CrabDaddy Reappears at Sanctuary Vineyards

CrabDaddy Poster

All is well on the Outer Banks as CrabDaddy makes his annual appearance this Saturday on the north lawn of the Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg on September 21. That’s this coming Saturday.

Who, the uninformed may ask, is CrabDaddy, not realizing that CrabDaddy is a what as much as a who.

What he, or is it what, is is a fantastic celebration of food, family, crab, wine and beer in a beautiful setting.

Brought to the world by Sanctuary Vineyards and held under the towering pines on the north end of Sanctuary Vineyards, the event is an all you can eat crab fest. There is also a local pit master smoking up some eastern North Carolina barbecue. The wine is from Sanctuary Vineyards. The beer is local. For kids there are hay rides and what is particularly nice there is plenty of room for kids to roam around in a very safe area.

The music this year may be the best ever for the event with Almost Everything, Roots of a Rebellion and Twen on hand and a possibility of more.

Along with more food than any human can possibly consume, beer, wine and great music, CrabDaddy also features the Crabdaddy Olympics. These are competitions that should be in the Olympic lineup but aren’t—including grape stomping. Hop in a barrel, smush some grapes and get some juice.

Right now Saturday is looking fantastic, so plan on heading 11 miles north of the Wright Brothers Bridge and have a meet and greet with CrabDaddy.

CrabDaddy is just one of many special event happening this fall in and around the Outer Banks. Spend some time with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates and see what life on a sandbar is all about.

Second Outer Bean Opens in Village of Duck

Outer Bean in Duck. A great look and many of the same great items.
Outer Bean in Duck. A great look and many of the same great items.

Outer Bean in Kitty Hawk has always been one of our favorite places. Great coffee, excellent smoothies, wonderful sandwiches and lunch specials—made with organic ingredients when owner Necla (Nay-schlah) Rader can get them.

The help is always friendly and the feeling is very much a European cafe, where you can sit and sip an espresso and no one will hurry you away. Some of that feeling may be that Necla’s native country is Turkey and before she became a citizen she traveled a lot.

The big news is, though, there are now two Outer Beans. 

This past week the second Outer Bean opened in the Barrier Island shops right on the north end of Duck. The shop is right across the street from Sunset Grille.

This new place is much smaller, so some of the menu items are not available in Duck. However, the staples are still there. On a hot day, the iced cappuccino is excellent and their smoothies are guaranteed to put a bounce in anyone’s step.

They will be serving sandwiches at the new location, but paninis and those spectacular soups that Necla whips up…well, there’s just no room to make any of that.

Initially the Duck Outer Bean will have to be mostly a to go place. Over time, Necla may be able to figure out some sort of seating arrangement, but right now the place is pretty small and any seating would have to be outside.

It’s definitely worth checking out. It is the perfect location for weekend traffic heading to Corolla. Just about the time things begin to ease up a bit, Outer Bean will be on the right. A great excuse to stop before the last half hour of the trip.

Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates homes put our guest in the heart of what’s happening on the Outer Banks. We look forward to seeing you this summer and many times to come.

Fresh Strawberries Ready to Be Picked

Picking fresh strawberries at the Malco's strawberry patch just north of the Wright Memorial Bridge.
Picking fresh strawberries at the Malco’s strawberry patch just north of the Wright Memorial Bridge.

Everything is right in the world of the Outer Banks. The weather has been springtime perfect and Mr and Mrs. Malco have opened their strawberry patch for picking once again. 

It’s hard to remember from year to year just how good those berries are, but this year’s crop, by acclimation seems to be really, really good.

Just about everyone living on the northern Outer Banks knows where the strawberry picking is, but for visitors, it’s about a three quarters of a mile north of the Wright Memorial Bridge on the Currituck mainland. With the weather as good as it has been, the Malco’s should have things open, but just in case, look for the strawberry banner with the open sign.

As an adult, picking fresh strawberries is a taste delight, but for the real joy in the event, take a child…preferably one who has never eaten a strawberry that they picked and then ate. The look of wonder that crosses their face is beautiful

A couple of things that are important to know.

It is all cash. No credit cards, checks or any other form of payment. The berries are $2.50/pound this year. We always figure we’ll pick around 10 pounds but invariably end up with 12-15. 

