Eat It, Damn It!

Reviews, raves, slams, and damns.

Monthly Archives: June 2013

Barbyann’s Fine Food & Drink

Barbyanns Menu
Barbyann’s Fine Food & Drink is in the bustling area of Hyannis. However, you may not notice the restaurant. Nearby the airport, there is a myriad of service roads, mall entrances, side roads, and a generally confusing maze of streets and pathways. Even with GPS and a set destination, it took a minute to find the establishment.

The d├ęcor of Barbyann’s could be described as “rustic” or “dated”. It depends on your point of view. It has the feel of a den. Is that the worst thing? I don’t believe so. Nothing was falling apart, and everything appeared to be clean, so I can’t complain.

Corn Chowder
One of the special soups was Corn Chowder ($2.99 cup), so MG just had to have some. She was very glad that she did. After eating, she asked the waitress when it might be on the menu again. Apparently, the chef makes it once a month or so. It was rich and creamy without being too milky. The seasoning was spot-on.

Lobster Bisque
I got the Lobster Bisque ($5.99 cup). It was excellent. One of the best that I’ve ever had, Cape Cod or anywhere else. It was delicious. However, I think they should have called it Lobster Puree.

Bisque Closeup
Take a look at that. Granted, it wasn’t chunks of lobster meat, but every spoonful I had was filled with lobstery goodness. I don’t know if the bisque is like that everyday and all day, but if it is… WOW. If you need some Lobster Bisque, definitely make this the destination.

Bacon Cheeseburger and Rings
MG got a Bacon Cheeseburger ($8.99) sans bun, with a side of Onion Rings. She declared the burger respectable, but not special.

The onion rings were a little strange. It was like they dehydrated the onion before breading and cooking. While the texture was great for dipping, I’m not sure it was good alone. The flavor was fair.

Mini Salad
I got a Mini Salad to go with my main course. It’s the perfect small green accompaniment to a meal.

Fish Sandwich with Eggplant Fries
My main course was a Fish Sandwich with Eggplant Fries ($12.49 with Mini Salad).

“You don”t like eggplant. Why did you order Eggplant Fries?”
“I had to know.”
“But you don’t like eggplant.”
“Yeah, but I just gotta’ know what eggplant if french fry format tastes like.”

How were they? I’m not really sure. Much like the onion rings, they seemed dehydrated. It was served with a side of Marinara sauce, but I’m not sure that was a good thing. I can’t really say one way or another if they were good. This dish did not turn me into an eggplant aficionado.

The fish sandwich was cod. I would pass on having it again. The crust wasn’t particularly crusty and the fish wasn’t very tasty. The addition of cheese was not good. Cheese and cod? Yeah… pass.

Barbyann’s was a mixed bag. Their soups were spectacular. The main courses elicit a shrug of the shoulders. The waitstaff is very friendly. They answered questions promptly, we’re knowledgeable about the menu and were chatty without being annoying.

Stop in for soup and drinks. Other items? Proceed at your own risk.

Barbyann’s Fine Food & Drink
120 Airport Rd
Hyannis, MA 02601
(Google Map)


The Friendly Fisherman

Route 6 Signage
“Fish”, “Lobster”, “Catch”. These are words that are pretty popular with seafood restaurants. Enter The Friendly Fisherman. It is both a restaurant and supermarket.

I think the term “roadside” would be appropriate for this establishment. Though it is set back from the road, lest you suck in carbon monoxide with your meal, it is just off the main drag that is Route 6.

Menu Board
The menu board features all the Cape Cod favorites.

Chicken Fingers and Fries
MG got the Chicken Fingers and Fries. She wanted to switch the fries for onion rings, but the Friendly Fisherman does not allow substitutions. Both chicken and fried potato were fair. They were properly cooked and the portion was respectable. However, there was nothing special about either one. They were right. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Lobster Bisque
I got the lunch special of soup and additional item. In this case, I paid a little extra to get the Lobster Bisque (instead of the Clam Chowder). This offering was OK. The flavor was nice and it was not logged in oil. There was practically no lobster meat it the container (not that I was expecting any), but the flavor was pretty good.

