Chapin’s Restaurant

Dan here today.  After my mom called me out for not blogging on Friday, I figured I should step up to the plate today.  My primary goal on our trip back East was to eat some high quality seafood.  Denver, unfortunately, is not known for its lobster or its clams.  We do get Rocky Mountain oysters out here, but for some reason, they don’t seem to taste the same as East Coast oysters.  I’ll get to that bottom of that eventually.  Maybe it’s the way they cook them.

Anyway, after my disappointing experience at the Yorktown Pub, I wanted some oysters done right.  From DC, Beth and I took a quick midday flight up to Boston, followed by a slightly longer drive out to Cape Cod (“the Cape” will always be Canaveral for me), where we set off in pursuit of that goal.  Since it was already after three by the time we arrived at our hotel, and since we’d also missed lunch, we decided to eat on senior citizen time.  The Internet led us to Chapin’s Restaurant in the town of Dennis, which we reached approximately thirty seconds after it opened.  (Okay, maybe it was more like ten minutes.)  Sure enough, we were the youngest people in the place by about thirty years, although the population slowly began to turn over as we ate our meal.

We were both starving, so we might have gone a little overboard with the amount of food we ordered.  We both started off with steaming bowls of clam chowder, followed by a stuffed quahog (which made me think I should be on the road to Rhode Island).  The chowder was delicious, creamy and comforting, and it made me want to say “chow-dah” over and over again.  Not wanting to sound like an idiot tourist, I wisely refrained. 

The quahog was just okay – more breading than sea creature.  I’m still not entirely sure what a quahog is (I think it’s a type of clam), but I can say for certain that I’ve eaten one.
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After the appetizers, it was on to the highlight of the meal:  the fried oysters and clams.  Even though we spent the next three days eating nothing but seafood, this was the best I had during the whole trip (followed closely by the steamers we got at The Skipper, which I’ll talk about later this week). 

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The clams in particular were incredibly juicy, with just the right amount of saltiness to remind you that they came from the sea and just the right amount of fried to make your arteries complain a little without completely revolting.  I think we took advantage of an offseason sale, because the plates came piled high with more of them than I thought we had any right to get.  In the end, both of us left the accompanying fries untouched, and we still rolled out of the restaurant at the end of the night.

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If you find yourself on Cape Cod, you should definitely go to this place.  Although I’m guessing if you’re there during the summer, the place will fill up pretty fast.

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