Containers are available to carry the strawberries home, but there is a fee for them, so it may be better to bring your own.

There is no shade, so it’s a good idea to bring some water and put some sunscreen on.

These are not store bought strawberries. They taste infinitely better than anything purchased in a store, but their shelf life is limited. Be sure to make plans to freeze some. They’re fantastic in smoothies.

Mostly—go have fun.

There is always something fun to do on the Outer Banks. Stay with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates and discover the joys of life on a sandbar.

John’s Drive In & Tar Heel 2 Open for OBX Season

John's' Drive In on the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk has reopened for the season.
John’s’ Drive In on the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk has reopened for the season.

John’s Drive In and the Tar Heel 2 Produce stand have reopened for the season and all is right in the world of the Outer Banks.

The weather is warming, the days are getting longer, traffic is picking up on the Bypass so yes, the natural progression of the seasons is once again on us.

John’s Drive In on the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk and Tar Heel 2 in Kill Devil Hills are about as iconic as businesses could be on the Outer Banks. Both are family owned small businesses that have stood the test of time, occupying the same locations for over 30 years.

For visitors who have not been to John’s Drive In—well, until you go, you have not experienced the real Outer Banks. The burgers are made the way burgers were made 30 or 40 years ago, so don’t expect some super lean cut of meat.

The specialty, though, is their dolphin boat. A huge portion of perfectly fried mahi-mahi bites with very hot french fries. It is the perfect beach food.

And…we can’t forget their milkshakes. The real thing. Thick, filled with ice cream they are almost a meal in themselves.

Expect slow service. It’s not intentional. It’s just that everything is prepared to order and the kitchen is small.

Tar Heel 2 in the Seagate North Shopping Center probably has the best produce prices on the beach. Because he’s been dealing with local farmers for so long, Ed Goninan can usually get local produce when no one else seems to be able to find any.

Definitely the place where locals shop.

Things are really picking up on the Outer Banks. Summer is coming so make sure those Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates reservations have been made.

OBX Taste of the Beach a Tasty Treat

Bluewater Grill & Raw Bar at the BBQ, Wings Showdown.
Bluewater Grill & Raw Bar at the BBQ, Wings Showdown.

We’ve had a lot to say about the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach and now that it’s here and gone, it’s time for a recap.

There is no perfect way to describe everything that happens over the four days of the event—there is just too much happening. Tapas crawls…we were partial to the Kitty Hawk Friday night crawl that featured Russo’s Bistro & Bar, Ocean Boulevard and Coastal Provisions. But that was just one of many.

Wine tasting? Impossible to choose, although Sanctuary vineyards did an amazing job pairing wines with food at a number of events.

So that leaves us with the two major events, the Wings & BBQ Showdown and the Grand Tasting & Bartenders Bubbly Bash, both at the Soundside Event Site in Nags Head.

Our tip if going to either event next year is do not eat breakfast. In fact, maybe restrict caloric intake the day before as well.

The Saturday Showdown featured some great wings, fantastic eastern North Carolina barbecue and melt in your mouth ribs. Tough call on our favorite. We really liked what Coastal Cravings did with their ribs, but the competition was close there was no clear favorite.

Fantastic music by Jonny Waters and Company.

Sunday was as the Grand Tasting and it was grand.

If there was ever any question about the expertise of Outer Banks chefs this one event should put all doubts to rest. There was a wonderful fresh rockfish over a sweet potato soufflé. The Carolina Crab Cocktail Coastal Cravings was serving up was really good. And the list goes on and on.

And of course there were the Champagne cocktails, which were also wonderful.

Tough call all around, so we’ll take the graceful way out and not call out a winner.

Soul One was the music. Loved it.

Summer’s coming! If you have not made your Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates reservations, do it soon for best selection.

Ashley’s Espresso Parlour Now Open in KDH

Ashley’s Espresso Parlour, a comfortable, welcoming coffee shop with serving excellent coffee.

There’s a new coffee shop on the Outer Banks and it’s worth checking out. 

Ashley’s Espresso Parlour is something special.

It’s on the ocean side of the intersection of Helga Street and the Bypass in Kill Devil Hills, although it’s so close to Kitty Hawk that some people might say it’s there.

