The most dreaded question…
You’d think that I wouldn’t often struggle with such a simple decision, but I take my meals very seriously. I don’t like to waste my calories on something that isn’t going to be delicious and satisfying. So oftentimes, I struggle.
This night, when asked this question by my sweet hubs, I asked him to decide and told him I didn’t care. I had a hunch we may be going to a place in downtown Wilmington, but when he didn’t take the exit off of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, I was confused.
“Where are you going?” I asked, totally intrigued as to where he was taking me considering the direction we were headed.
“I thought you didn’t care?” he asked. I laughed and jokingly rolled my eyes.
As we passed numerous restaurants, it finally dawned on me. “I know where you’re going! Fish Bites!” Great idea, Grayson!
Fish Bites is a fresh seafood restaurant and market located past Monkey Junction if you are headed toward Carolina Beach. It is a small, quaint restaurant that has some of the best local seafood dishes around! They are packed anytime we’ve been and we usually have to wait, but it is well worth it! Tip: Call ahead if you can!
We sat down after waiting about 25 minutes, which was not too bad for a Saturday night. Our waitress promptly brought out our complimentary cornbread. I cut mine into left and right halves while Grayson cut his into top and bottom halves. We have always been complete opposites. I slathered butter on one half, gave it a couple seconds to melt in, and took my first bite. Oh. My. Word. It was a yummy, classic sweet cornbread with real bits of corn inside. There was another ingredient that I couldn’t quite put my finger on at first, but by the time I was on my second half I figured it out. Cinnamon! I could’ve eaten an entire basket as my meal!
We perused over the appetizer dishes and both agreed that the oyster bombs looked like they were a menu item made just for our palates. Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell broiled with applewood bacon, pepper jack cheese, and Texas Pete hot sauce. They came out piping hot. They were served with pita points which I used soak up the juice from the shell. Just the right amount of spicy because of the Texas Pete. I will definitely recommend these!
I ordered one of the two nightly specials. It was a pan seared Mahi stuffed with pancetta and pimento goat cheese, lain atop a bed of ancho chili dushed yuca fries and all topped with heirloom tomato, pearl onion, and banana pepper chow chow. To finish the dish off and what most sparked my interest was a sunny-side up fried duck egg. I can NOT say enough good things about this dish. I’d venture to say it would rank in the top ten best dishes I’ve ever had! The pimento goat cheese gave it such a savory flavor that was cut perfectly by the sweetness of the tomato, onion, and banana pepper chow chow. Lastly, you cannot go wrong with an egg yolk in my book. Grayson was eating my dish for once! It really was amazing.
If you aren’t sure about yuca fries, let me just say that they are awesome! It is a root vegetable similar to a potato. The consistency is thicker than a potato is and in this dish, it was slightly sweeter. I was a big fan!
Since Grayson and I both grew up in the area, he is often on the hunt to find a place that has really great “Calabash Style” fried seafood. Calabash, NC is a small town located on the coast that is known for their delicious fried seafood. It can sometimes be difficult to find a place that fries seafood well. Fish Bites did not disappoint! Flounder, shrimp, and oysters all fried up to perfection and served with your choice of side.
Check this place out the next time you are dying for fresh seafood! Their Sunday brunch is pretty on point, too!