Despite its somewhat worn dining room, the antique floral wallpaper, painted wood paneling, and candlelit tables make me want to slow down and relax, which we did on a recent Wednesday evening. The regular menu offers typical Cape Cod fare such as fried or broiled seafood, but the real bargains and interesting choices can be found on the specials page. It’s unfair to try something you aren’t sure you’ll like when you’re writing a review, so I didn’t order the Finnan Haddie, a Scottish dish with salted-and-smoked haddock baked with onion béchamel, crumbled bacon and hard cooked egg ($14), but I sure was tempted.
We started off by sharing an order of boneless Buffalo chicken tenders ($8), which we all loved. The chicken was very tender and the sauce was obviously homemade, with undercurrents of lemon, cumin and cayenne. The accompanying blue cheese dressing had nice-sized chunks of blue cheese.
You can’t visit a “chowder house” without trying a cup of the clam chowder ($4.50), and the Brewster Inn’s is an old-school recipe with a creamy white base, chunks of potato and plenty of tender clams. All the dinners come with a choice of soup or salad and the soup of the day was cream of broccoli. It was a chunky version with diced carrots as well as broccoli. A few tiny bits of chicken proved it was made with homemade chicken stock, always a plus, unless you’re a vegetarian.
At $13, I couldn’t resist the grilled beef tenderloin with sautéed button mushrooms. It was the tail end of a tenderloin, which meant the skinnier end was slightly overcooked, but it had a lovely meaty flavor and was incredibly tender. It came with an enormous baked stuffed potato, nicely flavored with sour cream and chives, and perfectly sautéed zucchini, summer squash, onions, and red and green peppers.
My husband ordered the all-meat chicken pie ($10.95), which was exactly as advertised, with a flaky top and bottom crust densely filled with chunks of tender chicken in gravy with more gravy on top. The mashed potatoes were ordinary but plentiful. The only puzzle on the plate was the side dish of carrot chunks and corn, an odd combination made worse because the carrots were mushy.
Our daughter had the fried fish sandwich ($10.50), a large fillet of fresh and flaky fish with a nicely crunchy batter, served on a roll with lettuce, tomato and sliced red onions. Both the accompanying french fries and coleslaw were appropriately crisp and she really enjoyed the flavor of the coleslaw.
Her boyfriend ordered the steamed brats over bubble and squeak ($12), an enormous plate that he polished off with no problem. The mixture of sautéed cabbage and mashed potatoes was tasty, as were the two large pieces of smoked bratwurst that had been steamed in ale and then grilled.
Our server was excellent, with a good sense of timing and a fabulous memory. She didn’t make a single mistake despite the fact she didn’t write our orders down.
The serving sizes were so generous that we were all too full for dessert, which looked really good. Homemade comfort food at the right prices guarantees we’ll be back for more.