Just Beachy

You can almost hear the surf pound at the Cape Grill

No stopping there, though. The entrée of grilled halibut steak on a heap of salad is the dish we'd sail back in to the Cape for. Under the light, tender fish is a mix of mesclun, slivers of jicama, purple onion, melon chunks and sliced strawberries, all tossed in peach vinaigrette. Nothing overpowers. Hot fish, cold salad, sweet dressing. It's summer on a plate.

The other entrée on our table is a meatloaf sandwich. But that's too plain a name. This isn't your mother's heap of ground beef, cracker crumbs and canned tomatoes. This is two long, wide slices of mixed ground beef and pork, grilled and served with portobello mushrooms in husky gravy. The onion roll is bakery soft. The dark flavors of the sandwich are complemented by the accompanying fruit salad. Who misses fries when you get something this good?

Lunch is leisurely because we want it that way. The waiter this time, another handsome lad, named Patrick, checks on us often. Our iced teas stay refilled. The manager stops by to see how things are.

Fresh tuna tartare sets the tone for Cape Grill's fryerless kitchen.
Tom Jenkins
Fresh tuna tartare sets the tone for Cape Grill's fryerless kitchen.

Details

Cold avocado soup $8

Scallops in soy-ginger $14

Crab cake appetizer $16

Fresh halibut special $16

Meatloaf sandwich $10

Root beer float $7

Closed Location

We sit on the glassed-in porch of the building, which was built in 1911, or so say the letters and numbers stuck to the window by the door. Other restaurants have come and gone here, but the Cape hasn't gussied up the old-fashioned look of the place. It's a clean interior, with sturdy wooden tables and chairs and lots of room to move around. If they get a crowd big enough to use the waiting area, there's a brass telescope there aimed at the high-rise across the way.

The patio, with umbrella-ed tables, is nice after dark, when the dust dies down and the rumbling trucks go away. Bring a doggie with you and Patrick or Scotty or whoever's on duty will fetch a silver bowl of water for the pooch.

Our third meal at the Cape is the charm we were looking for, and we can't leave without ordering the day's special dessert: a root beer float. Oh, mama. Every spoonful is bliss, and we stir the melted ice cream into the last few sips of soda. Patrick offers a refill, but it's not necessary. We've had our happy escape at the Cape. With one of those seashells at our ear we can hear the ocean. Close enough. 2704 Worthington St., 214-720-9010. Open 11 a.m.-1 a.m. daily. $$

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