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.
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 ($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.
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.
338 Commercial Street
Provincetown, MA 02657