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.

2018 Taste of the Beach a Tasty Time on the Outer Banks

Great Food and a Great Time at the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach

Serving seared scallops over grits at the Brewing Station table.
Serving seared scallops over grits at the Brewing Station table.

What’s not to love about the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach? It’s all about great food and drink and spending some time with friends and family.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

The Taste of the Beach wrapped up today with the Grand Tasting, which is about as grand a way to finish the premier Outer Banks food event as there could be.

Held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk, the afternoon event featured some pretty remarkable creations from the chefs.

Hard to pick out a favorite with so many outstanding dishes, but one that really stood out was one of the simplest. Well stood out for us—others may have an different opinion, of course.

Sal’s New York Pizza in Kill Devil Hills served a mini sub with their homemade mozzarella. The richness of the cheese seemed to absorb the flavors of the herbs on the sandwich.

The owner mentioned that they make their own mozzarella to insure they have the right cheese for their pizza. That’s dedication.

The Grand Tasting is the big sendoff for the Taste of the Beach, but there were other memorable events as well.

Consistently one of our favorites has been the Chowder Cook-off, which celebrated 10 years of great chowder this year.

Held at Southern Shores Crossing and sponsored by Coastal Provisions, the chowder is consistently excellent with some very innovative recipes.

This year’s winner was Corolla’s North Banks with a lobster, shrimp and corn chowder with applewood smoked bacon. Great balance between the slight smokiness of the bacon and sweetness of the corn.  Loaded with seafood, it was a hardy, tasty dish, perfect for a cold March day…which it has been.

But even if it has been a bit cold this weekend, the Taste of the Beach seemed better than ever. Great food, great chefs and a great time. Plan on being here next year.

Best OBX Restaurants by Category

By a narrow margin, Art's Place in Kitty Hawk gets our nod for best burger.
By a narrow margin, Art’s Place in Kitty Hawk gets our nod for best burger.

A local newspaper—the Virginian Pilot, which is somewhat local—recently wrote an article listing their five favorite Outer Banks restaurants.

It was a good article and the restaurants listed were all very good. Anything chosen in an article like that is, of course, subjective, but it’s hard to find fault with the selections.

The problem, though, is it was a “five best” listing without categorizing anything.

As an example, you would not go to Coastal Provisions to get a good burger. Conversely Art’s Place would not be anyone’s choice for oysters on the half shell.

So, to help the undecided along, we present our Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates best of list by category.

Best Burger

Art’s Place

4624 N Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk

(252) 261-3233

This was a tough one. John’s Drive-in just down the road from Art’s Place is al fresco drive-in food at it’s best. And Mulligans in Nags Head does a great job as well, but there is something about those burgers cooked to order on a flat grill that is special.

Best Oysters

Coastal Provisions

Southern Shores Crossing, Southern Shores

(252) 480-0023

If there is anyone on the Outer Banks who has done a better job of working with local oyster farmers and sourcing oysters from all over the East Coast, we have no idea who that could be. Amazing selection with a real eye for detail.

Best Casual Fine Dining

Saltbox Cafe

1469 Colington Rd, Kill Devil Hills

(252) 255-5594

Another difficult decision, but the attention to fresh food, well-prepared that Randolph Sprinkle brings to his dishes elevates food to art. And his wife, Amanda, is a desert chef, so save room…or go ahead and stuff yourself.

Best Outdoor Cafe

Full Moon Cafe

208 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo, NC 27954

(252) 473-6666

There are not a lot of outdoor cafes on the Outer Banks. Aqua serves food outdoors with a beautiful view of Currituck Sound. Roadside Bar and Grill in Duck has a wonderful little outdoor seating area. But there is something magical about sitting on a sidewalk on a summer day, sipping a drink and eating a meal. Oh—and the food is very good.

Best Wine Bar


3708 N Croatan Hwy., Kitty Hawk

(252) 261-0277

Other places have a number of wines available by the glass, but no one comes even close to the selection Trio always has on hand. And they always have 24 beers on tap. Great cheese plates to go with everything, too.

OBX Valentine’s Day-Create Some Memories

Trio will be offering an Aphrodisiac dinner pairing on Saturday and Valentine's Day.
Trio will be offering an Aphrodisiac dinner pairing on Saturday and Valentine’s Day.

