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Any great restaurants in Wrightsville/Wilmington?

Jul 20, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Wilmington NC - Where do YOU dine?

Just tried Jamaica's Comfort Zone near UNCW - University Commons or Landing or something. Never saw it and they claim to have been open since November. It is in the spot that used to be Tower 7. I happen to like Jamaican food...Jerk, Escoveitch etc. I was very pleased! Nice flavors. Our area has not had a Jamaican place and Comfort Zone is a nice change of pace. I briefly spoke with the owner, who I'm guessing is from...Jamaica. Nice experience...authentic.

On another note, Kiva Grill has morphed into the Porter's Neck location of K-38 Baja Grill. I always liked Baja's laid back atmosphere. I never felt bad about visiting K-38 freshly sandy from the beach. Word is that Kiva was languishing as a high end southwestern place and bringing in the more casual atmosphere and fare of K-38 is a strategy to attract more people in as money gets tight. A smart move in my opinion.

Jul 20, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

osteria cicchetti- wilmington,nc

Been to OC three times and had good food each time. Antipasto dishes are a bit smallish but the entrees are filling. I've tried a few dishes and all were very good. Definitely above average. Haven't had enough room to do dessert yet. Casual atmosphere is nice and prices generally reasonable. A good bet for Italian.

Jun 20, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Wilmington NC - Where do YOU dine?

Andieried, woceht,

I can't remember how I heard about Los Portales, but I love the whole idea of completely un-Americanized Mexican food. We often stop there only to find you can't get in the door because its so crowded. Some of the dishes must be off-menu because I've seen some interesting stuff going out...either that, or I'm not deciphering the menu well. Gives me a chance to practice what I remember of high school Spanish. I never order a "large" anything. Anything medium there is a pretty darn good size and is plenty filling. Great little spot!

I intend to try El Guajiro next.

Jun 18, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Wilmington, NC - Antonio's

Haven't been to Antonio's, but it sounds like its worth a try.

As for NY Pizza...being from NY, my vote goes to Brooklyn Pizza on Market St. & I (love) NY Pizza on Front Street. Elizabeths is good, but not really NY pizza.

Jun 18, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Best Burger in Wilmington

Outside the chains, one of the best around is PT's Grille. They have two locations. Kohls is pretty good as well. They have flat, flying saucer burgers which I happen to like. Salt Works on Oleander has pretty good ones as well, but they're a bit smaller....very southern though.

Jun 18, 2008
timechime in Southeast

Wilmington NC - Where do YOU dine?

Darn...went and broke my own rule. With all the good words about South Beach floating around, I decided to try it again since I hadn't been there for 5 years. Unfortunately, the experience left a lot to be desired. The staff raved about the crab nachos, so we bit. What arrived was a mushy, less than flavorful mess of a few chips with a tiny bit of something that might have resembled crab. I had a negimaki plate that was tasty, but hardly enough of an appetizer for a three year old. (I don't eat a lot either.) The entire edible contents of the plate would have fit on my fork. We left without having dinner.

Maybe I caught a bad day since so many seem to enjoy it, but I definitely paid for the (partial) view only.

Jun 14, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Wilmington NC - Where do YOU dine?

Bad news about Zooi. The inside scoop on the Forum is that the rents are outrageous so any downturn in business could be disastrous.

Recent discussions about Dockside confirm what I've felt to be a problem all along...namely that most of the places offering a great view of the water tend to suffer quality problems in the long run. When you've got captive tourists, why make good food if you don't really have to? In my experience, there have only been a very few exceptions to this rule. If you can see the water, beware. Chances are you'll be paying for the view and not the food. For me...more often than not, the best dining experiences happen where there's not much to look at outside the windows.

Jun 10, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Wilmington NC - Where do YOU dine?

