June 2016

Are these restaurants on your radar?

Cape Cod Life  /  June 2016 / , ,

Writer: Sarah A. O'Brien / Photographer: Dan Cutrona 

Are these restaurants on your radar?

June 2016

Cape Cod Life  /  June 2016 / , ,

Writer: Sarah A. O'Brien / Photographer: Dan Cutrona 

Three eateries at Cape and Islands airports offer one-of-a-kind views—and some top-flight food!

Three eateries Cape Islands airports

Photo courtesy of Centerville Pie Company

Cape Cod is renowned for its abundance of dining options, many paired with exquisite views of the coastline. Another Cape and Islands trend that is taking off, so to speak, is the coupling of an enjoyable dining experience with an airport environment. “Airport food” typically conjures up an array of fast-food joints, but on Cape Cod and the Islands that image is far from accurate; the airports in Chatham, Hyannis, and Nantucket have begun to revolutionize the meaning of airport food for travelers and locals alike.

Even when air travel is not part of their plans, Cape Codders and Islanders are frequenting the airport eateries highlighted in the following pages for both their distinctive atmospheres and delicious meals. For a one-of-a-kind dining adventure, book a seat—at the Hangar B Eatery in Chatham, Centerville Pie Company’s new cafe at the Barnstable Airport, and Crosswinds Restaurant on Nantucket—and watch each dish touch down (on your table) with flair.

Ever had pie . . . on a plane?

Centerville Pie Company @ Barnstable Municipal Airport

The local women whom Oprah Winfrey has dubbed “the pie ladies” have opened a new location at Barnstable Municipal Airport. Earlier this spring, Laurie Bowen and Kristen Broadley, owners of Centerville Pie Company at 1669 Falmouth Road (Route 28) in Centerville, opened a new café at the airport. Serving breakfast and lunch, the café features a full-service grill and a menu loaded with a large selection of savory and sweet pies. The company also offers validated parking for café customers.

With a focus on local ingredients, including Cape Cod cranberries, Centerville Pie places the highest standards on food quality—and has developed a devoted following. “We are proud to offer travelers on Cape Cod the highest quality and most exciting food options available,” says Broadley. “There’s a lot of love in our food,” adds Bowen.

In addition to pies, the new airport café serves soups, salads, sandwiches, and more, including the company’s newly launched frozen shepherd’s pie. Currently, the airport café is open Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. The hours are likely to expand in summer.

Centerville Pie’s story is well known in local circles. Shortly after opening the business in March of 2009, Bowen and Broadley, who are married, learned that Ms. Winfrey was visiting the Cape to attend Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s funeral. Broadley dropped off a chicken pie for the celebrity at her hotel; Oprah reportedly loved it, and, with her compliments, the company was soon on the map and flourishing.

Centerville Pie has a relationship with Cape Abilities, a local organization that provides training and work opportunities for local adults who are developmentally disabled. The pie company employs a number of these Cape Cod individuals, and with the new airport cafe the owners hope to create even more work opportunities. Centerville Pie will also continue to donate a portion of its profits to Cape Abilities.

Barnstable Municipal Airport
480 Barnstable Road, Hyannis
774-470-1406 centervillepies.com

Crosswinds Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Crosswinds Restaurant

A special spot that”s known for its specials

Crosswinds Restaurant @ Nantucket Memorial Airport

If Nantucket Memorial Airport looks familiar, it’s probably because the airport was the fictional setting for Wings, a sitcom that aired on NBC from 1990 to 1997. Not only does the airport double as the show’s “Tom Nevers Field Airport”—and cater to thousands of travelers every year—it’s also home to a popular local landing spot: Crosswinds Restaurant.

For travelers in search of a meal or a cocktail before or after a flight, Crosswinds offers indoor and outdoor seating and a full bar. Inside, model airplanes hanging from the ceiling and aviation-themed paraphernalia on the walls add to the décor, while actual airplanes are visible just outside.

Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Crosswinds offers a variety of traditional American dishes including fried calamari, fish and chips, and chicken pot pie, as well as the chef’s specialty: orecchiette pasta.

