[M]y brother offered us his condo in North Carolina and we both thought a change would be good. Not to mention water that is actually warm enough to get in. Anyway, the trip included a BBQ stop off 95 in North Carolina and then on to the home of sweet tea and fried food, Tiki bars and “Island” cuisine.
I’ll leave out the duds for the moment. We did find two places that I’d call worth visiting. Bowman’s at the Beach we found on our own. It looks old-school, a brick building nestled on the strip, and inside, it feels like it’s been there for a while. The staff is incredibly friendly and, yes, most of the food is fried, but unlike a lot of the places at the beach, the food feels like it was made in the back rather than defrosted. I had some fried oysters, with mac n cheese and fried okra. Sarah had the BBQ pork. The basket of hushpuppies accompanied the meal were the best I have had on this trip. The oysters were fried but greaseless and the BBQ pork tasted meaty. The sweet tea was also the best we’ve had this trip. Sarah, who normally eschews anything with sugar, has been scarfing down the sweet tea like a pilgrim at the holy waterfountain. Sarah pronounced the fried okra great, so I’ll go with her. She makes it rolled in cornmeal, which is the way I’ve gotten used to it. Around here, they cover the pieces in batter. Still, the frying was pretty greasefree–not much grease left on the plate when we were done and I never got the “whoa, too much grease” feeling hours later. ...The other place we liked was Gulfstream Restaurant, another old-time place. We got that recommendation off of chowhound.com and it was good. I’m a little overloaded on fried food, so I opted for the broiled flounder covered with deviled crab stuffing. Not exactly diet food, but the broiled fish at the previous night’s Deck House had left me ready for something with a little flair. The fish was fresh and the crab stuffing had crisped up nicely without extending the cooking time into the overdone phase. Good cole slaw and the baked potato I opted for over the french fries was wrapped in foil but OK. Hushpuppies and sweet tea not as good as Bowmans, but there was a Shrimp Creole on the menu that I want to try. There is someone cooking out back, not just some college kid with a fryolator and a freezer. ...
Thursday nights there are fireworks on the boardwalk. The boardwalk is small and slightly seedy, like all boardwalks I’ve been to since I was a boy. But there is live music. A good Southern rock n roll band was playing before and during the fireworks which were going off behind their stage. The fireworks were low and some of the shells seemed packed with a little more explosives, leading to a big POW as it blew apart the chrysamthum shells. But listening to good rock n roll while they were going off was a real treat. Aside from some choreographed fireworks in New Orleans that were “big city” fireworks, this is the first time I’ve heard that at local fireworks. Highly recommended.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Some CB food thoughts
I don't know Don Lesser, who has a blog devoted to seemingly food and eating, but he recently visited Carolina Beach (and is still there?) and wrote about his experiences there. You can read the full post here.