There are very few places anywhere as romantic as the Outer Banks, which makes Valentine’s Day by the sea even better.

Of course the Outer Banks slows down in the winter, but local restaurants and bars are a long way from dead and a number of them have some great ideas for how to celebrate with someone special.

What’s nice is that our local businesses, recognizing that a lot of couples take the weekend as a romantic getaway, have some pre-Valentine’s Day ideas that are a great reason to step out for the evening.

This is a partial list, although we think we’ve got a good sampling of what there is to do; but if there is a special place that has been the regular Valentine’s Day rendezvous, call and see what’s available.

Saturday & Sunday February 11, 12

Ocean Boulevard, Kitty Hawk

Special 4-Course Dinner

Perfect for a romantic evening with someone special. A special 4-course dinner  menu.

Saturday February 11

Trio. Kitty Hawk

Aphrodisiac Pairing Dinner.

Put a little passion into Valentine’s day with the Trio Aphrodisiac Pairing Dinner. These five-course dinners feature ingredients believed to have properties that spark desire. Each course will be paired with a  choice of wine or beer, further enhancing the mood. 

Sunday, February 12

Kelly’s Outer Baks Tavern, Nags Head

Riff Tides

Classic music of the 1950s and 60s done really well. A great date night. It’s also a fundraiser for GEM, providing services for families and their loved ones suffering from memory loss.

Valentine’s Day

Coastal Provisions, Southern Shores

Hannah Buckley

Outstanding vocalist and guitarist Hannah Buckley is perfect for a romantic dinner under soft lights. She’s bringing some new songs as well as old favorites and a few covers better than their original.

Kelly’s Outer Banks Tavern

4:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Free flowers for the ladies and live music in the tavern by Graham Outten. Graham is a local talent with a great voice. This should be a wonderful place to be on Valentine’s Day.

Ocean Boulevard

Special 4-Course Dinner

On Valentine’s Day we will offer a unique Special Four Course Menu ($60 per person, $90 with paired wines) exclusively. The Valentine’s Menu itself is offered exclusively on Valentine’s Day. 

After Dark at All Saints-A Month of Learning

Wes Stepp, executive chef at Red Sky in Duck and creator of Tastefully Fit at an After Dark class in 2016.
Wes Stepp, executive chef at Red Sky in Duck and creator of Tastefully Fit at an After Dark class in 2016.

For anyone thinking there is nothing to do on the Outer Banks in the winter, may we present After Dark at All Saints—that’s All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores.

This is the ninth year for the month long event and what is offers are evening classes on everything from gourmet cooking to planning for retirement. The After Dark classes are a great opportunity to learn a little something that there never seems to be time to study.

Some classes have already filled up, so check out what’s available and spend an evening in education.

For a full list of classes, click here. There’s also registration information on the website.

Here’s a small sampling of classes that are offered.



Friday, Feb 3

Enjoy the kitchen creativity of Executive Chef MATT PAYNE as he prepares the Bad Bean Baja Grill’s Pork Belly Taco! Students will learn how this popular pork cut is prepared, and then savor its taste with flavorful accompaniments. Space is limited to 20 with an additional fee of $5.


Thursday, Feb 9

Are you ready to make a New Orleans treat with just the right touch of spiciness that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner? How about an appetizer that your family and friends will rave about? Join ARLINE ARNOLD for a fun and tasty evening in the kitchen. Class size is limited to 10 with an additional fee of $10.

Friday, Feb 24

WES STEPP, owner and Executive Chef of the Red Sky restaurant in Duck, believes gourmet food can be not only delicious, but healthy as well! Join Chef Wes for a special evening and learn from this experienced Outer Banks restaurateur how to create gourmet food in a healthy style.  Space is limited to 20 with an additional fee of $10.


CLASS 829 and CLASS 830 – SURF FISHING – Two Separate Classes

Tuesday Feb 7 & Class 830, Tuesday, Feb 14

STU BALDWIN, Past President of the OBX Anglers Club, will share his experience and know-how learned over 40 years, with over 30 years in competitive surf fishing! There are two classes to choose from.  Surf Fishing 101 (#829) is made easy for the family and will cover equipment, knot tying, bait and equipment choices, and how to read a beach.  Surf Fishing 202 (#830) is for the experienced angler and will cover advanced techniques in fishing for Reds, Specs, and Flounder plus equipment, rigging and bait choices. Class size is limited to 18 in each.


