It would seem that I'm just a tad late with my reply, but seeing as how there are current comments, I thought I might add my .02 cents. We are on the impovershed side, so eating out dollars are extremely rare and hard come by. Also, my standards were created in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are very few places I would recommend in the area, but those I would recommend are:
HOLLY RIDGE SMOKEHOUSE - Located on HWY 17, north side of town, on the left driving from Wilmington to Jacksonville. This is a "homestyle" restaurant that specializes in BBQ. There is one truly outstanding waitress there, Alyssa. If she serves you, your experience will be devine! For BBQ, I recommend asking for the "chopped" dinner and request a sampling of their sauces. There are 4, one hot and one sweet for the chopped pork and one hot and one sweet they use on their ribs and chicken. Each one is amazing and sampling them all will give you a range of the BBQ flavors that are little known not just here in Eastern NC, but through Georgia and Florida as well. Can't speak for SC as I've never done their Q.
THE GREEN TURTLE - 310 Fulcher Landing Rd; Sneads Ferry, NC 28460 - 910-327-0262 - This is a truly unique restaurant for the area. The prices are a tad steep but the food is well worth it. Their clam chowder is outstanding and I'm no fan of clam chowder. My previous favorite was the chowder served at the Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, CA. Service is also exquisite and the seafood is second to none.
Someone else mentioned the Riverview in Sneads Ferry. We went once and the food was decent as was the service. However, our second visit was horrible. We were a party of 10 and we arrived half an hour before the posted closing time. An older woman told us that if we had wanted to eat in their establishment, we should have had the decency to arrive earlier. In my opinion, the posted closing time is the posted closing time. As we walked out, we were chased by a man who insisted they would be happy to serve us. Unfortunately for him, I was in charge of the crowd and I don't give a business of any caliber a second opportunity. My dollars are far to few and precious for that.
MUDDY'S COFFEE HOUSE - On HWY 17, in the Food Lion shopping center directly across from the Air Station Main Gate. The coffee is incredible. Muddy roasts his own beans in the establishment. He sells beans as well as coffee drinks. They maintain an extensive array of Torrani syrups and have a rather tidy selection of coffee "concoctions" to delight most coffee consumers. I like my cappucino extra dry, not hot, short pull. When I placed my order the first time I went, I was delighted to discover that they understood! Most baristas just tilt their head and go "duh" when faced with the words "short pull". Product knowledge is a must to engender my business. Muddy's also serves some of the best deli sandwichs I've ever had. Their pasta salad is the ONLY pasta salad I'll eat and Mrs. Muddy makes it herself. Muddy is also a concientious supporter of local artisinal bakers and purveyors. They have big plans for the near future and I hope, for my mouth's sake, they are successful!
Seeking good seafood, bbq and regional cooking. Inexpensive and homey places preferred
The 100% correct answer to the 2002 query is Casey's Country Buffett 5559 Oleander Drive.... Excellent down home country cookin' just like Grandma used to make. Fried chicken is wonderful, the pulled pork barbecue is awesome, the vegetables(at least 16 choices) are phenomenal, not to mention the other daily meat choices. And just about the friendliest wait staff in the Port City. Under 10 bucks. BRING YOUR APPETITE!
Tango is by far the most controversal place in town. Hilbert must be doing something right, though, since he recently opened a lunch place nearby, Julie's. Haven't been there yet, but hear it's outstanding. I teach a wine appreciation course and used Tango's menu for a challenging exercise in wine/food match. In a recent class, one of the more knowledgeable attendees violently objected because of his low opinion of the restuarant. As I discussed it with him after class, it became clear even "sophisticates" can fear leaving the comfort zone. Wilmington needs more Jacob Hilberts.
Taste of Country Buffet went out of business last year. For simple southern cuisine, I would also add Annie's Restaurant & Grill at 15005 Us Highway 17 in Hampstead. Food was not fabulous, but service was great and it is about midway between Jacksonville and Wilmington.
bigshank14 wrote: "Tango du Chat pushes the envelope with extraordinary cuisine you would hope to get in LA, NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Charleston, etc. Too sophisticated for the chain crowd but truly a great experience."
This is an example of the pomposity that I was was referring to in another post. You are implying that if someone does not enjoy Tango du Chat, then they lack a certain sophistication. I still would not recommend TdC (see my other posts).
I live in Hampstead. I am in disbelief that you suggested that he go to a place that is part of a seedy motel that people live. If that is what you call good, then I see why you wouldn't like an amazing, classy place like Tango du Chat. I had to register and make an account just so that I could respond to this.
Note to the original question asker: Look for Annie's on the right as you are driving to Wilmington and you will be happy that you went somewhere else. Oh and think about going to Circa 1922 downtown. It's a personal favorite.
