Driving to the beach for vacation not only offers the opportunity for good food at your final destination but also along the way. With that in mind, we offer three tasty destinations no matter where you are headed along the North Carolina coast.
For those going to the Crystal Coast, enjoy the shrimp burger at El’s Drive-In in Morehead City, which Vivian visited during the “Shrimp Sells” episode in Season 2. It’s proof that simple (fried battered shrimp and shredded lettuce on a hamburger bun) can be delicious. To learn more about this restaurant that started in 1959, here’s our previous ode to El’s.
For those headed to the northern Outer Banks, stop for a cheese biscuit at Abrams’ restaurant in Tarboro, which is not far off U.S. 64. (There are also Abrams’ locations in Wilson and Greenville, and Flo’s Kitchen in Wilson, if your route takes you along U.S. 264.) This is not a cheese biscuit in the Red Lobster sense; this is a hunk of hoop cheese baked inside a warm, browned biscuit and best eaten immediately upon purchase.
For those headed to the Wilmington area, we defer to the North Carolina’s guru of good road food, D.G. Martin, who you may know as the host of UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch. In his recently published book, “North Carolina’s Roadside Eateries,” Martin recommends Paul’s Place Famous Hot Dogs in Rocky Point, off Interstate 40, which is known for its unique red relish.
Regardless of where you travel in North Carolina this summer, Martin’s book is a handy item to keep in your car. The restaurants are organized by their location off the state’s main interstates, which means you can always find a downhome restaurant, diner or barbecue joint.