All the warm weather this week had me thinking about this time last year, when we fished the Outer Banks with our great friends Brian and Sarah. Aside from the big cobia Brian and I got on a fly one day, this was a real highlight: Watching my kids soak up some wisdom from one of my best buddies. There’s something about wanting your children to spend time with the people who’ve been an important part of your life, and when it happens, it’s a great feeling.
On this day, it was blowing to beat the band, the water was dirty, and prospects were dim. But we pounded out there anyway, and Brian patiently found some critters to bite our hooks. Weston’s smile–bigger than the fish–says it all.
Just home from an awesome-but-too-short visit to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. And actually, there are a lot more than two words to describe it. We had lots of fun beach time, family reunion, great fishing and hanging out with our “extended family” of Captains Brian Horsley and Sarah Gardner, and FOOD!
Brian and Sarah provided the raw materials for a huge feast Stacy and I cooked for her family reunion, including melt-in-your-mouth deer back strap (The part that when someone gives it to you, it means they really love you–Thanks Sarah…we feel the love.), deer burgers, blackened cobia and a huge, fresh yellowfin tuna loin, which I lightly marinated in soy and brown sugar, rolled in sesame seeds and seared rare on a blazing-hot grill, then sliced and served with a soy, wasabi, sriracha (chili paste) lemon dipping sauce. Kind of a North Carolina surf and turf. So good.
But back to the fried flounder. This might sound a little Agent Cooper-ish, but if you ever find yourself on the Outer Banks, the Black Pelican in Kitty Hawk’s has a fried flounder dinner that’s to die for. One of my top five favorite things to eat in the world. And really, when you go to the South, you have to eat as the Southerners do, which is fried. They fry stuff here better than anywhere in the world. And this flounder is light, extremely crispy on the outside, with firm, flavorful flesh. Better yet, they leave the skin on the fillet, which adds flavor and crisp texture. I waited two years for this meal, and it did not disappoint. And, in the week we were there, I squeezed in three of these dinners. Yes!
If you want grilled, steamed, stir-fried, baked, roasted or broiled…eat in Seattle, New York, or anywhere else. In the South, don’t mess around…go fried.
And when you visit the Outer Banks, between fried flounder meals, I highly recommend a fishing trip with Brian and Sarah. They fish out of Oregon Inlet, and nobody knows the inshore fisheries there like they do. Albacore, sharks, monster cobia, speckled trout, red drum, spanish mackerel, bluefish…they have it wired. And I can’t think of anyone I’d rather spend time on the water with, either. For more info, click HERE.
Great trip, great friends, family, food and hours of chasing the kids around in the warm waves. Awesome.
And now…back to reality. Lots of farm and desk work to catch up on, kid activities, and king season approaches…Summer has arrived.