Kahuka Shrimp, Oahu comes to Buxton


I am on my yearly decompression pilgrimage to the Carolina coast.  Relaxation is only part of the reason that I choose to make a twelve-hour drive and fight Hampton Roads/Richmond traffic. The other side of the trip coin is of course FOOD.

We have been visiting this stretch of the Outer Banks nearly every year since 1998. In that time we have had only two bad meals from local restaurants. Also in that time, establishments have come and gone, but there is never a shortage of fine food when we are here.

Last night was a new culinary experience, as we visited a restaurant that had somehow slipped by all these years. Rusty’s Surf and Turf is located in Buxton NC., a small village that hosts among other this the Haterras Lighthouse.

While recovering from the drive the day before, my taste buds were whipped up in Donald Trump Protester, near riot condition. They demanded SHRIMP and my stomach was furiously backing the call. So for dinner we were off to Rusty’s.

We were the first group to arrive and be seated in the dining area. The feel of Rusty’s is a little bit North Carolina and a good bit Caribbean. Once seated I settled on a Carolina Brewing Company Copperline Ale, and we chose the Kahuka shrimp for an appetizer.

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The dish arrived a short time after drinks and was a work of art in its presentation. The shrimp was large and shell on, having been steamed which prevents soggyness. They were covered in an outstanding sauce which somehow captured sweet, sour, and hot all in one bite!

The choice of the Carolina Copperline Ale turned out to be a perfect match to the shrimp, providing a palate cleansing bitter element that balanced the spicy and sweet finish of the sauce. The rest of our meal was outstanding as well, as was the staff and chef at Rusty’s . If you are ever hungry on highway 12 and want an impeccable Carolina gone Pacific dining experience stop in and leave satisfied.

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A Triumphant return from minor adventures.

I am back, ensconced behind the walls of the family compound, fine cigar in hand and Martini at the ready. I am tired, happy to be home, and yet melancholy as we have left the coast. Yes readers, we are only just back from our annual get-a-way to the Carolina Coast. Sadly, it was but a week in our “second home”  but we did it right.

Our fun was somewhat spoiled by Tropical Storm Bonnie, which inched ever so slowly up the coast, dumping deluge after deluge of tropical rain on us. Some areas near us had 14+ inches of rainfall. This did keep us largely confined to the house for two days as the streets and roads were badly flooded. We soldiered on in gallant form however, with a steady supply of great reading, music, outstanding smokes and incredible food.

Bonnie Comes-A-Calling

Bonnie Comes-A-Calling

Food is one of the primary reasons we love the Carolina coast. Seafood of course is big with us and this trip (our twelfth) did not disappoint, as nary a single bad meal was had, either in restaurants or cooked at the beach house. Highlights:

Jason’s on Ocracoke Island NC. = The Bluefish  was the catch of the day when we were on the island, as always Jason’s fried it up perfectly crisp, and flavorful and produced an outstanding traditional fish n’ chips lunch. Paired with an ice cold Fat Tire it was a perfect followup from playing on a sandbar all morning with no other humans in sight.

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The Captains Table Buxton NC. = The “Pick Three” was our choice for our last night of the trip “Blowout” dinner. We both chose a combination of delicate flounder, Carolina Shrimp, and a Bay Crab cake. All of this was preceded by a nice cold house salad with a picture perfect french dressing and of course piping hot hushpuppies. The fresh flounder was prepared to absolute perfection and seasoned and lightly breaded. The shrimp was moderately sized, well prepared and very flavorful, and the crab cake added a heavier seafood flavor to the trio, which all finished in a stellar fashion paired with a Shipyard Export Ale.

The Atlantic Cafe Waves NC. = Fish Taco’s…. this was one of our monsoon rain that will never stop we don’t care get out of the house, excursions for lunch.  The Atlantic Cafe is a very low-key laid back spot. I had never had a “Fish Taco” as I was always of the “Taco needs Beef” culinary group. I have sinned…truly I have my friends by never having a fish taco before. And now I am almost afraid to try a fish taco anywhere else because I KNOW it just cannot be that good. Mahi Mahi lightly seared and placed on a hard taco shell, this is then piled high with a jalapeno salsa and wrapped in a soft taco. ERMAGAWD….This alone was worth 12 hours of Lemans style driving in a top -heavy SUV surrounded by utter morons on I81.  Pairing was a Carolina Brewing Copperline Amber Ale.

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Oceana’s Bistro Avon NC. = Flounder was on the list first thing after our arrival at the house. We have been to Oceana’s several times and they never disappoint. Drinks were accompanied by perhaps the best calamari I have had in a decade, it was impeccably done so as to be tender and not rubbery, we simply inhaled it. The flounder was the mornings catch and was pan seared then fried with a hint of seasoning, this along with golden brown, home cut fries and creamy coleslaw set the culinary tone for the trip. Paring was and incredible Oceana’s Mojito, that was very much akin to drinking key-lime pie.

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Other fine meals were had, some were quick lunches (Burger-Burger, Avon NC. is outstanding) and some were cooked right at the house after coming off the beach.  Coming Up, techniques for not being depressed during a tropical depression! including best smokes of the trip, and how we pulled off a week of Good GREATLIFE for under 2k.

Cajun Style Shrimp, cooked up at the beach-house.

Cajun Style Shrimp, cooked up at the beach-house.

SO GO LIVE the GoodLife!


10 Key Indicators you are living the Good-Life (and might not know it)

In no particular order:

  1. The air is filled with the aroma of fresh ground Costa-Rican beans.
  2. You own  bespoke clothing
  3.  The sound of children surrounds you.
  4.  That ring of smoke you see is Dominican in origin.
  5.  You can quote Kipling.
  6.  The experience of 30 year old scotch is not foreign to you.
  7.  You think of others before yourself.
  8.  You seek adventure in some manner every day.
  9. You’ve cranked Handel’s Messiah during a thunderstorm.
  10.  You read BitOjava.com!