Tuesday, Feb 14

Join renowned local artist E.M. CORSA for an evening of drawing birds and feathers! Corsa is known for her paintings of Air Angels, birds with halos. Attendees at this class should bring a sketchpad and drawing tools of their choosing – pencils, pens, and/or markers – as well as one or more pictures of birds. Class size is limited to 8.


CLASS 878 – WINE 101

Thursday, Feb 3

Join Chef and Certified Level II Sommelier DAN LEWIS of Coastal Provisions for a crash course on wine. The class will be packed with information from how wine is made, regional characteristics, and food pairings, to deciphering labels and restaurant wine lists.  Best of all, you will taste while you discover.  Plan on having dinner before class –it’s a “big agenda!” Class size is limited to 24 students with an additional fee of $10 for supplies.


Wednesday, Feb 8

JAMIE ANDERSON, bookseller at Duck’s Cottage and Downtown Books in Manteo, eats, lives and breathes books and loves introducing readers to books they otherwise might never have discovered. The $10 fee covers the cost of the book, which will be delivered to All Saints for pick-up. This could be the best (and least stressful!) blind date you ever had! There is an additional fee of $10.

Almost Home Cooked Holiday Meal


One of the great traditions on the Outer Banks is gathering for holidays. That’s not just those of us who live here, it also homeowners and visitors coming to stay for a special November treat or to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.

Tradition holds that someone spends most of the day in the kitchen getting everything ready and that can be a lot of fun, especially if everyone chips in. However, recognizing that sometimes it’s all about spending time together and not time in the kitchen, here are some Outer Banks places to order a holiday meal.

It may be a bit late for a Thanksgiving dinner, depending on the business, but these meal should also be available at Christmas.

Tommy’s Market

1242 Duck Road



Tommy’s Market features an extensive selection of options for holiday meals. They can even fry the smaller turkeys. Spiral cut hams and steaks are also available. And a huge selection of side dishes and desserts.

Coastal Provisions

1 Ocean Blvd. (Southern Shores Crossing)

Southern Shores


Holiday Feast

  • Oven Ready Turkey (12lb average, brined and seasoned, ready to cook)
  • Traditional stuffing
  • Creamy mashed potatoes
  • Green bean casserole
  • Cranberry orang relish
  • Turkey Gravy
  • Soft Rolls

The turkey is raw and will have to be cooked, but it is seasoned and ready for the oven. Everything else is fully prepared.

There is a very extensive list of main and side dishes in addition to the dinner.

Harris Teeter

601 Currituck Clubhouse Dr. (The Shops at the Currituck Club)


(252) 453-0153

5400 N Croatan Hwy (Shoreside Shopping Center)

Kitty Hawk

(252) 261-2220

2012 S Croatan Hwy

Kill Devil Hills

(252) 449-9191

Turkey Thanksgiving Dinner, for 8-10 people

Fully-Cooked Butterball Turkey, 9-12 lb

Cornbread Dressing, 2 lb

Creamed Corn, 2 lb

Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, 2 lb

Turkey Gravy, 16 oz

Cranberry Relish, 18 oz

Spiral Ham Thanksgiving Dinner, for 8-10 people

Spiral Sliced Ham, 7-9 lb

Sweet Potato Casserole, 2 lb

Creamed Corn, 2 lb

Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, 2 lb

Prime Rib Thanksgiving Dinner, for 6-8 people

Boneless Prime Rib, 4 lb

Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, 2 lb

Creamed Corn, 2 lb

Sweet Potato Casserole, 2 lb

The Fresh Market

5000 S Croatan Hwy

Nags Head

(252) 255-5022

Traditional Holiday Dinner

10 – 12 lb Fully Cooked turkey

3 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes

3 lbs Traditional Herb Stuffing

30 oz Turkey Gravy

16 oz Cranberry Relish with Walnuts

12 ct. Yeast Rolls

Deluxe Holiday Meal

11 – 13 lb Fully Cooked Turkey

3 lb Chef Carving Ham

4 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes

3 lbs Traditional Herb Stuffing

30 oz Turkey Gravy

2 lbs Corn Souffle

2lbs Smokey Green Beans in Bacon Sauce

16 oz Cranberry Relish with Walnuts

24 ct. Yeast Rolls

Holiday Meal for Smaller Gatherings

5 lb Fully Cooked Turkey Breast

2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes

2 lbs Traditional Herb Stuffing

1 lb Smokey Green Beans in Bacon Sauce

15 oz Turkey Gravy

8 oz Cranberry Relish

A Perfect OBX Day of Oystoberfest


It would be hard to imagine a more perfect day for the inaugural Outer Banks Oystoberfest on Saturday. The weather was perfect, the beer wonderful and the oysters sublime.

