Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cape Cod Clam Chowder Crawl

Most of this winter has not been very glamorous for us. We've spent the vast majority of our free time holed up in the house (in fact, there have been weekends where we never even changed out of our pajamas)! It's been so cold and snowy that the thought of voluntarily venturing outdoors just hasn't seemed worth the effort. So we cook, we watch TV, we work on projects around the house, we read, etc.  But finally, we had a little relief this weekend. Temperatures were in the 50s which, at this rate, felt like summer. We were itching to get out of the house and to go on an adventure, so we hatched a plan for a day trip down to Cape Cod for a "Clam Chowdah Crawl" as the locals would say!
The Mission:

Eat all the chowder! After crossing the bridge and making our way down the Cape, our delicious adventure began in Chatham, and our crawl would take us back up the Cape, through Dennis Port, Harwich, and finally West Yarmouth.
The Contenders:

Chatham Squire (Chatham) - An almost-dive bar featuring foosball and pool tables, pinball, and walls lined with old license plates:
Clancy's (Dennis Port) - A slightly dated restaurant, but the large windows boast a gorgeous view of the Swan River. (Ladies, they also have a bowl of complimentary locally made salt scrub for your hands in the restroom.)
Captain Parker's (West Yarmouth) - Another wonderfully dated spot packed with locals (and boasting a pretty incredible Police badge collection in the bar area)
The Chowders:

Chatham Squire - Very solid. We're off to a good start here! The flavor is great, but it left us searching for any actual clam bits in the broth.  
Beer Pairing: Cape Cod Red
Clancy's - Things are still looking good. Another bowl of chowder, another packet of oyster crackers. This one is creamier with a little less briney flavor. Larger hunks of clam are the highlight.  
Beer Pairing: Sam Adams Boston Lager
Captain Parker's - What a way to finish! This chowder (while a smidge too salty if we're going to split hairs) was definitely the best. Great flavor and generous amounts of meaty clams! Bonus points for offering a bread bowl option!  
Beer Pairing: Sam Adams Cold Snap
The Things We Did When Not Eating:

While a large portion of our day trip revolved around eating, we did manage to squeeze in a few other activities between bowls of chowder.
After emptying our first bowl (and a game of Star Trek pinball) at Chatham Squire, we poked around a few of the local shops like the Yellow Umbrella Bookstore (new and used books) and The Mayflower Shop (cute house wares, toys, games, and souvenirs). Next we drove down to Chatham Lighthouse Beach for a little lighthouse spotting and for a stroll on the beach. The rolling sand dunes, sea grass, weathered wooden sand fence, and gray shingled beach houses were right out of a post card. With our second bowl of chowder behind us, we made time for a little antiquing at the Harwich Antique Center and at the Antique Center of Yarmouth. We were really hoping to squeeze in a game of miniature golf, but sadly all of the courses were closed for the season.
After our third and final chowder, the sun had set, and it was time to head home. The weather has turned cold again, and snow is back in the forecast, but our Cape Cod adventure will be a happy, sunny memory to keep us warm until Spring arrives!

No comments:

Post a Comment