Seafood Roll
My accompanying item was the Seafood Roll. Perhaps, I’m off, but I hear “seafood roll” and I think of a medley of marine life. Nope. This was a crab roll. Giving the Fisherman the benefit of the doubt, I will allow the possibility that I just got a bad draw. The spoon that reached into the seafood salad may have missed other former-life forms. Perhaps the person after me got a roll with nothing but shrimp. Nevertheless, I only got crab. For a crab roll, it was nice. For a seafood roll? Not so much.

Friendly Fisherman is a quick and easy stop for lunch. The prices are fair and the food is respectable. Don’t go out of your way for a meal there, and I don’t recommend it for dinner. However, if you are in the vicinity and need a quick nosh, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

The Friendly Fisherman
4580 Route 6
Eastham, MA 02651
(Google Map)

BZ’s Mexican Pizzeria

BZ Sign

That’s the review in a nutshell. “No.”

MG wanted pizza. (Thank goodness I was getting something else.) BZ’s offers a gluten free pizza. Their gluten free options are only offered in one size (I guess it would be considered a large personal in many places). She called up and ordered a gluten-free with pepperoni.

“Twenty-five minutes.”
“Twenty-five minutes for a pizza?”
“That’s what they said.”

That was the big warning sign. That was what we would look back on as the flashing DANGER sign that we ignored.

BZ Gluten Free Pepperoni
Not bad looking, right?

The upskirt tells a different story. There is no charring. It is not crisp. Their ovens are probably kept at a fairly low temperature. That would be why it took 25 minutes to cook. This is not looking good. How does it taste?

Get a saltine. Sprinkle a little water on it and leave it on your counter for a few days. Put it in the microwave for around 20 seconds. I think this will give you a good idea of the taste and texture of the crust.

They were pretty light on the sauce, but given the taste, I’m not sure that is a bad thing. The substance that was called cheese defies description. The words coming to mind are “burlap” and “sneaker bottom”.

Maybe this is not indicative of BZ’s other offerings. Some restaurants just put a gluten-free option or two on the menu and don’t give it much care or consideration. I would hate to think that anything else on the menu could be this bad.

BZ’s Mexican Pizzeria
682 Main Street
Dennisport, MA 02639
(Google Map)

Karoo Kafe

If you look through this site, you will notice a number of reviews from Cape Cod. This is because MG has a particular fascination with the locale and likes to jaunt to its environs from time to time. There is a certain irony in the fact that MG will not eat anything that originates in the sea.

“She goes to Cape Cod, but doesn’t eat seafood?”

Yeah. This can be challenging. For breakfast, she is fine as The Cape (as she affectionately calls it) has many places dedicated solely to the breakfast/brunch crowd. However, for lunch and dinner, the pickings can be rather slim. In certain areas, it can be a real challenge. Add to that, her recent departure from gluten and dairy… Oh, boy. Then, because things aren’t challenging enough, she says “Where would you like to go for lunch?”

We were in Provincetown (or P-Town, as she likes to say). This is a very popular area with people that like to walk and look into little shops. Though I realize that I just describe the entire Cape, this place is especially apt for that description. Every restaurant has someone sitting outside harking pedestrians over to view the menu. This also means that every restaurant is serving meals that are decidedly “Capey”. (I know that it’s not a word, but I’m going with it. Picture it with someone using air quotes if that makes you feel better.) This means that their only non-seafood option is usually baked or grilled chicken, and perhaps a steak. MG isn’t always in the mood for steak.

“It’s not really up to me. You’re the one with the dietary restrictions. I eat seafood, so anyplace will accommodate me.”
“I don’t like that.”
“You don’t like that?”
“No. I want us to choose a place together.”
“That’s a very nice sentiment, but doesn’t really work in this instance. Your options are really limited, so you have to see if the one or two items on each menu are interesting to you.”
“I don’t like that.”
“Darling, I’ll be fine anywhere. Everyplace has something I can eat. I’d like you to enjoy your meal, not just tolerate it.”
“Why can’t you help me?”

