Cape Cod Cafe Express
BY MIKE PUCKETT
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Cape Cod Café Express is located on South Mason Rd. just a couple miles south of I-10 the Katy Frwy. You feel at home the moment you walk through the door and see Chef David Martin waiting to greet you with a smile. It’s like taking off on a vacation to Cape Cod! Well, you know I LIKE vacation and I absolutely LOVE Cape Cod Café Express!
At Cape Cod Café Express, Chef David Martin has dedicated himself to the authentic flavors he grew up with. And I must tell ya, I am so happy about that! I haven’t tasted anything like it anywhere else in Houston. Seriously fresh, they have their seafood trucked in 3 times per week from Cape Cod.
Another thing I enjoy about Cape Cod Café Express is their attention to detail. This fast-casual restaurant is always super-clean and the staff, super-friendly. The kind of place you don’t mind going to by yourself… ya know?
Cape Cod Café Express is obviously known for their Lobsters that they let you pick fresh from the tank, but all of their Chowder and Bisques are made fresh on premises… daily! Ha! I LIKE that!
Well, it didn’t take me long to start ordering for the whole group. I had been talking to the Chef and keeping my ear to the street – so I had a pretty good idea of what we needed to order.
The first thing I feel is a must-try are the Vintage soft drinks made with real sugar cane. I gotta say, my favorite is Black Cherry, but the Root Beer comes in there close. I recommend you pick your favorite flavor and you are sure to enjoy!
I had a number of friends let me know the Clam Chowder was legit. So, we all ordered up some bowls. I waited to see the reactions on everyone’s face as they took their first bite. So classic – I wish I had taken a picture. Priceless! Like they were taken aback… it was great! When I took my first bite, I finally understood. The clams were nice and tender. The potatoes had a nice consistency and flavor was spot on. Let’s just say you-gotta-get-a-cup-a-chowda!
Next up were the Rocky Point Clam Cakes served with cocktail sauces. Really cool story behind this recipe. If Chef Martin is around, ask him to give you the details. Basically, it’s the recipe from the original Clam Cakes served up at a historic amusement park in Rhode Island. These fried balls of joy are ah-mazing! You might want to order two rounds if you are with a group. So good!
I’m a sucker for Onion Rings and order them just about any where that serves them. Seriously addicted. So, you know I had them hand cut, breaded and fried golden brown right in front of my eyes. Simply beautiful! We ate them fresh out of the fryer and let me tell ya … something special! I love how they’re just lightly breaded and the onion has just enough flavor without being overpowering. I must admit, I have stopped by Cape Cod Café Express a few times and ordered only the Onion Rings. Love ‘em!
The most popular item on the menu is the Fresh Maine Lobster Roll. I prefer the chilled version as opposed to the warm “Connecticut” version, but I think it was 50/50 with the group. I recommend you try what you think you might like best and I’m sure you will!
The Lobster Roll comes out on a New England Roll stacked with Fresh Maine Lobster, lettuce and tomatoes. Such a perfect sandwich! You also get an order of fries and slaw to go with it. Basically, the staple here at the Cape!
My go-to here for lunch is the Fish and Chips Sandwich made with Cold-Water Atlantic Haddock that’s lightly breaded and fried golden brown. This haddock is a white and flaky, firm but tender fish that is simply delicious! The perfect sandwich that doesn’t weigh you down for the rest of the day. I can’t believe I am in Katy, Texas eating this wonderful northern cuisine.
My go-to here for dinner is the Fisherman’s Platter. Built with Fried Shrimp, Haddock, Scallops, and Clams – I can’t get enough of it! Again, everything is lightly breaded but it doesn’t mask the freshness of all the seafood.
Keep in mind the food here is not creole. This is a different flavor than most are used to here down South – it’s important to know that everything isn’t heavily seasoned. But the flavor is just on another level. You actually taste the seafood and not just salt. I am a fan of both, but this Fisherman’s Platter seems to be stuck on repeat. Ha!
If desserts are your thing… then join the club. Ha! I admit I have a sweet tooth and I was mesmerized as I walked up and saw the array of cakes, pies and fine desserts. We decided to share the Boston Crème Pie and the Chocolate Cake with our group. Great choices. Just take a look at the photography and see for yourself… right?
Well, this vacation to Cape Cod via Cape Cod Café Express was just what the doctor ordered. Not only will you find authentic Cape Cod menu items, but the seafood is actually from Cape Cod. It doesn’t get any better than that! I have worked Cape Cod Café Express into my routine of restaurants I frequent. I think you will do the same once you take the trip for yourself. Enjoy!
Good Eats Houston Recommends…
New England Clam Chowder
Tender clams in a creamy white broth with potatoes
Rocky Point Clam Cakes
Serves with cocktail sauce
Cape Cod Sampler
Shrimp skewer, fried clams and three fried shrimp all in one
Hand cut, breaded and fried golden brown
Raw Bar Combo
Three clams, two shrimp, three oysters, and two lobster claws
Fresh Maine Lobster served hot with drawn butter
Fresh, juicy shrimp fried golden brown
Fish and Chips Sandwich
Cold water Atlantic Cod, fried golden brown
Shrimp, Cod, Scallops, and Clams
Boston Cream Pie
Traditional New England Favorite
Key Lime Pie
Fresh baked with whipped cream
PHOTOGRAPHY: MIKE PUCKETT
Cape Cod Cafe Express
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