My father loved a good church supper. Whenever we traveled, especially among the New England states, he and my mother would canvass the area for a family-style supper offering at a local church. Perhaps their motivation was that it was an economical way to feed a family of four, but I think the real incentive was the wholesome goodness of real food cooked honestly and served with pride in a humble setting. Ham and beans were often the traditional fare found at these events, but once in a while if I was really lucky, the featured entrée would be my favorite, chicken pot pie. Served at long tables in the church’s basement or fellowship hall, the usual accompaniment was homemade bread and butter, and dessert was always a fresh berry pie a la mode. Yum.
It’s hard to find a ham and bean church supper on Cape Cod in the summer, but if you’re looking for the quintessential lobster roll experience, you don’t have to look very far to find a lobster roll luncheon at a number of churches and fellowship halls up and down this watery peninsula. Offered at a reasonable prices, and often including side dishes and a beverage, these events attract tourists, locals, and a loyal roster of regulars, too. So here, in no particular order, are a few worth considering:
- The Federated Church of Hyannis, 320 Main St., Hyannis, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays until Sept. 17. Advance orders and takeout: 508-775-0298.
- The First United Methodist Church, 16 Cross St., Chatham, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Fridays until Aug. 27
- Christ Episcopal Church, 671 Main St. (Route 28), Harwich Port, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays, until Sept. 3
- Harwich United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 1 Church St., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays, until Aug. 25. Takeout: 508-432-3734
- West Yarmouth Congregational Church, 383 Main St. (Route 28), 11 a.m. July 15 and Aug. 14. Takeout: 508-775-0891
- Adams Masonic Lodge, off Main Street in the Wharf Road area, Wellfleet, 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays
- St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 91 Main St., Falmouth, 5 to 7p.m. Mondays in July and August.