A Cape Cod Innkeeper’s Day Off

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Question: What’s the first thing an innkeeper does when there is no one at the Inn?

Answer: Why go out for breakfast, of course!

And so we found ourselves in just that situation earlier this week.

The first morning without guests is always a treat. The days leading up to Christmas, before the hubbub of the approaching holidays and the dawning of a new year, is the beginning of the quiet season. I always look forward to the first morning after a busy season that I can pad upstairs in my slippers to have a quiet cup of coffee and read the local paper without having to worry about guests catching me in my pajamas.

The sun shone brightly on a crystal clear December morn, and outside our kitchen window the dunes glistened in the distance. I could just make out Cape Cod Bay through the trees. Satisfied that the Inn was all decorated for the season, my Christmas cards stamped and in the mail to friends and family, and gifts ready to be wrapped awaiting me in the closet, I felt a certain satisfaction.

When Rich appeared on the scene, I suggested trying a new place for breakfast the I read about recently on Facebook. Located at the airport in Chatham, the Hanger B Eatery sounded like just our cup of tea. With only a few tables and a bevy of private planes parked on the tarmac that surrounds the hanger itself, it seemed the perfect spot for such a sparkling morning.

Chef Brian Erskine, formerly of the Chatham Bars Inn, opened the breakfast and lunch eatery in April of this year. Everything he serves is made from scratch, including biscuits, scones, donuts, and jams, and sourced locally. A proponent of the “Buy Fresh Buy Local Cape Cod” movement, chef Erskine prides himself on using only the freshest of ingredients including locally roasted coffee.

Having heard that his Eggs Benedict was a real hit, I expected Rich to go that route, but instead he chose the red flannel hash and declared it “a pleasant departure from the norm due in no small part to the fresh beets, bacon, and delicate horseradish crème fraiche”. I eyed the lemon ricotta pancakes, but in the end opted for the breakfast sandwich, which was served with roasted tomatoes, avocado, arugula, and scrambled eggs with cheese atop a grilled croissant. The roasted tomatoes made for an unexpected earthy flavor.

The setting is quite homey with a bit of a funky twist due to its location at the airport. With fewer than 10 tables and an open kitchen, we felt instantly a part of the Hanger B family, and chatted amicably with the private pilot next to us, who had flown up from Hartford especially for breakfast. That’s quite an endorsement.

We watched a number of small planes take off and land while we were there, which reminded me of a favorite Saturday morning TV show from my youth (you remember “Sky King” don‘t you?!). Cape Aerial Tours, located below the eatery at the Chatham Airport, offers two scenic flight itineraries of the lower and outer Cape for a very reasonable rate. Rich lobbied quite hard to take one of the tours after breakfast, but with gifts to wrap at home I lobbied equally as hard to save it for another day.

Secretly I wanted an excuse to come back and try the lemon ricotta pancakes as soon as possible.

Hanger B Eatery is open for breakfast and lunch, Wednesday through Sunday from 7 AM to 2 PM. 240 George Ryder Road at the Chatham Airport.