We love to eat when we travel. Discovering local eateries, finding favorite treats – it’s one of the best ways to get to know a place. A stop at a small donut shop or a corner diner tells you more about a place than any tourist attraction. So here’s a catalogue of another year getting to know the Outer Banks.
Our traditional first stop on the road is in Circleville, where we remind ourselves that fresh pumpkin donuts from Lindsey’s Bakery are available year-round.
After a long day of trekking through Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and finally North Carolina, we reward ourselves with fresh fried seafood at Quality Seafood in Elizabeth City. It’s the type of nondescript place that’s crowded with locals.
Ever since a reader tipped me off to the existence of Duck Donuts on the Outer Banks, we’ve made a habit of stopping by to pick up a dozen… or more.
Duck Donuts operates on the simple but brilliant model of making one base type of donut – spongy and lightly sweet – then dunking them in all manner of frostings and toppings to order, for all those hungry tourists.
We cook a lot of meals at the beach house all together (it’s a big family) and we look for any excuse to include local seafood. One of our favorites is a simple crab dip with cream cheese, lump crab meat, and cocktail sauce.
My brother-in-law made a great meal by smoking a pork butt, then shredding it for sandwiches.
We also made seafood tacos with tuna.
And we like to play around with breakfast, of course! Yes, we brought our heart-shaped waffle maker to the beach. We also bring our own coffee and coffee grinder. I made iced coffee in two-gallon batches. You don’t want to know how quickly we could polish it off.
One of the local pubs, the Pangea Tavern, features a draft beer selection of all North Carolina brews.
And every trip includes multiple stops to the Orange Blossom Bakery in Buxton for apple uglies: softball-sized apple fritters that are as warm, sweet, and gooey as you could imagine.
You can read on for Part 2 of our time on the OBX. If you want to read up on some specific restaurant stops, check out Frisco Sandwich Co., Eduardo’s Taco Stand, Magic Bean Coffee Bazaar, and Buxton Munch Co.