I love this place SO much.
You know that we go to the beach every year at Oak Island, NC. You do know, we talked about it. See?
You also know that one of my BFFs from high school, Jessica, goes there a ton because her parents live there, and I try to tag along whenever I can.
So, I love this place. We've been going to the beach since I was six, and we discovered this restaurant, Turtle Island, just a few years ago. I've been there three or four times now, and it never lets me down.
The atmosphere is exactly what I want in a beach restaurant. Moderately run down but clean and well kept, with local "decor" on the inside relating to all things beach. There's a large bar at Turtle Island, and it's almost exclusively filled with local residents, which I love.
A perk about this place is that it's reasonably priced. It's not cheap for sure, but the portions are great and for $11-$15 you can get an entree with MORE than enough food to feed 2 people. There are of course tons of seafood options, but some vegetarian sandwiches and pastas which is always important in our crowd, and chicken/beef offerings for those non-seafood eaters (who ARE you, anyway?).
This place is POPULAR, mainly because 1. it's awesome and 2. this is a tiny island with maybe 4 other good dining options. Really. So, especially in the summer months when the population is much higher I'd recommend making a reservation unless you only have a small group. Even with just two people I've waited a decent amount of time to eat here before!
The service at Turtle Island is always great, though the kitchen does tend to get backed up a bit at times. One time years ago when I was there I had a server who was super rushed whisk away some dishes with a few bites left on them without asking - bites that we were TOTALLY going to eat. A small foul, and he was in a huge hurry, but guard your food if you're eating at high traffic times!
I'm not talking much about the food because, like most seafood restaurants, the food is a combo of grilled/broiled/fried seafood with options for sides - and it's all great! Many options are local, which we always try to order, and one perk of this menu is that it has a slightly Caribbean flair, which I love. One of the sides offered with any meal is yellow rice and beans, which is much healthier than the standard hush puppies/creamy slaw offered with meals like this!
I can't say enough good things about this casual, delicious place. It makes me READY to go back to the beach, and we'll definitely be back to Turtle Island!
There's no website for this joint (!), but check them out on Urbanspoon, below, or Facebook. Give 'em some love if you've been before!