Liz.

This great finish to my evening, shown above, started with a thin layer of rich, moist, dense chocolate cake, topped with a really good, velvety chocolate mousse, covered in chocolate ganache and then drizzled with a bit of white chocolate. It was garnished with whipped cream and a bit of fresh strawberry, all for $7.

It's worth finding this out-of-the-way spot, in the West End, right at the corner of Bradford and Pleasant Streets. There's even a small parking lot on site. Liz offers a great breakfast menu, and you'll find a couple of specials that are throwbacks to the old Tip for Tops'n restaurant, which occupied this spot for many years.
The lunch menu features soups, salads, wings, burgers and sandwiches, and includes the renowned Italian sandwich from Angel Foods' menu. Mr. Brown's chicken is available at lunch, too, as well as a daily Jamaican special. Mr. Brown is well known among folks seeking the best Jamaican food in Provincetown.
Find Liz's Cafe and Anybody's Bar at 31 Bradford Street. The bar features top shelf cocktails as well as beer and wine. It was named for Anybody's Market, a sort of general store that operated on this spot dating back to at least 1942.
The restaurant is open daily for breakfast and lunch, serving dinner every night except Tuesdays, when the whole staff takes the evening off.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Find Bargain PTown Meals at Governor Bradford, Before Spring Turns to Summer

Governor Bradford's Monday night slider special: BBQ Brisket, Cuban, fries, $2 each.

Enjoy PTown's great off-season restaurant specials before they come to an end. By Memorial Day, most of the winter and spring bargains in Provincetown's restaurants will be long gone.

Over the winter, the Governor Bradford bar is in full swing, while their restaurant offerings are very limited, but they offer terrific bargains on  weekday lunch and dinner specials.

For only another week, you can drop in at dinnertime for whatever meal is offered, at a remarkable price. The sliders and fries pictured above, for example, were delicious, and cost me a paltry $6 for dinner that night.
Tonight is Monday, slider night, so we all have this one last chance  to choose from three or four different sliders for $2 each, adding fries for just $2 as well. On the left, above, is tender beef brisket in BBQ sauce, topped with coleslaw. On the right is the Cuban sandwich slider, made with roast pork, grilled ham, Swiss cheese, pickle and a bit of mustard. Roast beef, burgers or other choices could pop up, too, since it's a little different each Monday night.

Tuesday is Taco Night at Governor Bradford, with a choice of fillings and hard or soft shells. Order as many as you'd like, mix and match fillings and shells, for $2 each. Every order comes with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and a bit of refried beans on the side, so you can dress up your tacos any way you'd like.
Pictured here are a beef and a chicken taco in crisp, corn tortilla shells. I think my favorite has been the BBQ beef in a soft, flour tortilla.

On Wednesday nights, the kitchen makes ribs, consisting of two barbecued pork spareribs, a mini cornbread muffin and a little coleslaw, at $3 per order. So a triple order gets you 6 tender, tasty ribs (isn't that about a half-rack of ribs?) with 3 cornbread minis and a large cup of slaw, all for just $9. This might be my favorite of all the weeknight specials.
Thursday is wing night, with an order of six pieces for $3; order more if you'd like.

The Friday night special draws quite a crowd, so get there before they run out of prime rib dinners for a mere $12.99! A salad and choice of baked potato or fries are included. If you're forgoing red meat these days, there's also a baked, stuffed shrimp dinner for the same price. Either way, you just can't beat it.
Monday through Thursday lunch specials are already done for the season, because the kitchen staff is so busy getting ready for the full reopening of the restaurant on Friday, but there's one last Friday lunch special. It's Bubbles' fish fry, and it always sells out.

Bubbles' famous fish fry offers a generous portion of golden fried fish served with lemon, tarter sauce, coleslaw and a big pile of really good French fries.

"Bubbles" came by her nickname years ago, when she worked as the shampoo girl at a local salon, but her greatest fame may have come from the amazing fish & chips lunch she has been turning out for years now, on Friday afternoons at the Governor Bradford, offered in the off season only.
Lunch specials run from 11:30 AM to maybe 2 PM or so, or not. A sell-out could easily close the kitchen early, so get there early. The same goes for dinner specials, which generally run from 5 to 8 PM, but if they sell out before you get there, you'll have only yourself to blame.

