Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vacation Edition: OBX, NC

Seafood Spectacular! That's right, folks, I got down with my bad, raw bar self. I also ate enough shrimp to satiate a small whale. My foodcation continued, perhaps without the same level of success as the Cape, but there were still many good eats to be had. I ate 15 oysters in one sitting! Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar had huge, fresh and flavorful oysters (and didn't skimp on the portions), but the spiced shrimp were a little, "meh," and the bartender in the upstairs lounge seemed a little inexperienced. (In Arthur's defense, I tried the spiced shrimp at Dirty Dick's Crab House, by which Arthur's suffered in comparison. More on that later).

In the lounge, I ordered a Blue Moon to nurse while we waited for a table. The bartender said they didn't have any orange slices, but would I like some orange juice? -- Do people do this? - I paused for a minute and said, "Sorry, I was confused. I thought you just offered me orange juice with my beer." To which he replied, "Yeah, I did." It was just too ridiculous, so of course I responded, "Oh, yes, I'll have some." (?!) There was a split second when I contemplated pouring the shot of orange juice, which was served in a paper, 8-ounce Dixie cup, into my beer, but opted to just carry the thing awkwardly around with me until we were seated. Am I missing something? Was I meant to sip the juice as a chaser with every drink of my beer? Please, if you know, pass that knowledge this way. Moving on...

I have an embarrassing confession to make. I was warned it might happen. The signs were there all along the way. But I couldn't help myself; I got crabs at Dirty Dick's. OK, so the real shocker here is not my little confession, it is the gift shop in the restaurant, which sells - at eye-level with small children - thong underwear, printed with pictures of sultry, well-endowed lady-shrimps with the words: "Peel me. Eat me." W-O-W. Is there anything left to say? The King crab legs were good (I'd never had them before) and the spiced (peel and eat) shrimp was very tasty, but the atmosphere was that of an ice cream parlor in hell, with a huge, blue-lit bar in the center and checkerboard tablecloths on the tables. This place really needs to decide if it is a lame, dirty joke, or a purveyor of family-friendly-fish-fare. Needless to say, it did not merit a picture. Whew.

Tortugas' Lie
Delicious! Our last night my boyfriend and I stumbled on this "local favorite." We split an order of Conch fritters, because I had never had Conch. It was a little hard to tell whether or not I like Conch, with all the friedness it was coated in, but I think I did. Sadly, I can't be any more descriptive than that. However, my entree, the Coco Loco Chicken, while also fried, was full of flavors and textures. The chicken was covered with flakes of coconut and served with an addictive lime-curry dipping sauce, freshly complementing and cooling the hearty crunch of the fried coconut. If the chicken looks a little funny in the photo, it is because, yes, I had to have a bite before I took out my camera to capture this chicken macaroon. Like many of the dishes on the menu, the chicken came with rice, black beans and salsa, which I enjoyed stirring together and covering with my remaining lime-curry sauce. Delish!

Now that I have spent a large portion of my disposable income for the summer, it is back to home cooked casseroles and cakes. Fortunately, I have finally settled my dispute with Bon Appetit and new additions will be rolling in monthly. Additionally, I have a few cooking classes in the fall, which should provide new directions, even if it is in the dessert department.

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