I hope you all had a fantastic July 4 holiday! We had a wonderful time visiting my parents in Pennsylvania and going to the beach with Andrew’s family in Surf City, North Carolina. Both locales were super relaxing. I did a bunch of cooking/grilling and worked on testing a few recipes that may be coming to the blog soon, but mostly I just lazed about, swam in the ocean, flipped through cookbooks, watched the U.S. win the Women’s World Cup (go team!), and didn’t do any writing for the blog at all (!!). We also tried out several restaurants—I’m sharing some highlights here!
Beach Shop and Grill: We went to this super tasty seafood place last year on our visit to NC (read about that visit here), and it was so good we decided to go back. I had the sea scallops with corn risotto and seasonal veggies + a bowl of she crab soup. Our table also enjoyed some bacon-y Brussels sprouts and fried green tomatoes with pimiento cheese. There was a bit of a wait for a table, but the food was worth it, and while we waited for a table to open up, we were able to walk down by the water and watch the sun set.
The Daily Grind: Maple bacon donuts! (Plus chocolate glazed, cinnamon sugar, and French toast.) These were really delicious, and small enough that you can eat more than one (and we did).
Beauchaine’s 211: This is the only restaurant on Topsail Island that takes reservations, but when we made our reservation for July 3, no one had in mind the perfect view of the fireworks that we would have! We really lucked out and got to watch the show while munching on a delicious charcuterie platter (which included pickled okra, yum!). The flounder and blue crab over local stone-ground grits was really good as well.
This isn’t to do with restaurants, but look who hitched a ride to the beach with us on one of our beach chairs!
I was determined to taste some East Carolina barbecue on this trip, and I finally did it (plus cabbage, lima beans, fried chicken, fried chicken livers, and pork rinds). The roadside restaurant buffet where I had this experience was not that great, so I won’t name names here, but the vinegary shredded pork flecked with chili flakes was super tasty, so I think it was all worth it. Plus, any experience that includes fried chicken livers is likely to be a net positive one, in my opinion.
We just got back into town last night, and while I’m sad our vacation is over, it’s always good to be back to my own routine and my own kitchen. I’m looking forward to decompressing after our travels and doing lots of cooking (I’m making a sweet potato and chickpea tagine tonight, and there are some garlic scapes, kohlrabi, and chayotes I’ll need to wrangle pretty soon). I’ll be back next week with another recipe to share with you—see you then!