Guy Fieri of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” fame came blasting through the Outer Banks last summer and the places he visited — Ortega’z, Brine and Bottle, Tortuga’s, Outer Banks Brewing Station, Black Pelican, Weeping Radish and Coastal Cantina — are all very worthy. Great places . . . although it’s a little difficult to see how they qualify for the 3-D criteria.
The list of places he missed is longer than an elephant’s memory. Now, I can’t mention them all, so this is a short selection of places Guy didn’t get to but hopefully will remember the next time he’s on the Outer Banks.
I’ll start with the number one place he missed, because everything pales beside this omission. How can a show that features Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, not go to John’s Drive-In — a place that is both a drive-in and a dive? An icon of the Outer Banks vacation experience for over 35 years, you’ll find John’s on the Beach Road (3716 N. Virginia Dare Trail) in Kitty Hawk. The burgers are perfectly greasy, messy and sublime. The dolphin boat is the best I’ve ever had and the milkshakes are a throwback to a time when soda jerks would hand dip your ice cream and mix it in front of you using a Hamilton Beach mixer.
Since we’re in Kitty Hawk, you can’t miss out on a trip to Art’s Place, a best kept Outer Banks secret for over 30 years. Featured in Our State Magazine as one of the best burgers in North Carolina, Art’s is known for their made-to-order burgers, killer breakfasts and a good selection of brews. If you yearn for good food and a neighborhood feel, join the locals at Art’s Place, mile post 2.5 on the Beach Road.
Rob Robinson has two Bad Bean’s restaurants — one in Corolla and the other in Kitty Hawk. Named “Best in Show” at the 2012 Taste of the Beach, there is something about the Giant Cali Burrito, that Rob created from slow cooked brisket of beef, that calls to me. And the fresh fish tacos, which change with the catch of the day, are amazing.
Roadside Bar and Grill in Duck is a little bit too upscale to be considered a dive but upscale didn’t stop Guy from going to some of his selections, so why shouldn’t it be included on our list. Casual, laid back, well-prepared and fresh food . . . nice wine and beer list, too.
Speaking of beer, the Brewing Station is not the only brew pub on the Outer Bank. Paul Charron at Full Moon Cafe in Manteo brews some really good English style beer and ales. Wonderful food, too–very tasty selections. The outdoor seating area is right at the busiest intersection in Manteo . . . as close to an urban outdoor cafe as it gets on the Outer Banks.
One more omission from the 2013 Triple D tour–and it’s a big one. What? No pizza. Personal choice: Slice Pizza in Kill Devil Hills–right next to the Brewing Station. They make the sauce daily, the dough is perfect and baked just right with fresh ingredients. It’s everything a pizza is supposed to be, and their Italian specialty meals are excellent too. It’s the only pizza my daughter and I can agree on.
Six places — perfect for the next Fieri Family Vacation. It’s true, not everyone will agree with these choices, and that’s fine. Let the selection process begin and enjoy some good eats along the way.