Runner Beans

August 18, 2009

Cape Cod: Ice Cream on the Rail Trail

Filed under: Cape Cod 09, Restaurants & Excursions — Tags: , , — Andrea @ 9:02 pm
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This is the rail trail that leads from Chatham to Dennis Port. I think I have a special place in my heart for rail trails because Sam and I met on the rail trail in our town.

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While we were biking on said rail trail, we saw this sign alleging that the ecentric house to its left held summer's sweet treasures: "ice cream, yogurt, H2O."

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We wandered closer and discovered that this Christmas light-covered abode did indeed harbor such indispensable indulgences.

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Lo and behold, there were many flavors from which to choose.

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We chose Coffee Kahlua Brownie. A very good choice.

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Ice cream brings a smile to many a tired traveler's face. (Notice painted tires stuck half way in the ground and bordering the yard.)

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Not only were there tires sticking out of the ground, there were carousel horses. I still wondering whether they were springing out of the ground or getting sucked under...

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We, however, did not have to worry about getting stuck in the enchanted ice cream land. This helpful sign tree not only told us what direction we needed to go but precisely how far the trek was. If you find yourself on the rail trail, I highly recommend stepping off for a moment to check out the wonders of this singular ice cream stand for yourself.

August 15, 2009

Cape Cod: Kayaking on the Swan Pond River

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Our kayaking adventure began at the Cape Cod Waterways on the Swan Pond River in Dennis Port (and no...those aren't real Canada geese).

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Popsicle-bright kayaks ready for a float down the river.

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American flags waved proudly all over Cape Cod. I think it is the most patriotic place I have ever been.

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The river was more of a long, narrow marsh than raging rapids, which suited me just fine for my first kayaking excursion.

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About half way through our kayak trip, the blue sky became enshrouded by eerie fog. Notice the Salt Box-style house and windmill in the photo, both of which are characteristic of Cape Cod architecture.

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As we neared the delta leading to the Nantucket Strait, we paddled the kayak to a private beach.

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Here I am wielding the kayak paddle, ready to ward off any danger.

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Sam doesn't think we're in much danger on the peaceful but somewhat eerie Swan River and flashes a grand smile.

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Walking along the beach, we noticed part of the sand was roped off so these little birds could nest in peace and not have to worry about human interference.

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View of the Nantucket Strait.

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I was glad we had decided to beach our kayak earlier and explore the beach on foot. I wasn't ready to let this fogginess pull me out to sea, never to return.

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Once we were satisfied with seeing as much as we could in the fog, we headed back to our kayak.

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It wasn't long before we paddled beneath bluer skies.

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And when we docked at Cape Cod Waterways, we got to enjoy these Canada geese, all of which were real.

August 13, 2009

Cape Cod: Kream ‘n Kone

Filed under: Cape Cod 09, Restaurants & Excursions — Tags: , , — Andrea @ 9:25 pm
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Lobster Bisque

A few days after Sam and I had tried the “Best Seafood on the Cape” at Arnold’s, we stumbled across Arnold’s competitor, Kream ‘n Kone. We had just completed an 11-mile bike ride from Chatham to Dennis Port and needed sustenance before our kayak excursion on the peaceful Swan Pond River. We were in luck because right across the street from the kayak rental place was Kream ‘n Kone.

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Crab Roll

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Clam Chowder

I ordered lobster bisque and a crab roll. I was disappointed in the lobster bisque because it was very salty and rich. In the future, I think I’d rather have my lobster whole rather than pureed in a soup. Unfortunately my crab roll didn’t taste much like crab because there was so much mayonnaise. I also prefer larger chunks of crab than on my Kream ‘n Kone sandwich (I guess the enormous chunks of meat on Arnold’s sandwiches had me spoiled!).Though I was disappointed with the crab aspect of the sandwich, I did notice how nicely toasted the roll was and how fresh and green the lettuce was.

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Lobster Roll

Sam did a much better job ordering than I did: his good ole’ clam chowder and lobster roll were very good. The chowder had a distinct clam flavor and an ideal thickness–not too thin and not too thick. The lobster roll was much better than my crab sandwich because the lobster had a meaty texture and penetrating lobster flavor.

So, which is better: Arnold’s or Kreme ‘n Kone? I would say Arnold’s wins because overall there were more dishes we enjoyed at Arnold’s and because their lobster rolls had such massive chunks of meat and so little mayonnaise.

Next: photos from the kayak trip down the Swan Pond River.