A part of the Outer Banks Restaurant Association’s annual fall Restaurant Week, the festival did everything right to make the day special. Held at Southern Shores Crossing in Southern Shores, there was lots of oysters and plenty of beer.

With eight microbreweries on hand, each pouring two beers, there was no possibility the beer would run out. And beer truly seems to be the perfect beverage to pair with oysters.

What made the day really special, though, were the small oyster producers that were on hand with their oysters…fresh oysters, really fresh oysters.

It is remarkable how the flavor changes in the these mollusks depending on where they were raised.

Chadwick Creek is located way down in southern Pamlico Sound on the mainland side. The waters there are as close to fresh as can be. The oysters they brought were wonderfully mild, almost buttery with just the slightest hint of salt.

Two hundred or 225 miles or so to the north, Ruby Salts oysters are raised in the waters of the southern Chesapeake Bay with a lot more salt in the water. Their oysters have a briny snap to them that is almost surprising.

There were three other oyster farms on hand, with featuring flavors in between those extremes.

A number of local restaurant were also on hand, serving up oyster dishes whipped up just for the day.

Dan Lewis, owner of Coastal Provision and president of the Outer Banks Restaurant Association mentioned that proceeds from the day would be contributed to the North Carolina Coastal Federation so they could continue their work rebuilding oyster habitat.

Featured Oystoberfest Exhibiters

Oyster Farmers:

Cape Hatteras (OBX)

Devil Shoal (OBX)

Chadwick Creek (NC)

Ruby Salts (VA)

Rappahannock (VA)

Exhibiting Restaurants:

Coastal Provisions Oyster Bar & Wine Bar Cafe

Mulligan’s Raw Bar & Grille

Steamer’s Restaurant

BK Shuckers Sports, Oyster Bar & Grill

Chilli Peppers Coastal Grill

Two Roads Tavern

Lucky 12 Tavern

Aqua Restaurant

Exhibiting Breweries:

Double Barley Brewing (Smithfield, NC)

High-Wire Brewing (Asheville, NC)

New Belgium Brewing (Asheville, NC)

The Weeping Radish Brewery (Jarvisburg, NC)

Foothills Brewing (Winston-Salem, NC)

Catawba Brewing Company (Morganton, NC)

Outer Banks Brewing Station (Kill Devil Hills, NC)

Full Moon Brewery (Manteo, NC)

OBX October Events Fill the Month


October is suddenly upon us and there is so much to do that we can’t even list it all. We’ve gone through the Event Calendars for the month and featured what we think are some of the best Outer Banks events, but check around, we may have missed some.

There is so much to do this October that it’s difficult to make any recommendations, but a few highlights do stand out.

Columbus Day Weekend may be the musical highlight of the Outer Banks year—there’s the Mustang Music Festival, the 10th Annual Duck Jazz Festival and Shana Tucker will be at First Flight High School courtesy of the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts.

One of the best seafood festivals around has got to be the Outer Banks Seafood Festival October 15 at the Outer Banks Event Site in Nags Head.

Speaking of seafood festivals, a new one just showed up this year. Oystoberfest at Southern Shores Crossing looks to be a blast. Organized by Dan Lewis and the folks at Coastal Provisions, it should be a lot like their annual Chowder Cookoff—which means a lot of fun and some great oysters.


Island Farm’s Pumpkin Patch

Island Farm, Roanoke Island

October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Includes an ox-drawn wagon ride to the farm’s pumpkin patch. Activities include make your own corn husk doll, candle making, children’s 19th-century toys and games, stuff a scarecrow, scarecrow photo booth for taking photos, and interacting with the farms animals.

