Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Massachusetts Trip - Part 2

This post continues from my previous post. To read the original post, click here.

Our second day in the Cape was pretty rainy, and definitely not a day for the beach, mini golf, or any of the other outdoor activities Cape Cod is known for. What were two computer geeks to do but Google what to do in Cape Cod when it rains!? We came across this pretty interesting site, and decided on the ZooQuarium in West Yarmouth and the Maritime Museum in Hyannis. (Note: The ZooQuarium is worth checking out, especially if you have kids, but save your money and don't bother with the Maritime Museum.)

In between those events, we decided we'd grab a nice fried fish lunch. Fried, you ask? And gluten free? In Cape Cod? Heck yeah! I'd Googled around a bit and found the Chatham Fish and Lobster Co. with locations in Dennisport and Chatham. Now, two things:
  1. We made the mistake of assuming both locations had the restaurant. Not the case - the Dennisport location is only a fish market, and in order to get the gluten free fish fry you have to go to the Chatham location.

  2. It's SO worth the drive. Repeat: It's SO worth the drive.
We get there -admittedly a little cranky after making the Dennisport mistake - and finally find their Marine Cuisine restaurant/fish market. We walk in - the fresh fish market was to the right, and the restaurant was in the middle part of the building. They had a counter with all sorts of goodies - desserts, prepared foods, etc. They did all the frying and cooking behind the counter, and they had coolers and shelves all over the place where they sold different cooking ingredients - everything from sushi ingredients to batters and coatings to breads and desserts to go.

We picked up one of the menus on the counter, and asked about a gluten free menu. Their answer: anything fried. Their traditional fry batter is gluten free, so there are no worries about cross-contamination, etc. Not only that, but they have a gluten free baker on premises, so offered gluten free desserts (displayed in their dessert window but carefully packed in plastic containers to avoid cross-contamination), sold gluten free bread and rolls in their freezer case, and sell some gluten free products right in their store. Score! My husband ordered a fried fish sandwich (on a gluten free bun, $2 extra, but who cares!?) that came with potato chips and a pickle. I ordered a platter of fried whole-belly clams that came with fries, onion rings and coleslaw. EVERYTHING was safe - I could barely finish a third of my meal, it was so huge, so my hubby helped me finish and tried a little bit of everything. It was amazing - you wouldn't even know that the coating on the clams was gluten free.

After gorging ourselves on fried food, we decided to pick up some desserts to go. I picked up a non-gluten free chocolate concoction (what, my husband hates/can't eat chocolate, so he wouldn't be tempted) and my husband picked up a gluten free coconut layer cake. I also picked up a box of gluten free batter mix that I can't wait to try!

Overalll - a very nice lunch. I also want to point out that everyone there was super nice and accomodating - they didn't even blink an eye and hooked us up with ice for our cooler (so our desserts wouldn't go bad), etc.

Stuffed, we went back to Hyannis and walked around downtown for a bit, before happening upon Spanky's Clam Shack for a late dinner. We sat on the patio - it was a little slow, but great atmosphere and very strong drinks! We gorged ourselves on boiled lobster and steamers, with boiled red bliss potato and corn on the cob. I think I gained twenty pounds just writing the blog entry about all this food!

The next day, we spent the majority of the day at the beach with food we'd brought from home. Still, it was our last night so we'd decided to go out to one more nice restaurant. I would have liked to check out Salty's, but they didn't have any gluten free starch options - they only offered french fries or rice pilaf, neither of which was gluten free. The girl I talked to on the phone was nice, but I've never heard of a seafood place that doesn't serve baked potato! So instead we ended up at the Black Cat in Hyannis. They had good drinks, live entertainment, and a pretty big menu. My husband ordered a grilled swordfish steak (everything was gluten free on it) and I ordered shrimp. It was a great way to end our trip!

Finally, the last morning before we left for Albany (with a pit stop in Hadley for Whole Foods and Trader Joe's) we ate omelettes for breakfast at the Hearth and Kettle. We checked with the waitress and ordered omelettes and home fries - obviously the toast was not safe, but they offered a fruit cup instead to accommodate for it which was very nice.

Some final notes:
  • My husband and I were very impressed with how knowledgeable everyone seemed to be regarding gluten. We got pretty lucky with waitresses, because everyone we asked about gluten ingredients rattled off the ingredients in various sauces or said "oh, all our salads are safe except obviously for bleu cheese" that sort of thing. It made us feel very comfortable dining out - and we can't complain about the quality of seafood we enjoyed!
  • We visited Craigsville Beach in Hyannis. Everything we'd read about the beach said it drew a younger crowd, so we figured it would be good place to go. Well, the beach is gorgeous and we had a good time, but we found out that pushing 30 is no longer considered "a younder crowd!"
  • The Mid Cape area has both a Trader Joe's and a Whole Foods. If we do another weekend at the Cape, we'll stop there first on the way to the beach and pick up lunch foods to stash in the cooler - they looked a lot more appetizing than the stuff we brought from home!
  • We had a great time, and my husband didn't get glutened once! :-)

1 comment:

Gilly said...

I know that most people go to the Cape to hit the beaches, but that's been a problem this summer. There were eight... EIGHT sunny days in all of June.

I found this great new blog, with a list of off-the-beaten-path and interesting things to do on the Cape, like walking paths normally haunted by locals, community farms, hidden museums.

http://wcaithedaily.wordpress.com/

It's a pretty new blog, but those are the types of things I like to pepper my visits with.