Most times and evenings, The Canteen in Provincetown serves fare that chef/co-proprietor Rob Anderson has explained makes it “a relaxed sandwich-and-lobster-roll cafe,” though with the impact of modern American cuisine.
Accessible in these pandemic times for takeout only (or supply in city), the a single-page menus for lunch and supper include clam chowder, lobster grilled cheese as properly as lobster rolls, and French fries, moreover a heat grain bowl, an “eat your greens” salad, crispy brussel sprouts, rooster sandwiches and vegan selections.
But on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings in the wintertime and spring, Anderson and his workers acquire patrons on what he describes as “a tour around the environment.”
Culinary globe tour
For the fourth off-period, Canteen has established popular concept evenings programmed to offer foods that are affordable and not normally quick to find on the Outer Cape in the winter.
Steamed pork or tofu buns for Chinese meals week. A Vietnamese lemongrass rice bowl. Creole shrimp étouffée and a vegan mushroom po’ boy to rejoice Mardi Gras. Last week’s Lebanese menu bundled Kibbeh or falafel, labneh, fattoush, manakish (seasoned flatbread), cucumber, hummus and tabouleh. Every 7 days, there is a vegan selection.
When he and co-owner Loic Rossignon very first made a decision to keep open 12 months-spherical, Anderson states, “we preferred to get there at a structure that would be interesting and beneficial for the individuals who dwell below.” Sticking to their mentioned target of developing a neighborhood close to their restaurant, which includes employing domestically sourced foodstuff when attainable, the topic evenings are aimed at currently being “something to make the lengthy, chilly gray winters in this article on the Outer Cape a minimal far more remarkable and less monotonous.”
The list Canteen staff in the beginning came up with experienced the popular thread of food challenging to discover in the place at this time of yr “so we resolved rather of picking one particular route, we would try switching it up every week,” Anderson says. The idea was promptly a hit.
“For some persons, it is been a big deal. Some come from (other pieces of) the Cape for some, it’s an excuse to appear down from off-Cape,” he says. “Some people come pretty much each 7 days.” Scheduled deliberately midweek when there is little else likely on, the themed evenings “give individuals a little something to do.”
The Canteen team, slice from the standard 15 to 20 in the winter to just 8 all through the pandemic, also adore the weekly alterations, with Anderson noting, “It’s interesting for us.”
What is on the menu?
The format “allows our kitchen area employees to spread their wings a little bit, much too. In its place of cooking the similar matters we generally do, we get to share the dishes we grew up eating at dwelling, or the types we cook dinner for our people now,” he suggests by e-mail. “Sometimes we re-develop dishes we have loved though on holiday vacation, or we get an opportunity to analysis a delicacies or ingredient we have never cooked ahead of and ideal it the greatest we can. So as a great deal as it serves our visitors, it also serves us, also.”
Although precise menus haven’t nonetheless been established for the entire time — maintain an eye on Canteen’s Fb page and site for updates and specifics — the impending themes (at times tied to vacations) are: March 2-3, Thai March 9-10, ramen March 16-17, Irish March 23-24, Indian March 30-31, Chinese April 6-7, burgers April 13-14, Spanish April 20-21, “Deep Fried Heaven” April 27-28, “Southern Consolation Food” and May 4-5, Mexican.
Alcoholic beverages, like beer from neighborhood breweries and spiked variations of cider and sizzling chocolate, are offered for takeout, far too, on all nights. Ordering is online, in man or woman or above the phone.
In earlier many years, the topic evenings experienced 3-training course tasting menus — an appetizer, entree and dessert, with additional facet dishes and consume pairings. “We (experienced) some mad evenings with our restricted dining place jam-packed, the home windows all steamed up and nowhere to sit,” Anderson remembers of the “normal” years. Because of the pandemic and takeout only, he says, the menus are much more streamlined now, but with significant parts for a good worth. “Things are a bit more subdued, but we are performing our best to hold the tradition alive.”
The constraints and needed alterations all around COVID-19 concerns have been a challenge for all eating places, and Canteen owners adapted as finest they could. It was a occasionally irritating, study-as-you-go expertise in Provincetown, and some troubles with the general public at the Canteen turned greatly acknowledged as a result of social media posts, interviews with the Cape Cod Times and other media outlets, and a column that Anderson — a previous journalist — wrote in May well for The Atlantic journal.
Back again then, he described the early days of clients refusing to continue to be social-distanced, berating the workers, and tossing trash all-around the compact yard. Just one girl experimented with to climb around a table that blocked the doorway and held take-out orders in an attempt to get inside of the restaurant. Yet another patron sat on that table out of resolve to nevertheless take in a meal on website.
In these quieter months, the compact indoor dining home in the 200-year-previous Business Road constructing remains off limitations, but Canteen does carry on to welcome customers to try to eat in the slim yard that overlooks Cape Cod Bay. The tables back there involve four in a heated tent on weekends, and as the browsing Provincetown crowds have gotten scaled-down, Anderson has been stunned at how numerous of individuals who are around even now choose to eat in the yard.
“There’s no services, but there’s a rubbish can (for trash), if men and women are snug sitting down out,” he suggests. “I think men and women are unwell of remaining cooped up. As very long as the weather is 35 or 40 levels, people are sitting down out there.”