The 1950s is alive and well inside the Red Cottage Restaurant. From the yellow Formica counter with red swivel chairs to the black and white checked floor, the decor screams oldie but goodie.
The friendly staff, even with the constant crowds, adds to the feeling that you stepped back in time. The breakfast is legendary here, and the line that is consistently out the door is proof that you found THE place to eat breakfast on Cape Cod. Bring your patience and cash; the wait is worth it.
Location: The Red Cottage Restaurant, 36 Old Bass River Road, South Dennis, Massachusetts.
Menu: The breakfast menu includes signature dishes like the Chesapeake Bay Breakfast with scratch-made crab cakes, eggs, toast, and homefries. There are breakfast sandwiches, omelets, Benedicts, crepes, waffles, pancakes and cinnamon bun French toast. Lunch includes items like lobster rolls, chowders, burgers, and dogs.
Thoughts: The Red Cottage has flourished in the heart of the historic district for 68 years. Equally important, the ownership by the Rosenbach Family, who have been operating the restaurant for 38 years, consistently receives #1 Best Breakfast Restaurant and #1 Best Lunch Restaurant in Reader’s Choice Polls. Chef Dan Rosenbach is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University and uses only the freshest ingredients in his homemade dishes. People return season after season to sample his homey food.
The menu is extensive and filled with delectable dishes. I had to try the Lobster Eggs Benedict served in a homemade popover the size of my hand. The tender popover, piping hot out of the oven topped with fresh lobster, is hands-down the best Benedict I have ever eaten. You can choose either 1/4 lb or 1/2 /b of lobster meat in your version. Two poached eggs lay on top of the lobster, and a lemon hollandaise gently blankets the eggs. The platter, served with a side of hand-cut home fries, was delicious. Luckily I split mine with my husband, and he shared his Belgian Waffle with me.
My husband chose the Belgian Waffle topped with blueberries, strawberries, and bananas. When our waitress asked if he wanted fresh whipped cream on top, we both responded with a resounding, “Yes!” The waffle, crisp yet tender, held up nicely under the mountain of fresh fruit. The fruit added a perfect sweetness and did need any extra syrup or butter.
In addition to our breakfasts, we both opted for the bottomless coffee option of a small batch, organically grown and processed Ethiopian Sidamo Oromia. The Sidamo tasted balanced and flavorful. Our waitress poured frequent refills even with a station packed with hungry patrons.
Finally, the experience was one of the best I have had at a restaurant with a long waiting list of devoted customers. I put our name on the roster and waited. A short time later, our name came up; luckily, the line moves quickly. If you are on the Cape, you must try this family-run establishment. They treat you like a cherished friend and feed you like a member of the fold.
Price Range: Lobster dishes are priced in 1/4 lb and 1/2 lb weights – $18.99 -$24.99. Signature dishes are $13-$20 and waffles and French toasts range from $9 -$15.