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Jun 5, 2007 06:17 PM

Emerald Island NC

My rather large family (8) is headed down to Emerald Island NC in 2 weeks for vacation. We will be looking for 2 good seafood places for families. I dont mind driving a bit to get good food. We are staying at the lower end of the island. I am not picky about price, and will not be going to the Sanitary at all. I have friends that went and I told them via Chowhound not to eat there but for some reason the got sucked into the hype and they hated it. We just want good seafood. I will be taking the kids to get some shrimp burgers as well.

Thanks for the help


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  1. My favorite for good calabash style seafood is T & W Oyster Bar on Highway 58 in Swansboro. If you like oysters and hot/spicy food you should try a "Rooster". I can't say it's upscale, far from it, but really good and family friendly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Trheel4vr

      I am disappointed to report a "Downhill Alert" for the T&W. We have been there several times on visits to Emerald Isle in years past and made our regular trek up to the T&W last night and it was horrible.

      They seem to have moved a touch upscale in their menu since our last visit which should have been an advisory warning. I have always ordered the spicy shrimp which, in years past, was shrimp in the shell. This year, the shrimp came shelled and deveined and dried out. My wife and daughters ordered the shrimp and grits which had not been on the menu in previous years. Everyone of them hated it and they generally like that dish.

      Not sure what has happened but I think we will cross this one off the list.

    2. Reasonably priced, family friendly, Lots of Fried: Jordan's. - worth 2 visits.

      T & W Oyster Bar is excellent, but they may be closed now for the oyster season.

      Mid to upper price; great seafood & excellent steaks: Watermark. - worth more than 2 visits.

      Breakfast: Frost Seafood House.

      Shrimpburger & BBQ Sandwiches: Big Oak Drive In.

      Best cheap eats all around: Cox's in Morehead City.

      Fresh seafood to fix yourself: Willis'.

      You are wise to swear off both Sanitary and Captain Bills in Morehead City. Closing both of them would be a blessing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: goodeatsinadive

        Thanks for the help, I am going to take the family to Jordan's. I have heard so many good things about it, we have to try it. I also will take the family to Big Oak for luch at least once for the Shrimpburgers. We have built in babysitters, so the wife and I will check out Watermark.

        Will let you know how it turns out.


      2. The BEAFORT GROCERY COMPANY in nearby Beaufort is worth the short drive. I've eaten there the last two years on vacation and it's a great place. Make time to stroll around the harbor area after dinner. Pretty little town.

        1. I am currently in emerald, and just had a shrimpburger at big oak...and it was good and cheap...definitely get the hot sauce on it! Cash only.

          Will be going to Watermark at least once...will let you know later this week (as they have strange hours...only open on Wed-Sun only for dinner?)

          Also, I've hear good things about Fairway...probably worth checking out...

          1 Reply
          1. re: musebandrules

            Well we got back from the coast last night. I have to say the highlight of our eating experience was the Big Oak. The shrimp burgers are to die for. We also ate at the Chanel Marker and it was very good. We went to eat at Jordans but it is closed on Tuesdays :( We did get great food at the Watermark as well. I must say again the shrimp burgers were so very good. We ate lunch there 3 times. Thanks for all the help, we look forward to a return trip next summer.