So get out for the last lunchtime fish fry of the season, the last of the weeknight dinner specials, and one last Friday prime rib or shrimp dinner, each of these meals at an unbelievable price, with the regular menu available starting Friday as well. Thanks to the governor, found in the heart of Provincetown, at 312 Commercial Street, for keeping us going over the winter, and we wish them a great 2019 season.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Lobster Pot is Now Open, Celebrating Their 40th Year Serving Provincetown

This fine lobster was flambéed in brandy and roasted to perfection.
As May rolls around, Provincetown's 2019 season begins with favorite restaurants, like the Lobster Pot, springing open.
A friend took me there on Saturday, insisting that we needed to kick off the season with a little "lobster celebration." She was right.
We had a delightful meal in the upstairs dining room, with that fabulous view, watching the twilight slowly taking over as the Long Point lighthouse and various lights around the harbor flickered on.
With a few boats on the water lighting up as well, and the flock of people strolling Commercial Street, and with the throng of diners and revelers packing into the restaurant, it felt like the summer season was off to a pretty good start. 
A large, festive crowd had gathered at The Top of the Pot, celebrating the Kentucky Derby with a cocktail or two, and watching the race on the TVs at the bar as they each cheered on their favorite horse. There were folks with costumes or props, too, like top hats, outrageous jewelry, and even fur coats, since it was a bit chilly out. But I also saw sleeveless summer frocks paired with huge, flowery hats, despite the 49 degree temperature and a wind chill much lower. There's no one braver than a drag queen. 
 
I love the fresh bread basket at "The Pot."
Our dinner started off with the Lobster Pot's great bread basket, with dinner rolls, a crispy, herbed flatbread, and their signature pumpkin bread, made daily in their own kitchen.
We each ordered a house salad, served with a carousel of their from-scratch dressings. Most Townies, myself included, will tell you they drizzle a little toasted sesame dressing and creamy garlic on their salad for a unique taste. I'm also fond of the blue cheese.
My friend ordered a pound-and-a-half pan roasted lobster, pictured above. It's served on a pool of fine herb butter sauce, which has a surprising bit of sweetness to it, probably from the brandy they use to flambé the lobster before they slide it into the oven to roast. Served with roasted red potatoes, this is a very popular dish.

Being a bit of a purist, I most often order my lobster steamed (sometimes referred to as "boiled,") which is the old-fashioned cooking method that has made New England lobsters famous the world over. It's the simplest possible preparation of this noble crustacean, unadorned except for a dip in melted butter and maybe a squeeze of lemon. The deep, cold waters surrounding Provincetown are just right for raising happy, sweet, succulent lobsters.

This beautiful lobster was bigger than it looked on this huge platter.
My steamed lobster weighed in at 2 1/4 pounds, cooked perfectly, served with a side of roasted red potatoes.
Any size lobster in the tank can easily be served in myriad preparations, but part of the fun for me is in cracking it open myself, and spending 40 minutes or more, depending on its size, digging out all of those tasty morsels.
Since the two-pounders were all sold out, I happily bumped up my order. The biggest one in the tank on this night was a portly 11 pounds.

Of course, the Lobster Pot also serves a few wonderful Portuguese specialties, along with chicken, steak, burgers, vegetarian choices, and there's a gluten-free menu, too. "The Pot" serves nearly any kind of seafood you can name, any way you can imagine. Lobster alone is done in over two-dozen ways, from bisque to bouillabaisse, from lobster ravioli to lobster mac n' cheese.
There are great desserts as well, plus a full service bar, attentive service, and a view of the water from nearly every table. And the McNulty family couldn't be more gracious hosts. All of these things have made the Lobster Pot a favorite Provincetown restaurant ever since they opened their doors in 1979. We welcome them back for the 2019 season, as they celebrate their 40th year serving our community in so many ways.
There's no better place in town to get your lobster fix. Bon appétit! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Moonlit Provincetown Harbor Sparkles in Gorgeous, Rarely Seen, Vintage Postcard

Click to enlarge ithis gorgeous image of PTown Harbor by moonlight., ca 1907.
This unusual postcard view of Provincetown Harbor by moonlight shows a fisherman and his young son setting out in their dory in the wee hours of the morning, heading off for a day's work, long before the sun would rise behind them.

