Another Weird Week in Corolla, NC

You know how I tried laugh­ing off the short­com­ings of the Out­er Banks ear­li­er this month? That’s a hoot! Let’s just chalk that up to post-trau­mat­ic stress in the after­math of Irene, ok? I mean, who wants to see their vaca­tion des­ti­na­tion wiped off the map just as it’s time to kick back and relax?

Let’s get right down to it, shall we? The food: still ter­ri­ble. If it weren’t for the Har­ris Teeter con­ve­nient­ly locat­ed in Corol­la, we’d be at a total loss. The best meals we eat in the Out­er Banks are those we make our­selves. There are I think now three places that I will give mon­ey for food and they are: Corol­la Vil­lage BBQ, which we final­ly found after ven­tur­ing into the island’s his­toric dis­trict; Light­house Bagels and Deli, though the bagels were much doughi­er than I remem­bered them being; and Bad Bean Bur­ri­to, locat­ed in Tim­BuckII strip­mall.

Every­thing else? For­get it.

You can spend an awful lot of mon­ey try­ing to find some­thing good to eat in the Out­er Banks and it’s my belief that you should­n’t even both­er try­ing. There’s not a good seafood restau­rant to be found. If any­one knows where to get a decent piz­za, please let me know because our old stand­by, Cos­mo’s, has fall­en off since we dis­cov­ered it in 2009.

Lodg­ing is anoth­er mat­ter alto­geth­er. We lived in three dif­fer­ent hous­es in the five years we’ve gone to Corol­la. Last year was our first week in a pala­tial house (pic­tured above) and we could­n’t have been hap­pi­er after being holed up with our two month old in a run­down rental dur­ing back-to-back Nor’east­ers in ’09. This year the cracks have start­ed to show. I guess famil­iar­i­ty does breed con­tempt! The couch­es are thread­bare, the fridge won’t close, the beds are atro­cious­ly uncom­fort­able and, yes, the cable pack­age isn’t exact­ly opti­mal. No inter­ac­tive guide? No wi-fi? We may as well camp on the beach!

I kid, but you’d think rental com­pa­nies would con­sid­er mak­ing upgrades reg­u­lar­ly since the rental mar­ket is so soft.

Over­all though, things went pret­ty well, con­sid­er­ing we dodged two hur­ri­canes and a trop­i­cal storm. Katia wrecked the beach for us, which meant spend­ing more time in the pool (not a bad thing) and Lee just brought sti­fling humid­i­ty to the area. It’s still a great place to spend a week doing absolute­ly noth­ing and that’s what vaca­tion is all about at this point in my life. Relax­ing as much as pos­si­ble while chas­ing Char­lie up and down a beach and play­ing in the ocean. Wish I did­n’t have to wait a year to do it all again.


In Praise of the Pork Road

One of the many high­lights of our trip to Puer­to Rico was our excur­sion to the sto­ried Pork Road. For­give the hor­ri­ble pic­ture, but it’s a whole pig roast­ing on a spit.

The Pork Road winds up a hill with pork pur­vey­ors lin­ing both sides. We hit two lechonaras and ate all sorts of porky good­ness: blood sausage, stom­ach, skin, ears and suc­cu­lent pork!

Best part? Not a tourist trap! It remind­ed me of Gilbertsville farm­ers’ mar­ket Zern’s in its hey­day.


Rick Nichols Talks SugarHouse Dining

Before Sug­ar­House Casi­no opened on the Delaware Riv­er water­front, I thought that we’d at least get a fan­cy restau­rant or two in the bar­gain. Rick Nichols dis­abus­es us of that fan­ta­sy.

Eating Reading

Drew Lazor on Philly Pizza

I’ve doc­u­ment­ed my strug­gles with piz­za here in the City of Broth­er­ly love. It ain’t easy to find a good pie in town. Philly food­ie phe­nom Drew Lazor has a great look at all the best spots to get a slice in town in the most recent issue of City Paper and it’s worth check­ing out. Read it here.

N.B. he does­n’t high­light any spots that deliv­er or even are known for take-out. For what it’s worth I’m thrilled that he did­n’t pro­file the exe­crable, over­priced Rus­ti­ca in NoLibs either. Do I even have to men­tion that I’m absolute­ly in love with Zavi­no’s Ken­nett pie?

Want more Lazor in your life? Fol­low him on Twit­ter. He’s a hoot. He also con­tributes to City Paper’s Meal Tick­et, which has swept me off my feet since Kirsten Hen­ri left for Philly Mag. Now with Adam Erace! They’re a pow­er­house!


Starting 2010 Right

Osso buco, orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by J T. Ram­say.

The iPhone pho­to does­n’t do it jus­tice, but Helen’s osso buco was noth­ing short of amaz­ing. That risot­to was divine and the meat fell right off the bone. Recipes like this one are what win­ter­time is all about: slow-cooked food that gets you right where you live.

The home­made tiramisu we had for dessert was to die for. I washed it all down with a deli­cious Rogue Choco­late Stout and it was time to call it a night.

Hap­py 2010, every­body!