On-The-Road, North Carolina: Part 3 – The Sanitary Restaurant

If I were to open a new restaurant today, I certainly wouldn’t call it the “Sanitary Restaurant”! I’m sure there are some places that are proud that they don’t get any serious violations by the health department, but I’m also certain they don’t mention it as a reason to eat there.

“Eat here because, it’s sanitary”

Now some background for this last on-the-road trip to North Carolina:

As I have mentioned, one of the expected highlights of this trip was to get some North Carolina oysters. During my four years in New Jersey to finish out my 30-year pension, I fell in love with oysters on the half shell, primarily the Chesapeake Bay version. Before my recent trip to NC, I had read about the “Marshland’s oyster trail” and was looking for at least three meals of them. I had researched several restaurants along the route, but when I visited, I failed to find any open. I was certain that when I reached New Bern, which is in the heart of oyster country, I would find my beloved oysters. New Bern seems the epitome of a seafaring touristy town with dozens of restaurants. Of all those places, I found only one that had oysters on the half shell, and it was closed. It only opened on Thursday through Sunday.

Oysters were meant to be one of the primary purposes of the trip, but I found myself leaving the marshlands without having even one of them. But then I came across the “Sanitary Restaurant”. It was in Morehead City, NC. So, I thought, “what the heck, let’s give it a try”. When I asked the person at the front station if they had oysters on the half shell, she proudly announced that that was one of their specialities. I had heard that NC oysters were larger than most along the Atlantic seaboard, and when they arrived that was indeed true. I also ordered one of their specialities, Bogue Sound Clam Chowder. Needless to say, I was so happy that the restaurant had grabbed my attention.

This restaurant reminded me very much of the NJ place I frequented. This NC version was also almost 100 years old, and was extremely proud of their heritage. When an older lady came to my table to ask if I enjoyed the meal, we got into a lengthy conversation. I found out that she was one of the many owners in the family. She told me to make sure I saw all the pictures about their history. She was also proud of the fact that one of the chefs had been there for over 40 years!

Here are some of the pictures of pictures I took. (click on any picture to see a larger version)

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