Over Labor Day weekend we were invited to stay at a house two blocks from the beach in Oak Island, NC – how could we say no?
Oak Island is less than a 3 hour drive from our place, but we still made two stops along the way. First, we stopped at Redneck BBQ Lab in Benson right after they opened. The line was already ~30 minutes long, but with some patience we acquired a half pound of brisket with cornbread and collard greens. It was an oddly cool and dry day, so we ate at picnic table outside in the shade.
An hour down the road we stopped to try the newly opened Mannkind Brewing in Leland. Given the nice weather they had their doors wide open so we again sat in the shade. I went for the Star Nose Sour Ale (Guava, Papaya, Mango, and Pineapple) from Mad Mole Brewing, which was great. Leandra tried the Renamber Belgian Amber Ale – serviceable but nothing special.
The next day we went over to The Grape & Ale on Oak Island for a mid-day beer. I tried the Coconut Lime Sour (quite tropical) while Leandra went for the (very strong) Mexican stout.
One night we went to dinner in Southport, making reservations at Edgewater 122. We were seated outside with a view of the (very sunny) river which also gave us a brief view of a pod of dolphins playing near passing boats. Leandra’s grilled steak with fries was good, as was my Caesar salad with chicken.
On our last day of the trip we spent a late afternoon trying some of the breweries in nearby Wilmington. Our first stop was Flytrap Brewing, where I got the tart Sauvignon Blanc Saison and Leandra started with the Oatmeal Porter. For round two we shared the Blueberry sour saison. It was a warmer afternoon, but their back patio had a lovely breeze and lots of shade from large old oaks.
Our second stop was across town at Mad Mole Brewing. Here I had the Star Nose Sour again, while Leandra went for the Trench Porter. By this point it was a bit too hot to sit outside, so we stayed in the air conditioned interior.
Besides going out, we also took multiple walks along the beach, enjoying the early morning and sunset light on the oceanside and creekside, plus made significant progress on a 2000(!) piece puzzle.