Sunday, August 1, 2010
Food Field Trip: An Outer Banks Landmark
The requisite first food stop after a five hour trek from DC is John's Drive In, the Kitty Hawk institution that serves up fried seafood and decadent milkshakes. On the grounds of the window-service only shack are a six-car parking lot and several picnic tables. While John's does not have water views (because of the dunes), it is directly across from the beach and you get to enjoy your food with the sounds of crashing waves in the background.
This year we developed a new John's strategy aimed at maximizing our enjoyment and minimizing the wow-I-ate-way-too-much feeling. We share a "Dolphin Boat" -- yes, I know, sounds disturbing -- but the huge serving of fresh battered and fried mahi mahi (with french fries) has great crunch, and the fish is juicy and tender. Be careful these are made to order and steaming hot when they come out. The fries, while crispier than I remember them from last year, are just okay -- so don't devour too many so you can save room for desert.
The old school milkshakes closely resemble the New England trademark frappes. Made with hand dipped ice cream, they are thick, rich and creamy. And the choices of flavor combinations seem endless. My go-to is the chocolate peanut butter.