It’s all very New England here. Like you see why it’s called that after you’ve been living in old England. The towns are all named the same thing but in a different order; for example, it makes no sense that Warwick is right next to Greenwich. And of course, here in New England we have the added bonus of all of the Native American place names thrown in with the Old England ones. It makes for great, tongue-twisting fun.
What am I loving about being in Cape Cod? It’s totally small town. I don’t know what I thought it would be like, I’m not sure I had a chance to really think about it. But I don’t think I realized it would be so small town. Last night a colleague and I asked at the hotel desk about a restaurant recommendation. They wondered if we were seeking casual or formal, and we said casual. So much to our chagrin their recommendation turned out to be one of those classic New England fried seafood joints with a counter to pay at and a “seat yourself and nibble at your basket of fried stuff” menu and dining style. We scrapped that plan and found a nice Zagat-rated Asian fusion restaurant (The Roo Bar with inexplicable dots over the oo) a few blocks further down the road. Whew, the relief. We laughed over what city girls we clearly were. I have to admit, though, after all the months in England without easy access to vegetables proper (do the English really get nutritional completeness from cauliflower cheese and potatoes and mange tout?) I am loving the food here. Yes of course I buy broccoli and zucchini and asparagus and other lovely vegetables and cook them at home, but I never see these things on the menu at my frequent catered work dinners or in British restaurants. I am scarfing down fresh vegetables and fruits as though they were going out of style. Since in Britain they apparently are out of style, and the alternatives are bleak. And typically overcooked. And I can only name one restaurant in my entire neighborhood that has not turned out to be part of a chain. They are cleverly disguised, with their international flavors and decor, but they are all on every high street on every town I’ve been to in the UK thus far. Sigh. Long live California Cuisine!
Disadvantages to small town-ness: restaurants close at 9 pm on week nights. (Although unlike in England it’s a straight 9 pm each night, 10 pm on the weekends, none of the funny stuff.) Huge advantage to small town-ness: room service. I just ordered a feast of a breakfast, pot of coffee, and including delivery and a generous tip it was 11 bucks. I knew I had already lived in the UK too long when room service prices started looking reasonable to me, but actually in a small town they ARE reasonable. Yum. Must go nibble now.