Great Cape food, strolling, and a drink that could have laid me out

I have not checked if he cooks in the back.

I have not checked if he cooks in the back.

The first time my dear wife Karen and I snuck away from Syracuse to Cape Cod, she told me that Julie and Lisa said we should have breakfast at The Pancake Man.

I loved the suggestion as soon as we pulled into the parking lot.

Karen, black. Me, just cream.

Coffee, please. Karen, black. Me, just cream.

Every single thing that unfolded inside the doors backed up the campy sign on the wall.

The coffee was delivered quickly, refilled without question, hot, not too strong, not too weak, and always with enough little creamers for me at its side.

You can take me the memory home.

You can take the man and the memory home.

A good name and a good logo is to be celebrated, and these folks know it.

After you order, you can go up and take a look at the variety of shirts available to take home and advertise The Pancake Man were you live.

It was breakfast and lunch.

It was breakfast and lunch.

Then came the food.

I went for the combo of two eggs, over medium, two thick strips of bacon, two sausage links and three buttermilk pancakes.

Karen went for pancakes and a fruit cup.

The brunchie time of day and mountainous amount of food allowed this to serve as our breakfast and lunch.

This third day we woke up not in Syracuse was off to a very nice start.

Peaceful by the pier.

Peaceful by the pier.

Lovers of our routine, we headed to the Chatham pier to see if our friends the seals were out to play.

One guy cavorted for our entertainment, but only for a minute. A white bird was at his side.

The fishing boat goes back to moor.

The fishing boat goes back to moor.

Soon after, the fishing boat that had been delivering its catch to be sold at the market at the pier pulled back out to set down anchor. It pulled its little skiff and a last crew of two puttered back in.

Karen figured that the seals knew that no more fish would slip into the water accidentally or on purpose, and that’s why they’d gone back to wherever they prefer to hang out when not dining or flipping for human eyes at the Chatham Pier.

Beauty and the market.

Beauty and the market.

This market sells seafood. Above sits houses and resorts for people I figure to have plenty of financial resources.

It is quite a lovely picture from the seal-watching pier. I wondered if the affluent ever take a minute to watch the likes of me from their patios.

Does my lady want to make this statement?

Does my lady want to make this statement?

Karen and I walked the length of the shop-filled village, one side up, the other back.

I rather liked the statement one tote bag made for Karen.

She smiled, but said that she did not need it for $28, so my hand stayed out of my pocket.

That's pretty Spot on.

That’s pretty Spot on.

As for me, I rather related to a plaque about how dogs roll.

It reminded me of Ellie B, aka Dogamous Pyle, not to mention our dearly departed Lissa and my Dog No. 1, Taffy.

It came on a magnet, too.

Karen liked another saying, though. It read: “Don’t trust a dog to watch your food. — Liam, age 6” That will go on our fridge upon our return home.

Looks good.

Looks good.

When we crossed the street, it was time for a beverage.

Karen went for a cold bottle of water, but I wanted something with some taste. My first choice was unsweetened iced tea, but no go. No sugar-free anything, or diet soda. Yup, health food-type place, I saw. I spotted a juice, a brand I’d not seen in Syracuse, but it looked tasty and said “No Sugar Added.”

I took one sip, and felt like I’d taken a bite of half a chocolate-frosted, custard-filled donut, back before that day in 1999 my doctor told me I had diabetes.

Check out the sugar content.

Check out the sugar content.

I turned the bottle around, and did what I should have before I bought the darn juice.

Next to sugar: 29 grams.

Karen swiped it out of my hands and handed me the bottle of water. I love my wife so much.

She read further and saw that the serving size said “about two.” If I had continued to drink, I could have been walloped with 58 grams of sugar, the way I gulp, in a minute. Not good.

My bad, sure. But I do think the no-sugar-added claim is a tad misleading for us sugar-avoiders.

Karen only took a few sips herself. Disgusted at the company, she handed it back to me to find a disposal spot as we walked back to the car to return to the cottage.

We took Ellie B on a long walk so I could get rid of more of those brunch carbs.

Trim that bush, perhaps?

Trim that bush, perhaps?

We wanted to add a new dimension in this year four to our cottage adventures, so we decided to dine at the Oyster Company. Karen tried to eat dinner at this interesting-looking restaurant just a mile from the cottage the year she also came here on her girls-only week, but they left when told there was a two-hour wait.

Last night, we were immediately given our table for two, but noticed a few moments and seated parties later that all tables were taken.

A plate of ocean goodness.

A plate of ocean goodness.

After a good read of the menu, I asked our waitress if I could modify one of the entrees. I wondered if I could get the Cioppino with the lobster tails and shrimp only, leaving the scallops, mussels and littleneck clams behind. After a check with the chef, she returned and asked that the chef would like to know if I would like more lobster and shrimp instead.

Yes, please.

When in Cape Cod, order cod.

When in Cape Cod, order cod.

