Partaking in P-town tradition at the Lobster Pot

1 Jun 2011

Every year, Bostonites, New Yorkers and other holidaymakers arrive in excited droves at the little seaside town of Provincetown, Cape Cod for their annual summer “vacay“. P-town (as it is referred to by locals and regulars) is a popular destination for its beaches, artists and status as a gay village. And one of the most popular restaurants to dine at is the Lobster Pot.

The Lobster Pot

The Lobster Pot

I’d read that this long running, seaside restaurant has worked it’s way into the hearts of many regulars who have come to view dining there as a tradition when they make their annual pilgrimage to P-town.

We jumped off one of the few buses into town right at the start of the season when most shops and restaurants were only just beginning to open up for the season. After dropping off our bags at the Bed and Breakfast we made a bee-line straight for the Lobster Pot.

View of the beach from our table

View of the beach from our table

I loved the exterior of the restaurant but it gave no indication to the dark, dreary, cavernous space that awaited us inside, and the mostly empty, lonely tables seemed to be crying out for visitors to get here already. The décor and feel of the restaurant was nautically touristy, diner styles, rustic, verging on 90s and run down. Based on appearance alone this wouldn’t be the kind of restaurant I would normally want to visit, but the name and reputation was like nectar to a crustacean enthusiast such as myself.

Lobster and friends

Lobster and friends

Lobster was obviously on the cards and as I’d become accustomed to eating clam chowder all the way around Boston, I certainly had no intentions of stopping now. As soon as I’d spied the Clambake option on the menu, I knew it was the one for me! Consisting of Tim’s Clam Chowder, salad, homemade breads, mussels, corn on the cob, baked red potato and a 1 1/4 pound boiled lobster. There was never any danger of there being a shortage of food, but to just start we thought we’d share a King Crab Cocktail. When in America…!

King Crab Cocktail

King Crab Cocktail

The half pound Alaskan crab was cooked beautifully and served with a spicy ketchupy cocktail sauce and tarragon-shallot mayo. It looked small, but the shell was deceptively full of sweet and delicate crabmeat. I’m no stranger to eating crab sticks but never in my life had I tried the real thing. This was impressive.

A real life crab stick

A real life crab stick

Then onto the breads and salads. Both were decent, though I developed a bit of a taste for the garlic dressing and soon wanted to slather it over everything! The blue cheese dressing was similarly moreish. There was also some kind of tasty cake in our bread basket which I’d never encountered before – anyone care to enlighten me as to what this is?

Dressings, salad and homemade breads

Dressings, salad and homemade breads

Tim’s Clam Chowder was of the New England variety which I was very familiar with by now. Apparently it had won the “Best of” award in Cape Cod Life every year from 1999-2010 with the exception of 200 – who knows what happened then?! Thick, creamy and tasty, this was yet another good chowder although I’d struggle to name it better than any other I’d tasted in New England – they had all been pretty good, not life changing but just good.

Tim's Clam Chowder

Tim's Clam Chowder

And sadly the most disappointing element of the meal was the lobster. In fact the entire plate was “Overcooked Central”; the corn was overcooked, the mussels were overcooked to mush and inedible. And the lobster which should have been the star of the show was merely passable, with meat veering on tough and dry.

Overcooked Central

Overcooked Central

It was quite a downer really and the somewhat depressing atmosphere of the restaurant didn’t really help to lift the mood. I was glad we had ordered the crab which saved the meal from being a total disaster. But if I were a regular to P-town, this would be one tradition I’d probably skip in future.

Lobster Pot
321 Commercial Street
Provincetown, MA 02657

Lobster Pot on Urbanspoon

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