July 16, 2009

Cape Cod: Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar

Filed under: Cape Cod 09, Restaurants & Excursions, Reviews — Tags: , , , — Andrea @ 10:58 pm

2 blog 1 When we arrived in Cape Cod, my cousin Paula told us about a crab shack she had seen on TV and was arguably the best on The Cape. The next day we stopped for lunch at Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar to verify this claim for ourselves. With a full parking lot and a line out the door, we wondered if the wait would be worth it. The line was moving quickly, though, so we decided to try this popular crab shack.

2 blog 2Arnold’s has an extensive menu with seafood rolls and fried seafood baskets comprising the majority of choices. Sam and I decided to go for the best of both worlds and split a lobster roll and fried clam basket.

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We didn’t order the “Ginormous” lobster roll, but nonetheless the lobster roll we did order had huge pieces of lobster meat. The lobster meat was couched in a piece of lettuce and a white roll and had very little mayonnaise, which I was glad about. A side of tangy coleslaw was a great complement — I think the New Englanders have their menus down.

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When we were choosing our fried basket, my cousin Leslie alerted us to the two different kinds of clam baskets we could order: clam strips and whole clams with bellies. Apparently the juicy clam belly is removed on the clam strips because some people don’t care for the texture of clam bellies even though the bellies impart a greater clam flavor. We wanted whole-clam-goodness, so we  ordered the clam belly basket. Crisp on the outside and just chewy enough on the inside, the clams were a great treat.

2 blog 3My aunt also ordered a basket of onion rings for us to share. The onion flavor was so intense and the thin, crispy texture  of the onions so perfect that my standard of onion rings has been raised by these onion rings.

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For her main dish, my aunt ordered fried scallops, which were very tasty but very rich.

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Arnold’s also had a Raw Bar inside, where Sam tried an oyster. How’d it taste? Good, but not much different than California oysters.

2 blog 10When we arrived at Arnold’s we planned to get ice cream at the ice cream bar attached to the back, but after such a heavy meal I couldn’t bear to look in that direction. That was ok, though, because  ice cream shacks abound on the Cape.

And our meal had made us happy as clams.

July 14, 2009

Cape Cod: The Griswold Inn

Filed under: Cape Cod 09, Restaurants & Excursions, Reviews — Tags: , — Andrea @ 9:25 pm

blog 9On our drive from New York to Cape Cod, my Aunt Linda, Sam and I stopped at The Griswold Inn for lunch. Located in the charming town of Essex, Connecticut, “The Gris” is one of the oldest continuously operated inns in the country and has welcomed visitors to its doors since 1776.

blog2 Walking into the Griswold Inn Restaurant, I immediately felt like I was walking into the hold of a ship. The dark wood floors, paneling and furniture evoked an atmosphere of age, which was further enhanced by the memorabilia covering the walls. From rifles to lithographs to framed captain’s orders 150 years old, the Inn’s homage to our American heritage was undeniable. The Gris’ Tap Room has also been named the most handsome bar room in America.

blog1 As this was our first stop in New England, Sam and Aunt Linda ordered bowls of clam chowder to get into the New England seafood spirit.

blog 3 For my seafood fix, I ordered The Griswold Inn’s Saturday special: a crab cake melt, which is a crab cake, topped with tomato and cheese served on an English muffin. I like the idea of a crab cake melt, but the crab cake had too mayonnaise for my taste.

blog6On this trip, I was struck by how untraditionally New England the menus at the Griswold Inn and other restaurants were. As a visitor, I had determined to temporarily relinquish my California fresh cuisine and eat as much traditional New England seafood as possible. Quite frankly, there weren’t many seafood choices on the menu, which is why Sam ordered a panini and Aunt Linda ordered a mozzarella and roasted vegetable sandwich. I have a theory, though, that those who live in New England are tired of traditional New England food and want updated menus. This desire for new flavors is understandable; it just makes getting traditional New England fare a little trickier.

blog7After lunch we took a walk down the main street. The yards were vibrant and lush with greenery and grass, and the houses were pristinely preserved. Stunning hydrangeas were in every yard, and I especially loved these pale green hydrangeas.

For a piece of American history and a walk down main street, I would definitely recommend The Griswold Inn. Though they didn’t have the seafood I was hankering for, that was ok because this was only the first day of our trip and we hadn’t even made it to Cape Cod. There were many more seafood excursions to come.

July 8, 2009

Cape Cod: An Introduction

Filed under: Cape Cod 09, Informational, Personal Essays — Andrea @ 10:21 pm

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Though it’s been weeks since I’ve posted, I recently gathered much fodder for future blog posts on a vacation I took to Cape Cod. From the lobster rolls and fried clams at the local crab shack to the decidedly New England ice cream (purple cow, anyone?), the trip was a delightful exploration of seaside cuisine and lifestyle. Stray not far, readers, more posts to come!

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