The Flying Melon Cafe (Facebook)
181 Back Rd. (map it!)
Ocracoke, NC 27960
Open Tues-Sun, 9a-2p for brunch (dinner served 5:30-9p Tues-Sat)
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Visited: Thursday, June 14, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
The Flying Melon on Ocracoke Island has been on my radar for some time, ever since Leslie, owner of the excellent Books To Be Red, suggested it. The cafe used to be located in a small space, a stone’s throw back from the main road through Ocracoke. But we never made it there because we discovered the newer Dajio Restaurant, which offers a very colorful and flavorful breakfast that mixes island cooking with Kentucky fare. However, on our most recent visit to the island, Mrs. Bfast w/Nick and I happened to stop in to Live Oak Coffee for our first coffee of the day, and one of the employees told us of the excitement over Flying Melon re-opening for brunch in a brand new location that very morning. We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it. While it was still too early for brunch, we wandered the island a bit, then stopped for a second coffee at Ocracoke Coffee Co., conveniently located just across the street from the new Flying Melon location. At 9 a.m. sharp, we joined the handful of people on the front porch and were ushered in when the doors opened.
To give you a sense of how freshly completed the new space was: we noticed the owner up on a ladder hanging signs out front, while construction workers finished the roof and other projects out back. All of the hard work has resulted in a stunning location, beautifully painted and decorated. Gorgeous lighting fixtures. Tall ceilings. Bright light from the windows. The wooden floor is made from a reclaimed factory floor.
The brunch matches the beautiful layout of the space. This is one of the more photogenic breakfasts I’ve encountered in recent months. Since we were sitting on a barrier island in the middle of the Atlantic, I just had to have something with fresh fish, so I chose the fresh local fish mash. The fish was a Spanish mackerel (there must have been a big haul, because everyone was serving it) plated over redskin potatoes, asparagus, and a light hollandaise. It was surprisingly light. The fish was cooked just right, the potatoes and asparagus were tender, and the hollandaise was very good, although used sparingly and in need of a little more seasoning. But it was overall a winning dish.
The omelet was packed with a generous helping of perfectly cooked scallops, plus a mix of sauteed mushrooms, onions, and peppers. We couldn’t quite detect the bacon, so maybe it was forgotten, or maybe the omelet fillings were cooked in bacon fat. Fortunately, the bacon flavor didn’t overwhelm the scallops, which could easily happen.
Again, look at the beautiful lighting and bright colors.
We can now confirm that Ocracoke has at least two very worthy brunch options, between Dajio and Flying Melon. The new space is beautifully appointed and decorated, and the brunch menu matches it with fresh dishes in artful presentations, using local ingredients and at a very good price point. We’re looking forward to brunching here on Ocracoke again next year!