Ashley of Ashley’s Espresso Parlour is Ashley Barnes, the coffee roaster at Morning View Coffee in Nags Head for quite a number of years.

What she and her husband have created is a wonderfully relaxed, open feeling cafe that serves nothing but the finest freshly roasted coffees.

We’ve sampled some of what they have to offer and we are impressed.

The cappuccinos come with an extra shot so they’re full, rich and powerful. The coffee has a taste that can only happen when the coffee is fresh and the beans are ground to order and freshly roasted. 

Siphon Coffee-a different brew

Getting ready to brew a cup of siphon coffee.
Getting ready to brew a cup of siphon coffee.

Our favorite coffee drink though, is siphon coffee that, as it’s brewing has all the makings of a science experiment. It takes some patience—the process is not the fastest way to brew coffee—and a fair amount of coffee, but the result is a strong but wonderfully balanced cup of coffee.

The coffee is clearly the draw, but even though Ashley’s has only been open a few weeks, there are a couple of features that seem like they’re going to be part of what makes it such a great place.

First of all—it is very family friendly. We’re not sure if that’s because the location has a number of families surrounding it, or it’s the ambiance, but there always seems to be at least one child clutching a cup of hot chocolate.

Dogs are permitted, and they seem to get along very well.

The local artist Red Dawn, Dawn Gray Moraga, has quite a number of paintings on the walls. We’re not sure if that’s a permanent exhibit or if there will be other artists exhibiting over time.

There’s a ukulele hanging on the wall that anyone can pick up and attempt to play.

All of it comes together to give a feeling of a great place for a cup of coffee and to just hang out.

With more than 50 years of experience on the Outer Banks, no one knows the area like Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

Cajun Occasion at Sanctuary Vineyards

Good times, good food, good music and wonderful wine. Don’t miss this one.

The Cajun Occasion, the name says it all. Coming Saturday, March 2 to Sanctuary Vineyards up in Jarvisburg. That’s about 15 minutes north of the Wright Memorial Bridge.

Since the official Mardi Gras is on March 5 this year, we can probably call the Cajun Occassion a pre-Mardi Gras party.

One thing we do know, the folks at Sanctuary Vineyards know how to throw a party and this has all the hallmarks of a great time.

The event certainly has a Cajun cast to it.

There’s the food, provided by Coastal Provisions…jambalaya and cornbread. That’s about as New Orleans as it gets.

And then there’s the music, provided by “Just Playing Dixieland.” It’s a local group and—no surprise—they play Dixieland music. And they do it very well. In their other musician lives the band members are very talented musicians and it shows when they get up on stage.

And, for good measure—and because it is Sanctuary Vineyards—there were be barrel tastings of wines that have not yet been bottled.

Barrel tastings can run the gamut from “Oh, my…that’s not ready,” to “Wow! Is that good.” It’s a great way to get a sneak peak at what is soon to be in the bottle and to learn a bit about the wines.

It’s an afternoon event—2-5 p.m. so there will be plenty of time left after the Cajun Occasion to check out what else is happening on the Outer Banks.

Summer is coming. Now is the time to book your Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates home. Get the home and location you want by confirming your vacation plans before the spring rush.

The Big Curri-Shuck…the Perfect Way to End Thanksgiving Weekend

The Big Curri-Shuck is the perfect post Thanksgiving celebration. Thanksgiving is all about food, family and just enjoying the day without worrying about eating too much or really anything.

The Big Curric-Shuck is pretty much the same thing with some live music thrown in.

Held the Saturday after Thanksgiving at Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg on the mainland, the premise is simple—steam a few hundred bushels of oysters and maybe some crabs as well, and let people eat as much as they want. Add in some local North Carolina barbecue, wines from Sanctuary Vineyards, beer from local micro breweries and great music…well, what’s not to like.

Sanctuary Vineyards is owned by the Wright family, the same folks that own the Cotton Gin—which is next door—and like all events held there, it is kid friendly. Hayrides for the kids all day and the music is great for dancing but the words never have to be explained.

It looks as temperatures will be mild…November mild, low 60s…with some showers. Don’t let the rain keep you away. There is plenty of covered area to feast on oysters and barbecue, so staying mostly dry should not be a problem.

