S Lake Park Blvd
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
I'm torn about whether to put the Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar here at all, since I am focusing on the best places to eat. I should probably start by saying the food is no great shakes - at least the meal I had last night. It wasn't the worst I've had, but it was far from the best.
But food aside for just one post, it's a cool little place. We went with friends to watch another friend play a gig there last night. It was a great night to be out on the beach, watching the surfers try to take advantage of the last of Tropical Storm Hanna. The place was crawling with little people (literally) - our friends brought their two young boys. It is one of the most family-friendly places in the area I've seen where parents would actually want to go. The friends we went with ran into tons of other parents they knew. The kids were all running around on the beach, in plain view of their laid-back parents, who were sipping drinks, chatting with each other, calling their kids' races from above on the pier, and listening to the band. Service was better than I thought it would be - we didn't have to wait long at all for our food orders.
You can eat out on the pier, or even take your food down to the beach and sit out there and eat. Service items are unceremonious and not exactly earth-friendly - they bring it out in paper containers with plastic forks and packages of salt and pepper. But for the ability to drag it down to the beach, it makes sense.
All in all, it's a pleasant experience. The kids were having a ball, the parents were able to relax and enjoy themselves, the people who didn't have kids were also having a great time, and food aside, it's a place worth visiting. I have no idea how the food is in the restaurant inside, but with a lovely night like that out by the beach, I didn't especially care.
If you sit through the video, in order of appearance: Me (andie), Melissa (friend and wife of Ned, drummer for the band), part of Phillip's head, David and Jenn and their boys Shea and Mac (we came with them), Melissa (again) and her beautiful daughter Liza, (their boy Levi was somewhere down on the beach), and then the Mason Smith Band performing, with our buddy Ned playing drums.