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Wilmington, NC


portnoye
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Family moving south presented the opportunity to visit this charming, out of the way (as in, not immediately off I-95) waterfront city. It is worth the detour for the architecture, The Ivy Cottage (a sprawling, multi-building consignment and antique store), and, most pertinently, the Fried Green Tomato and Applewood Bacon "BLT" at the Front Street Brewery, 9 North Front Street, Wilmington, NC. If you can get this sandwich locally, let me know. This brew pub features a daily special/new release beer for $2.00. The side dishes alone are meal worthy. Baked beans are from scratch; the "loaded" potato salad of al dente red-skins should return potatoes to mass favor. Then there's the cheddar ale soup.... And I've only scratched the surface of this menu.

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Was down in Wilmington for a few days and we didn't eat out much, but wanted to again say that La Costa Mexican restaurant is really good. They have great salsa that is thick and chunky and really good with nice homemade corn chips. I had the carnitas and the the meat was heaven. Nicely flavored, extremely tender with great sauce with just enough spice to be good, but not too much to ward off anyone afraid of heat. They come with a choice of corn or flour tortillas which is nice and had side of rice, beans, pica de gallo and guac.

Order from the specials on the back page of the lunch menu... trust me. If you go for dinner all the dishes are under their type of protein, I think the more authentic and less tex-mex dishes are standouts here.

Here is their website: http://www.lacostamexicanrestauranwilmington.com/

Wanted to go back to Catch or to Marc's on Market, but neither are open for lunch.

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Heading down to Carolina Beach/Wilmington this week.  Anybody have any updates?  Planning to hit OG Carolina BBQ joint Skylight Inn on the way down and will stop in Kinston on the way back for Vivian Howard's Boiler Room oyster bar.  Also, apparently Wilmington has a new and vibrant brewery scene so will stick my toe in that water as well.

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Consider Grady's in Dudley for your BBQ stop. Skylight is excellent, but Grady's might even be on another level entirely (a level for pork BBQ I have not had matched anywhere else in the state). Also has incredible fried chicken.

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I'm not sure that this is at all what you're looking for but we were in the process of driving home from Fla. 2 years ago & stopped for a night in Wilmington, NC. Here's a post I wrote on another food board about our experience:

"Where to eat? After asking the desk staff for a short list of what's nearby and then looking at TripAdvisor for ideas, we decided to chance a small French place called Caprice (rated #1 on TA). We didn't have high expectatations, but both the food and wine were just right. Throughout the meal, we kept asking each other what the hell was going on-- the onion soup was a solid broth w/ lots of cheese & onions, the pate home made and tasty, my fish stew had a ton of fresh shrimp, scallops, white fish and salmon with fresh mushrooms, all done well in a light cream sauce; Ginny's duck was excellent, with rounds of perfectly roasted potatoes. Large portions and apps under $10, entrees under $20. Good bottle of Rhone blend for $40. The owner was doing front of house duty and working the room with her charming French accent, so we complimented her place & asked her to move it to NYC. Her surprising answer was basically "been there, done that". Bottom line is that, 20 years ago, she and her husband sold their place and moved to NC. First to Charlotte, then the past 14 years in Wilmington. Their old place? Well, they were the original owners of Cafe Bruxelles on Greenwich in the W. Village. Small world. We loved that place too". 

I just checked and its still there:  http://www.capricebistro.com

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Thanks again for the above suggestions. We decided to stop at the Skylight Inn as I wanted to continue my check-off of iconic BBQ places (Sweatmans in SC and  Wilbur's in Goldsboro were previous stops).  The whole hog was delicious with the skin cracklings mixed in.  We got to see the cleaver dance as my son called it, the two handed chopping and mixing of the various pig parts.  In Wilmington we really liked Fork and Cork's pub food, especially their duck wings.  Another nice stop was Benny's Big Time Pizza, which doubled as a southern take on Italian food in addition to the pizza.

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17 hours ago, Seanchai said:

Thanks again for the above suggestions. We decided to stop at the Skylight Inn as I wanted to continue my check-off of iconic BBQ places (Sweatmans in SC and  Wilbur's in Goldsboro were previous stops).  The whole hog was delicious with the skin cracklings mixed in.  We got to see the cleaver dance as my son called it, the two handed chopping and mixing of the various pig parts.  In Wilmington we really liked Fork and Cork's pub food, especially their duck wings.  Another nice stop was Benny's Big Time Pizza, which doubled as a southern take on Italian food in addition to the pizza.

I visit a friend in Wilmington at least twice a year, I've been to Fork and Cork a few times, loved their short rib mac & cheese!

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On 8/4/2010 at 2:39 PM, ktmoomau said:

Was down in Wilmington for a few days and we didn't eat out much, but wanted to again say that La Costa Mexican restaurant is really good. They have great salsa that is thick and chunky and really good with nice homemade corn chips. I had the carnitas and the the meat was heaven. Nicely flavored, extremely tender with great sauce with just enough spice to be good, but not too much to ward off anyone afraid of heat. They come with a choice of corn or flour tortillas which is nice and had side of rice, beans, pica de gallo and guac.

Order from the specials on the back page of the lunch menu... trust me. If you go for dinner all the dishes are under their type of protein, I think the more authentic and less tex-mex dishes are standouts here.

Here is their website: http://www.lacostamexicanrestauranwilmington.com/

Wanted to go back to Catch or to Marc's on Market, but neither are open for lunch.

I love La Costa and when I'm visiting a friend who only lives about 2 miles from the restaurant I insist we go, usually on the first night I'm there. I agree with your opinion of the salsa and chips being so good, and signaling the goodness to come. Their mole dishes are good. 

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