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Kickass seafood market in/around Carolina Beach?

Blackburn Brothers Seafood‎ 440 North Lake Park Boulevard, Carolina Beach, NC 28428-4803 ( 910) 458-9001‎

Fish Bites - http://fishbitesseafood.com

You might want to do a search on this board as well. The question has come up a few times over the last couple of years

Jun 23, 2010
cajun willie in Southeast

Wilmington NC Rec.

We think alike. Surf House is on my lunch radar. Anything else new and promising? It's a short trip(2 lunches and 2 dinners). At this point, I'm locked into Catch,Surf House, Deluxe or Jerry's and maybe the Shucking Shack. It's a rare childless trip for us, so we're holding off on any kid friendly places(like Black Horn) until the return family vacation. I've heard pretty bad things about Tangerines......have you been to Harbour Masters?

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Surf House Cafe
604 N Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC 28428

May 11, 2010
cajun willie in Southeast

Wilmington NC Rec.

I will be heading to Carolina Beach in May. I'm pretty familiar with the Pleasure Island scene but I've lost touch with the downtown and Wrightsville Beach. I'm looking for a recommendation for an anniversary meal. The only criteria would be a focus on seafood. Price, at least for this meal, is not issue. As a point of reference, I've always enjoyed the food at Port Land and Grille as well as Deluxe.....and I'm not opposed to going back to either but I wonder if I'm missing something.

May 04, 2010
cajun willie in Southeast

Any " Best " places in the Wilmington, NC / Carolina beach area ?

I've had good luck at Blackburn Brothers. Considering the beat down exterior, I was astonished by the variety of fresh seafood. Their fishing boats are tied off about 20 ft. away from the storefront. It's a little bit hard to find....the best way to access it is off Carl Winner Drive. Go into the back parking lot of Tangerines {I assume this place still exists} and drive parallel to the bay......you'll run into another smaller parking lot where Blackburn's is located. Address below

Blackburn Brothers Seafood‎ 440 North Lake Park Boulevard, Carolina Beach, NC 28428-4803 ( 910) 458-9001‎

May 04, 2010
cajun willie in Southeast

Foodie Towns/Cities in Virginia?

1. Northern Virginia - Amazing ethnic food! It might be in the Commonwealth but you're essentially living in DC.
2. Richmond - Nice mix of restaurants....lot of southern charm.
And that's about it. After the big two, there is a substantial drop off.

One small town, dark horse might be Culpeper. A hand full of decent restaurants and two that are very good (It's About Thyme and Foti). Plus you've got easy access to all the vineyards in the area.
Or just split the difference between DC and Richmond and live in Fredericksburg (like myself). It's about a 45-60min trek either way. I would consider the food scene in Fredericksburg, itself, to be above average but nothing to write home about.

West End Take Out Recs

Don't get me wrong....I love the Alehouse but the private home, where I'll be staying in Richmond, is essentially a "residential" version of the Alehouse. In fact, some of the Alehouse management will be with this group of guys. Thanks for the various ideas.....I'll do a quick write up next week.

West End Take Out Recs

It's a mix of single and married guys. Magnolias's is a definite possiblity. Looks like their wine list is a strong point. We'll be needing a break from beer. I'm assuming the dress code is casual? I could not find a website.....only a quick review mentioning the extensive wine list.

West End Take Out Recs

Thanks for the suggestions. Tortilleria San Luis sounds interesting. I've been to China Star and thought it was of "China Town" quality. I had a cumin lamb that was excellent. But the close proximity of the Tortilleria might be hard to resist. I've searched and can't find a phone number so I guess I'll drop by when I get into Richmond.

West End Take Out Recs

I've got a three day guys weekend coming up soon. One night we will need take out food. The only criteria would be that the restaurant is located within about 5 miles from the Regency Mall area and that it not be barbeque. We're already doing Buzz and Neds on one day so that rec. would not be needed. Other than that.....we're wide open.
Also, a laid back bar recommendation (in that general area) would be great as well. We're in our mid to late 30s if that helps. We'll be drinking high end beer all weekend (this is a beer snob group) so, when we do venture out, I'm more concerned about a fun atmosphere than I am 50 taps of micro brews. Thanks in advance Richmond Hounds!

