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Lobster Rolls

March-May 2010 078-resized-600

Fall is digging in its heels here on Martha’s Vineyard. The weather has cooled, pumpkins abound, and many stores and restaurants have started to cut back their hours. One of my favorite island past times is still going strong for a couple more weeks, though. According to many, the best restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard is on the back docks at Larsen’s in Menemsha. They have no crystal or linens, and service is limited to someone yelling your name out of the back window. Sometimes it’s even a little buggy and smelly; but they have an abundance of fresh air, delicious fresh seafood that tastes twice as good when eaten with the fingers, delightful people to meet and get to know, stunning sunsets, and always a certain amount of “entertainment”.

For instance, one evening this summer, a friend and I patiently watched, for 15 or 20 minutes, a young man with an impressive camera arrange and then rearrange his lobster dinner on the edge of the dock until he got just the shot he was looking for. When he noticed our interest in his activities, he explained he was a freelance photographer who would shoot food photos and send them into culinary publications in hopes they would buy his work.

Another afternoon, a group of Karate enthusiasts, all decked out in their white robes and black belts, lined up single file on the dock, their lobsters placed in front of them, and asked me to take a group picture. It was great.

Most recently, with the Derby winding down, a very confident man unfolded a chair on the edge of the dock right in front of us and cast his line out into the harbor. His wife and travelling companions explained that a few years ago this fisherman had caught a record-breaking bass from that very spot and was determined that it could happen again. This time, not only didn’t he hook anything, but every time he would cast out his line, an equally determined seagull would swoop down and steal his bait right off it. He had a lot of fun though, and so did we.

Although the sunsets are bigger and longer and more vibrantly glorious than ever, it is getting a bit chilly on the Menemsha docks.  Last week, my steamers were cold before I could finish them, but it didn’t dampen the experience, and I will be faithful to Larsen’s until the door is closed and locked, then count the days until next spring when they unlock and the thought of fresh lobster and steamers beckons me to the docks again.

What to Know about the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival
Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel

pizzaA Martha’s Vineyard vacation doesn’t have to be the posh, high end, “take out a loan, we’re going on vacation” kind of vacation that you so frequently read about in connection with The Vineyard.  A lot of down to earth (and really nice) people live and vacation here and have to make the fun work on a limited budget.  In this post I am focusing on affordable dining-out options in Vineyard Haven; but if you missed the posts on Edgartown and Oak Bluffs, please check these out as well.

Vineyard Haven has the obligatory coffee shops along it’s Main St. that offer a quick and inexpensive “breakfast to go”. I like the variety at the M.V.Bagel Authority on Upper Main St, and Mocha Motts on lower Main. The Waterside Market (also on Upper Main) is a little more upscale and offers more seating to enjoy your coffee and breakfast sandwich if you choose to not take it “to go”.  If you are hankering to treat yourself to a full breakfast, The Art Cliff diner is a Vineyard Haven tradition that should not be missed.  They are located on Beach Rd., and have fabulous food.  The diner is understandably popular with the local community as well as return visitors, so get there early or plan to wait!

Just down from the Art Cliff on Beach Rd. is the Net Result Seafood Market.  The Net Result offers a great take-out menu that makes seafood an affordable option.  I also understand that their tuna and smoked bluefish pates are delicious!  Another great alternative for lunch (or dinner) is Bob’s Pizza and Subs right on Main St.  They have indoor seating, or you can sit outside and watch the crowds wandering by.  One of the things that my kid’s like best about Bob’s Pizza is that it’s right next door to a large Candy and Ice Cream Emporium (which is very convenient!).

Dinner in Vineyard Haven offers some unique opportunities. When considering dining out in Vineyard Haven, remember that it is a dry town. This is not a bad thing if you plan ahead, and can actually save you a considerable amount of money on your beverages of choice. Just keep in mind that a lot of restaurants do charge a corkage fee for the privilege of bringing your alcohol in.

If you like Lobster Rolls, you HAVE to stop by Grace Church (on Woodlawn Ave.) on Friday evenings between 4:30 and 7:30 for take out (from the beginning of May through the end of September). Their lobster rolls don’t have any fillers and at $13, they have the best price on the island!  They’ve been voted best lobster roll on the island in The Best of the Vineyard for the past 3 years, so get there early… there is always a crowd and they might run out!

The Blue Canoe Waterfront Grill is a new restaurant, right on Beach Rd., which is getting great reviews.  Because they have a more casual sandwich menu along with full dinners, you can enjoy harbor view dining for a very reasonable price… and the food is great!   Another casual, fun alternative for families is the Island Cove Mini Golf Grill.  Located on State Rd., families can enjoy a simple meal from their grill in between an evening’s golfing and rock climbing adventure!

Saltwater (on Beach Rd. beside the Net Result) is another great “water front” dining experience.  They have lovely views of Lagoon Pond, and are open for lunch, Sunday brunch, and take out as well as dinner.  The food and atmosphere are wonderful… and the winelist fits everyone’s budget as it is B.Y.O.B.

Do you have a favorite, “affordable” grazing spot that I haven’t mentioned yet?  Please leave a comment so that all of our blog readers can read about it!

Image courtesy of Pizza Pie-er

 

What to Know about the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival
Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel