Sweet summertime is finally here and I will soon be dipping my toes in the Atlantic Ocean. My husband thinks my idea of going on vacation is boring, so I leave him at home and travel with my dad instead. We’ve had a tradition of going to the beach every summer since I was very young. When I go to the beach, that is just what I’m there to do — go to the beach. I like to sit in my chair near the water’s edge, listen to the soothing sounds of the waves and relax. I do also take a very large stack of books to read.
There is one other thing I like to do on vacation and that is eat. I have several favorite restaurants in the Atlantic Beach area that I look forward to dining at each summer. One of these places, Amos Mosquitoes, has a fried pork chop with a Cajun Tasso ham gravy that is my very favorite meal of all time. I have often said that if I were to ever be on death row, the Amos Mosquitoes pork chop is what I would want for my last meal.
I don’t really eat a lot of seafood while I’m at home, but on vacation at the coast I frequently order flounder, shrimp and mahi mahi. I also have a pretty strict rule that while on vacation I want to avoid chain restaurants at all costs. I prefer to dine at unique local restaurants that don’t exist back home. I can go to Chilis or Olive Garden any time. My dad and I argue over this sometimes because he would be perfectly fine eating at a chain restaurant while on vacation.
Another problem I run into when choosing restaurants is that I always tend to stick with the favorites and not branch out and try something new. There are plenty of restaurants in the Atlantic Beach area and I’m sure there are great ones other than my current favorites. It always feels like such a gamble though. I’d almost rather eat a favorite meal more than once at one of my usual spots than to try a new restaurant which doesn’t turn out to be as good.
My husband and I fell into this same trap while on our honeymoon in Key West in 2015. We tried several different places and enjoyed them all, but we really fell in love with the Half Shell Raw Bar that was right near our hotel. We ate there at least four different times during the week we were there. And we almost always ordered the exact same thing. They had an oyster sampler platter that was divine!
Aside from Amos Mosquitoes, my other favorites on the Crystal Coast are Floyd’s 1921 in Morehead City and McCurdy’s and Channel Marker in Atlantic Beach. The one restaurant Dad and I do agree on as a favorite is Ruddy Ducks in Morehead City. Maybe this year we’ll be adventurous and try somewhere new.
Kitsey Burns Harrison is a reporter for The Yadkin Ripple, here she shares her musings on food, life and love. She can be reached at 336-518-3049 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.