Fredericksburg Area -Business lunch near interstate 95

Most of the better, non chain restaurants are going to be in the downtown, historic district. That's probably about 10 minutes from the closest 95 exit. I don't know your criteria but here's a quick lunch list in no particular order: Sammy T's, the Capital Ale House, Claibournes (fairly expensive), Bangkok Cafe and Jake and Mike's.
Finding mom and pop places near the interstate is a little tougher. But some ideas would be Kenzos(sushi), South Vietnam, Vinny's (local Italian chain), Laziza and Guru (order off the menu....not the buffett). Hope that helps.

Short Pump Lunch Rec.

My wife and I will be getting an early start on our Christmas shopping next week in the Short Pump area. I would like to find a good, non chain meal. The only criteria would be that it is during lunch hours and close to the Short Pump retail although it doesn't need to be inside that area. Neither the price nor type of cuisine matter. My only previous meal in that area was China Star on Cox Road which was very good.....if you request the chinese menu. DD 33 is a possibility but the lunch menu looks ordinary compared to their dinner menu. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Carolina/Kure Beach

There are good meals to be found at the beach.....and also a lot of bad ones. The food is not of the same quality as Wilmington but you won't starve either. I did a very long trip report on the Carolina/Kure Beach area about 4 weeks ago. It should be very easy to search out. Some fun places to drink as well.

Carolina Beach Dine and Drink Report

Dara - Sorry to hear about you bad experience at Freddies. You have to kinda keep my report in the right perspective. The CB food scene is much better than it was 10 years ago. But if I lived in downtown Wilmington, would I make the trip out for a meal?.....not unless I was combining the meal with a daytrip. As far as Double Happiness, I think the place is legit. The first time I went there, we had a waiter named Jimmy. As we ordered, he guided us thru the menu. He was pretty much like "no, no don't order that...order this". He talked, at length, about the different regions each dish came from. He hung out at our table A LOT. I liked his input because every dish he recommended was good. Some people, including a couple at my table, thought he came on too strong with his opinion. I never saw that waiter again but I still usually get the wait staff to give me suggestions on what's good in the kitchen that day. I've had pretty good luck that way. I have tasted other plates at my table that were average. I would give these guys another shot.

Carolina Beach Dine and Drink Report

Ahhhhhh....a fellow Pelican fan. Any other hole in the wall bars that you can recommend in CB/Kure? Bud's Tavern looks like its got potential from the outside but I've never been there.

Carolina Beach Dine and Drink Report

Once I'm in Carolina Beach, it takes an awful lot to get me to cross back over Snow's Cut Bridge. So I'm probably not the one to do a report on Market Street Casual. But there are couple of other very active Wilmington hounds that may be able to help you out with a review.

Market Recs for Wilmington/Carolina Beach

I think the seafood market in Carolina Beach is Blackburn Brothers. There are a couple of other small seafood places/vegetable stands that dot the highway as you drive into the beach. But I agree with Kurt, the Harris Teeter is very nice and would probably have everything you need under one roof. The cheese selection is excellent.

