Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Xmaskaties, Glowria, And Rosie Go To The Art Festival At The Whalehead Club Then Have Truly Mediocre To Bad, Overpriced Lunches At The Blue Point.

Here are Glowria and Xmaskatie,
last Wednesday,
at the entrance to
the 8th Annual Arts Festival,
"Under the Oaks,"
For 2 days (Wednesday and Thursday, June 23 and 24)
over 100 artists from all over the United States
displayed their artworks -
sculpture, ceramics, woodwork, jewelry,
enamel, watercolors, oils, acrylics, pastels, mixed media,
wrought iron, clay, wood, glass, basketry, photography.
Here are some random living history interpreters
strolling through the art festival.
Click on the picture to enlarge and notice
what ye gentlemanne on the lefte hath in his hande.
Didest they haveth bottled water backeth then?
Sadly, Glowria, Xmaskatie, and I were not up
for the 214 step, 162 foot climb to the top.
It was too hot.
The Whalehead Club is also home to the
Currituck Wildlife Museum
which showcases the wildlife heritage of this area -
the history of water fowl hunting and
the artistry of decoy makers.
You can go to Kathy's Reinventing A Boomer blog ,
and read about her January visit to the Museum, here.
Various critters in the wildlife museum.
Xmaskatie is sporting the baubles
she bought from one of the jewelry-makers
at the festival.
She was looking for earrings to match her necklace.
Here's our happy little party:
Glowria, Xmaskatie, Brother Xmaskatie,
Sister In Law Xmaskatie,
and Niece Xmaskatie.
This is the view of the Whalehead Club
from the Wildlife Museum.
Now, on to lunch.
At Xmaskatie's suggestion,
we went to the Blue Point Bar and Grill in Duck.
I can never remember the name of this restaurant.
And I always come up with Blue Oyster Cult instead,
which takes me to this:
When Xmaskatie worked up in Duck,
she had numerous good meals at the Blue Point
and was looking forward to another one.
Sadly, this wasn't it.
The last time I went to the Blue Point,
Mr. Hawthorne and I ordered
the oyster bisque and told the waitress
to bring us an extra spoon since we were going to share.
She gave us a funny look when she came back and I asked
her for a knife, so we could cut the ONE oyster in the bisque.
(We were sharing, remember?)
We placed our orders,
got our drinks promptly,
and waited.
And waited ...
And waited ...
For 45 minutes until we were served.
With no crackers.
Nothing to munch on.
Just refills of our drinks.
I decided to go out of my comfort zone today
and order something I normally wouldn't order.
Normally, I would order the crab soup and a Caesar salad
since that's one of my benchmarks for judging a restaurant.
But today,
I opted for 2 of the specials recited by our waiter.
The first was a cold tomato soup
slightly flavored by some basil
with crabmeat and one sad little cracker.
Now I was looking forward to the crabmeat
so you can see why I might be a tad disappointed
when I was served this.
For $4.95.
If you remember my previous post
and when to use what for which recipes,
this would be a case for using Jumbo Lump or Lump,
because you want to showcase the crab meat.
This is definitely NOT lump.
It's tiny little flavorless pieces of crab.
Plus, if you look at the crab meat,
you'll notice it's not even white.
That's because there's a pool
of overpowering olive oil on top of the crab meat.
I am not happy with the soup.
Sister In Law Xmaskatie
ordered the She Crab Soup "a la minute," which was apparently "a la 45 minutes."
I might have ordered this,
but it was $9.95 for a bowl,
and I had a $9.00/pound container of crab meat
sitting in my fridge, so I just couldn't justify that expenditure.
At least she got 2 crackers,
a sprinkling of Old Bay Seasoning,
some chives, and a splash of Spanish Sherry.
Brother Xmaskatie ordered the fresh Carolina shrimp
and Edwards smoked surry sausage with
a cheddar grit "cake," tomatoes, scallions, and Creole spice
and I believe it was $11.50.
Six tiny shrimp were stuck heads-down in the grits
with their little tails sticking out.
And when I say tiny I mean tiny.
Compare them to the slice of lemon.
Hell, compare the whole plate to the slice of lemon.
I tasted the grits and the sauce
and it was mediocre.
I don't know how the shrimp were
since I wasn't going to take away from what little he had.
I am not impressed.
Glowria ordered the $8.50 meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes
(I'm a mashed potato purist. No garlic in mine, please.)
and big chunks of squash and zucchini.
I had a bite of the meatloaf and it was
spicy and smoky flavored.
Not bad.
But I prefer my own.
Here's what Glowria had to say about her meatloaf:
From Glowria:
Today my group of art aficionados decided to stop at the Blue Point Restaurant in Duck for what was expected to be an outstanding lunch after a long day of browsing the art stalls at the art show at the Whalehead club. We all ordered and patiently waited for our meals to be served. My $9 meatloaf with spicy ketchup, "hint of garlic" mashers and crunchy squash were all a pleasant- tasting burst of flavors that I will enjoy as leftovers tonight. I'm really glad I decided not to get the Asian salad.
Niece Xmaskatie ordered the pasta and vegetable dish for $6.95.