Karen, meanwhile, decided that the oven-baked cod would do her well indeed.

We dug in.

I allowed her tastes of lobster and shrimp and linguini, and my dear wife Karen swooned.

Our wonderful waitress had told me when she set down my plate that she often orders the Cioppino but on a bed of spinach instead of the linguini.

The lightly garlic-butter-and-oiled linguini was so good I wondered why.

But Karen’s cod was sided with spinach and risotto, and I tasted both. Loved both. And as our waitress passed us by, I told her I totally understood how good the Cioppino would taste on a bed of this place’s spinach.

Tea and H2O.

Tea and H2O.

I also finally found my unsweetened iced tea, and Karen did not have to share her water.

We were so full, the waitress could not tempt us with a list of delicious-sounding desserts, although Karen did read it carefully.

No surprise in this message.

No surprise in this message.

On our way to the door, I had to take this shot.

I like The Oyster Company’s food, wait staff and style.

What kind of T-shirt do you have that reminds you of The Pancake Man’s camp? What do you think about Naked’s No Sugar Added brand of juice advertising? Would you have a better story about seal sightings or shop strollings? What has been your very favorite seafood meal, and where did you get it?

57 thoughts on “Great Cape food, strolling, and a drink that could have laid me out

    • Yup, The Pancake Man definitely is a kitschy type of place, Don, and that is right up my alley, too. I would like the Chicken Palace, I bet. The Pancakes were stupendous. Really light and fluffy!

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  1. There used to be a wonderful clam shack sort of place on Plum Island, just off of Newburyport, MA, named Betty Marie’s. We still talk about their fried scallops – the best we’ve ever had. And I think the bottle claims are disgusting. How misleading….which I’m sure wasn’t intentional at all. You’ve got a good wife there, Mark.

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  2. A lot of products that boast low or no fat actually have more sugar too – watch out for those! Me? The older I get, the more I just eat and cook with whole foods. I’ve never been a fan of juice, rather eat the fruit. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. Breakfast is good, and camp is better, so a campy breakfast is the best! I have a huge framed picture of waitresses holding breakfast meals in our kitchen because it makes me happy. What a great start to the day. Then you saw a seal? And you had a great seafood meal? It sounds like everything was great except for the misleading advertising. I would definitely call their toll free number and tell them that you nearly went into a diabetic coma and surely they don’t want litigation and oh, wait–it won’t do you any good to get free coupons for a drink you can’t have. Nevermind. I guess that’s why on Weight Watchers, we were told juice had as many points as Coke. Sugar is sugar?

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    • Yeah, sugar is sugar and a dope is a dope. I never drink juice anymore. Why I was drawn to this label I’ll never know.

      Yes, the seal was a cool dude!

      And I am glad to hear you are a fan of camp, Kerbey.

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  4. I need that grown ass lady bag! My favorite seafood meal was the first time I ever had lobster. My mom and dad came to New Hampshire to visit me while I worked there one summer and we went to the beach. I’d made the dean’s list in college and my dad splurged on lobster. Only it wasn’t a splurge because in Maine you can get fresh lobster for about $12. Great memory!

    There’s a little place here in Nashville called the Pancake Pantry and it is divine. Reminds me of The Pancake Man. And now I need to go eat there for lunch.

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    • Great first lobster memory, CBXB. I did not know you worked in New England during summer off from college. Very cool break for you. I like Portland and Bar Harbor Maine, both. And $12 lobster.

      I met Wynona and had pancakes at the Pancake Pantry in Nashville. What a great place that is. I hope you loved your lunch there today.

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      • It was a bummer because they once had gluten free pancake mix and now they don’t. The horror!!

        I worked at an amusement park in New Hampshire called Santa’s Village. Super cute kid park but I got to dress as Raggedy Ann daily….not so cute!

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      • I didn’t know you suffered the gluten allergy. That’s a tough one. My sister has that, too.

        Raggedy Ann, huh? You kind of have some natural freckling … Nah. Bad summer job, CBXB.

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  5. this is fantastic, mark! the pancake man looks wonderful and i think the coffee is the measure of a place. i understand how this turned into brunch for you guys. then, there was the dinner! omg – this looks amazing. and the fresh catch boat – oh my. i would probably be healthier if i lived by the sea, i’d definitely eat more fresh food. – my fav seafood meal ever was on cape cod, too – in provincetown. time for me to go back to the cape sooner,rather than later i see )

    as for the drink – deceptive marketing in my book –

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    • Yes, healthy eating is readily available by the sea as evidenced by my start of pancakes, eggs, thick-cut bacon and sausage links. Oh, wait, Beth, right, the food from the water! ๐Ÿ™‚

      You could rustle up some H’s and sons-in-laws and grands and show them the Cape. That could be a family fish eating feast, I do believe, with some pancakes for good measure.

      And let’s all not drink that deceptive fruit no-sugar-added drink for awhile, I think!

