How's your brunch going?
EC: Street Meet: Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Credit: All photos by Maxine Builder

Every weekend, as hordes of hungry diners wait in line for brunch, Extra Crispy will hit the pavement, visiting a neighborhood’s most popular spots and talking to people who love the meal as much as we do. For this installment of Street Meet, Extra Crispy went to Martha's Vineyard.

Gavriel and Connie at the Chilmark General Store, Chilmark

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Extra Crispy: This is your first time at the Chilmark General Store for breakfast—how was it?
Connie: It was great. I had an egg sandwich on whole grain bread. It was fabulous. After a long bike ride? It was great.

I was going to say, you guys are kitted out. Where did you come from?
Gavriel: We started here in Chilmark, and we went out toward Tisbury.

How long is that?
Gavriel: About 20 miles or so. Get up our appetite for breakfast.

So now do you have to bike back?
Gavriel: No, we're just a half-mile down the street.
Connie: 20 miles is good.
Gavriel: That was reward for riding: breakfast.

Has every morning been biking?
Gavriel: Biking, beach, relaxing.

What's the plan for tomorrow?
Gavriel: Another bike ride. Then breakfast, then the beach, then home.

Pam and Tory at Martha's Vineyard Gourmet Cafe & Bakery, Oak Bluffs

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Extra Crispy: What did you get today?
Pam: Six doughnuts.

Are you sharing them, or just for the two of you?
Pam: No, we're taking them to someone who lives here. They put in a request.

What was the request?
Pam: Lemon, honey-dipped, and chocolate-covered.

Do you have a favorite doughnut?
Pam: Apple fritter. From Back Door Doughnuts.
Tory: At night, when it's still hot.
Pam: Have you ever been [here] at night?

No, I've never been at night.
Tory: Oh, you gotta come at night!
Pam: You only come at night.

What makes night better?
Pam: There's a long line. That's not better. But it's hot. Everything is hot from the oven, and there's literally an hour wait, so come as soon as they open.
Tory: I forget what time they open, but they're open until midnight or 1 a.m.

What's your favorite part about summering on the Vineyard?
Pam: Everything about it. We've been coming here for 25, 30 years.
Tory: It's a great place to motorcycle. We bring the bike over on the ferry quite often. Sometimes just for a day, other times for the weekend. There's a couple campgrounds here. There's some great places to stay. We have friends on the island.

I just got my motorcycle license.
Tory: Did you? Congratulations, that's awesome! Good for you.
Pam: Bring your bike over here. It's a great place. Just, maybe in September. It's very busy for traffic in the summer.

But doughnuts year-round?
Tory: Yes. This is the best place on the island for doughnuts.

Julia, Rich, and Janet (Not Pictured), at Martha's Vineyard Gourmet Cafe & Bakery, Oak Bluffs

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Janet: We have people at home. I have to bring doughnuts home.

Extra Crispy: So you don't usually get doughnuts.
Janet: No, never.
Rich: We get doughnuts, but at 11 p.m., when they do the backdoor.
Janet: But only here, still. We don't eat them at home.

What's your favorite doughnut from here?
Julia: I like the crunch doughnut and the cinnamon sugar.
Rich: Apple fritter.
Janet: And I like the crunch. They're always warm.
Julia: Everything's better when it's hot, so it makes a difference.
Rich: And apple fritters are unique. You can't get them everywhere.

Mark at Martha's Vineyard Gourmet Cafe & Bakery, Oak Bluffs

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Extra Crispy: Do you come here often?
We've been coming to the Vineyard for the last six summers or so. We come for a week with the family.

Do you come to this doughnut shop often?
Yeah, this place is legendary.

What makes it legendary?
The apple fritter. I haven't gotten one yet this week, because I'm trying to pace myself. Actually, this is the first doughnut I bought this week, and I got here last Sunday.

Do you think you're going to get an apple fritter in between now and when you leave?
I kind of just nibble on them, that my relatives get. I try not to eat a whole one because they have to be a ridiculous number of calories. And I feel amazing but also guilty at the same time after I have them.

Yeah, I just had a third of an apple fritter, and I'm already feeling it settling into my stomach. You're here with your family?
Immediate family. My three older brothers and my parents and all their kids and stuff.

So it's a full house. They're not with you, though.
No, they're not here. I kind of drifted off on my own. Sometimes I need to get away from their kids and stuff. Take a break, a mental break.

Mike, Karen, Bob, Tony, Kelsey, Hannah, and Jessica at the Black Dog Tavern, Vineyard Haven

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Extra Crispy: Do you come to the Black Dog often for breakfast?
Bob: When we're here [on Martha’s Vineyard]. We come here just once, to do the touristy thing.

What is everyone excited to eat today?
Bob: Something with avocado. I've got an avocado craving today.
Mike: Veggies.
Karen: Yeah, spinach.

Have you been over-indulging the past few days?
Mike: Last night, maybe? Someone did, but it wasn't food.
Bob: He may have a big breakfast.
Mike: Might've had something to do with potatoes. In the form of vodka.

Dan and James at Black Dog Bakery, Vineyard Haven

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Extra Crispy: What're you having for breakfast?
Dan: Just a muffin, and I had pineapple this morning before I left the door.

What's in the Nalgene?
Dan: Oh, this is the Black Dog's best deal. The dollar refills. If you bring your own.

What kind of muffin did you get?
Dan: I got the triple berry. Hopefully I'll get some mileage out of it, a few hours. We'll see.

What's your plan for the rest of the day?
Dan: We're doing some traffic surveys in Vineyard Haven for the Martha's Vineyard Commission. Summertime, everyone clamors for solutions for the parking competition.

Are you from Martha's Vineyard?
Dan: I just moved here for good, about a week and a half ago. James is acclimating me to the neighborhoods.

James, what do you like for breakfast?
Dan: James, did you have breakfast today?
James: Uh, just a bit. In a way, I had breakfast. I went to Cumberland Farms and just bought the first breakfast sandwich I saw because I was like, well, it's here.
Dan: Now that I'm living out here on the island, and things are much more expensive at the supermarket, I did some major bulk ordering. I got a 50 pound of steel-cut oats that'll be shipped next week. That's my usual breakfast.
James: Yeah, I'm the proud owner of 30 pounds of rice. It was 40 pounds a couple of weeks ago. I eat a lot of rice, I guess. When you come to the island, going to Costco beforehand is a pretty good idea.

It still shocks me how pricey things can be here, even the things you think shouldn't be that expensive.
Dan: $14 bag of organic grapes at Cronig's [a local grocery store] yesterday. I thought the doors were going to fall off, not exaggerating. I bought five stalks of rhubarb to put on my oatmeal, it was $10. Got to start putting things back on the shelf. Shop smarter.

And get that $1 iced coffee.
Dan: Yeah, right? The more you drink, the more you save.

Alan Byron Hampshire at Black Dog Bakery, Vineyard Haven

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Extra Crispy: Do you come out here and paint often?
Alan Byron Hampshire: Oh, I try to paint everyday. It's a spiritual pursuit. A zen painter might spend 50 years just doing one brushstroke in black and white, and after 50 years, he might move on to a color.

How long have you been painting?
Over 50 years. That's why I've moved onto color now.

Is this one of your favorite spots to go?
It is. I lived in New York since 1982 to 2007, near Five Points, the notorious Bowery area. So now I've gone from Five Points to five corners. It's an upgrade.

What did you get for breakfast this morning?
I usually like to drink massive amounts of coffee and smoke a lot of reefer. It's sort of a wimpy speedball.

It works though, right?
Yeah, some people understand it. Some people don't. But it does help me reach into the fourth dimension. That's why I love to paint. It's an escape from the sort of armpit, asshole of the universe, right? And then I go into somewhere where everything is light and color and harmony and balance and music. I hear music in my head as I paint. Today, it's "Candle in the Wind." "Goodbye, Norma Jean. You had the grace to hold yourself as those around you crawled. Crawled out of the woodwork!" Beautiful, right? And that's what I paint to. It's like, what do they call that, when you see music?

That's what it is. Synesthesia.

By Maxine Builder and Maxine Builder