It’s winter on the Outer Banks, and although our weather is relatively mild, we still experience winds off the ocean from the north, daytime high temperatures struggling to reach 50 and nighttime lows approaching freezing. There’s something about this chillier weather that calls out for food that is warm, filling and familiar. That’s certainly the definition of comfort food—a dish that brings back enjoyable memories of childhood and home cooking.
In 2006 when owners Dan Lewis and Scott Foster opened Coastal Provisions located in Southern Shores Crossing the concept was fairly straightforward. “Originally it was going to be a specialty food market that would bring great food to the beach,” Dan says. “Not only gourmet ingredients, but also take out and catering provisioning people with great tastes.”
For those visiting the Outer Banks in the winter months, it becomes quickly apparent that the pace of life during the off-season months is much slower than during the summer. That’s good for residents since it would be tough to keep up our summer pace year round. It would actually defeat the purpose of why we live here!
If there is a mainstay of the Outer Banks dining scene it may well be Thai Room, located at milepost 8.5 on the beach road in Kill Devil Hills. Talk to most anyone who’s an Outer Banks resident or repeat visitor to our area, and they’ll rave about the Pad Thai noodles or the chicken with basil, which is a rather bland name for a spectacular dish.
Here on the Outer Banks we make a unique version of clam chowder. Hatteras Chowder is a simple broth based chowder that is perfect for a cold winter evening when coastal winds are whipping past our windows and the ocean pounds our shoreline.
Its origins are lost in the sands of time, but it has been a part of the Outer Banks diet for over 200 years. There are tales of family recipes being handed down from generation to generation dating back to the early 19th century.