Update....Tried Jessamine and was quite pleased. Owner is, in fact, one of the partners from the old Rim Wang...now Charin Thai. I received a recommendation for an item that actually wasn't on the printed menu...Tamarind Beef. It was great...and is now among some of my favorite dishes eaten locally! My wife had a crispy duck dish that had so much duck, she couldn't finish it. Duck was tender and lean and not overly fatty as some duck can be. My only concern is that the former Shoney's location is jinxed. We were one of three tables in there at prime time on a Friday and the place could easily hold 100+. I would have gone for the Pho (a la Viet Bistro) but I wasn't feeling like hot soup on a 95 degree day. Curious to hear some of the other reviews.

Jun 07, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Port Land Grille, Wilmington NC

Port Land is the place! There isn't anything I wouldn't try there. Many of their dishes are cooked over a wood grill, which imparts a great flavor and aroma. The menu typically has dishes for everyone, including seafood and a few vegetarian plates. One of PLG's strengths is a terrific array of dishes utilizing different farm raised meats. I've seen wild boar, duck, venison and others. Of course there is always some form of filet mignon. The menu changes from time to time so selections can differ depending on the availability. Never had a bad meal...no, let me rephrase that....I've never had a meal that was less than outstanding. Enjoy your anniversary!

May 13, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

charleston to wilmington, nc?

Great suggestions by Andiereid

If you're hungry, go to Flaming Amy's - Burritos the size of your thigh...very quick and reasonably priced.

May 07, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Taste of Wilmington

We went...it was fun. We noticed that some of the restaurants got blindsided by the sheer number of people and ran out of food before the end. Glad there were a lot of people though. We got there 30 minutes into it and there was not a single place to sit. It was difficult to fumble around with a wine glass and a plate of food with no surface to set either upon. Hats off to Marcs for winning and for having the foresight to give everyone a CUP with noodles and other goodies that was easy to handle. My bumble award would go to Antonios for giving out giant sauce covered meatballs on a slippery plastic plate. Try to cut a meatball the size of a billiard ball with a plastic fork while standing up holding a wine glass and a napkin...break out the stain remover! Better would have been to make 'em bite size and give us three.

May 07, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Wilmington NC - Where do YOU dine?

Abacus....most of the better restaurants mentioned here have great seafood dishes. One of my favorites when I want some crab legs is Dock Street Oyster Bar downtown. The rest of the menu is marginal, but we generally reserve it for evenings when we want to jam some crab legs in our faces and then walk it off by the river.

For teens...I'd go for Mellow Mushroom....place is generally hopping and has great pizza. You'll sometimes wait for it, though. Szechuan 132 or ask to sit at the recessed tables at Double Happiness if you've got a hankering for some Chinese. Osteria Cicchetti ...now referred to as "OC" is another good place to bring teens...nice and informal...good italian.

May 07, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Wilmington NC - Where do YOU dine?

Chrissue - for 17 people...end of May. Upper end food.....go with Port Land Grille. I would be willing to bet nobody will leave unhappy. Keep in mind it is a bit expensive, but IMHO...worth every penny. I think they have private rooms. AND see below. Not much that I'm aware of in Topsail...The old Latitude 34 at the south end of the island is now gone. I'd suggest coming into Wilmington.

Got to try some new places since my last post. Osteria Cicchetti was a great - old-worldish Italian experience with good food and fun ambiance. Lots of smaller plates that would go very well for a large bunch wanting to split a lot of different things. Reasonable pricing. Dans Mason Bistro was also great. It is on the south side of town so it would be a haul from Topsail, plus it is a bit small to be accommodating such a large crowd.

Had lunch at Catch and was extremely pleased. Couldn't help but watch all of the attractive and great smelling dishes coming from behind the counter....

We've been waiting to see if Jessamine was going to pan out. From the road, it doesn't look very professionally set up. Sounds like it might be a good place. Someone mentioned Mineh. I have had a few lunches there and was generally pleased.....tend to gravitate towards Genki's fat rolls and their great Hijiki and vinegared catfish apps.

Some new places downtown have opened...Rim Wang is now another Thai place we haven't been to yet. Although I've only been there once, I want to try Big Thai again. It's located in an unlikely spot on N 4th, but that never mattered to me. They're building something at Mayfaire, but I'm thinking it'll be a chain.....

