by Rick Conti
When someone mentions “fast food”, what do you think of? I think of plastic. The fast food joints’ signs? Plastic. The furniture? More plastic! The food? Well, I can’t be certain, but it sure seems like more of the same. So why do people go to those places? Either they’re slaves to conformity or they have a thing for plastic.
One more reason to come to Martha’s Vineyard! There are almost no such places here. I don’t want to name names, but you won’t find any burger places with Scottish names or creepy looking royalty.
But if you really must have fast food, you can actually find it on the Vineyard. Like everything else here, however, fast food Vineyard-style is way better than anything you’ll find on the mainland. Let’s look at a few places where the food is plenty quick, but it comes with a free side of spectacular seascape. Oh yeah, and it’s edible.
Oak Bluffs is a great place to get some pizza, pronto. You won’t find the mass-produced discs of dubious food-like substances that you get at the chains, but you will find Giordano’s real Italian pizza. On a sultry summer evening, there’s nothing like walking up to Giordano’s take-out window and ordering a fresh, hot slice of pizza heaven. Get extra napkins.
Edgartown doesn’t seem like the kind of hamlet to host fast food, but they have just the place for diners in a hurry. The Quarterdeck is a classic waterfront take-out eatery. Walk up, place your order, and in no time you’re downing fabulous fried clams, lobster bisque, burgers, fries, even soft-serve ice cream. Take the short walk to the dock to partake of your fleet feast while watching the On-Time ferry make its rounds to and from Chappy. Pure joy. You won’t find that at Wendy’s.
(Edgartown also has Espresso Love, but they deserve – and will get – a column all their own!)
Up island would seem like another longshot for quick cuisine, but it’s there, too. No mainland chain can hold a frozen shoestring fry to The Bite in Menemsha. You’ll forget all about the drive-up window at MacDonald’s when you’re munching on fish and chips while watching the sun set on Menemsha beach, just steps away.
Finally, name any restaurant, fast or slow, with a view that matches Faith’s Seafood Shack at Gay Head in Aquinnah. With everything from whole lobster to hot dogs to sushi, everyone will find something delectable. Even if you aren’t hungry, the scenery makes it worth the trip.
These are just a few of the places on the island where the food is fast but would be worth the wait no matter how long it took. There’s fast food and there’s fast food. On the Vineyard, the emphasis is always on the food… and the atmosphere.
Here’s a site that lists many of the take-out places for all you manic munching mavens.