Wednesday, July 23, 2014

And now I'm ready for lunch... OBX eats!

Hello, hello! Long time, no chat. My post-vacation mind melt finally seems to be clearing - my brain is starting to work again!

We spent last week down at Cape Hatteras with C's family, enjoying the annual family beach trip. We had so much fun, and spent plenty of time relaxing, eating, and soaking up sun (on the days when it wasn't pouring rain!). It is always a treat to be able to take some time away and disconnect from real life. On the other hand, it sure is hard to come back and get the gears turning again! So I'm slowly getting everything going again and returning to real life.

Since we all know that most of my daily life revolves around food (when is lunch?), you can only imagine how much I enjoy indulging while on vacation. C's family is great about cooking meals all week while we are at the beach, but we do take some time to enjoy local restaurants, too. In fact, one of the things that C and I like BEST about vacationing in the OBX area is the endless supply of non-chain restaurants - there is always something new to try, and we've discovered some time-tested favorites, as well. We get such a kick out of trying local joints and hole-in-the-wall places - you'd be amazed at the local treasures that get discovered when we make a wrong turn or randomly decide to walk into a new place for a drink.

In case any of my darling readers ever find themselves in the Hatteras area, I thought I'd share a little bit about three local places we ate at last week and loved. Maybe you'll get a chance to go there, too!

We went to the Billfish on a whim on a rainy afternoon for lunch - we were driving around with C's parents looking for somewhere to eat, and C said "turn here!" without really knowing where we were. As it turned out, it was perfect!

When we walked in around noon, we were one of just a few tables with patrons - but as we ate, we noticed that the place was getting totally packed. By the time we were done with lunch, just about every table was full!

The food was delicious, the waitress was sweet, and the beer was cold. For lunch, I went with that day's special: fish and chips, made with freshly-caught local cod. It was fantastic! A light, flaky beer batter coating a big filet of fish (without being way too much), crispy fries, and a side of homemade coleslaw. I ate every bite! Had we had a chance to get out for lunch again, we wouldn't have hesitated to eat here twice.

You might remember me mentioning Top Dog before... this was not our first time there. Lunch at Top Dog is one of our family traditions - it's a must! The burgers speak for themselves, of course, but the rest of the menu is pretty amazing, too. Top Dog is super casual and beachy, with plastic tables and chairs and Corona buckets on the table full of condiments and spare napkins. It's really a no-nonsense place, too, which I like - they don't do special orders, they don't do substitutions... just order something and enjoy it. And we do!

This is our 4th picture like this! Creatures of habit.

The trek to this cafe was a bit longer for us this year since we were further down the coast, but no one batted an eye when we said we still had to go. I remembered salivating over the fish tacos when someone else ordered them last year, so that's what I went with this year!

Huge pieces of Mahi are wrapped in soft flour tortillas, then topped with cool, crunchy, diced cabbage and warm, melty cheddar. A side of pico de gallo adds some freshness, and the key lime sauce that comes on the side is killer. My mouth is watering at this very moment. Dang!

C & I went to Breakwater for our date night, and it was a very pleasant surprise! We had no idea what to expect, but it was a really nice location for a date. We were seated at a table on their back deck, and enjoyed dinner while watching the sun go down over the sound. It was gorgeous!

The food was great, too. (no food pictures here - it was date night, after all! Phones away :) )We splurged a bit - we had drinks and an appetizer (the Firecracker Shrimp, which we delicious, but I could have used a little less sauce), and then ordered our entrees. C went with the Filet Oscar, and was delighted to find that it came topped with a ton of crab meat and then a béarnaise sauce, rather than a sauce with a little crab in it like he's had before (does that make sense?).

I had the Catch of the Day - Snapper, which I ordered blackened (yum). I really, really wanted to try their homemade Key lime pie for dessert, but couldn't have eaten another bite if you'd paid me. We always cherish our date night while on vacation, and Breakwater was a fantastic location for some alone time. We recommended it to the rest of the family, too!

Now that I've officially made myself hungry AND sad that we are no longer on vacation... hope you enjoyed reading about some of the places we ate last week! My seafood-loving-self was in heaven. I definitely took full advantage of the local offerings - and loved every minute of it.

So tell me...
  • Have you been to Hatteras or the Outer Banks? Have you tried any of these restaurants?
  • Do you cook on vacation, or go out to eat for every meal?
  • Do you stay safe with chain restaurants, or experiment with local joints?


S Ganeeban said...

I love, love, love fish tacos! You're speaking my languages! Your trip looks like it was a BLAST :)

Kim McCue said...

Looks like you had an amazing time. Often I bring snacks and such, but we mostly eat out on vacation.

Lisa C said...

I totally blanked on the name, but I love the breakfast place in Kill Devil Hills. They have tons of Hokie OBX stuff, and their pancakes are great for rainy mornings.