Tuesday, May 21, 2019

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

Mr. Brown's Famous Fried Chicken, Jamaican style coleslaw, side of mac n' cheese.
I had dinner last night off the beaten path, at Liz's Cafe, where they serve "comfort meals at comfortable prices." Dinners 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, 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 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 light marinade with just a bit of sweetness to it. A side of mac n' cheese completed the meal, and I'll likely be back to have it again soon.

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 has been turning out decadent desserts and scores of glorious treats for many years now.
This great finish to my meal 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'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!