I'm guessing that this postcard dates back to about 1907, give or take a year or two. In a small boat like this one, these two could have gone out to sea, but perhaps working close to shore would have been more likely. They may not have even left the harbor. Not all fishermen of that day shipped out for months at a time in a Grand Banks schooner.
Although many sailed with a large crew of men, aboard a big schooner bound for the distant, rich fishing grounds of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, there were several other ways to fish close to home. The deep waters surrounding Provincetown had long been summer feeding grounds for many varieties of schooling fish such as mackerel, herring and tuna. In fact, PTown had nearly been named Herringtown when it was incorporated in 1727. There were often large schools and sizable fish close to shore, and even right in the harbor.

This pair of fishermen may have used hand-held lines, or perhaps they were seiners. See my post about seining in Provincetown, learn how it was done, and enjoy another great old postcard on that page. It shows two men fishing from a small boat right in Provincetown Harbor, using a purse seine, which was one of the most environmentally friendly fishing methods ever developed.
On that page you'll also see how tiny fishing shacks, houses, markets and big industrial buildings were packed in cheek-to-jowl along the waterfront. Some were squeezed in four and five deep between Commercial Street and the harbor beach, with little docks and enormous wharves jutting into the harbor, leaving hardly any open beach at all along great stretches of the shoreline during the height of our fishing era.
I'll bring you more of these great postcards in upcoming posts, along with vintage photos and tidbits of Provincetown's incredibly rich history. In the meantime, clicking on pictures and other links on these pages will lead you to more information and wonderful images of PTown, both past and present.
Thanks for reading and sharing my blog!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Spiritus Pizza Opens PTown's 2019 Season Today With Their Annual Free Slice for All

Get a steaming-hot, free, opening day slice at Spiritus today, beginning at 1 PM.
If you look closely, you can see the steam rising from this hot pepperoni pizza, fresh out of the oven at Spiritus,
At this time of year, with the door open almost constantly, it's always a little chilly inside, hence the steaming pizzas lining up in the front window as each one waits just a moment to be sliced and handed across the counter.
There will be dozens of folks at a time queuing up for their first Spiritus slice of the season. Today's the day, so get to Spiritus for a free slice of that legendary thin-crust pizza. Starting at 1 PM, Spiritus will offer a free slice to everyone who comes by, ushering in the new season as they do every year on March 28th.

Thick slices of pepperoni are a Spiritus hallmark.
Spiritus got it's start in 1971 at 193 Commercial, a little building across the road from the joint we've all known and loved since 1978. That's when Jingles and his merry band decided to buy the old optometrist's office at 190 Commercial Street, moving their pizza operation (and by then, ice cream, too) across the street.
This spot has been the home of Spiritus ever since, with their unique pizzas, strong coffee, premium ice creams, and a "gallery" that gives a variety of local artists a chance to display and sell their work.
Spiritus is widely known as a late-night gathering spot. At one time crowds there late on a summer night could number around a thousand people, with the street closed to cars, and police officers milling through the enormous crowd, which often resembles the after-Carnival crush of wall-to-wall revelers caught up in the party.
A lot of folks call these pies their favorite PTown pizza. There's something about that nice, thin crust, with a good bit of whole wheat flour mixed into the dough, along with the generous amount of toppings, all of which make a Spiritus pizza different from any other in Provincetown.
Be sure to get there this afternoon for a free slice of this iconic PTown treat, heralding the true arrival of spring at the tip of Cape Cod.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Frigid Cold in PTown Recalls Coldest Winter in Memory, 101 Years Ago

About once every winter season we get a brutally frigid day or two, and people ask me about Provincetown's most notorious winter, along with the ice floes that were more than 10 feet high, clogging the harbor for a month.
Robert Lewis illustrates the 10-foot-two-inch "icebergs" settled on the harbor flats
at low tide. Photo by Robert's father, Captain William Lewis.
Read my original article, which included this photo of ice floes more than 10 feet high, which took over the harbor in Februaury of 1918. Fishermen were unable to go to work, and the coal barges were unable to navigate the harbor to replenish Provincetown's exhausted heating fuel supply for weeks on end. Click on Provincetown's Most Miserable Winter to learn more about that dreadful winter.