Jim Mulford Memorial Red Drum Tournament

Jennette’s Pier

October 1

Open to all ages, costs $15 adults; $8 children 12 and under. Door prizes, giveaways and awards for winners. Register online today or sign-up the morning of the event.

Nags Head Elementary School’s Great Pumpkin Fair And Fun Run

Nags Head Elementary School

October 1

Hundreds of pumpkins and fall decorating items including mums, gourds and corn stalks. Games and activities for kids. Stay for lunch with food from Mulligan’s and Tubb’s Hot Dogs plus treats from Island Snowball and a bake sale.

Outer Banks Parade Of Homes

Nags Head to Corolla

October 6- 9

From dream homes to vacations getaways, the finest Outer Banks builders.

2nd Annual “Inshore Slam” Fishing Tournament

Manteo Waterfront

October 7-8

Tournament will be held on the Manteo waterfront, with docking available, at the Maritime Museum.

Mustang Music Festival

Whalehead Club, Corolla

October 7-8

One of the finest music festivals around. Proceeds benefit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.

Shana Tucker

First Flight High School, Kill Devil Hills

October 8

Relish the stunning sounds of this award-winning singer-songwriter and cellist who credits her genre-bending ChamberSoul journey to the influences of her jazz and classical roots, interwoven with 80s and 90s pop music movie tracks and world music. Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts.

Live Jam At The Blue Point

Town of Duck

October 8

Enjoy live jazz along the sound, and catch festival musicians participating in an informal jam at the Blue Point.

Oink N’ Oyster Roast

Longboards Restaurant, Kitty Hawk

October 8

Fresh oysters, homemade BBQ, crabs. There’s beer, tea (sweet and not), and water. All included in your ticket! Music from the First Flight High School Band!  Tickets may be purchased from any First Flight Rotary Club member or First Flight High School Band member or online. $25

Saturday Evening Community Concert On The Green With Frank Vignola

Town of Duck

October 8

Join us for a new event on the Duck Town Green, on Saturday evening as we kick-off the 10th Annual Duck Jazz Festival.


10th Annual Duck Jazz Festival

Town of Duck

October 9

Free live music from azz performers at day-long festival. Attendees are welcome to bring chairs, food, coolers, blankets, and pets.

Outer Banks Seafood Festival

Outer Banks Event Site, Nags Head

October 15

Festival offers opportunities to meet watermen and see the tools of their trade. Cooking demonstrations, educational booths and, best of all, the chance to eat fresh, local seafood from more than a dozen restaurants.

31st Annual Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition

Sounside Event Site, Nags Head

October 22-23

A regional event that showcases world-class stunt kiting skills. OBSKC will be sharing the stage with the OBX Brewtag in 2016.

Dare County Arts Council’s Emerald Elegance Gala

Pirate’s Cove Pavilion, Manteo

October 22

The Emerald Elegance Gala will feature exquisite cuisine by Black Pelican Catering, spectacular décor designed by Holiday House, cocktails, a silent auction full of art and exclusive packages from local businesses and a wine lottery that will entice wine connoisseurs of all tastes. Sponsored by the DCAC.


Outer Banks Brewtäg

The Soundside Event Site, Nags Head

October 22

Brewtäg contestants will be competing to see who can launch and fly an empty 1/6 keg barrel the furthest.

Harvest HayDay

Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo

October 29

Event combines all the colors, flavors and fun of fall. Whether it is the hayride or hale bale maze, we have families that look forward to this event all year.

Oystoberfest 2016

Southern Shores Shopping Center, Southern Shores

October 29

Local and regional oyster farmers will be on hand shucking raw oysters for your eating pleasure, along with about a half dozen Outer Banks restaurants offering their individual oyster dish samples. Buy tickets online only. Event also to benefit the North Carolina Coastal Federation.

The Beer Witch Project

The Outer Banks Brewing Station, Kill Devil Hills

October 29

Zombies, witches, ghouls and maybe even a naughty vampire nurse serving your drinks.  Live DJ and admission to a legendary backyard party following the event included.

3rd Annual Outer Banks Halloween Parade of Costumes

Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant & Tavern, Nags Head

October 30

Trick or treat stations, surprise guest appearances, celebrity photo ops, live entertainment & much more. An unbelievable collection of prizes for the best costumes.