when in wilmington...

...eat as the Wilmingtonians do! Visiting my friend Catt inevitably means good eats - whether we're dining in for some of her yummy home-cooking, or dining out at one of the many local restaurants in the Wilmington area. I also appreciate that dining out means sometimes visiting old favorites, and sometimes trying new establishments Catt's heard about and wants to try.

And because I always enjoy spreading word about good local places, I thought I'd share highlights of the good eating we did last weekend!

Reason #895734976 that Catt and I get along so well - a shared love for the crab dip appetizer. If it's on the menu, the chances are high we'll be ordering it, and at Elijah's, it's delicious. Since I first ate there during my freshman year of college, this has been one of my favorite restaurants in Wilmington, best experienced on pretty days like last Saturday, when the covered patio overlooking the river is open.

That day, it was warm enough that a crisp Caesar salad with a skewer of grilled shrimp sounded perfect. It did not disappoint!

Another, more recent favorite restaurant is Jack Mackerel's, which means a bit of a drive down to Kure Beach - but trust me, the food is worth the drive. Everything there is good - including the crab cakes, mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables I had last Sunday. Dinner was fresh, well-seasoned and super-delicious.

Catt and I also share an appreciation for Japanese food. Her sushi palate is broader than mine, though, so when she ordered sushi at a local Japanese bistro last Sunday afternoon, I opted for a bento box lunch. The teriyaki chicken was a bit dry, but the flavor was good. And the gyoza were yummy!

Shortly before my visit, Catt had seen an ad in one of the local magazines for a diner - which immediately calls to mind burgers and fries. But what made the ad particularly intriguing was its mention of crepes. Yes, crepes - at a diner. So of course, we had to try that out! Monday afternoon, before I headed to the airport, we had lunch at Happy Days Diner. Where I may have gorged myself on deliciously rich, tangy crepes oozing with orange creme filling and drizzled with chocolate syrup. Mmm, mmm.

And as much as we enjoy lunches and dinners, desserts are considered equally important! For the past year or so, we've been trying different bakeries around town, and so far, Hot Pink Cake Stand is our favorite. They offer a great variety of classic and fun flavors, and their cupcakes are moist and tasty. Best of all, they offer their cupcakes in regular and mini sizes - so you can try multiple flavors without stuffing yourself.

Last weekend also involved an unexpected showdown of Death by Chocolate cakes. On Saturday, Elijah's cake was acceptable...

...but Jack Mackerel's cake on Sunday was amazing. The cake was moist, the ganache was rich - so, so yummy! And the spin-art effect that our waiter created with the drizzles made for a fun plate to eat from.

Sigh. It's so hard not to be jealous of the broad range of local eateries available in Wilmington. Here, there are great local restaurants - but only a few, unless we make the drive up to Lexington. Which we do sometimes, but is not always the easiest (i.e. gas-tank friendly) approach. Oh well. Only two months until Wildcat Guy and I head to Wilmington for our summer vacation - and more good eats!

Where I am: home
What I'm reading: For Colored Girls... by Ntozake Shange


Catt Larson said…
This post is nothing short of delicious!! I'll be on the lookout for anything else that we need to try, however I will also be breaking in MY NEW KITCHEN!!!!

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