Carolina Beach Dine and Drink Report

This report is limited to the beach and/or destinations on the drive into or out of the beach. So Wrightsville Beach and the downtown areas are excluded.
A lot has changed over the last few years on the Pleasure Island restaurant scene. One can eat reasonably well without having to trek back into Wilmington. Don’t get me wrong….there are no Deluxe or Port Land and Grill type places and there may never be. But Jack Mackerels and Freddie’s are superior to many of the old school Wilmington institutions; many of which boast great views and uninspired menus. I’m looking at you Oceanic, Bridgetender, Elijah’s etc. If you throw in some of the neighboring Monkey Junction joints, like Portofino’s, Heck of a Peck and Dan’s Mason Bistro, one can eat very well with limited driving.
My reviews were culled from two different trips to the Beach in May and June of this year. One trip was just the boys and one was with my family. As you would imagine, two completely different perspectives. So here we go…..more or less in order of quality. True Pleasure Island restaurants first.
Jack Mackerels – This is a really fun Caribbean themed place; more so the décor than the menu. Seating on the inside, outside on the ground level and roof top seating. The roof top can be a bit of a wind tunnel at certain times. Probably not the best idea with small children. Most everything on the menu is good to very good. The best app.that I’ve had was the Pesto Escargot. Basically, escargot wrapped in won tons and fried with a basil sauce drizzled on top. This item is not always on the menu. The sashimi is good too….it just seems like everybody is doing this as a starter these days. The soft shell crabs, the Mumbo Jumbo Shrimp dish(?) and the coconut red snapper are also very good. Surprisingly, the Ciopinno was also pretty good. I thought the Jerked Tuna dish lacked the quality cut of tuna that was I was expecting….it did taste good though.. Also, the Wild Mushroom pasta was average in my opinion. The key to this place is the kitchen’s consistency. There aren’t any bombs on the menu. Good place for families or large groups….a lot of room. Decent bar inside also.
Freddie’s – Small, charming Italian restaurant that specializes in chops. They tout Barb’s salad dressing on their website....with good reason. Get a bottle to go. My favorite item so far has been the Shrimp Fra Diavlo. The lasagna is also good. I have yet to try their chops. Keep one thing in mind, the kitchen has a heavy hand when it comes to sweet sauces. This might just be my own personal tastes. I ordered the Steak James which was swimming in Amaretto. The liquor didn’t just accent the steak…..it drove the whole dish. Portions are huge so go early in your vacation and you’ve got, at least, one lunch covered. Good wait staff! This place is always packed…go early to avoid a wait. It’s a Kure Beach institution. I want to spend more time exploring this menu.
Black Horn Bar and Kitchen – Much like the two above, the name of the game here is consistency. Excellent bar food but it’s much more of a restaurant than bar. (at least during the daylight….haven’t really had a chance to do any serious drinking here) If you order to their strong suit, it’s all good. The strong suit would be excellent sandwiches and good soups/salads. The Meatloaf Melt is insanely decadent. I may have taken a few years off my life eating this sandwich but it was worth it. Think….gourmet hamburger with a basil garlic mayo sauce and white cheddar. Ask for the spicy ketchup. The Cubano is also another exercise in pure, gastro gluttony. Pulled pork, Virginia ham, pickles and Swiss cheese on sourdough bread; because, hey, doesn’t ever sandwich need two different versions of pig. It’s nothing like a true Cuban sandwich but it’s really good. I’ve never had a bad sandwich here. The sweet potato fries are also good. Sushi used to be on the menu but it’s been temporarily taken off. Not sure why. The Greek salad is good but get the dressing on the side. Tomatoes would be a nice addition to the salad. French Onion soup was excellent. The house specialties are a bit of a mixed bag. The menu description of the Knife and Fork Tuna Melt led me to believe the dish would be dry…..and I was not pleasantly surprised. The wild boar sausages are also on the dry side. The wings are pretty damn good but if you get the mild version….be forewarned they are very mild. The hot version in my opinion is just right. I haven’t tried the other two items in the house specialties section. If I’m nitpicking on this place, than I’ve got two suggestions: more seafood on the menu…..the place is about 50 feet from the Atlantic Ocean. Also, a better beer selection would be nice. All the usual suspects are on tap but I think they should put some thought into micro brews. How about some selections from the Brooklyn Brewery….the owners are from New York, after all. But good food, Sinatra in the background and me in my flip flops…..those are good things in my book..

Things drop off a bit after the top three. That’s not to say there aren’t good meals to be had.

- Shuckin’ Shack – Small, laid back oyster bar. This place operates on island time….20 minutes to get seated, 25 minutes to get the menu, etc. The night I was there I believe there were only two people on staff. So when the bartender/waiter comes over, be prepared or you might be in for long night….actually you’ll be in for a long night regardless. The oysters and shrimp were fresh. The hushpuppies were great! Your basic raw bar menu. Not polished like Heck of a Peck or Dock Street but, still, a fun place if you’ve got a few hours to kill.

- Tuscan Grill – I’ve only been there once....when they first opened up. The place was still working their kinks out. It seemed to have promise.
- The Gulf Stream Restaurant – A real locals place that is always packed. I’ve only had breakfast (decent) here but the lunch and dinner menus look more interesting. A stone’s throw from a commercial fishing dock so I’d imagine the fish would be very fresh.
- Kate’s Pancake House – Basic diner food. Not much to elaborate on.
I’d also recommend Sandpiper Subs, Michelangelo’s Pizza, the Trolley Stop and Cook’s Doghouse.

Monkey Junction/Myrtle Grove Restaurants – Normally, you can get to these places in about 20 minutes during the non rush hour periods.

- Dan’s Mason Bistro – This top shelf restaurant is well worth the drive. There is nothing like it in the true Pleasure Island area. Expensive but still a good value. My measuring stick for high end food in Wilmington is Deluxe and Port Land and Grill. In my opinion, this place is a notch below those two but still belongs in the same sentence. I’ve only been there once but tasted all the plates at our table. Everything pretty much rocked. The beef filet with a mushroom pate was the winner. Nice dinning space and great staff.
- Heck of a Peck – This is located right next door to Dan’s Mason Bistro. Well run operation specializing in, you guessed it, oysters. Limited menu but most of the basic raw bar items are there. I need to spend more time in this place.

