5 Outstanding Oyster Dishes in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

oyster

I scream, you scream, we all scream for… oysters! Oyster season is upon us here in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands! Serving up classic dishes like Oysters Rockefeller to steamer pots big enough for the whole family, there isn’t a better place to kick off oyster season than in the Brunswick Islands!

From upscale waterfront restaurants to casual, family-friendly eateries to a major festival dedicated to these yummy mollusks, the options for oysters in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands are endless!

Check out these five outstanding oyster dishes found in the Brunswick Islands:

1. Pit Roasted Oysters – The Oyster Rock, Calabash

The Oyster Rock is known for many things but most notably is their oysters – I mean it is in the name! They offer a variety of oyster dishes but one of their most popular entrees is the Pit Roasted Oysters. Cooked over a custom outdoor pit, these oysters are served up plump, juicy and piping hot, ready to eat! As an added bonus The Oyster Rock is located on the banks of the Calabash River and has a beautiful outdoor seating section perfect for watching the fishing boats come in.

If you prefer your oysters fried, then stick around Calabash for some authentic Calabash seafood! This unique style of seafood comes lightly breaded and fried to perfection. Get your seafood prepared Calabash style whether it be oysters, shrimp, flounder, scallops or the catch of the day!

2. Steamer’s Pot – Castaways Raw Bar and Grill, Holden Beach

Head on over to Castaways Raw Bar and Grill in Holden Beach for your next oyster feast! This local hot spot is home to many unique, mouthwatering dishes but none more so than the Steamer’s Pot. Made to share, this southern staple consists of oysters, crab legs, clams, mussels, shrimp, corn-on-the-cob, sausages and red potatoes, all steamed together in a pot with Old Bay and herbs. Or, if you want a cooler option try the Seafood Tower! Served on ice, the Seafood Tower is built with little neck clams, mussels, peel-n-eat shrimp, oysters on the half shell and a half pound of crab legs.

3. Oysters Rockefeller – Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille, Ocean Isle Beach

Located on the Ocean Isle Beach Intracoastal Waterway, Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Nothing can beat the view of a sunset from their outdoor deck, except maybe their food! Jinks Creek serves up a variety of oyster dishes, but if you are looking for a coastal classic then try the Oysters Rockefeller- freshly shucked local oysters topped with pernod cream, chopped farm greens and bacon, oven broiled and served at the perfect steaming temperature!

4. Oyster Toppings – Moore Street Oyster Bar, Southport

Located in what was a 19th century pharmacy in downtown Southport, the Moore Street Oyster Bar has been beautifully transformed into a lively, family-friendly restaurant. Depending on the season, Moore Street Oyster Bar offers a rotating variety of oysters brought in from all over the east coast. Once your oysters are picked then comes the difficult part… choosing the toppings! Moore Street Oyster Bar has six hot oyster dish toppings to choose from and three cold options. And for the oyster lovers 21 and over in the group, try a Moore Street Oyster Bar specialty… The Oyster Shooter! This shooter combines Tito’s Vodka, lemon horseradish ice, house-made hot sauce and a raw oyster! This is one oyster stop you won’t want to skip.

5. Beginner vs Pro Oyster Baskets – Swain Seafood Shack, Oak Island

As the largest of Brunswick County’s barrier islands, Oak Island is home to many incredible dinning options, but one restaurant that comes to mind is the Swain Seafood Shack. With oyster baskets designed for the eager and the hungry, this is the family oyster lovers paradise! The Beginner Baskets serve up 6-7 ounces of fried oysters along side homemade shack chips, hush puppies and coleslaw, where as the Pro Baskets come with a hearty helping of 9-10 ounces of delicious fried oysters!

oysters

From classically coastal dishes to pit roasted oysters to uniquely topped oysters on the half shell, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is serving up the best raw, steamed and fried oysters around! Not convinced? Well then check out the 39th Annual North Carolina Oyster Festival in Ocean Isle Beach on October 19 – 20! This event features live entertainment, an arts and crafts show and a variety of delicious food options, including all the oysters you can eat. And for a little healthy competition, check out the oyster shucking contest, oyster eating contest or the oyster stew cook-off.

For more information on dinning, events and more in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, please visit www.ncbrunswick.com.

Oyster Lovers, This Festival is Just for You!

Love fried and steamed oysters? Then plan to be in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands the weekend of October 18-19, 2014 for the 34th Annual North Carolina Oyster Festival.

This two day event is full of food and fun activities that everyone can enjoy. Popular events at the North Carolina Oyster Festival include the Oyster Shucking Contest (Saturday, October 18), where festival goers can enjoy watching the shuckers compete for the title of 2014 North Carolina Oyster Shucking Champion. At the Oyster Stew Cook-off (Sunday, October 19), competitors are given the chance to show off their culinary skills and draw attention to their delicious oyster stew.   The NC Oyster Festival Road Race (Sunday, October 19) will include a 5K, 10K and 1 Mile Fun Run.

Two new events added this year are an Oyster Eating Contest as well as a Shag Competition, where people can compete for the “Shaggin’ Oyster” titles hosted by the Coastal Shag Club. The festival will also feature live music, arts and crafts vendors, a kid’s area and plenty of other local cuisine, including seafood, BBQ, pizza and crab cakes, desserts and beverages.

The festival will be located adjacent to the Museum of Coastal Carolina on Ocean Isle Beach, which will be open and decorated for Halloween. Admission to the Festival is $5.00; children eight and under, free.

Parking for the festival is on the mainland of Ocean Isle Beach, just across from the airport as well as Causeway Drive.  Handicap drop-off is available, while parking and shuttle service to the festival are complimentary.

If that’s not enough oysters for you, you’re in luck.   The Shallotte Oyster, harvested from the creeks and marshes along the Shallotte River starting in October, is highly-prized for its extra-salty flavor. Distinguished from more well-known single oysters, the Shallotte Oyster is longer and narrower in shape and grows in clumps of four to five, making it best served steamed. During the fall, visitors can find them at area seafood markets and restaurants – if the locals haven’t scooped them all up yet!

North Carolina Oyster Festival

Ocean Isle Beach

Saturday, October 18, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, October 19, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.