Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Battle of The Cape Seafood Shacks

Greetings From Cape Cod!

I've been ending my summer vacation this year with Joe and the boys (our two Boston Terriers) in lovely Dennisport, MA on Cape Cod. We New Englanders refer to it as "The Cape." Joe and I've eaten out a couple of times at two similar restaurants, so I decided to do a "Battle of ..." post.

When on The Cape, eating at a fried seafood joint is an absolute must! I seldom indulge in the joy of a fried seafood meal, but this is the time to go all-out. And I am counting it as okay since we are getting tons of exercise kayaking, taking long walks and going on long bike rides.

Here we were on our ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail:

So the day arrived for my fried clam indulgence and after much research, I had decided to let loose on a place called the Original Seafood Restaurant located between the two, also on route 28. But we walked in and I ordered the clam platter (clams with bellies) but they foolishly ran out! Hey, when you are supposed to specialize in a food, you shouldn't be running out! So they get a thumbs-down in my book!

So I now present to you the Battle of the Seafood Shacks. The two restaurants, the Weatherdeck and Kream N' Kone, both located on route 28 and are within a couple of miles of each other.

The Weatherdeck
168 Route 28
West Harwich, MA 02671
(508) 432-8240

When doing my restaurant research on the clam shacks in the area, I didn't see anything written about this place anywhere. I had no intention on going there. But those bastards at the Original Seafood Restaurant were out of whole belly clams and Kreme 'n Kone was a mob scene - we couldn't even get a parking spot. So we went to the first other place that we saw, the Weatherdeck. I was keeping my fingers crossed.

Well, the food was great!

I got the belly clam platter for $22 (the average rate around here) and my husband got the fried scallops for about $9.00. Both were totally delicious.

The Clam Platter:

I really enjoyed the coating on the clams. The clams were on the smaller side, and were sweet and tasty. In all the clams I ate (and there were a lot of them), there was only one with a bit of sand in it, and that's pretty good!

The Scallop Platter (there actually are a lot of scallops under there!):

The coating on the scallops was good, not out of this world. But the scallops were perfectly cooked. They were tender and sweet. And they were pretty large in size (not huge).

The onion rings were awesome. I wanted more clams and less fries, so I completely passed on the fries, but Joe said they were good! He also had a clam chowder. He said he liked the flavor very much, but the consistency was too thick.

It was the atmosphere that could use improving. While there are a lot of windows, and a high ceiling with ceiling fans, it was hot. Granted, it was a really hot day, but some air conditioning would have been appropriate. Also, it doesn't look enticing from the outside. It needs updating. On the inside it could also use some updating of decor as well. The booths remind me of fast food joints from 1983. The benches were the hard orange particle-board ones and the table was a wood-grain laminate on particle board. Joe recalls the tables being sticky.

Here's pics from the outside:

When you order your food, you get a ticket with a number, and they call you when it's ready. That was fine when the place wasn't too busy, but it would have been annoying if they were busy and constantly calling out numbers.

But the food was good and plentiful. We had a lot of leftovers and I couldn't even finish my clams even though I never even ate a french fry. If you're hungry and you're there and don't want to deal with a crowd, it's a good restaurant and I recommend it.

Oh, and I think they may have sold beer. I could swear I saw a Budweiser sign.

Kream 'N Kone
Rte 28
West Dennis, MA 02670
(508) 394-0808

The first time I went to Kreme n' Kone it was so crowded we couldn't get a parking space and figured that if one opened up, it would take forever to get a table and our food, so we turned around and left. Their sign says they were voted best on the cape, so they are pretty popular.

But today, it was just before noon, and the mobs hadn't arrived yet. So we went for it. We were trying to spend less money, so I didn't get the clam belly plate like I did at the Weatherdeck, but the price was comparable, at $21.75. Instead, I got the fried scallops ($12.99) and my husband got the fried haddock ($10.99). He also got a clam chowder.

The atmosphere was nice. The seats were comfortable and the decor was light and airy. there was an outside dining - not a patio, but the end of the parking lot, really. The location is good - just along the river, so if you sit on that side of the restaurant you can watch the kayakers and paddle-boaters. It was much cooler out on the day we visited the Kreme N' Kone (as opposed to the really hot day when we were at the Weatherdeck). There was no noticeable air conditioning. But on this day, they didn't need it. There was great ventilation coming from the breeze through the open windows.

One downer was the ladies room. It only had 3 stalls, and one of them was out of order. This is a family restaurant, so half of the adult women in the bathroom have a child with them. Seriously, I was in line while the restaurant was almost empty. There were two stalls, each with a mother and child in them, and two single women in front of me in line. In 15 minutes, the lunch rush probably was going to begin, so the facilities were not sufficient! It can be so hard to be a woman who needs to do her business.

Prices were similar to the Weatherdeck. But there was a noticeable difference in ordering in that they give you a number sign and they bring the food to you, which is nice.

The onion rings were great and were exactly like those of the Weatherdeck. The fries were good. My husband said they were just slightly better than those of the Weatherdeck. The chowder was good in flavor, but a little thick, just as that of the Weatherdeck. Perhaps they were made by the same people.

The coating on scallops was crispier than it had been at the Weatherdeck, but the scallops were slightly overcooked. They had tried to not cover up the scallops with fries. I'm guessing it's because the scallops get soggy under the fries. There were a couple under there and it was noticeable. In all, I'm giving the upper edge to the scallops at the Weatherdeck.

Here's the haddock platter:

The haddock was delicious. I think it was the same coating that was on the scallops. I'd get it again without a doubt.

Here's the scallop platter:

And the winner is?

Honestly, this is a tough one to answer. If I look at our experience, I'd have to give the win to the Kreme N' Kone. But on a different day, it might not be an easy choice. Here's the breakdown:(btw - I don't know why you have to scroll down to see this table. Blogger is fighting me and I can't fix it!)

Kreme N' Kone
Atmosphere (looks)Needs Improvement


Onion RingsDelicious


French Fries
Very Good


Fried ScallopsGreat

Very Good

Clam ChowderGoodGood
Ease of Parking and Speed of Food ArrivalGreatDepends

No comments: