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 Fall Trip To Outer Banks

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Root-Beer Man

  • Total Posts: 331
  • Joined: 1/9/2006
  • Location: Noblesville, IN
Fall Trip To Outer Banks Sun, 10/20/13 8:49 PM (permalink)
Well, the kids schools have changed to a different schedule and they actually get two weeks off in the fall. That was good for us as it coincided with my wife's yearly trip to the Outer Banks with her wind surfing buddies and we went as a family. First food stop of the trip was a T/A truck stop in Ohio for some Popeye's chicken. It was, as always, pretty good. I'm a fan of their mashed potatoes and gravy, too. We stopped for the night in Charleston, WV, but didn't eat there as it was late. Next morning we made do with a stop at the Beckley, WV Tamarack Center for some Starbucks and pastries. Lunch was a stop at a Sonic in Virginia, where we ate light, (planning a dinner stop at Sam and Omie's in Nags Head). The jalapeno poppers and onion rings were, as usual, decent fair for the road. We did make one quick stop on our way to dinner. We popped into the Weeping Radish in Grandy, NC. This is a place that was featured in an episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, so we figured on a stop to sample some of their libations, (my wife is a nationally ranked beer judge and home brewer, so you can guess what she was looking forward to). This place is really quaint and they have their own goats on the premises, which feature in some of their dishes. We got seated and ordered our drinks. A flight of their beer sampler for the wife and Root Beer for me and the kiddos. My wife declared the a couple of the beers to be OK, but a big part of the flight were beers that were heavily diacetyl and butterscotchy. That's not a good thing in beers.

The Root Beer wasn't horrible, but the brew master was seriously fond of licorice. I don't mind hints of licorice in a nice Root Beer, but this was upfront and in your face. More of a licorice soda, than a true Root Beer, maybe. We paid up and headed for our dinner destination.
 
Dinner was the highlight of the day, though. We made it in to Nags Head, NC in the evening and immediately made our way to Sam and Omie's for some of their delicious crab cakes. There was a short wait for a table, (as is not uncommon for dinner there), but we were seated shortly and got to place our orders. My wife and I already knew what we had planned. Crab cakes. First up for me, tho was a cup of She Crab soup. This was really good. Creamy and speckled throughout with crab. A very rich and thick soup. I'll be having it again.

 
The crab cakes at Sam and Omie's come in two varieties. Fried or grilled. There's no mix and match option with them, so we ordered one fried dinner and one grilled and then just switched one of each so we'd be able to see which we liked best. Man, talk about a hard choice. Both are scrumptious and flavour filled. Moist and full of crab. The grilled has a buttery flavour from the grilling and is just as moist as the fried, but I do like the crispy crust on the fried. I'm hard pressed to pick a favourite, but might just have to lean a small bit in the direction of the fried, due to the texture of the crust. Both are fantastic. The sides were good, too. We both had collards and mashed potatoes and both were outstanding examples of the sides. The corn bread was sweet corn bread and didn't exactly thrill me. I prefer a savoury, buttermilk corn bread. This meal was a solid winner, though.
 

 
After dinner we made our way to our destination, Avon, NC, down the island, and our groups rented houses.
 
The next night, after a day of heavy lounging and wind surfing, we made our way to Nino's pizza for dinner and one of the best pizzas in the OBX. Nino's makes a pie that's almost Neapolitan. They have a nice, crisp crust and a variety of toppings. Ours was spinach, ham, garlic and feta. A really great pizza and one of the best I've had in a long time. Sorry for the lack of pictures on the initial pie, there will be one later, tho. We went back!

 
Most meals, other than dinner, were catch as catch can and made at our house. We did make a nice big batch of Jamaican curry chicken that was popular with the eaters. First time I've made that one and I must say that I prefer Trinidadian chicken curry over the Jamaican. The curry powder profiles are vastly different and the Trinidad curry powder is a bigger hit with me.
 
Our next foray out for dinner was to Ketch 55 in Avon. It was originally called Mac Daddy's but it underwent a change of ownership in the last year or so. I think it shows in the new menu and the items. One of the main reasons we went was that my daughter had a hankering for some oysters on the half shell, as did I. It's nice having a 10 year old oyster companion. The oysters at Ketch 55 were OK. Not too large, but they tasted fresh and hit the spot for both of us. Sadly, I only have a picture of the aftermath.

 
My main course, and my sons, was the seafood combo plate of fried flounder, scallops, shrimp and potatoes with slaw. It was singularly unremarkable. I've had much better fried seafood at other local places and the chef could stand to put in some time working at one of them. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great, either. And the slaw.....sigh.....slaw is always a hit or miss for me, it seems. This one was filled with thyme and not a tasty example of the genre at all. I had one taste and that was it.

 
The next night we all indulged in a shrimp feast of steamed shrimp, (various varieties from plain to spicy) from Risky Business Seafood, in Avon. This was a great choice for us. The spicy shrimp, coated and soaked in seasoning was fantastic and a highlight of the trip. I've had crab from Risky Business int he past, but the shrimp was top notch! Worth the trip to get, no matter where you are on the island.
 
Last night in Avon was taken up with readying for departure. Getting surfing gear and stuff together so dinner out was pretty much out of the question. What to do? Call Nino's for an extra large pie and some Cheerwine! As usual, it was great. Just....bigger than usual. A knife and fork or fold slice.

 
That's it for Avon. Only one stop left. Breakfast on the way out was at Stack'em High in Kill Devil Hills, NC. A group tradition and not a bad one, either. My wife ordered her usual waffle with eggs and the kids and I all had a short stack with eggs and bacon. The pancakes were OK. Vanilla is a predominant flavour in these and they're not too dense. Sadly, the line cooks at Stack'em High suffer from the same problem I run into almost everywhere. They don't know how to make a egg to over medium. They're seemingly always overdone. *Sigh*. The bacon and coffee were good, tho. (If you stop in make sure to get a carton of milk if you take milk in your coffee. For some reason they only offer non dairy creamer). Stack'em High is a good place to start the day early. There are two of them and they're each owned by different people. We went to Stack'em High #1. Haven't ever been to the other place, so I can't say if their quality is the same.
 

 
We made the run for home in one long trip. NC to Indiana in one day. I'm already looking forward to next years trip.
 
#1
    Davebassman

    • Total Posts: 115
    • Joined: 3/14/2012
    • Location: Herndon, VA
    Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 11:18 AM (permalink)
    Root-Beer Man, thanks for the trip report and great review of my favorite place on the Outer Banks, Sam & Omies! My Dad knew the original Sam & Omie and he used to take us kids there when it was just a small "beer-joint". My wife and I ate our first meal there  on our honeymoon. (soft crab sandwich!) We go there for an anniversary dinner every year.
    We've also eaten at Nino's Pizza, although many years ago. Another good local pizza place on the Outer Banks is Lisa's Pizza in Rodanthe, about 25 miles north of Avon.
    Our family also has the tradition of stopping at Stack'em High on the way out of town the last day of vacation.
     
     
    #2
      pnwchef

      • Total Posts: 2227
      • Joined: 3/16/2011
      • Location: Kennewick, WA
      Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 11:32 AM (permalink)
      RBM, thxs for the great report, it looks like you guys had a fun time. I have a question, where does a guy look for a gal that likes to wind surfing/beer judging. I googled it and it came up with "GoodLuck" trying to find that....pnwc
       
      #3
        ScreamingChicken

        • Total Posts: 4710
        • Joined: 11/5/2004
        • Location: Stoughton, WI
        Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 11:40 AM (permalink)
        A very nice trip and report!  It's too bad that some of the food didn't live up to its appearance because that Ketch 55 combo plate looks like it should've been great.
         
        Since your wife can't be counted on to objectively judge her own beers I'll stop by next summer on my way through Indiana and offer my opinion.
         
        #4
          Davebassman

          • Total Posts: 115
          • Joined: 3/14/2012
          • Location: Herndon, VA
          Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 11:45 AM (permalink)
          Last year on our vacation to The Outer Banks, Stack'um High was so crowded, we drove over to Manteo and had breakfast at: T.L's Country Kitchenhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/TLs/157351707655840#!/pages/TLs/157351707655840
          Excellent country-style breakfast, highly recommend!
           
          #5
            jmckee

            • Total Posts: 1172
            • Joined: 11/26/2001
            • Location: Batavia, OH
            Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 11:46 AM (permalink)
            Davebassman


            Root-Beer Man, thanks for the trip report and great review of my favorite place on the Outer Banks, Sam & Omies! My Dad knew the original Sam & Omie and he used to take us kids there when it was just a small "beer-joint". My wife and I ate our first meal there  on our honeymoon. (soft crab sandwich!) We go there for an anniversary dinner every year.
            We've also eaten at Nino's Pizza, although many years ago. Another good local pizza place on the Outer Banks is Lisa's Pizza in Rodanthe, about 25 miles north of Avon.
            Our family also has the tradition of stopping at Stack'em High on the way out of town the last day of vacation.

             
             
            Lisa's is terrific. The fried chicken pesto pizza is one of the best pies we've ever had. That's our usual Wednesday "no-seafood" dinner.

             
            #6
              agnesrob

              • Total Posts: 1790
              • Joined: 6/4/2006
              • Location: Park Ridge, NJ
              Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 11:46 AM (permalink)
              Nice report!
               
               
              #7
                TnTinCT

                Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 1:48 PM (permalink)
                Never been to that area before, but on my "one of these days list". Thanks for sharing your experience.
                 
                 
                #8
                  hatteras04

                  • Total Posts: 1070
                  • Joined: 5/14/2003
                  • Location: Columbus, OH
                  Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 2:23 PM (permalink)
                  Thanks for the report.  Sadly, my family has stopped going to the Outer Banks as the drive and crowds just got to be too much for everyone.  Also, a number of our favorite places are no longer there.  It's good to see that there are still some good options around. 
                   
                  #9
                    mayor al

                    • Total Posts: 15058
                    • Joined: 8/20/2002
                    • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
                    • Roadfood Insider
                    Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 2:42 PM (permalink)
                    RB-Man,  I liked your report on the soda...How'd you like Cheerwine? Have you ever enjoyed MOXIE ?? It took awhile for me to gain an appreciation for that New England soda...but I love it when I can find it.
                     
                    #10
                      leethebard

                      • Total Posts: 6068
                      • Joined: 8/16/2007
                      • Location: brick, NJ
                      Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 2:56 PM (permalink)
                      I love the outer banks......Cheerwine is great...and available at any Cracker Barrel, if you're out of its area....oh and please...never eat real pizza, whatever the size, with a fork and knife!!!
                       
                      #11
                        Sundancer7

                        Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 3:28 PM (permalink)
                        I spent a few days there and my best visit to a restaurant was the "Basnight's Lone Cedar"  Great view and very very good food.  It was so good that when it burned to the ground a few years ago, residents helped him rebuild and you will see evidence of the appreciation upon entry.  Roz and I enjoyed it very much.
                         
                        http://www.lonecedarcafe.com/
                         
                        Paul E. Smith
                        Knoxville, TN
                         
                        #12
                          Root-Beer Man

                          • Total Posts: 331
                          • Joined: 1/9/2006
                          • Location: Noblesville, IN
                          Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 6:30 PM (permalink)
                          ScreamingChicken


                          A very nice trip and report!  It's too bad that some of the food didn't live up to its appearance because that Ketch 55 combo plate looks like it should've been great.

                          Since your wife can't be counted on to objectively judge her own beers I'll stop by next summer on my way through Indiana and offer my opinion.

                          That combo plate DID look good, but the flounder was had a funk taste to it. The odd thing is that we have eaten there before they underwent a name and ownership change and the food was first rate and really tasty. Guess they added a new chef and changed their recipes somewhere along the way and it didn't work out well.
                           
                          LOL. Sadly, my wife is not allowed to judge her own beers, but she has blue ribboned from Indiana Brewers Cup a few times for her own brewed beers. Makes a guy proud. Come on down to Indiana and judge some of our local brews, you won't be disappointed!
                           
                          #13
                            Root-Beer Man

                            • Total Posts: 331
                            • Joined: 1/9/2006
                            • Location: Noblesville, IN
                            Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 6:34 PM (permalink)
                            mayor al


                            RB-Man,  I liked your report on the soda...How'd you like Cheerwine? Have you ever enjoyed MOXIE ?? It took awhile for me to gain an appreciation for that New England soda...but I love it when I can find it.

                            Mayor Al, I must confess that I really like Cheerwine! Almost as much as the old Dublin Dr Pepper. I've never acquired the taste for Moxie, but I'll try anything two or three times. I love all kinds of premium Sodas and Root Beers, but my favourite New England Sodas come out of Maine from Shipyard Brewing. Their Capt'n Eli's Root Beer is top notch and they make a lemon-lime Soda, as well as a strawberry that will knoock your socks off. Their ginger ale is killer, too. Available at some Indiana Do It Yourself Stores, for some odd reason (some of them also carry Cheerwine!).
                             
                            #14
                              JRPfeff

                              • Total Posts: 2367
                              • Joined: 12/1/2006
                              • Location: Pewaukee, WI & Fuquay-Varina, NC
                              Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 7:13 PM (permalink)
                              RBM,
                               
                              Pie Diva and I were in OBX two weekends ago. We both loved Stack 'em High. So much that ate there on both Saturday and Sunday. 
                               
                              On day one, Pie Diva had better luck than you. Her eggs were cooked to a perfect over medium. Our stack of pancakes was loaded with blueberries and pecans so we didn't taste anything off with the vanilla. I had biscuits and gravy which was fantastic.
                               
                              On day two, we shared a fantastic waffle with chocolate, pecans & coconuts; and a ham, mushroom and cheese omelet.
                               
                              The best thing we've ever eaten may have been Stack 'em High's smothered hash browns (I may slightly exaggerate). Hash browns cooked to perfection, crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle, then topped with cheese and bacon. We could have made a meal of the smothered hash browns, alone.  We ordered these both days.
                               
                              jrp
                              <message edited by JRPfeff on Mon, 10/21/13 7:14 PM>
                               
                              #15
                                carolina bob

                                • Total Posts: 3420
                                • Joined: 1/1/2005
                                • Location: Chicagoland
                                Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 7:57 PM (permalink)
                                As many times as I've been to North Carolina, I've never gotten anywhere near the Outer Banks. I'm definitely going to have to do something about that real soon.
                                 
                                #16
                                  Pancho

                                  • Total Posts: 915
                                  • Joined: 10/20/2004
                                  • Location: Madison, WI
                                  Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Mon, 10/21/13 8:34 PM (permalink)
                                  carolina bob


                                  As many times as I've been to North Carolina, I've never gotten anywhere near the Outer Banks. I'm definitely going to have to do something about that real soon.
                                  Takes a big man to admit that, CAROLINA Bob! It's another world over there. The ferries are an experience and you will really enjoy the OBX.

                                   
                                  #17
                                    ann peeples

                                    • Total Posts: 8317
                                    • Joined: 5/21/2006
                                    • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                                    Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Tue, 10/22/13 7:36 AM (permalink)
                                    Thanks for sharing your vacation! I enjoy over medium eggs, but must agree that they tend to arrive too done. I found if I order them over easy-I get them over medium!
                                     
                                    #18
                                      Pancho

                                      • Total Posts: 915
                                      • Joined: 10/20/2004
                                      • Location: Madison, WI
                                      Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Tue, 10/22/13 9:37 AM (permalink)
                                      leethebard


                                      I love the outer banks......Cheerwine is great...and available at any Cracker Barrel, if you're out of its area....oh and please...never eat real pizza, whatever the size, with a fork and knife!!!
                                      When I was in Naples EVERYONE was using a fork and knife eating their pizza. I think it was real pizza as well. I do agree with you, though. I never use utensils here in the US.

                                       
                                      #19
                                        Davebassman

                                        • Total Posts: 115
                                        • Joined: 3/14/2012
                                        • Location: Herndon, VA
                                        Re:Fall Trip To Outer Banks Tue, 10/22/13 10:29 AM (permalink)
                                        Sundancer7


                                        I spent a few days there and my best visit to a restaurant was the "Basnight's Lone Cedar"  Great view and very very good food.  It was so good that when it burned to the ground a few years ago, residents helped him rebuild and you will see evidence of the appreciation upon entry.  Roz and I enjoyed it very much.

                                        http://www.lonecedarcafe.com/

                                        Paul E. Smith
                                        Knoxville, TN

                                        I'll "second" Sundancer7's recommendation of "Basnight's Lone Cedar". My brother treated all of us to dinner there a couple of years ago. It's a huge place and they really move the patrons in and out efficiently. A really nice bar for a drink while you wait for a table and the bartender actually knew how to make a proper Manhattan! The signature dish there is "flounder stuffed with crab meat", delicious!
                                         
                                        #20
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