P-Town

For the past three years, we’ve been going with a group of friends to Provincetown, Massachusetts. Located on the very tip of Cape Cod, P-town (as its known) is a gay-friendly paradise: beaches, bike-riding, BenDeLaCreme: P-town has it all.

There are certain rituals that are very important to those of us who go back to P-town year after year. The first, and most important, is Frosé.

What’s Frosé? WHAT’S FROSE? Frozen rosé of course!

We get it at The Canteen, which is pretty much our favorite place to eat in P-town. You order at a counter and then bring your food out back, where picnic tables are set up on the beach.

(I promise there’s a pretty view of the water, I just forgot to take a picture of it.)

Besides Frosé, there’s lots of seafood-y things to order at The Canteen. On our first night there, I had a lobster roll which definitely hit the spot. Even better: on our next visit, I had the fried oyster roll.

If that doesn’t look like summer on a bun, I don’t know what does.

Maybe the best bite of all, though, was this massive Gay Pride rainbow cookie.

Loyal readers of this blog will know that rainbow cookies are my favorite cookie, and this one proved that sometimes bigger IS better.

After The Canteen, our next favorite place to eat in P-town is Liz’s Cafe.

Liz’s reminds me of the kind of cozy, small town diner that Vito Spatafore escapes to on The Sopranos when he’s discovered as gay and that hunky bear makes him Johnny Cakes. The food at Liz’s always hits the spot; we like it best at brunch, when the food can cure even the worst hangover.

I always try to get a little sweet and savory on the plate:

Our third P-town fixture is The Red Inn where we traditionally go for Happy Hour drinks (it’s got a terrific view) and where we often wind up eating dinner.

This year, though, my friend Justin Chapple turned us on to a spot that was an instant favorite and certain to be at the top of the rotation next year: Pepe’s Wharf.

As you can see: the view here is unimpeachable, and the food is also top notch. Plus, they have a drink here that — shocker of shockers — is even more addictive than Frosé: it’s Fraperol. That’s right… basically a frozen Aperol Spritz. (The bitterness helps temper the sweetness better than Frosé.)

Justin recommended I get the colossal shrimp, and they didn’t disappoint.

And the coconut cake caused a fight between me and Craig, but let’s not get into that.

Otherwise, we’re big fans of Pop & Dutch: a sandwich shop on the island’s west end.

Here’s my green goddess chicken salad on a brioche bun.

And every day, when we wake up, we go to Kohi Coffee for a cold brew and a view.

Really, though, Provincetown is about the nightlife. We saw many a wonderful drag show: highlights were Dina Martina’s (if you’ve never seen her show, you must) and BenDeLaCreme’s “Ready To Be Committed” which had us in stitches. Turns out, Ben went to high school with our friend Jonathan and we all got to hang out with Ben after the show:

Our favorite place to drink in P-Town is definitely Gifford House: on the top floor you have a porch and a piano bar where Billy Hough enchants with his covers of songs by St. Vincent and Depeche Mode; downstairs you have a cavernous space where I may or may not have attended an underwear party. (What?! It’s possible.)

The most essential bite in all of P-Town, though, is definitely a slice of pizza at Spiritus after a night of revelry. Spiritus is where everyone congregates when the bars close. And the pizza is actually very good (or is that the alcohol talking?):

What else? You’ve got to trek to the beach. You should take a bike ride through the Beech Forest (though I opted out this year). Dinner at Strangers & Saints is also very good, especially if you get to sit out front and watch the people go by on Commercial Street.

Mostly, though, you’ve just got to get a group of friends together and go to P-town.

Next year’s trip can’t come fast enough.