Boston Restaurant Blog -- June, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Over the past few months, I've had people ask about the purpose of the blog within the Boston's Hidden Restaurants website. It serves a number of purposes, actually, including being a place where I can talk about restaurants that can't really be featured within the main part of the site. Included in that category would be restaurants that are not hidden gems--that is, either not hidden, not gems, or neither. Well, the focus of this post--Arnold's in Eastham--certainly fits into this category, but by no means because of the food. It is simply much too popular a place, and is also quite a distance from Boston. But what a place it is, with the seafood we recently had there being about as good as you'll find anywhere along the Massachusetts coast.
Arnold's is one of several seafood shacks and restaurants that can be found along Route 6 between the Orleans rotary and the Truro line. Indeed, this otherwise nondescript stretch of road that goes through Eastham and Wellfleet is a must if you love seafood, and one that I am becoming quite familiar with (having reviewed the Lobster Shanty in Eastham and P.J.'s Family Restaurant in Wellfleet over the past year or so). Arnold's looks a lot like these places (and others along Route 6), with a counter area for ordering, a sprawling and slightly rustic indoor dining area, and some picnic tables outside. What seems to separate Arnold's from the others upon first glance is the fact that the lines seem a bit longer and the parking lot seems a bit more full. There is apparently good reason for this, as more than a few people believe it is the best of all the seafood shacks along this road.
Several of us went to Arnold's earlier this week, though only not all of us had seafood. The seafood that we did have, though, was nothing short of spectacular; the warm lobster roll, for instance, was absolutely stuffed with some of the sweetest-tasting lobster meat I've tried. It was served in a fresh roll, with a small container of drawn butter on the side (rather than mayo, which is used for cold lobster rolls). The clam chowder was much better than average and its broth leaned more toward being thin than thick, which is more the traditional way of making chowder in New England. For those who like fried clams, the ones at Arnold's were spectacular, with the bellies literally bursting through the batter, creating a juicy briny goodness that is simply unforgettable. Other food items were decent, with the boneless buffalo tenders having a nicely textured batter and the fries being rather basic but tasty enough. We also tried some of Arnold's ice cream at the window off to the side, and it was quite good overall (they use Richardson's ice cream), with the Green Monster ice cream (mint with Oreo pieces) being particularly satisfying. Prices at Arnold's were a bit high, but that's to be expected with good seafood, and counter service was friendly and efficient.
So no, Arnold's in Eastham is by no means a hidden gem because it is not even close to being hidden (especially if you spend a lot of time on the Cape), but it is definitely a gem, with seafood that you'll remember long after heading back over the Cape Cod Canal. If I lived on the Cape or had a summer home there, there's a good chance this would be my go-to spot, which is saying a lot since there are so many good options near the place.
For those who want the address for Arnold's, here it is: Arnold's, 3580 State Highway (Route 6), Eastham, MA, 02642. The phone number is (508) 255-2575.
sjc in Weirs Beach NH said:
MMMmmmmmm....I have only been there once more than a year ago but I still remember those fantastic clams. Wish I had a car that works and time to go back. Arnold's is worth re-visiting over and over and over again.
Posted on 6/25/11
Note: Comments have now been closed for this blog entry.