At this point, rage is growing inside. For whom? Well… I guess that depends on which side you empathize with in this case.

Karoo Sign
Thankfully, we found a sign for Karoo. We looked at the menu. It has lamb (which MG also does not eat), beef, chicken, and vegetarian options. A plethora of non-ocean-dwelling options were available. Many of their dishes are also listed as gluten-free. The day was saved.

We started with some Falafel ($1 each). They were listed as gluten-free (I don’t know if falafel are typically sans gluten), and arrived with a spicy sauce on the side. Though they were very tasty, the texture was a little strange. They were unlike any other falafel I’ve ever had, in that the texture was almost like an undercooked dumpling. Again, they tasted great, but I think they should title them “Chickpea Balls” or “Gluten-Free Legume Rounds” or something of that nature.

Durban Bunny Chow
Durban Bunny Chow ($9.85) is described as a “Spicy lamb stew served in a quarter loaf of white bread.” It was really wonderful. The lamb stew was very savory. They did not skimp on the meat. There was plenty of gravy for the filling and the hollowed-out bread load. The inside of the loaf, by itself, tasted like hell, but with the gravy was nice. Though the inside of the loaf was lousy, its shell was wonderful. The crust of this bread had tons of flavor. It was like all the bread tastiness was only available on the outside and did not permeate. Alas, this dish is not gluten-free, but still a decent option if you only want to eat the filling of lamb, potatoes, and veggies.

Sosatie Chicken Pita
MG got the Sosatie Pita ($8.35). The menu lists it as “Chicken or Tofu in a mild sweet and sour curry marinade, grilled and served on a pita with lettuce, tomato and chutney.” I took a bite of the chicken and found it very nice. MG was thrilled. She could not stop raving about it, both on that day and on our return.

Karoo has two locations. The Commercial Street locale is just a small place suitable for a casual lunch and dinner. The other location has a slightly more extensive menu and is catered to a dinner crowd. The larger location is only open Thursday through Sunday (at least when we asked).

I have to give props to Karoo for a friendly staff, good food, and for salvaging my day in Provincetown.

Karoo Kafe
338 Commercial Street
Provincetown, MA 02657
(Google Map)

La Baguette Cafe

Do my eyes deceive me? Is that actually a food truck in the North Bronx, bordering Mount Vernon? No, it couldn’t be. Maybe it just broke down there and will be gone tomorrow. That must be it.

Wait a minute. It’s there again. It’s there late at night. Oh my goodness. It says “Halal Food” on the side. Could it be that there is a Halal food cart right off the 241 Street exit of the 2 train? Dare I dream? Is it too good to be true?

Yes. Yes, it was too good to be true. The truck lingered for a couple weeks, and then it was gone.

Side of Truck
The Halal Food truck with the French cafe scene on the side is known as the La Baguette. Doing a little research on the good ole interwebs revealed that this truck usually calls Hells Kitchen its home. I guess they have ventured back to their original territory, or perhaps they are visiting new and distant corners of New York.

La Baguette Window Menu
In addition to the mural on the side, this modest menu is in the window. Then again, who needs a menu? Halal truck? Time for lamb over rice. White sauce? Yes, please. Hot Sauce? Yes, please. Onion? Sure.

Lamb over Rice
Like most food trucks, the lamb over rice is gyro meat warmed on the griddle and placed over rice. Salad is then ladled in the container as well. White sauce, and if you are so inclined, hot sauce are dolloped over the top. Deceptively simple, but this meal can be magical when done right.

La Baguette Cafe’s offering is fair. The lamb/gyro meat is plentiful and tasty, but could use a little more seasoning. The rice is well cooked, but nothing special. The hot sauce could use a bit more heat. The white sauce is the standout. It is creamy and savory. The entire platter only cost me $5, so I can’t complain too much.

La Baguette Cafe, I hardly knew thee. I wish you stayed around longer, but alas, you are gone. Should I see you again, I may stop in, if only for nostalgia’s sake. However, if there is another cart nearby with more intriguing lamb, you may get the cold shoulder.

La Baguette Cafe
?????(Who knows were)????