We got back from our 2 week camping trip a week ago Sunday, so I apologize for not reporting earlier, but it does take a while to catch up (and Hurricane Isabel didn't help).
So here is my report:
We arrived Labor Day evening with a cooler full of food to cook as we were warned that many restaurants are closed that day. But the rainy weather forced us to seek an indoor location. Land Ho was open but extremely crowded with a projected 45 minute wait so we went to Yardarm. The wait there would have been 15 minutes, but a couple who were about to be seated at a table for 4 offered to let us join them and we accepted. The food was tasty but not spectacular. It was a pleasant dinner
On another rainy evening we headed at 6PM to Brewster Fish House.The line was a mile long, so we redirected to Orleans and Land Ho. This time we got in. We shared fried scallops and fried oysters. They were wonderful. Despite the noise and the scene, the food was very good and quite reasonable. Service was pleasant and efficient. We were very impressed.
Brewster Fish House:
We decided that the trick to Brewster Fish House might be to go early. When we arrived at about 5:30 there were 3 or 4 empty tables. By 6, the restaurant was filled and the waiting people increased as it got later. This is a very pleasant place. Upscale food and service, but with a comfortable feel so that people could come with jackets and tie or shorts and feel at home. We started by splitting a really wonderful and light crab cake appetizer. Then Marilyn had the fluke and a had scallops. Both were nicely prepared and very fresh. As there were people waiting and restaurant did not serve espresso, we skipped the coffee, but all in all it was a very nice dinner.
The weather was nice enough that we could eat at the site most of the other nights. Two of those night we took out steamed lobsters from Nauset Fish store at the beginning of Route 6A. In both cases, we had a two pounder each. They remained hot during the half hour or so it took to get back to the campground and boil water and cook the corns. They were excellent. Not cheap at $8.99/9.99 lb (depending on the day), but really good. I wish they were open later though.
Rain on two mornings had us searching for breakfast. The recommended Noony's, despite the "Open All Year" sign, was closed both the day after Labor Day and that Thursday. It did seem open (and crowded) when we passes the following week, but we had already eaten breakfast. The first day we ended up at the Chocolate Sparrow. Nothing special. The next at the Sunset Bakery. Better and less pretentious.
We had lunch at Arnold's twice in the first week. Nice fried whole clams. The second time was their closing day on Sept 7 which they made a benefit for one of their workers, a Nepalese woman who was killed crossing Route 6 on her bike on the way between two of her 3 jobs. The place was absolutely packed. But if it hadn't been for the flyers announce the benefit, there would have been no way to know this was the last day of the season. It seems lots of these roadside places close for the season the weekend after Labor Day and none seem to have the decency to announce that fact via signage. We missed trying Cobies, even though it is less than a mile from the State Park, because when we went on Sept 8 (and checked again on the 10th), it was closed. Poits seemed to have the same schedule. I have to think that it has to be their hiring practices and not the potential for business that causes these places to close so early in September. I assume the high school and college kids they employ have to get back to school. If they had more mixed age employees, they probably could profitably extend their season several more weeks.
We did order take out from Clem and Urises in Provincetown. They have a post school age serving staff, so they were open. We thought their fried clams were a little chewy, but almost as good as Arnold's and the fries were top notch. The "dinner" plate also came with a very nice piece of cornbread. Main complaint was the little packets of awful tartar sauce they provided instead of the "homemade" stuff served elsewhere. I think their beer choice was better than Arnold's (in fact, they had a full bar), but since we were taking out, it didn't matter. Some people reported that C & U was expensive, but it seemed to be in line with Arnold's.
We shopped at both Shaw's and Stop and Shop because only Shaw's had 12 oz cans of Polar seltzer and Stop and Shop had 6 oz cans of frozen orange juice, both camping necessities for us. I though the fresh food and meats selection was surprisingly limited for stores of that size. Stop and Shop was somewhat nicer in general and interestingly, gave us the "club card" discount every time, even though we did not have a card, nor did we ask for it. Shaws did not provide us the same benefit. Neither Shaw's nor Stop and Shop had Lump charcoal, but Phoenix Market and Snow's hardware did.
So that's it. I hope this provides a little feedback to all those who took the time to respond to my queries a month ago.