- Portofino’s – Good Italian Deli/Restaurant. Point blank, the best meatball sub I’ve ever had. I normally like this type of sub a little bit saucier but most of the sauce is soaked up by the bread. The sandwich is about as big as my head and probably a little bit heavier. Most of the sandwiches that I’ve tried have been good to very good. We, sometimes, pick up the family style meals on the drive into the beach.

- The Drink Report
The Last Resort – I had a blast here. The bar’s boast of the being the smallest watering hole in the state is probably accurate. Stacked cases of wine and beer are in full view behind the bar because there is no storage. The inside seats probably 8 with the outdoor patio seating another 20-25. It seemed like it was a locals place though everybody was extremely friendly. They are normally pouring from six different bottles of wine posted on a chalk board. Six dollars for a glass of wine that you’re drinking out of a plastic cup seems a little bit excessive but, literally, there would be no room for a dishwasher. I don’t even recall seeing a sink. But it’s the beach, so you go with the flow. The place is situated right on a busy highway but, with your back to the road, the bobbing headlights cease to exist after a couple cups of wine. The wine was decent. The best I had was a Hob Nob Pinot. Cool Place!

And that brings us to the Fat Pelican – Easily one of the strangest bars that I’ve ever set foot in. And that statement is covering a lot of ground…from dank vampire bars in New Orleans to “home bars” throughout the Caribbean. The Pelican is a throw back to another era…or planet. Tacky memorabilia and beer inspired, bumper stickers cover most of the walls. My favorite one being, “ The doctor just called…he found blood in my alcohol stream.” The patron demographic went from a one year old in a stroller (bad parenting) to a 60 year old working behind the bar to a black lab sleeping in the door way. Your food options are pretty much limited to Slim Jims and pickled sausages floating in some pinkish, funky liquid. While most bars are moving towards smoke free environments, the Pelican, practically, encourages it. The toddler, the dog and myself were the only ones not smoking. No fans so the cigar and cigarette smoke rolls right of the propped open front door. The actual bar seats about 10 people while the lounge/family room holds another 20. But what really sets the Pelican apart from any other hole in the wall joint is the eighteen wheeler trailer body that is built into the back of the bar. The trailer has been converted into a walk in, refrigerated ice box….that holds 428 different beers from all over the world. Most of the great, American micro beers are well represented; from North Coast’s Red Seal Ale to Victory’s potent, Golden Monkey to several excellent beers from the Brooklyn Brewery. (my personal favorite). Somebody did their homework while putting this collection together. They also have 5 taps that are hidden behind the bar. On this night they had, not 1 but 2, Hawaiian beers. Who even new Hawaiian beer existed?
Aside from the haze of smoke, I liked this place. The small staff and fellow drinkers were very friendly. I will definitely go back….probably for a late afternoon beer before heading elsewhere for dinner. While my experience was cool, it’s probably best to tread with some caution in this place. My guess would be that every minute spent at the Pelican, past midnight, increases the odds of being on an upcoming episode of Cops. But all and all, the Fat Pelican is a wacky American original…high end brew pub meets the trailer park. Leave your pretensions at the door and enjoy some “liver entertainment.”(as one of the bumper stickers read)

Restaurants to hit on the drive to or from Carolina Beach

- Double Happiness – This place would be at home in any Chinatown in the US. Authentic to the bone! A place like this reminds you of the Indian influence in real chinese cooking. A perennial favorite of mine. The spicy Asam Laska noodle soup is awesome. The soup features mango, cucumber and fish. I’ll take this over Pho any day of the week. The double steamer dumplings are a good way to start. The sticky rice dumpling is the star in that group. I was surprised recently to see General Tso’s on the menu but I understand trying to appeal more to the mainstream. I hope this place can stay afloat. The lunch crowd is fairly scarce but I assume they do stronger numbers at dinner.
- K-38 - One of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the universe. Not authentic Mexican but a very authentic take on Southern California style Mexican food. Cilantro spiked salsa is awesome. Nice selection of hot sauces. Very laid back….so laid back that their sign in the front was missing for quite a while….didn’t matter, the place was always packed. The camarone verde enchiladas, habanero hell rolls and the tropical tuna rolls(kinda like Southwestern Sushi) are some of my favorites. We always hit this place on the initial trip to the Carolina Beach (salsa to go) or the trip back home. Eat well Wilmington!