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Beaufort, NC and OBX Choices

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  • Elzoe Apr 3, 2009 07:42 AM
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On our drive back to New England from Savannah, we're thinking of trying Aqua in Beaufort, NC and the Fish House in Buxton on the outer banks for dinner. We can use some help in finding a good breakfast place in Buxton and a dinner spot in or near Nags Head. Any 'hounds have thoughts about Lone Cedar Cafe for dinner and for the next morning, the Manteo Grill for breakfast? Many thanks.

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  1. Lone Cedar is pretty good, but I'd recommend the far superior Owen's for dinner and I'm not familiar with the Manteo Grill, but can highly recommend Sam n' Omie's for breakfast. Happy eats!

    2 Replies
    1. re: SweetPhyl

      We had dinner at Owens on Saturday night, and it was indeed wonderful. I had the yummy Hatteras combo - local shrimp, scallops and crabmeat - and hub had the mixed grill, which was spectacular with a tender, flaky piece of tuna, and one of the best steaks I've tasted in a while. His homemade banana pudding was excellent, and while my coconut cream pie was good, there was a touch of alcohol in the chocolate crust (Frangelico, maybe?) that was a bit distracting. Great service, even on a busy prom night, with outstanding food and a casual but upscale atmosphere. Highly, highly recommended.

      We tried Sam and Omie's for breakfast this morning, and I hate to have to say that it was one of the sorriest dining experiences I've had in quite some time. We arrived early, a little before 8, and took a seat outside after putting our name on the list and being told to expect about a half hour wait. No problem - it was a beautiful morning, and we enjoyed the sun and cool breeze as we waited. As the clock ticked on past half an hour and we saw two groups who had arrived *after* us be seated *before* us, my husband asked the hostess when we could expect to be seated. Her reply was "you haven't been here half an hour yet," and when he pointed out that our wait was approaching 45 minutes, she said we'd just have to continue to wait. He came back outside and after another 15 minutes, we were called for our seat. In the meantime, a group of gentlemen who had been waiting for over an hour asked the waitress when they could expect to be seated, and when they indicated that they'd been waiting over an hour, her reply was, "Well, there's nothing I can do about it - go back outside and wait." At that point, they left.

      We were seated and greeted by our waitress, who told us the food was taking "a little while" but that she would bring our beverages. She did so, and we placed our order...and waited. And waited. And waited. The waitress came back to fill up our coffee once during our 45 minute wait, and when we asked when we could expect our food, she told us there were "only three more tickets ahead of you" and that our wait should be about 10 more minutes, adding, "Don't complain, because I told you it would be a while." She brought our food shortly thereafter, and that was the last we saw of her. I ended up foraging for more sugar for our coffee on another table because we couldn't find our waitress to ask for more.

      The food, when it arrived, was fine. Nothing exceptional, but certainly decent breakfast food. I had the corned beef hash, two eggs, grits and biscuit, all of which was good except for the biscuit. My husband had hotcakes and sausage, and enjoyed the hotcakes, but found the sausage a little bland.

      The food at Sam and Omie's was okay, but I'd have enjoyed it more if it hadn't been served with the heaping sides of rudeness and defensiveness. We won't be back and I wouldn't recommend it to others.

      I'm also not generally a fan of hotel food, but the breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn was very good - the fresh fruit, biscuits, and homemade cinnamon rolls were standouts.

      1. re: Suzy Q

        Sorry to hear about the bad service at S&O’s. Never been there for breakfast myself, but have had “okay” service for lunch and dinner.

        At dinner time, it’s usually crowded and noisy, and doubles as a hang out for local fisherman. While the food is good, it certainly isn’t the best place down there. I’ve learned that if you want oysters for dinner, you’d better get there early.

    2. Aqua is great. Blue Point in Duck ( a little north of Nags Head ) is really good.

      1. I second SweetPhyl’s recs. Red Drum Tavern and Taphouse is a favorite of mine, not very fancy, but delicious food. It’s almost in Kill Devil Hills on the beachroad.

        1. You didn't mention a budget. The Left Bank in Duck (owned by and across the st. from the Sanderling) is a terrific spot in my opinion. Pricey, but a fine choice for a special occasion or fine didning experience.

          1. Aqua is pretty good. In Beaufort, I prefer Front Street Grill at Stillwater; the food is larger, and there's something about the rice they serve as a side that I love. It's also on the water with great views, while Aqua is tucked back in an alley. Aqua is a little hipper, and geared towards Tapas. Beaufort Grocery Restaurant is also good, and a little more low key than Front Street or Aqua.

            1 Reply
            1. re: carydiner

              I would not recommend stillwater over aqua, unless you're more concerned with views than food. For serious dinner food I would stick to Blue Moon, Aqua and Sharpies. Lunch at Beaufort Grocery should be approached with realistic expectations. Good sandwiches, mediocre sides and hit or miss soup