Who needs water views and a romantic setting when you have food as good as you’ll find at Causeway Gourmet?
While it’s often delightful to dine in a romantic, candle-lit setting surrounded by all the trappings of elegance, the truth is ambience is overrated. OK, special occasions — VERY special occasions — may be exceptions, but if you’re going to a restaurant for a dinner solely because you like the look of the interior, your priorities are askew.
It’s nice to have great service (even of the white-glove-variety), and a spectacular view can surely enhance an experience, but you go to a restaurant for one main reason — the food. If the food is mediocre (or worse, just plain bad), the great service and beautiful views don’t mean diddly-squat.
On the other hand, if the food is bangin’, your night is golden, even without the gloves and the view.
With this approach in mind, allow me to recommend a restaurant that has been in Ocean Isle Beach for almost two decades. It may not get the publicity or hype of the more famous eateries like those in Calabash, Shallotte or Sunset Beach, or across the line in Little River. And you might even pass right by it on the way over the bridge to the beach.
But the food at Causeway Gourmet is, well, bangin’. Among the locals, CG is one of the best-kept secrets and for good reason.
The food is fabulous, and it comes in portions so large a doggy box is almost always required.
The Shrimp and Grits will knock your socks off. Thai Beef Salad will rock your world, and the Sunset Shrimp (which easily serves two) will make you a believer — and a repeat customer. Even The Godfather Hot Sandwich will make you an offer you can’t refuse.
The rest of the menu offers outstanding choices as well, and all are prepared with care, attention to detail and an expert hand, and the prices are very reasonable.
Owners Dawn Marie Fahey and Jon Thurman don’t care if their interior never gets featured in any of the top interior design magazines. They simply care about good food in a comfortable, clean setting that makes their customers come back for more.
And they do, for dining in, take out and even for delivery. For OIB’ers, you can’t beat the proximity of a place with food that good just a stone’s throw away.
Lots of folks in my local pub (which serves no food) have CG food delivered to the bar to enjoy while quaffing and chatting.
Folks in The Retreat, one of the fine Bill Clark Homes developments, are also frequent patrons. And I’d imagine, if beachgoers were forward-thinking enough, they could order a variety of menu items they could happily consume while on the beach, picking the food up en route.
Causeway Gourmet’s menu is extensive; there is a nice wine menu and though there are beers available, beer nuts like me would appreciate a slightly wider selection of suds to enjoy. There’s a very nice kids’ menu as well, and the place offers an astounding array of fresh desserts, many of which, like the coconut cream pie and lemon bars, are made on the premises.
Be forewarned: you will not remember the views from inside Causeway Gourmet, as the view is nonexistent. The ambience will not make you “oooh” and “ahhh,” because it’s just functional, clean and comfortable. Heck, you may not decide to propose marriage there.
But the food will turn you into an instant local, while you make Causeway Gourmet your very special secret.
Want to go?
100-7 Causeway Drive, Ocean Isle Beach
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