Emerald Isle, NC this weekend
Me and my wife are going to Emerald Isle, NC this weekend and are looking for decent seafood restaurant's? My Brother -in-law who doesn't eat seafood takes us to Rucker John's wheich is a chain and not what we are looking for? On sat we will drive to Morehead City for lunch at Els but looking to stay closer to Emerald Isle the rest of the weekend.
Just got back and while the people we stayed wanted to cook out most of the time we had a few meals out. Thursday night ate at Whiddens landing, the shrimp were huge and everything else was good (except they ran out of baked potatoes so we had to have fries) The Big Oak diner was closedthe first time we went by (thats why we at at Whiddens) and the second time very packed so we just cruised into Morehead and ate at Els.
Had dinner at the Net House in Beaufort this evening and the food was very good. Nothing fancy but fresh and on time. The seafood bisque is recommended. Would have liked a few raw bar selections but happy just the same. If you're looking for fresh family-style seafood this is a good bet. No reservations so come early
The Watermark, toward Atlantic Beach (in the Food Lion shopping center) is excellent. Their seafood is great, and they have the best steaks (charcoal grilled) in that region. Eclectic crowd, interesting to watch. Live music most Thurs - Sat (later in the evening). Almost worth a trip from Raleigh to do for dinner, even with the gas prices.
Agree with the rec about Big Oak and their shrimpburgers, and also seafood to prepare in house from Capt. Willis'. Also, Whidden Landing in Salter Path is pretty good.
Jordan's can be hit or miss... all fried but nowhere near as good as Calabash.
Cox's Family Restaurant is a local's place in Morehead City that is great for breakfast. The atmosphere is definitely "locals', but the prices are reasonable, food and service is good. Also in M H City is Mrs. Willis' which is another local institution. Worth a visit there.
Stillwater in Beaufort is very good, somewhat pricey but worth it.
DON'T waste your time or money on Sanitary, Captain Bill's or Channel Marker. They're all living on a reputation from many, many years ago. If they were animals, they'd have been put down by now...
We tried The Crab Shack after reading some favorable posts but found the chowder's the consistency of dishwater and of a similar taste. This was the case across the board. The fried shirmp and oysters were decent but avoid the cowder at all cost. The service was also mediocre. We had to flag the waitress down several times to get tea refills and I had to retrieve our own napkins and silverware. This seems to be the case with most restaurants on the island. We're heading to Beaufort to the Net House which we hear is far superior.
I was just there this past week and there really isn't a lot in Emerald Isle proper. The best food seems to be in Morehead City/Beaufort. I find Swansboro to be a bit better than EI proper, mostly because it's nice to walk around. Some recommend Jordan's, but it's definitely a fried food, no atmosphere kind of place. My best recommendation is to get fresh seafood from Cap'n Willis and cook at home! (But I do second the recommendation for the shrimpburger from Big Oak Drive Inn!)
We were there, north Emerald Isle, a few weeks ago and had a decent meal at the Crab Shack, which is nearby at Salter Path/Indian Beach, (www.historicbeaufort.com/Hospitality/Crabshack.htm).
Across the street is the Big Oak Drive In & BarBQ "Home of the Shrimp Burger," a great take-out place (given its hours, might be better for lunch than dinner). Check out its website: www.bigoakdrivein.com (especially its menu) and have fun!