Quote: "Seeking good seafood, bbq and regional cooking. Inexpensive and homey places preferred."
While I like both*, I would hardly call Tango or Circa "inexpensive" or "homie." I was responding to his question, not suggesting that Annies is "amazing" or "classy." That is not what he asked for. He also asked for places between J-Ville and Wilm. Can you think of any others? Have you eaten at Annie's or are you just making a face-value assumption?
*After a great meal recently, I have changed my opinion of TdC.
J"ville does have a pretty decent Japanese place,,its on that main shopping drag and theres a Cold stone 2-3 stores away..I think your streching things a bit to go to New bern etc When I was in the Corps in the 60s we also referred to J'ville as the armpit but it has improved sinse then...at least now it has a t shirt over that arm...
Catch,on Princess Street between 2nd & 3rd is great downhome food at a very reasonable price. They serve breakfast & lunch by the gentleman chef from Deluxe. Eat here and you will leave feeling clean.
Deluxe is great for dinner and well worth a more upscale price. The deepest, broadest wine list in the region. Top shelf. The filet will make you order another to take home for breakfast.
Tango du Chat pushes the envelope with extraordinary cuisine you would hope to get in LA, NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Charleston, etc. Too sophisticated for the chain crowd but truly a great experience.
Near Wrightsville Beach: Sweet & Savory, between taco bell and Eastwood Road. Ask somebody who smells like beer where Fibber McGee's is and Sweet & Savory is across the street. This is where the locals who can taste, like to go for a casual, great meal. Awesome breads and pastries as well.
I would definitely check out Lumina Station off of Rt.17 (northside toward J'ville). Cafe Atlantique is a must for a visit. The Brown Dog Cafe around the corner is also very good. There are several good restaurants in that area off Rt.17 near Military Cutoff Road.
Also, you may want to try a few place above J'ville in New Bern. Downtown, there are quite a few nice bistros and cafes that offer excellent menus in a quaint atmosphere. Very Historic!
Cafe Atlantique closed about three years ago, and the Brown Dog closed more like five years ago. On the up side, Opus is in Lumina Station and they're doing a killer job. The place has a casual feel to it, but it's not cheap. Chef Hilla's food is worth every penny, though, and in another city he would command much higher prices.
McCalls BBQ & Seafood - 2109 North Marine Blvd, Jacksonville, NC 28546, 910-938-1956
Smithfield's Chicken-n-BBQ - 315 Western Blvd, Jacksonville, NC 28546, 910-353-9595
Smithfield's Chicken-n-BBQ - 1105 Gum Branch Road, Jacksonville, NC 28540, 910-347-6355
Thig's BBQ House - 1722 Catherine Lake Road, Jacksonville, NC 28540, 910-324-1161
A & G Barbecue & Chicken - 609 Piner Road, Wilmington, NC, 910-791-4375
Bubba's Barbecue Oven - 108 North Kerr Avenue, Wilmington, NC 28405, 910-397-9350
Capt'n Bill's Backyard Grill - 4240 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28403, 910-762-0173
Carolina BBQ & Seafood - 2222 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403, 910-452-5500
Derek's A & G BBQ - 609 Piner Road # D, Wilmington, NC 28409, 910-452-1060
Flip's Barbeque House - 5818 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403, 910-799-6350
Jackson's Big Oak Barbecue - 920 South Kerr Avenue, Wilmington, NC 28403, 910-799-1581
Mike's Barbecue Hut - 1632 Castle Hayne Road, Wilmington, NC, 910-762-1332
Musser Seafood & Barbeque - 4240 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28403, 910-762-0111
Parchie's Barbeque - 1120 Princess Street, Wilmington, NC 28401, 910-763-2565
Pearl's Seafood - 3500 North Kerr Avenue, Wilmington, NC 28405, 910-763-1122
Raym's Ribs Chicken & BBQ - 2902 Carolina Beach Rd, Wilmington, NC 28412, 910-392-4900
Smithfield's Chicken & Bar-B-Q - 7300 Market Street, Wilmington, NC, 910-686-4175
Taste of Country - 226 South Front Street, Wilmington, NC 28401, 910-343-9888
I was really glad to find this list of good BBQ Restaurants on the Web. Last summer I had a great BBQ party for my friends and family at Jackson's Big Oak Barbecue - 920 South Kerr Avenue, Wilmington, NC 28403, 910-799-1581. I had lost the name of the place, but now I can contact them to plan another party on my trip there next month. The Internet is a wonderful thing! And, so is the Jackson's Big Oak pulled pig BBQ!
Lots of Great places to eat in WilmywoodThe Market St.Casual Diner is MY Favorite.But 20 minutes from J-ville on the North End of Topsail Island is Paliottis At the Villa Capriana,The best Italian and Seafood on Topsail Island.There are no good Restaurants in J-ville,sad but true.