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  6. Favorite seafood meal? Lemme think.
    OK, got it (and this isn’t a joke)

    One time I was camping with my Best Friend, Peanut and we were fishing as always. All we managed to catch were some really small brim (Bream, Perch). Brim to us. They were less than palm size.

    “Peanut,” I said. “We gonna starve tonight if we don’t catch nothing bigger than these minnows.”
    “Naw,” He said. “Ole ‘Nut here gonna show you an’ old indian trick.”

    He proceeded to cook the fish whole over the grill of the campfire we had prepared for catfish fillets. I mean he cooked the fish to a crispy state of crispy-ness. Didn’t gut ’em, didn’t clean ’em, just grilled ’em as they came off the stringer. (I think he did at least scrub the scales off). I was skeptical, but after he had salted them down and handed me another Lone Star, they tasted just fine.

    Not sure if it was the fresh caught and roasted fish (Texas-Tempora?”), or the wonderful company, but that is the best ‘seafood’ meal I remember.

    Great Post Mark.

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      • Peanut was quite the character. Had I known, while we grew up together, what a modern day Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn/Raconteur/Bullshit Artist, et cetera, he truly was, I would have taken notes.

        I lost all my photos years ago along about wife numbers three and four. Had one or two of Peanut, wearing a Railroad engineer cap and shooting me the bird. Wish I still had that one; it was classic P’Nut’.

        Memories are mostly good things.
        Thank you Friend for your kind reply.
        -Lance

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      • I wish there was a way I could help you wrangle up some old Peanut photos. Have you tried finding the old friends to see if anybody has old photos they’d share with you? If you had names and last hometowns and emailed them to me I’d google and stuff and see if I could find a trail … if you wanted to try. Or we could write blogs both of us and try to find Peanut and Peanut photos of him in that engineer hat. Could be fun. Go viral.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ya know Mark; that is an excellent suggestion. I am in touch with his nephew from time to time on FB. He did send me a photo of Ronnie, Peanut’s Uncle (not sure if you remember or read that story about his drowning) anyway, I will start there. I am somewhat certain he may have some photos. (Probably from Holidays! Oh Gawd! Peanut in a suit!) But I’d take them, as I seem to write a lot about Peanut and no one even knows what he looked like.
        Thanks for your kind offer. I may call upon it at a later date.
        Peace,
        Lance

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  7. I do not have a shirt that tops The Pancake Man, but now I want to put that place high on my to-do list the next time I go to Cape Cod. It looks so amazing! I think Naked was sucky for teasing you like that and we should launch an international boycott! I would LOVE to see some live seals in the wild! How cool! And as for my favorite seafood meal, it’s got to be Mister Fish from here in Florida, of course! Even when I lived out of state, I would stock up on yummy Mister Fish when I came home for a visit and take it back to wherever I lived. YUM! Great post! I’m glad you’re having a fun holiday! ๐Ÿ˜€

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    • It is a fun place to eat a stack, Rachel.

      The seals know they are peforming for the humans, and ham it right up.

      Mister Fish travels well, does it. Must be some durable seafood there.

      Yes, Karen and are I relaxing pretty good here on the Cape.

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      • Mister Fish is fish sandwiches, and yes, they can be frozen, then travel in a cooler. It’s really just a little hole in the wall place that looks like something the Board of Health should have closed down years ago, but once you taste it, you’ll see why it’s so popular. I know people that come from hours away just for a meal there. So, if you ever get to Florida…

        I’m glad you’re relaxing. I hope you get to see some more seals before you leave. How cool! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  8. I’d say you missed a great night of golf….but I’m much more jealous of your great day & night out with dear wife Karen!!

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  9. Yummy brunch and scrumptious dinner! You had my mouth salivating like I was Ellie B.!! I would love the garlic linguini and the lobster, clams, shrimp or any other kind of seafood thrown over it! Your wife’s choices sound delicious and healthy, both meals! So glad you recognized a whole lot of carbs, Mark! Do you bring along any sugar free maple syrup or did they have that available? I have found this at a couple of restaurants, but mainly chains… Fun times, great vacay! Smiles, Robin

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    • I always ask if they have sugar free syrup before ordering pancakes, french toast or waffles, Robin. If not, I won’t order it. Most diners and restaurants have it now, I am finding, thankfully.

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  10. Awesome food Mark. Ummm, wrt to “Naked” – there was a large circular label on the front saying 320 calories. There are natural sugars in most fruit. I’ve tasted this juice before and it is ambrosia – sorry. I don’t buy it much because it is expensive. If you look at the ingedients (they can be seen in the picture) there are only juices, natural flavors, and vitamins – nothing else. Everything in there is good for you and your body can use it all. Granted the mixture has a high natural caloric content – for those who are younger than we are and burn more calories (or as a treat for the less active or for days when we are extra-active), it is an excellent drink. Anyway, it is just a testament to the quality foods you choose and have pictured. Thanks for the mouth-watering post!

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