The restaurant also prepares different specials each night. On Tuesdays, diners can opt for the Steakhouse Sizzle, a choice of prime rib, New York strip steak, or filet mignon, served with mashed potatoes and vegetables for $12.95. Other popular specials include “Endless Pasta and 50¢ Jumbo Wing Night” on Wednesdays and “Traditional Turkey Dinner” on Sundays. The menu also features several “Breakfast at Night” options including buttermilk pancakes, omelets, and vanilla French toast. Another bonus? Crosswinds’ motto is “Bigger portions, smaller check.”

At the bar, customers can order a variety of cleverly named drinks including a Fogged In, a No Fly Zone, or, for the brave, a Nor’Easter with Grey Goose vodka, Midori Melon, and lemonade.

Lastly, Crosswinds offers an “On The Fly” counter where customers catching a flight, or otherwise on a tight schedule, can purchase a quick meal to go.

Crosswinds Restaurant
14 Airport Road, Nantucket

Hangar B Eatery

Photo by Dan Cutrona

Fuel up for the day ahead

Hangar B Eatery @ Chatham Municipal Airport

On a typical summer day, Hangar B Eatery—the restaurant at the Chatham Municipal Airport—is filled with customers by about 7:30 a.m., and there’s a wait for the remainder of the day. According to Brian Erskine, who co-owns the restaurant with Tracy Shields, patrons with children generally don’t mind the wait because, with planes landing and taking off on the tarmac just outside, there’s always something to keep the kids entertained.

Located one floor above the airport’s reception office, Hangar B features a dining room and an outdoor deck, both of which afford views of the runway. During a visit earlier this year, it was easy to notice the restaurant’s casual feel and welcoming ambiance: a couple takes a selfie, a family of four orders breakfast, and a group of older longtime friends shares a meal by the window. “Just you today?” a server asks another regular walking in the door.

The “specials” board boasts dishes such as chocolate croissant French toast, while the regular menu offers several traditional options including a “pilot’s breakfast”—two eggs, home fries, sourdough toast, and sausage or bacon. The staff makes potato buttermilk doughnuts and other pastries, too. They even mix and bake their own organic granola and jar their own jam.

Erskine handles the menu and the food preparation; Shields coordinates the ambiance and serves as head waitress. She also created the restaurant’s colorful logo. When they opened Hangar B in 2010, the co-owners wanted to create a restaurant with a refined yet informal atmosphere that would provide healthy options using locally grown products. After moving to Cape Cod from the West Coast in 2007, they began scouting locations. “I’ve been a chef for 20 years,” Erskine says, “and when the space became available, we wanted to try out this idea.”

The business partners faced some challenges in those early years. “There was resistance at first to the idea of an airport restaurant that was upscale and used organic and local products,” Erskine says. “A lot of people told us, ‘You’ll never make it.’” Since then, the restaurant has grown into a popular local meeting place—for diners who drive, walk, or land. One day last summer, the staff cooked its way through 1,000 eggs.

“We have a healthy following,” Erskine says. “People are becoming more conscious about what they’re eating.” Erskine adds that everything in the restaurant is made from scratch, and several gluten-free options are available. Hangar B has received numerous accolades as well, and has been awarded the title of “Best Brunch Cape Cod” in Boston magazine in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

The name of the restaurant—Hangar B—celebrates the co-owners’ son, Booker, who is 9. Over the years, the employees and clientele have become like an extended family. “For a long time, it was just me and one other guy in the kitchen,” Erskine says. “Now we’ve expanded a bit, and a lot of the staff has remained the same over the years. It’s a family.”

The owners have big plans for the future, which include continued involvement in community service efforts—such as a recent contribution to Calmer Choice, a nonprofit that teaches mindfulness to students in Barnstable County—and perhaps even a Hangar B cookbook. “It’s become sort of amazing,” Erskine says. “I didn’t expect in my wildest imagination that the restaurant would be this successful.”

The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. five days a week from April vacation to July 4; daily from July 4 to Labor Day; and Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the off-season.

Hangar B Eatery
240 George Ryder Road, Chatham

Sarah A. O'Brien

Sarah A. O'Brien is a Boston-based freelance writer and the editor in chief of an online literary journal, Boston Accent Lit. She loves long walks on the beach and short walks to the fridge. Sarah has written several articles for Cape Cod LIFE, including a profile of Outer Cape artist Denise Kelly and a piece on three popular local restaurants found at Cape and Islands airports.