Although there are a number of events sponsored by Sanctuary Vineyards throughout the year, this is the big one—and it is a great time. It does sell out every year and we’re getting close to the day of the event, so contact Sanctuary Vineyards as soon as possible about tickets.

The Big Curri-Shuck is an afternoon event with the door opening at noon and things closing down at 5:00—making it a perfect way to wrap up Thanksgiving Weekend.

The holidays are truly special on the Outer Banks. Check out the great homes that are available through Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates for the Outer Banks holiday experience.

BrewTag 2018-Beer, Wind and Flight on the Outer Banks

The winning team. The BOOBS took home tip prize with a flight of 39'.
The winning team. The BOOBS took home tip prize with a flight of 39′.

A Possible Nor’Easter Can’t Keep Beer from Flying

Somehow, flying into the teeth of a brisk northeast wind, the BrewTag competitors proved conclusively that beer can almost fly.

The weather was iffy on Saturday, but that didn’t keep the aeronautical engineers who created the Flying Chicken and other wonders of the imagination of flight from climbing the tower and launching their creations.

In the end it was the Boys Of the Obx Brewing Station (the Boobs) who took home the top prize with a flight of 39’—a remarkable achievement given the 10-15 mph winds and gusts to 20+.

Organized by Kitty Hawk Kites, BrewTag may be one of the most fun events of the year. Taking place at the Event Site in Nags Head, teams compete with homemade gliders with a (small) keg (empty) attached. In the past gliders patterned after the Rogallo Wing that is used for hang gliders seemed to do best. This year, though, the BOOBS mono-wing glider took top distance, although it’s landing was not the most graceful.

What makes BrewTag so much fun is that it refuses to take itself too seriously…that and the 20 microbrews on hand. There was also some great food from local vendors.

Like all events that has the Kitty Hawk Kites stamp on it, though, it is very family friendly with well-thought out and well planned activities for kids.

The Outer Banks Brewtag is a benefit The Rogallo Foundation. The Rogallo Foundation was created to honor Francis and Gertrude Rogallo, inventors of the flexible wing. Proceeds will be used to build a museum featuring Rogallo’s work, designs, history and advancements since its development.

Look for the 2019 BrewTag on Saturday, October 26.

There is still lots to do on the Outer Banks. Make your reservations today at Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

Seafood Festival a Celebration of Outer Banks History and Culture

The Outer Banks Seafood Festival was a fun day celebrating the history and culture of Outer Banks fishermen.
The Outer Banks Seafood Festival was a fun day celebrating the history and culture of Outer Banks fishermen.

Great Food & a Great Time at the Outer Banks Seafood Festival

Now that the 2018 Outer Banks Seafood Festival is history we can safely say that it was a blast. There was a little bit of rain but nothing an umbrella or rain jacket couldn’t handle, and the rain was on again, off again, making it easier for festival goers.

There was so much to see and do at the Festival that it’s a bit hard to even know what to talk about.

The food, of course…that has to take center stage. Fresh North Carolina seafood prepared by some of the best of the Outer Banks restaurants—that’s a reason to go right there.

We probably didn’t even have a favorite, although the Shrimp and Corn Chowder from Dirty Dick’s got high marks for flavor and lots of shrimp.

The Festival was also a day filled with music, starting almost as soon as the gates opened at 10:30. Headlined by The Main Event Band out of Greenville, the sound was great dance music and a lot of people were up and moving.

The kids especially were dancing. Evidently the same music that had people moving in the 1970s and 1980s still works its magic on the preteen set. It was wonderful to see parents and their children dancing to the music.

The Seafood Festival is a wonderful celebration of the culture and history of the Outer Banks. Visitors are such an important part of the local economy that it be easy to forget or overlook the role commercial fishing has played in local life.

But the before there bridges connecting these strips of sand to the rest of the world, fishermen were working the sounds and waters of the ocean, and the local fishermen remain an important part of our community.

Next up on the festival calendar is BrewTag next Saturday, October 27 at the Nags Head Event Site. Proving somewhat conclusively that beer can fly, BrewTag is a fun and funny festival celebrating flight.

Fall is a great time to visit the Outer Banks. Check out Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates for the best listings.