[Review] Tasting Corolla With Outer Banks Restaurant Tours
When we joined Terry Bell on one of our her Outer Banks Restaurant Tours through Corolla earlier this year, we had never done anything like this before, and we started feeling a little anxious as the day came closer, but we ended up having a great time and wanted to share some of the experience with you!
We felt nervous about traveling in a van with strangers for three hours and were afraid we might feel a bit trapped without our own vehicle. We also don’t step out of the box too much when it comes to our food preferences, so we wondered what we would do if they served something we definitely knew we didn’t like?
We figured we’d just go ahead and try something new, so we could experience something different than our usual. We met Terry, the owner, in Food Lion parking lot and hopped in the van.
There was one other couple with us, who had done the tour last year on their vacation and were back for round two. They seemed friendly enough and so was Terry. She gave us a brief story of where she came from, what inspired her to start Outer Banks Restaurant Tours and her journey since she began four years ago.
As family business owners ourselves, it was nice to see someone else take the chance and work hard to follow their dream.
We immediately began to feel at ease as we pulled out of the parking lot, especially when we arrived at our first stop, about one minute away, which was called Outer Banks Popcorn Shoppe.
The owners were very nice, told us all about how they made the gourmet popcorn as we tasted about 20 different flavors (and colors). It was a great place to start our tour.
The next location was right around the corner, which was called Mike Dianna’s Grill Room. Mike, the owner greeted us with a glass of wine and then cooked delicious pan-seared sea scallops for us to try, right in front of us!
We thought it was neat to watch him and hear exactly how the dish was prepared. The other couple was a bit more talkative than we were and asked lots of questions, which Mike happily answered.
The third stop was back across the way in the area where we had first met up that morning, a cozy spot called the Salt Water Grill. Again, the owner, Chuck, was very nice and informative, and he gave us some new hard lemonade to try, which was very good, as we waited for our next sample dish.
We were each served a slider sandwich that was broiled shrimp wrapped in bacon with some BBQ sauce, paired with a homemade three bean salad. I don’t care for beans, but I tried it anyway and it was very good. The sliders were amazing!
Chuck was days away from opening his new restaurant, so he was happy to give us a sneak preview as he took us for a short walk to our fourth stop, The Crafty Cow, which is a new burger bar with tons of exciting contemporary toppings to choose from.
We were served the “Outer Banks Burger” that was cooked perfectly and topped with a spinach-crabmeat sauce. We were all pretty excited to be able to be the first people to try one of the Crafty Cow’s signature burgers several days before the doors opened.
The fifth and final stop was Bacchus Wine & Cheese, where the owner came out with a platter of lots of different types of cheese to sample, as she did a wine-tasting for us.
My husband is not a wine drinker, but shocked me when he tried everything she offered and enjoyed tasting the many varieties of wine offered. After we were through, we did a little shopping so we could bring some wine home with us. It was so hard to choose just a few bottles of wine out of what seemed like hundreds of choices.
After the tour when we said good bye to Terry and the other couple, it really felt like we were all good friends. As we walked back to our car, we kept talking about what a great time we had.
Neither one of us even touched our cell phones during the entire tour, which is unheard of for us.
Terry kept things moving right along and all of the owners had us completely engaged and interested in what they had to say. All of the food samples were awesome, paired with just the right amount of drinks to taste along with them.
We would highly recommend Outer Banks Restaurant Tours to anyone, local or visiting, who wants to experience something different and wonderful. It’s definitely worth the money and we are looking forward to seeing Terry again soon. She has numerous other tours, including a Beer Tour, Wine Tour, and Dessert Tour. Maybe we’ll even try one of the cooking classes offered sometime.
Click here for the full schedule of tours offered.
You can watch some highlights from our tasty trip through Corolla with Outer Banks Restaurant Tours in the player below!
– Review by Sue Artz