I didn't even bother taking a picture of that blandness.
Besides, the poor child had been dragged all over to,
what had to be for her, boring exhibits all morning,
then she had to wait a looooooooong time at the restaurant to be served
and was extremely well-behaved and a delight to be around the entire time.
She actually looked at me when she was served and said,
"You don't want to take a picture of mine do you?"
I later asked Xmaskatie about the vegetables supposedly in the pasta,
since I didn't detect any from my vantage point across the table.
She just said they were "the same color as the pasta."
What? Did she have turnips, potatoes, and parsnips in her pasta?
Please, Sir. May I have some more?
Xmaskatie and I both ordered the "Asian" salad,
for $8.95,
described as brined chicken over salad greens with
an Asian dressing and we could have sworn he said
peanuts sprinkled on top.
And here's my "Asian" salad.
There were no peanuts.
There were some strips of red pepper and carrot.
The "brined" chicken was slimy
and some of the pieces seemed undercooked.
I could taste some sesame oil.
The lettuce was limp.
That was it.
There was no crunch. No flavor. No texture.
Well, I guess you could consider "slimy" a texture,
but it's not one that I actively pursue.
I couldn't eat this hot mess.
Total damage: $84.00.
Here's what Xmaskatie had to say about it:
From Xmaskatie:
I was really looking forward to our lunch today at The Blue Point in Duck. I've never been disappointed with the food or service, and would often walk there from my office when I worked in Duck 7 years ago. So I suggested to our hungry group of 6 (which included a very patient and well behaved 7 year old) that we stop there after visiting the art show in Corolla, since I usually don't venture that far north anymore. The restaurant is huge now (I think it used to seat 30, including the porch area, now seats maybe 100+), and it still looked very nice, still had the great water view, and I was hoping it still had the type of food I look forward to eating. I remember the green goddess dressing was so perfect I asked the chef for the recipe. I still make that dressing today.
But, after we were promptly seated, and promptly served our drinks, and our order was taken, we waited for a good 45 minutes for our food. We arrived just after noon, and there were less than a dozen diners already seated, so the wait seemed excessive. I ordered the daily special, which was an Asian Salad with brined chicken, julienned romaine lettuce, cilantro, and a peanut dressing (or something with peanuts). It was very average. But for $9, it was well below average. The chicken was flavorless and some pieces looked undercooked (although that could have been the lighting), and a few red peppers & carrot strips sat sadly on the soggy romaine. I barely tasted any peanut, and just felt that the old Blue Point would have done it better. Adding some red onion, some cucumber strips, or water chestnuts, or snow peas, and using a mesclun mix of greens and crispy chinese noodles would have greatly improved this salad. The portion was small especially when for the same price you can get a delicious salad at Tortuga's Lie in Nags Head. In fact, I was still hungry after lunch, so came home and had a tuna salad sandwich and some pineapple for my 2nd lunch.
Really disappointing meal, only upsides were the attentive service (wasn't the waiter's fault how long it took to get to the table), and the wonderful company and stimulating conversation.
I still don't know what was "Asian" about it.
Yes!!!! I do now!
It's got CHOPSTICKS on the plate!!!!
That makes it Asian! I brought the chopsticks home with me. Next time I wok something, I will be culturally insensitive, a la Sandra Lee, and stick them in my hair.
Culinarily speaking,
this day blew chunks.
Big ones.
After not eating this "meal" Wednesday afternoon,
I didn't eat this meal Wednesday evening.
And that sucked big time.


Marilyn said...

Too bad the mediocre food took away from an otherwise nice day.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Zing, Mar.

Anonymous said...

This is who should be commenting, since he's the co-owner/chef.
I know the reason for the lackluster food couldn't have been the BUSY SUMMER SEASON, since they've been in business for 20+ years, so inquiring minds want to know, what gives? I really hope we don't have to lower our expectations for The Blue Point in Duck. Please update us and tell us this bad meal was just a fluke.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Anonymouse, My skirts have never been blown up by the Blue Point. I know many people have had wonderful meals there. But I'm not going back anytime soon. Overpriced. And what I had was disappointing. Please, don't let this post discourage you from going to the Blue Point. I'm just telling you about my one or two experiences there.
And let it be known, I'm a very bitter person who has a highly offendable palate.

Maybe I'll try to get Mr. Hawthorne to go there with me for lunch sometime.

I'd love to give it another go.

And Anonymouse, I am extremely critical.

June 28, 2009 8:49 PM

Hairball T. Hairball said...

What a disappointing meal!!