Last week I spent seven lovely days in Hatteras on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I had never been to the OBX, as the locals like call it. What a lovely place. Hatteras surprised me in so many ways. Unlike most east coast beaches, including the favorites of my youth, it was not overdeveloped. Most days it was us, the beach, and a few hyperactive sand plovers.
Oh, and sharks, too. A week prior to our arrival there was a shark attack on Ocracoke Island, the next "bank" over from us. A shark ATTACK. On a small child. Named Lucy. Although the shark took a big chomp on Lucy's foot, she's ok and reportedly forgives the shark. Turns out, she always liked dolphins "way better." Who can blame her, really. I'm terrified of sharks. Usually my love for floating among the waves outweighs my fears. This time, 8 months pregnant, I felt a little more nervous. I was swimming for two and found myself defensively covering my belly with my hands and arms while I floated. In the event of an attack, I would probably lose my hands and arms, but no shark was feasting on my pregnant belly. Absurd? Probably.
Well, the shrimp caught off the coast of North Carolina are some of the sweetest I've eaten. These jumbo, succulents tasted like lobster, a 2-pound compliment from a New Englander like myself. Add some spicy seasoning and a bit of butter or cocktail sauce and you have a luxurious meal. We also feasted on steamed crabs and crab cakes. Crab anything, really.
Given that most OBX restaurants, particularly on the lower islands, are mediocre and overpriced (yes, I know, a sweeping generalization), our taste bud optimization strategy was to pick up seafood from a local fishmonger and bring it back to our cottage. We liked the unfortunately named Risky Business Seafood. High quality shellfish and friendly service. We also enjoyed ice cream and a round of mini golf from Uncle Eddy's in Buxton.
I think we may return to Hatteras next summer. If you know of good places to eat, please drop a line in the comments.