May 07, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Shaba Shabu in Raleigh

I should have turned on my computer before going. We heard many nice things before...ambiance was nice....the failing strip center it was in....wasn't. We didn't have sushi, but for the most part, we found the food to be good...not earth shattering, but good. I had a salad that supposedly had some spice to it. I was told by the waiter they could tone it down if I wished...which I did. I struggled through about half before succumbing to the intense spice.

Now, I DO like spicy foods, but I found myself unable to continue....

I told the waiter, who just shrugged and said "Yeah, that dish can be kinda hot..." as he scooped it up and walked away.

We noticed a few other transgressions...namely the hostess reading a book at the front station and the sanitation rating of B-83.5. Not a number I want to see if I had been intent on ordering sushi.

Will take everyone's suggestions next time we're up there.

Apr 21, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Best Egg Rolls in Wilmington

Haven't seen many FAT egg rolls lately, but I just had a rather interesting egg roll at...of all places...Kiva Grill. It was a meal....not served as the little $2 appetizer. Loaded with shrimp and crab. Came with sweet chili sauce. Enjoyable.

Apr 17, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Shaba Shabu in Raleigh

We're going to Raleigh in a few days...heard good things about Shaba Shabu....Any other suggestions in the Asian Fusion category?

Apr 16, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

bachelorette dinner in wilmington

Circa 1922 is a great Tapas place. If you go for some fun sushi...Yosake is a must on Front St...great atmosphere!

Apr 16, 2008
timechime in General South Archive

Wilmington NC - Where do YOU dine?

Just found this board! Lived here for 15 years (from NYC) and have watched good food come and go here. We're always looking for a new place to add to our list of favorites. This may be repetition for some, but tell us your favorites....from fine dining to holes in the wall with great food. Everyone has their tastes an opinions, but some are universal. I'll start with a few.

- At the top - higher end favorites....
* Port Land Grille - Lumina Station - Just a moment under the exhaust fans is wonderful. Consistently terrific albeit pricey. You get what you pay for.
* Marc's on Market - Tucked into a strip center with a sign shop and a place that sells pepper spray, it's easy to miss. Simple decor and great food.
* Caprice Bistro - Only tried once...but looking forward to our next trip.
* Zooi Bistro - Smaller menu, but another "thumbs up."
* Deluxe - Another favorite.
* Rafaella - Not to be confused with the inexpensive Italian place that is no longer at the Galleria - Tried once and so far, it has been great except that we were near the noisy kitchen.
* Bento Box - a unique sushi experience.

Looking into Osteria Cicchetti, Tayste and Dan's Mason Bistro

-Second tier - quality meals you can have wearing jeans...
* Yosake - Especially from 5-7PM - Great sushi & Japanamation.
* Indochine - Some people disagree and I've had a couple of misses on the menu, but you can't beat the decor and food tends to be consistently good.
* Double Happiness - Mentioned here often and gets my pick for chinese...a sleeper that needs for the word to get out. We want them to STAY!!
* Banyan - No complaints so far.
* Circa 1922 - fun for small plates.
* Kiva Grill - Great food - A bit pricier than the older and more casual sibling K-38, which has always been a favorite after the beach.

-Fun casual & good food....
* Nikki's - At the downtown original you can get hummus, nachos and sushi!
* Flaming Amy's - In a location that was jinxed in times past - huge portions!
* Mellow Mushroom - Our incarnation of the Asheville institution. Great pizza despite the occasional wait for it.
* Szechuan 132 - Great chinese! Joe has been in that location for over a decade.

-Quickies...
* Brooklyn Pizza - Hey, I'm from NY...and so are they. Big floppy slices and a great calzone.
* Los Portales - You'd better learn how to speak Spanish and be willing to squeeze in. Real, traditional, Mexican...not Americanized.

We've got more....tell us your favorites.

Apr 07, 2008
timechime in General South Archive