Chatham Airport, 240 George Ryder Rd, Chatham, MA 02633
You had me at “airport cafe.”
Anthony Bourdain used the phrase “better than it needs to be” to describe food nearby tourist attractions that’s, well, better than it needs to be to make money, and that’s been the emerging theme here on the cape. Last night, Thai food just off the end of the runway of Hyannis airport was better/more authentic than it needed to be, today the Chatham jelly and jam shop was better/friendlier than it needed to be to be, and jerk chicken in Hyannis off route 28 was most certainly better than it needed to be. Standards for food are high here.
All the same, it was with a spirit of adventure that we set out to review the airport cafe in Chatham.
If this is good, it will be baller, but if it sucks we’ll look like idiots.
Luckily, the Hangar B did us a solid and exceeded our every expectation. Walk in, and the first thing you see in the open kitchen is a sticker that says “no farmed fish,” and two tatted, legit-looking chefs.
Ok, actually, this should be good.
Like Brooklyn and San Francisco, goods eats here attract smart people, and there was a line waiting to get in. Luckily, you can enjoy a coffee on the deck, overlooking the saddest airport I’ve ever seen. I’d recommend flying into this airport just for the food, not the other way around. To add to the allure, there’s little evidence when you first pull off the road of a restaurant, full-stop, much less a good one. Persevere, walk around the back of the bush terminal, up a flight of stairs, and you’ll find it.
We ordered what seemed to be a decent cross section of the menu to sample-
-I had the turkey burger, figuring if they could make that exciting they could do anything.
-Chih-Yu ordered the fish tacos, the nexus of the fresh fish the Cape is known for and the “new cuisine” approach of the place.
-To share, we ordered the French toast, a towering, tiramisu-like repository of custard, sponginess and maple syrup, and representative of the type of kicked-up brunch faire we’re used to from New York mainstays Clinton Street Baking Company and Five Leaves.
Not only was it all awesome, each dish had a slightly different aesthetic, evidence of a broad palette in the kitchen. The turkey burger was flavorful, and served on fresh-baked, toasted brioche, with avocado and roasted tomato.
The fish tacos had a wonderful lightness, with a tangy/savory quality compelling you to eat more.
The French toast…did not disappoint.
Normally here I’d add a “getting there” section, but since you’re most-likely driving, just plug the above address into your google maps and follow. Get there early though.