When I was very little my grandparents used to rent a house every summer in Dennis on Cape Cod. We'd all pile in there - grandparents, aunts, uncles, toddlers and babies - for a week of sun, beach and lobster dinners.
In addition to our family, my grandfather's best friend, his wife and their son would also vacation with us. Their son, 18 years my senior, would always duck out after dinner to head to a place called the Beachcomber. For the majority of my childhood, the Beachcomber was this mysterious place where our "big brother" disappeared to at night.
In my mind I had built up the Beachcomber to be this wild, crazy, frat boy destination in the middle of an otherwise peaceful Cape Cod. Well, last week I finally made my first trip.
In the middle of our vacation week, my sister, brother-in-law and I decided to grab drinks and dinner, just the kids. We drove from Truro to the next town, Wellfleet, and were thrilled to discover the Beachcomber is actually right on the sand of Cahoon Hollow Beach.
There is a huge indoor dining room, but the most coveted seats are at the picnic tables on the outdoor patio and at the bar.
We put our name in for a table and the hostess let us know it would be about a half hour. Undeterred, we snagged seats at the bar. All the bartenders were total Boston bros, rocking the classic Red Sox hat with the flat brim.
In addition to the huge bar, the outdoor patio also boasts a raw bar. I love that the guys prep lobsters, oysters, shrimp and clams in front of a giant American flag.
To kick off the night our first round included a Bloody Mary for me, a margarita for my brother-in-law and a glass of the Truro Vineyards rose for my sister. My Bloody had a nice dollop of horseradish right on top. Yum!
My sister and her husband were super tempted by the raw bar and wound up ordering a combo plate called the little devil.
It had three oysters:
And three shrimp:
Thank goodness I forced them to let me take pictures before they dug in because that whole plate vanished!
Soon after they'd cleaned their raw bar plate, our buzzer went off for our table. We got a killer spot, right along the edge of the patio overlooking the dunes.
The Beachcomber menu is what you'd expect from a Cape Cod seafood place. Two full pages of fried food.
While we were sitting at the bar we saw another table receive a plate of nachos. We knew immediately we had to have them. The tower of chips was piled high with goodies.
Typically the nachos come with beef chili, but the newlyweds were nice enough to let me order it on the side. The both dunked chips in the chili and raved about it.
To be honest, we should have stopped after the nachos, but, when in Rome, right?
There weren't a ton of vegetarian options on the menu, so I went with the simplest choice, the veggie burger. It was a black bean based patty topped with cheddar cheese. I only ate half the burger and instead focused my attention on the French fries.
My sister went with the tuna tacos. She said, "The tuna was very fresh, but the plate as a whole was nothing to write home about, especially those salsas. I wish the tacos had come on a soft corn tortilla and that the presentation had actually shown the fish, instead of burying it under all the toppings."
Both of our entrees were kind of a bust, but my brother-in-law hit the jackpot. He made a classic move and ordered the fish and chips. The piece of fish that came on this plate was enormous.
The piece of fish was so big they served it with the utensils sticking straight up out of it! The fish comes over a tortilla bowl stuffed with French fries and garnished with a mini dish of cole slaw. In between blissful bites he commented, "The fish is extremely fresh and the batter is perfect. The fish is just so tender. The fries are solid, as is the coleslaw. Not sure why it came in a tortilla bowl, but I don't care."
There was no question, the fish and chips was the best dish we ordered. My sister kept trying to sneak bites.
We left the Beachcomber around 9:30pm, so we didn't really stick around long enough for the vibe to switch from dinner and drinks to drinks on drinks on drinks. The scene was much more tame than I imagined, but again, that could be because we were there early.
After nearly 20+ years of wondering about the magic of the Beachcomber, I finally experienced it for myself.
Have you ever been to the Beachcomber?