OBX Eats: Darrells Restaurant
Originally founded way back in 1960 as the Polar Bear Drive-In, Darrell's Restaurant has been a locals favorite for over 50 years - the third oldestrestaurant on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Emerging as one of the most popular restaurants in the infant Outer Banks area, Darrell's has also been known as a dependable source for palate-pleasingseafood entrees. Owned and managed by the husband and wife team of Darrell and Dora Daniels, ownership was handed over in 1972 when son Allen and wifeLorna joined the business.
With the new management and new ideas, the once small establishment located just off Manteo's main drag, U.S. Highway 64, expanded their walls and menusize and the restaurant's popularity grew steadily among locals and area visitors.
As a Roanoke Island resident, I find myself eating at Darrell's quite often - especially since they're one of the handful of restaurants, open during the off-season in the Manteo-Nags Head area. It should be noted that Darrell's is by no means an upscale joint; in fact, they're a very casual place to enjoy a sit-downbreakfast, lunch, or dinner meal.
Based on my experience with breakfast joints on the Outer Banks, Darrell's is certainly towards the top and tied for first with TL's Country Kitchen forearly-morning cuisine on Roanoke Island.
I'd recommend trying their crabmeat omelette if you're craving seafood or their western omelette packed with green peppers, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms,cheese, and your choice of meat. If you are really hungry and not worried about consuming 800+ calories in the morning, I'd go for the pecan, blueberry orsweet potato pancakes. Yum!
For lunch or dinner (similar menus), I'd recommend giving their fried seafood basket, homemade barbeque plate, or popcorn shrimp and scallops a try. Ifyou're hungry but not really in the mood for delicious fried seafood, their salads are filling and worth the money coming in at just under $10. You can geta delicious tossed salad with a healthy portion of fresh local shrimp or tuna prepared just the way you'd like. Also, when in-season, be sure to orderDarrell's soft crab sandwich, you won't be disappointed.
For an appetizer, consider trying their homemade Hatteras style clam chowder or crab balls that are prepared daily with fresh local crab meat. Darrell'salso has an extensive daily specials menu that changes depending on the day of the week.
Like most every other restaurant on Roanoke Island, Darrell's is closed on Sundays. The family traditions that helped found, establish, and grow thisfantastic local spot are still in place. The owners and employees consider Sunday to be a day of rest and relaxation - not a day for operating arestaurant.
If you've been an Outer Banks local for more than a year than I probably don't have to tell you to check out Darrell's if you're hungry and in theneighborhood, but visitors should consider giving this locally owned spot a try.
Nothing fancy - just friendly service, courteous waiters and waitresses, and great food at a highly reasonable price - especially compared to otherrestaurants in the area.
Thanks for reading this edition of our OBX Eats series and besure to check out some of our other restaurant reviews to help you plan your schedule for dining out during your next Outer Banks vacation.
Remember to eat local…. Always!
521 Virginia Dare Trail
Manteo, NC 27954
Tuesday, January 14, 2014